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Old 05-06-2020, 15:11   #1
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51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

Hello,

I've been trying to research getting a Lazy Jack system with Stack Pack for my 51 ft Beneteau. I haven't been able to find any kind of Lazy Jack system for sale above 42 feet. Is there a rational reason for this? Currently, I have a furling main sale, but it is so much work furling and unfurling that huge sail. The first solution I'd like to explore is a Lazy Jack system with Stack Pack. I understand that I then may need or have better luck with a less flat mainsail which would cost a fair amount of money to have manufactured, but if it then makes some sailing characteristics more optimal, it may be worth it.

Thank you for any insight,
AK
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Old 05-06-2020, 15:19   #2
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51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

If furling the sail is too much work, I think you may be in for a real eye opener when you hoist and douse a sail of that size, complete with battens.

Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with the furler that makes it difficult to use?
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Old 05-06-2020, 15:27   #3
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
If furling the sail is too much work, I think you may be in for a real eye opener when you hoist and douse a sail of that size, complete with battens.

Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with the furler that makes it difficult to use?
Battens in a furling main ? Buy a sewing machine and a rivet gun and lots of cloth...
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Old 05-06-2020, 16:12   #4
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

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Battens in a furling main ? Buy a sewing machine and a rivet gun and lots of cloth...


No, talking about hoisting a non-furling main.
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Old 05-06-2020, 16:26   #5
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

The reason you don't see a lot of large stack pack and lazy jack systems for sale for your size boat is they are all custom items, made to order by a sailmaker. It has nothing to do with practicality. Pretty much EVERY boat that size that has a traditional hoisted sail has them.

A sail for a boat of that size gets heavy, but with the right equipment it's not hard to handle. I strongly dislike raising a sail from the cockpit. To much can go wrong, and you are too far away to recognize it before something gets broken. Will you need an electric winch? I don't know... how strong are you? It shouldn't be hard to find a similar sized boat and have a look, and maybe ask to hoist their sail at the dock on a calm day.

It's not clear exactly what you are thinking of doing, but converting from a mast furling sail to a regular hoist is not trivial. Where, for example, does the mast track go?

It sounds like you are thinking of using the same sail? That would be a serious mistake. You would loose almost all the advanatges of a proper sail shape you can get with a hoisted sail.
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Old 05-06-2020, 21:03   #6
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

Hello, AK,

Here's something else to consider: if it really is a lot of work to furl the present mainsail, perhaps the furling mechanism itself is worn, or needs lubricating? It really should be easy enough for a 5 ft. tall, slender woman to furl it without strain. So, I think you may be trying to fix the wrong problem. A good rigger can tell if it is the furler itself.

However, if the furler is toast, then you could be up for a Strong Track setup. Some friends of ours have one on a 40 footer -- obviously a much smaller boat then yours-- and they are quite happy with it. Our mainsail is a little over 500 sq. ft. and we have slab reefing. We have taken to using a Milwaukee right angle drill motor (28 volt) with a winch bit for raising it, and it makes it a lot easier on aging shoulders.

Tracks can be added to masts, and "batcars" fitted, which helps a lot with ease of hoisting and reefing. They, too require occasional maintenance. And you would be able to fit a new mainsail, bully battened, and the stack pack to contain the bunt when the sail is reefed, just as you can with the Strong Track.

Good luck with sorting it out.


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Old 06-06-2020, 09:23   #7
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

Regarding a 50 ft sloop rig, which I sail single-handed.


The mainsail is fully battened with a Tides track (for easy raising and lowering) and a #46 electric winch. With a sail as big as mine, the electric winch is very helpful. Fully battened has many advantages.


I designed, made, and installed my own very-robust stack-system for a total cost of about $300. Contact me if seriously interested for photos etc.


There are three reef points, with the first two reefs placed from the cockpit. This is important. Your furling mainsail will require a lot of retrofit and still will not be as efficient. BTW, the third reef requires a messenger line for the leech.


On my previous boat (Beneteau 400), I experienced in-mast furling. It worked until it didn't, usually when furling was NOT done under exacting conditions, luff tension, wind angle, etc. Sailing offshore was a pain compared to the rig described above.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:40   #8
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

We just put lazy jacks on our main (63' ketch)

We were in the "same boat" () as you. Sailrite doesn't sell the kits and didn't even return our call asking if they or we could adapt the largest kit.

Our neighbor boat is a naval architect and he offered to plug our dimensions into his CAD program and it spit out the exact lengths of each line necessary. We spent a long afternoon splicing and we're very pleased. I'll have to sew a stack pack but for now the lines fit around our current sail cover.

So, long story short - do you know a naval architect or can you find one to hire for just enough time to get a custom layout?

It really wasn't a difficult job, eye splices in double braide are now my specialty.

Just a thought, good luck .
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:45   #9
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pirate Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

I 0wned Mary Jane a 51 Beneteau for 8 1/2 years. Kept her in the Carib From the BVI,to USVI, Grenada to ABC's windwards and leewards. I just finished an 11 day crossing from St Croix to Key West. It was a 95% sailing. Winds were from 10-20 knts most of the time and five nights of vicious storms excess of 35 gusting to 50, Lots of sail changes in the middle of the night. I cannot imagine going through this ordeal with a furling main, though it could have proven advantageous in second thought, since it operates as a jib which we were constantly adjusting, Stack pack of the boat with lazy Jacks from Doyle operated brilliantly. The stack pack I installed in St Croix from Doyle had one short coming no drain holes for the rain water. so toping lift adjustments for draining the water became a routine. Going out next Monday for the test sail on a 46 Beneteau Sense with in mast furler. I will give you my last thoughts in the comparison of the two mainsail systems if interested.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:30   #10
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

Wow, every single one of you has given me some good food for thought. In the case of "strength issues" for myself, I'm 47, and have been very much into fitness for all my life, including Crossfit for the past 7 years. The last time I sailed, I was plenty strong, but found it helpful to trade off with friends who sailed with me.
As for the issues that there may be mechanically with my furling system. The boat was manufactured in 1992. The captains logs that came with the purchase were certainly incomplete, so being aware of any mechanical problems that may or may not have been previously addressed is difficult. Certainly, hiring the right person to assess would be in order. Also, I am totally aware of the fact that the main winches are not sized properly for this boat. They are in good condition, but clearly a previous owner saw fit to replace winches with smaller, less costly ones. The winches I have are probably for 40 foot or smaller. I haven't had a problem with the sail getting caught either unfurling or furling, it's just meticulous and exhausting. Perhaps a proper winch and better inspection of the furling system is in order.
Years ago, I was renting a Hunter 42' with a furling main and that thing got stuck like crazy. It was impossible at a point to unfurl that sail. I received a nice refund on the rental from the agency.
One important consideration for me in addition to having the main sail being less exhausting to deploy and retract, is would a sail that is NOT cut to be furled give me more efficiency under the right wind conditions? This again is a question to approach the right professional about. I would expect any sailmaker to want to sell me a new sail, so it would have to be someone who is properly referenced.

Thank you all for such great advice! Any further insight is definitely appreciated.

-AK
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:24   #11
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

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Originally Posted by AKinKingHarbor View Post
One important consideration for me in addition to having the main sail being less exhausting to deploy and retract, is would a sail that is NOT cut to be furled give me more efficiency under the right wind conditions? This again is a question to approach the right professional about. I would expect any sailmaker to want to sell me a new sail, so it would have to be someone who is properly referenced.
-AK

It is not clear what you intend above. Is the system to be in mast furling, or not? A sail for in mast furling is designed for that purpose. To convert one to flaking (stack pack or otherwise) would not be worthwhile. They are built differently, everything from shape, luff, reefing points etc.
Similarly, to put a flaked-type main on a in-mast furler would likely be a waste of time. I frankly doubt it would fit inside the mast.


Find a decent sail maker, get a new sail. It is likely that the big lofts already have your boat in the computer. A good foreign loft, like Tasker, could make the sail with US cloth and ship it back for a fraction of the cost. If you expect after-sale service--you need a US sail maker.


Also be aware you will need additional hardware; 000's of dollars worth.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:36   #12
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

I don't know your boat but am a firm believer in lazy jacks and the Stack Pack is a nice modification of that same old idea. I captained a custom racer/cruiser, 52' with an 80' mast and we'd go back and forth .. from racer to cruiser. The #3 would go on a headstay furler yet we'd bring out the strings for the "jacks" and reinstall them. We had electric primaries and a cockpit mounted mainsheet winch yet we'd race manually with 10 and we did a lot a lot of delivery miles with only 2 aboard. This was a while back but I gave friends written instructions on how to install their own" lazy jacks" with line and strap eyes. No big deal !
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:39   #13
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKinKingHarbor View Post
One important consideration for me in addition to having the main sail being less exhausting to deploy and retract, is would a sail that is NOT cut to be furled give me more efficiency under the right wind conditions? This again is a question to approach the right professional about. I would expect any sailmaker to want to sell me a new sail, so it would have to be someone who is properly referenced.

Thank you all for such great advice! Any further insight is definitely appreciated.

-AK
First, if your existing mainsail is "exhausting" to use there is something very wrong with either the way it is set up, or the way you are using it. That just should not be. People use furling mainsails because they are easy, not other reason. One that is working right is easy to use.

Properly designed, set up and used they are easy, reliable ways to handle sails

A mainsail designed from the get-go as a hoisted sail will certainly be more efficient and sail better than a furling sail. No question. It issue is "how much?" It depends on the boat. On boats the main "engine" is the genoa, on others it is the main.

It also depends on your sailing style. Are you a cruiser who is fine waiting a few days to avoid sailing close hauled? Or do you relish a good? beat upwind?

On my boat, I doubt we would make faster passages with a hoisted sail. Our genoa is the main driver, we avoid beating whenever possible, and we can instantly adjust the amount of sail to conditions. We never have to sit and wonder if we should shake out the reef? or is the stronger wind coming back
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Old 06-06-2020, 12:04   #14
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKinKingHarbor View Post
Hello,

I've been trying to research getting a Lazy Jack system with Stack Pack for my 51 ft Beneteau. I haven't been able to find any kind of Lazy Jack system for sale above 42 feet. Is there a rational reason for this? Currently, I have a furling main sale, but it is so much work furling and unfurling that huge sail. The first solution I'd like to explore is a Lazy Jack system with Stack Pack. I understand that I then may need or have better luck with a less flat mainsail which would cost a fair amount of money to have manufactured, but if it then makes some sailing characteristics more optimal, it may be worth it.


Thank you for any insight,
AK
I generally think that mast furling is just another potential problem to go wrong at the worst time, so I agree with the change! The system you are thinking of would not be a problem for an experienced sailmaker to make, so get in touch with someone local to you, unless you want to give it a try yourself - not too hard if you have some experience sewing and are familiar with sailboats.

I'm currently making lazy jack sail covers for my junk rig. Should be done in a week or so. I will post pics and an explanation in a thread here.
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Old 06-06-2020, 13:04   #15
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Re: 51ft Sail Boat Lazy Jack and Stack Pack

Lazy jacks are very simple to build. You can run up a set in a few hours. Note the drawing below,(which incorrectly shows the line going nearly to mast head, 2/3 or so is all that is needed). at each apex is a small block, and a block on the mast. Eye straps for the ends on the boom. The main line, that goes from the top block thru the block on the mast comes down to a small cleat. If you have reef tack hooks on either side of your gooseneck you can use those for securing them when stowed, otherwise a simple hook and bunji or the like works.

Be aware that Lazy Jacks should be set up when you go to douse the main, and run forward and hooked along the mast when you prepare to hoist.

Some folks leave them up and complain about battens getting caught etc. Run them forward and there is no problem. That is why you use the blocks at each apex as they then self adjust both for stowage and for operation.
I have rigged them on many boats including an 80’ cutter with full batten main and harken cars. Never had a problem with them. I Once tried the Dutchman System on an Alden 54 and had to cut it away trying to reef in a bit of a gale of wind off Hatteras. I would not recommend that system as it was not a bunch of fun dealing with it in bad weather.

Simple and easy works.

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