Originally Posted by tsenator
Just worked on the boat this weekend and started to winterize. New sailboat to me and it took twice as long as normal . This is my first "in Mast Furling Main" and I tried to 'flake it" like I did with my old boat on the boom (I had the Dutchman System) , but when I brought my Main Sail down and tried to do a semblance of flaking, it was a CLUSTER F*** ... LOL . Question 1) Any tricks to Flaking/Folding a roller furling mainsail ? Can you do it on deck ?
Question 2) How the hell do you people put the Roller furling mainsail away for the winter ? If you don't need any work done on it do you just leave it in the mast for the 4-5 months for "northern sailors" ? Why not ? With the sail out the "roller" in the boom sounds like it rattles and clanks a lot . Does the main furling slot have much UV exposure for winter exposure to harm the sails ?
We always strip all canvas
, all running rigging
, all blocks, all leads - why leave any of it out in the weather
- even if you have the money
to replace regularly.
To get the main down, we have tried flaking, and frankly not worth the effort unless you have plenty of hands on deck (and usually it is just the two of us). Just loosen the halyard and pull the sail down onto a side deck. Then ideally be berthed alongside and you can drop it straight over the side onto the wharf/pontoon/jetty, loosely bundle it up, and take it to a lawn or at least a smooth paved area where you can inspect fully, then flake it properly, roll up and put into its bag.
As for the mast, the next bit is really important:
Tie a good length of 8mm double braid to the shuttle.
Tie another length via a prussic loop or similar, (I always also secure the bitter end with a couple of cable ties just to be safe) around the halyard at a point that will be halfway between the shuttle and the masthead, when the shuttle is hoisted halfway back up the mast (you may have to adjust the position after a quick trial).
Hoist the shuttle up to half-mast, secure the halyard, and tie the line back hard to somewhere aft, and as high as possible (if you have a solar
arch, then perfect!). That will pull the foil in the mast back against the slot and stop the foil rattling and banging in the mast during swell and high winds.
Now tie the other line back hard also - preferably to the opposite quarter so that the two lines cannot chafe in high winds. That will pull the wire halyard out of the slot and away from the mast so that it cannot frap and cause damage to the mast and spreaders.
Now everything should be snug for the winter.
Might sound a bit of work, but once you have done it and got it down pat, it is quite quick and easy.
A note regarding removing the running rigging
and mousing the halyards.
I use 4mm double braid for each halyard with a parrel bead at one end, then a have 3mm braid from the parrel bead at the top of the mast, down to the deck. That way the critical mousing line is inside the mast out of the weather
, and pulled hard onto the sheave so there is no chafing. Come spring, you just re-attach the halyard at the bottom and pull it back through the mast. Use a single
mousing line and apart from weathering, you risk it chafing through where it goes over the sheave - then you have a problem!
On that, for extra security
I use 8mm for the topping lift
mouse. Lose that, and I can't get to the top pf the mast ……...
If you want a further idea, there is some reference to it in this video clip:
I need to do a proper vid of this process and put under the 'Boat Tech' section of our channel, but this will have to do for now.
I hope that helps.