Cruisers & Sailing Forums (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/)
-   Seamanship & Boat Handling (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f90/)
-   -   Lines to Cockpit / Mast (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f90/lines-to-cockpit-mast-237749.html)

nfbr 30-07-2020 06:19

Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Sailing more with family (10-15yo) and looking at buying something.

Everything I have sailed (Mono / Cat) has had all lines to cockpit (reefing varies)
But I see a lot of boats with Halyards and Reefing points on mast.

Any comments / suggestions from ladies / less strong guys / older guys on how you go with lines up at the mast?

Thanks
Paul

Snore 30-07-2020 07:18

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nfbr (Post 3197481)
Sailing more with family (10-15yo) and looking at buying something.



Everything I have sailed (Mono / Cat) has had all lines to cockpit (reefing varies)

But I see a lot of boats with Halyards and Reefing points on mast.



Any comments / suggestions from ladies / less strong guys / older guys on how you go with lines up at the mast?



Thanks

Paul



Don’t know about that “old guys” remark- at 65 I am still going forward in hefty seas tending to issues. And have no issues delivering about that requires me to go forward to reef. I just run jack lines.

BUT, some folks don’t care to go forward. Moving the lines is a compromise- rig reefing lines back to the cockpit and deal with storing the lines.

I am not a fan of single line reefing and prefer to see boats with separate clew and tack reefing lines. While that is more lines coming in, I feel they get fouled less often.

If you are boat shopping don’t make that a deciding point. Rigging the lines back to the cockpit is a few “boat bucks”. But buying a boat you don’t like as much just because the lines are lead aft is foolish.

On my personal boat the halyard and vang are lead back. To reef, one needs to go forward. Sort of a hybrid solution.

Pete17C 30-07-2020 08:09

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nfbr (Post 3197481)
Sailing more with family (10-15yo) and looking at buying something.

Everything I have sailed (Mono / Cat) has had all lines to cockpit (reefing varies)
But I see a lot of boats with Halyards and Reefing points on mast.

Any comments / suggestions from ladies / less strong guys / older guys on how you go with lines up at the mast?

Thanks
Paul

It's a safety/convenience thing. If you mostly sail in fair weather, it's not much of an issue.

Even with lines lead aft, many times someone will be at the mast when hoisting the main. Crew at the mast can use their weight to pull down the halyard, crew in cockpit takes up slack and runs the winch for the last couple feet if needed.

But being able to drop sails/reef from the cockpit when it gets blowing is nice.

roverhi 30-07-2020 13:03

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Have lead all the main sail strings to the cockpit. Double line reefing, vang, outhaul and topping lift with clutches and winches. Faster, safer, and way dryer to handle the main under the cover of the dodger.

The headsail strings except for sheet and furling are at the mast. Something always seems to be needed to be tended to raising headsails. Running from cockpit to bow and back, often several times, is just too much of a hassle.

As snore says don't let location overly effect your boat buying decisions. If they are already run aft, you've saved more than a boat unit if you want to stay with that location. If you decide after use that you'd rather work the sails at the mast, you'll have hardware to sell on Craigs List or eBay. If controls are only at the mast, be aware that it will take a boat unit or more to bring the strings aft.

Noisykate 31-07-2020 08:32

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
We have to go forward to reef; one unexpected plus is that it focuses the mind on reefing early, while conditions are amenable. This is a Good Thing!

Scubaseas 31-07-2020 08:58

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
The older I get the more I appreciate granny bars/ mast pulpits.

zstine 31-07-2020 09:02

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
I have sailed boats rigged both ways. I prefer the halyards at the mast and love my continuous wire 'reel' type winch. Much less friction and much easier to raise the main every time you put it up. I also found that the single reefing line led aft often get fouled requiring a trip forward anyway, and in the event they do work, you can't usually get proper tension on them due to excessive friction. So you end up with a full shape in your reefed sail. not ideal.

billdre 31-07-2020 09:04

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Here's another piece of information for your consideration of lines on the mast or in the cockpit.
Two years ago I moved all lines to the cockpit. I see it as a safety move as I get older. I like it. Main halyard, two line reefing, vang, cunningham, out haul, lazy jacks and down haul. One of the results is I now have to use a hand crank on my winch to get the main up nice and snug. I used to be able to pull it all the way by hand. (28 ft. boat) It's simply that I'm pulling a lot of extra line up with the sail. It's still worth it, but it did change things a bit. All these lines run through nice high quality turning blocks so it's the combination of some added friction and 10 to 15 ft. of added lines along with the sail. On a bigger boat it would be even more effort. For what it's worth...

Cheechako 31-07-2020 09:06

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
I've had both setups. Spent a ton of money to lead things aft. Dedicated winches, high end stoppers even. What a mess. I'm a small guy. I far prefer the simplicity of lines on the mast. Far prefer. I can go to the mast and reef in less time than it takes to untangle , recleat etc the mess in the cockpit.

MJH 31-07-2020 09:06

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nfbr (Post 3197481)
Sailing more with family (10-15yo) and looking at buying something.

Everything I have sailed (Mono / Cat) has had all lines to cockpit (reefing varies)
But I see a lot of boats with Halyards and Reefing points on mast.

Any comments / suggestions from ladies / less strong guys / older guys on how you go with lines up at the mast?

Thanks
Paul

Even if you have the main halyard going to the cockpit, after you reef you still need to go forward to wrap/clean up the main with it's tie downs (reefing pennants).

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH

Don C L 31-07-2020 09:15

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
For me, if I could run all the lines back to the cockpit, I probably would! But my little cockpit just doesn't have much room for that mass of lines and pockets. If I were planning a long trip solo though, I'd work it out so that I could do it. I had single line reefing rigged for a while and it worked ok, but it required long lengths of line to attend to, and the second reef required I go to the mast anyway when shaking it out to put a slide back on. This summer I went back to reefing at the mast (I still have the winches on the mast.) For the headsails I find it more convenient to run that halyard back (I have hank-on headsails which most don't.) Like others said, no need to consider this in deciding which boat to buy.

BlackHeron 31-07-2020 09:31

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zstine (Post 3198501)
I have sailed boats rigged both ways. I prefer the halyards at the mast and love my continuous wire 'reel' type winch. Much less friction and much easier to raise the main every time you put it up. I also found that the single reefing line led aft often get fouled requiring a trip forward anyway, and in the event they do work, you can't usually get proper tension on them due to excessive friction. So you end up with a full shape in your reefed sail. not ideal.

We also have all-wire halyards and very nice wire winches on the mast that are not finger-mashers like the older types. They even use regular einch handles. I wouldn't think of downgrading to fiber halyards. When it is time to drop the sail I don't have to clean the halyard first and lay it out to get it ready on deck, just hit that clutch on the winch and the sail just drops as the winch pays out the cable -no friction.

We recently bought a new mainsail that has a Cunningham. We never even had a Cunningham line or winch rigged before as we could always add more luff tension with the wire halyard and winch. But after adding one we still never use it as a Cunningham -but it does come in handy for reefing instead for holding the new tack right where I want it.

roland stockham 31-07-2020 09:34

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Couple of comments. I like lines lead aft and sailing solo I find it worth it because I can adjust things like halyard tension and trim without leaving the wheel for long. However there are down sides. The more complex the setup is the more likely it is to snag, then you have to go forward any to undo the jam! The more blocks the rope goes round the more friction you get, so the bigger the winch needed, which takes longer to grind...! On a 35ft boat I can haul the main almost to the top by hand without a winch much faster than doing it with the cockpit winches. Often I will go forward hoist most of the way and just adjust the tension from the cockpit.

A major point is that you SHOULD always be comfortable moving around the deck and that takes practice. Lines to the cockpit are a convenience but it is important that the deck setup enables you to work on deck safely in any weather short of survival conditions.

TrentePieds 31-07-2020 09:38

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
One more vote for working your rig from the base of the mast rather than from the cockpit. Complexity in a cruising boat is unnecessary and expensive. And a maintenance nightmare. Friction in the running rigging is your enemy and the harder the conditions are, the greater the enmity! Taking lines to the cockpit increases friction enormously.

Ladies and "less strong guys" are particularly appreciative of boats that are rigged to minimize friction and complexity. And as for "older guys"...I'm 80.

TrentePieds has everything led to the cockpit and she has mast roller furling of the main. An absolute PITA. If I could be guaranteed another forty years of sailing - which I hope for - I'd get rid of all the rubbish and revert to "hank-ons" handled from the mast. Handling a 400 square foot mainsail on track and slides and fitted with a proper topping lift is child's play in comparison! Reefing a 400 sqft main from the mast, when it is properly rigged with a running topping lift and slab reefing, is absolute duck soup compared with all the modern "improvements".

As someone said: Rig a jackline! Know how to use it and make sure your safety harness is in good condition. Rather than spend money on leading lines aft, spend what is required to have a sufficient number of sufficiently strong anchor points for your jack line and for your harness.

As someone else said: Nothing quite so much conduces to good seamanship as knowing that you have to go forward to reef :-)!

TrentePieds

CF32907 31-07-2020 09:43

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
It's all preference, I'm now 74 not as steady on my feet, 26' boat. My boat has 8 (4) on each side going from mast to cockpit. If I had to go forward for all sail handling I would have to have a big med kit and a fast dry swimsuit. I can go sailing in a lot of weather I could not go out in if I had to go forward for sail handling. It definitely clears clutter around the mast.
A couple things I really miss from not going forward for rigging/sail set. Cannot look up the mast for mast bend, cannot feel standing rigging, cannot see shape of sails as well, those are my main issues. Also, you have more line to maintain, you have expensive deck hardware to maintain. When you do go forward, your rolling or tripping on lines or deck hardware. Weigh the prose and cons for your own vessel, some work well either way, it's definitely Captains choice, no real what's better. Like I said, in my situation, being 74 and not so nimble, I sail two to three times as much as I could if I had traditional rigging set up. Your talking to a guy that had a 65' schooner with 6 working sails, it is to me now very relaxing sitting in my cockpit handling the boat. Happy sailing all,
Capt. Vince Rakstis, Ret. MS
PS: It is a pain in the ass to wash down decks with all the lines and deck hardware ran back to the cockpit, right where you need to scrub and rinse........ Look at all those periods, I could be president.......

Rhwins 31-07-2020 13:12

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
The layout of the boat makes a difference. And, will you be sailing with crew or alone? A friend had a 28' with narrow side decks and a dodger- it was a task to get to the mast. I have a 33' C&C with wide enough side decks and no dodger. Most lines that are adjusted while sailing are led to the cockpit, but I have to go forward to set the lazy jacks and to adjust the out-haul. I can see the advantage of running the tack end of the reefing line to the cockpit though. If its that rough, better to not have to go forward.

Donald Bryden 31-07-2020 15:50

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
I see lines running to the cockpit as a convenience thing, but not necessarily a safety thing. I'm 79 years old, have been cruising most of the last 18 years and I go forward to handle halyards, reefing and to generally inspect the blocks and lines for security and soundness. I've met sailors who treat the foredeck as a no-mans land. The truth is, that eventually you will need to to foreword for one reason or another, and it should feel comfortable to do so. If the foredeck is not familiar to you and you need to take care of a problem on a dark and stormy night, then it will be a much more dangerous undertaking (no pun intended) tha
n if you feel at home there.

CF32907 31-07-2020 18:12

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Donald Bryden (Post 3198792)
I see lines running to the cockpit as a convenience thing, but not necessarily a safety thing. I'm 79 years old, have been cruising most of the last 18 years and I go forward to handle halyards, reefing and to generally inspect the blocks and lines for security and soundness. I've met sailors who treat the foredeck as a no-mans land. The truth is, that eventually you will need to to foreword for one reason or another, and it should feel comfortable to do so. If the foredeck is not familiar to you and you need to take care of a problem on a dark and stormy night, then it will be a much more dangerous undertaking (no pun intended) tha
n if you feel at home there.

Gees Don, your on a Brewer 45, of course you fell comfortable going forward. Put your but on an under 30' with no side deck and see how comfortable you feel going forward in a sea way. If I still had my 65 schooner, I would feel comfortable going forward. On a 26, not so much. So yes, it is a safety issue as much as convenience. I'm 74... Capt. Vince Rakstis, Ret MS

Differentroads 02-08-2020 10:33

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
My limited experience is that it depends entirely on the boat. I chose a boat that had good seakindly charicteristics and with reefing at the mast but with high toerails and guardrails, wide sidedecks and granny bars at the mast. I brought the jackstays towards the centreline and had tethers made ip that meant we couldn't fall outside the guardrails except right up in the bows. And then I had waist high grab bars fitted over the cabin so that there isn't an inch where I don't have something strong to hold onto on my journey to the mast. Reefing at the mast is subsequently easy and safe.
I've sailed on a few other boats where going to the mast would be a much less comfortable and safe experience and have been glad of cockpit based reefing. Except two such boats where badly arranged single line reefing means someone frequently has to go to the mast to sweat lines anyway. Usually in a hurry on boats that are not so safe for on deck work. I enjoy those sails but they make me appreciate my own boat all the more.

Na Mara 09-08-2020 13:25

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
I have a boat that was really designed to have all the sail handling at the mast excepting the sheets and Genoa reefing line. She is even designed to have here main rolled in at the mast!

I love working at the mast ( and would actually have preferred a proper slab reefing mainsail just to have more of an excuse to do it more), however my Dad, who’s pushing 70, and SWIMBO felt that they wanted to be able to reef the main from the comfort and safety of the cockpit. Particularly my dad felt no longer comfortable going forward in a blow.

I tried to fix this for them by running lines back but it just proved impossible. Indeed, we bent the push pit trying to do this. Eventually, we landed up electrifying the reefing drum on the in mast. So now we can reef and sheet the Genoa and main from the cockpit even on a boat that was specifically designed to be reefed from the mast (there are granny bars and everything).

Basically, with modern technology any boat can be made into one that can be sailed mostly from the cockpit, it’s just a question of how much you are willing to spend to get it done.

Pizzazz 09-08-2020 14:04

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Either way there are pro's and con's. If you are sailing mostly solo, you want all the lines led aft. In heavy seas, it is much easier to go forward and hook the reef point, then go back and work out the lines from the safety of the cockpit. For the headsail, you will end up going back and forth to change the sails but it is manageable. The downside is that most boats have a dodger and working the top winches under the dodger is a pain. Also, you need to store the lines somewhere out of the sun and this means you need bags. if you have experienced crew, you can have one person on the foredeck managing the sails and the other working the lines from the cockpit which is more efficient and faster.

If you have the halyards at the mast, it does look easier, especially for the headsail but again in heavy seas, it is not easy to work the mast winch (there is less support to lean against vs. the cockpit) and you still have to go from the bow to the mast and back.

Regarding friction, it really depends on how the boat is setup. A pulley adds 4-9% to the total effort. If you have in mast halyards, you will still have the bottom pulley, that will be only 1/4 and the deck pulley, that will be 1/8, so you actually have less friction if you lead the halyards back vs. if you wrap it around and up the mast to a clutch. It is similar with reefing. You do not add more than a few percentage points to the total effort. A bigger issues is old/broken blocks that should just be replaced.

SV Pizzazz

Na Mara 09-08-2020 14:17

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
My halyards exit the mast above the winches. There is one pulley at the mast head for each halyard and that’s it. It’s a lot less friction than on my previous boat with everything led back. Indeed the lines on the new boat require less grunt to haul them than those on the former boat despite the new boat being twice the displacement.

Friction in the lines can be substantial if they are led back. I had to 2:1 my halyard on the last boat to get the main up against all the friction in the single line system and even then it was heavy.

Also my platform at the mast is great. Two winches at hip height that I can work standing erect with the support of the mast and granny bars near the center of motion. Give me that any day over being hunched under the dogger in a half kneeled position unable to see the sails grinding at what is effectively shoulder height.

TrentePieds 09-08-2020 14:35

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Quote "Also my platform at the mast is great. Two winches at hip height..."

Well, yes. Given your "handle" you would obviously think so - as do I. But let's graciously remember that not everyone here came from the womb rowing a coracle or a skiff. I was once made fun of in this forum for expressing a fondness for Galway hookers, but I see that they are becoming more numerous again. "Oh, to think of it..."

TrentePieds

Na Mara 09-08-2020 15:02

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
Ha, totally missed that one.

Wish I’d done it deliberately now.

wingssail 09-08-2020 15:43

Re: Lines to Cockpit / Mast
 
1 Attachment(s)
Boats and sailors are different, what works for one may not work for the other. Our boat is 43', a sloop, and powerful, meaning big sails and lots of power, at times, but it is set up for maximum efficiency and ease of operation.

It can be a lot of work. There are two of us, in our 70's, but because of the way it is laid out, it is easy for us.

Wings was set up as a racing boat so everything is ultra low friction and very direct for efficiency and boat handling speed. That helps us deal with this big boat.

The halyards and reefing lines are led to the cockpit, as, of course, are the sheets and guys. Most lines have only one block on deck, otherwise the lead is straight. Any line can be led to any of several winches, including the very large three-speed wide-drum primary winches which make easy work of the heaviest loads or the secondary winches.

But even though we have all this in the cockpit we still have to go forward.

To raise a sail one person goes to the mast and "jumps" the halyard. The other person tails it in the cockpit and finishes it off with the winch. Our sails, even the heavy ones, fly up the mast. Raising sails is fast and easy. (headsails, see below).

To reef a mainsail (or unreef), again, one person goes forward. In reefing the main must be pulled down and hooked over the horn at the mast while the halyard is eased from the cockpit. Then the halyard and reefing line are taken up in the cockpit on the primary winch. This is a very speedy process, seconds, but it does involve going forward.

It helps that our decks are wide and usually clear so going forward is not difficult; one can literally run forward.

Shaking out a reef is like hoisting the sail, the halyard is eased from the cockpit, the tack is freed, and then the sail is hoisted at the mast, with it being tailed in the cockpit. Again, easy and fast. Again, one person goes forward.

Headsails are a special case. We don't have roller furling. The headsails must be hooked up at the bow. They can be hoisted at the mast (and tailed in the cockpit) but to take a sail down it must be pulled down from the foredeck while the halyard is eased, aft. We are used to this and we have no problem going forward. Usually our decks are clear and with jack lines led one of us runs forward to do the necessary, with tethers if night time or in rough weather.

You can see our cockpit: Not great for lounging or entertaining, but great for working the boat. Every thing is fast and easy and convenient.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:09.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.