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.