Main during motoring

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Main during motoring

Postby badgley » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:21 pm

Hello,

Ever since we got our boat we have tried various ways of dealing with the main when it is not raised and we are using the motor (no wind, to/from dock, etc.). However, we haven't found one I'm thrilled with yet. We've tried:

1. Leave it in the boom bag, motor out, and unroll, bend, and raise main all on the water. This makes getting away from the ramp the quickest but is a huge pain on the water and not safe in any kind of gusty conditions.

2. Leave it piled in the boat, with the boom end laying in the cockpit to weigh it down. This is the quickest and easiest way for short trips - to/from the dock - but is a huge mess in the boat, obviously.

3. flaking the sail on the boom with the topping lift. We find this really difficult to do well without sail slugs, since the whole thing can fall out once you lower it and there is nothing to pull against to get neat flakes. It's also very difficult to do at all on the water if the boat is rocking at all, even with crew.

4. motoring with the mainsail up - really only done this out of laziness on no-wind days to get the last couple hundred yards back to the dock, but the sail flogs like crazy.

5. We have not yet tried - but I think I will - leaving it rolled around the boom, and then using the rolling gooseneck to let it out while someone else hoists. This seems like it would be the neatest and most controlled but might take forever, and I hate being caught for long periods of time with any sail only partially hoisted.

I tried searching but couldn't find any other articles about this, so I'm curious. For those of you that have motors, what do you do with the main when you're not using it? Any ideas welcome!
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby jalmeida51 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:57 pm

I don't know if this will help you? I roll my sail but not around the boom. I start at the head and roll it tightly and after the sail is rolled I tie it to the boom with sail ties. I tried flaking but it was a waste of time since I don't have slugs on my luff. I can roll it up fairly fast and if the roll is bad I can still secure it with sail ties. After the boat is secured at the dock I do a better job of rolling the sail. I do have an adjustable topping lift which is a big help. I sail mostly single handed and I just can't drop the sail due to the sail wants to be blown overboard and blocks my vision. Next sail will have slugs. I also use a tiller clutch to secure the tiller to keep the boat headed into the wind. I guess if you have a crew one could slowly drop the sail and the other could flake it. That way you could pull the sail aft and flake it. I have never tried flaking a sail this way. Maybe someone else will have a better way ? John
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby badgley » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:00 am

Thanks John,

Hadn't thought of that but might be worth a try. At least it sounds like it would stay 'packaged' better than flaking does. At least considering our flaking skills. After trying that only a few times, I decided it would become too expensive a method, if you factor in the cost of the couple's therapy that would obviously be needed soon...
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby GreenLake » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:45 am

I tend to motor primarily when there is no wind. That means I will generally leave the main up. At speeds up to 3kn there isn't much flogging.

If I drop the main just for the approach to the dock, I put up with piling it in the boat. The dock I use most often is sheltered by surrounding buildings and I don't have issues with the sail being blown about as long as I (1) leave the head in the mast slot, (2) make sure that all the folds are below deck level on the seat.

I generally sail away from the dock; I'm not afraid of short-tacking in the fairway, if I have to. The secret is to never let your CB or rudder stall.

I occasionally tie up at a dock at the destination. I used to attempt flaking the main, but now I dump it in the boat, take the halyard off to use as a topping lift, then I roll the main and secure it to the boom as described by @jalmeida51. I'm not totally consistent, it depends a bit on how long I plan to stay and whether the boat is in sight (plus expected range of wind conditions). For something very casual and short term, I may spill the sail onto the seat with the head still secured in the mast slot; leave the boom on the transom; and simply wrap the bulk of the sail a few times so it can't blow away. (For the jib, I simply cleat the sheet and use a long bungee to pull down the head. I lead it towards the foredeck cleat with one loop around the main part of the sail to keep it from blowing open - quick and efficient, again, mostly when I can monitor the boat)

If I do need to raise the main away from the dock, I tend to put it on the seat with head in the mast slot for immediate raising.
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby badgley » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:12 pm

Thanks GreenLake - it sounds like your MO has pretty much been exactly the same as ours. I was hoping someone had some magic genius solution we had not yet thought of, but I think we'll stick with what we're doing for now. We may still try rolling it around the boom if we ever need to motor a long distance.
Brian Badgley
1982 DS II #10911 EGRETTA
Blacksburg, VA, USA
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby GreenLake » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:34 pm

My sail is really stiff. Rolling it by itself will make a compact roll that's easily suspended from the boom.

For those of you that have softer sails, there was a suggestion some while ago on this forum to grab the first few feet of the sail from the boom and form a "pocket" into which to flake the sail, then fold over the pocket and tie everything to the boom. I think that would work well - just that I've never tried it, not wanting to put any creases in my sail. (The fabric is so stiff that it makes crinkling sounds even after a few years of use).

But I can totally see it as a useful technique for the sail I had before.
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby RobH912 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:01 pm

jalmeida51 wrote:I don't know if this will help you? I roll my sail but not around the boom. I start at the head and roll it tightly and after the sail is rolled I tie it to the boom with sail ties. I tried flaking but it was a waste of time since I don't have slugs on my luff. I can roll it up fairly fast and if the roll is bad I can still secure it with sail ties. After the boat is secured at the dock I do a better job of rolling the sail. I do have an adjustable topping lift which is a big help. I sail mostly single handed and I just can't drop the sail due to the sail wants to be blown overboard and blocks my vision. Next sail will have slugs. I also use a tiller clutch to secure the tiller to keep the boat headed into the wind. I guess if you have a crew one could slowly drop the sail and the other could flake it. That way you could pull the sail aft and flake it. I have never tried flaking a sail this way. Maybe someone else will have a better way ? John


John I was doing some searches to find an alternative to removing my main sail completely from the boom after sailing each day and found this thread and your response to a different question.

I dry sail my boat, pull it up on to a trailer at the end of the day (mast up), and then store the boat & trailer about 200 ft from the launching ramp at a sailing club. Seems like everyone I sail with removes their sails from the boom at the end of the day, rolls them up, some take them home, or leave the sails in the boat in the sail bag (that's what I do).

Have been thinking about leaving the main on the boom, rolling it up, letting hang below the boom, securing with sail ties, then put the boat cover on over it all... maybe a get going a little faster on the next sail?

Was wondering what others do with their main sails when dry sailing or moored?

Any preference on sail ties? I see strips of nylon webbing, bungee cord sail ties, etc.

Thanks!
Rob

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Re: Main during motoring

Postby GreenLake » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:36 pm

OK, so a little thread drift - let's discuss main during storage.

I keep my main on the boom when trailering. I roll the sail and take the boom off the mast and place it on the bench. On a DS1 there's a way to push the boom under the short deck at the transom, and with the motor well, it also keeps the boom from falling off the bench. I push a bit of the sail under the aft coaming, to secure it as well. Forward end gets secured with a bungee to one of the thwarts.

I use an old fender and a throwable cushion as padding between boom and bench, and when all is secured I cinch down the mainsheet (that limits fore&aft motion, say when coming to a sudden stop).

I used to slide boom and sail into a sail bag, but that gets awkward with the mainsheet still attached; now I used rely on the tarp I throw over the mast when the trailer is parked. It's not perfect, the UV exposure is less, but not zero with this method, but the upside is there's no bag to trap moisture if any was left on the sail.

I seem to recall that the cockpit in a DS2 may not be long enough to keep a boom, and that people find clever ways to suspend it below the mast. With a rolled sail, I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to store the main on the boom.

Whatever you do, make sure the outhaul is loose. (Yes, I regularly forget that one myself).

The benefit in rigging time can be substantial. I don't have to feed the main, rig outhaul and reef line and connect the mainsheet. I go through those steps once at the beginning of the season and with that (and rigging all the other lines from scratch) rigging time is practically double.

PS: I use a soft shackle as a "quick disconnect" from the continuous jib sheet, so it, and the barber haulers can stay rigged. The shackle forms a Prusik loop around the sheet and has never slid, not even during tacks (the position is marked, so I would know).
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Instead of sail ties

Postby GreenLake » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:46 pm

Instead of sail ties, I use a single line with this method, whenever I need to secure the mainsail to the boom. (As I wrote above, I don't see that as necessary during transport, but would use this method when docking somewhere).

714

Starting on the left, tie the line around sail and boom using a slip knot. About a foot to the right, push a bight down and around, and underneath the rope, then forward about a foot. Take another bight, push it down and around, then continue by going through the loop left by the previous bight, and leave another loop going forward a foot. Repeat.

Finish off with a slip knot.

Easier to do than to describe. Has the advantage that you never feed the whole line through any of the loops. To untie, you simply undo the final knot, and pull. The line will fall away cleanly and you can undo the initial knot.

Second advantage: I always have some spare line around, which I can use for many purposes, and I don't need to make/bring dedicated sail ties.

Third advantage: Because of the way it's tied, it's easy to support the sail while tying it (half the time you are "embracing" the sail as you are going through the motions).
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby jalmeida51 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:43 am

Hey Rob,
I keep my boat at a dock and I need the tide to be at half tide to get out of the boat yard. A lot of the time my sail is about 2 hours and I come back in. to me it doesn't make any sense to take an hour to rig the boat for a few hours of sailing.
I keep the mainsail flaked on the boom and the boom stays attached to the mast. The boom is supported by a topping lift or you could a boom crutch.
I had a local sailmaker install slugs on the luff of the sail, this makes it easier to flake the sail. I installed a mast gate to cover the slot in the mast to prevent the slugs from falling out of the slot when I drop the sail.
I do use a sail cover to protect the sail from the sun and it keeps the sail clean. or you could use a boom tent.
I use 3 or 4 sail ties to secure the flake sail to the boom. Never liked the shock cord type of sail ties.
I keep the rudder and tiller attached to the boat. That saves a little time.
I leave the jib sheets on the boat. Hank the jib on connect the clew to thesheets with a soft shackle.
I can leave the dock in less than 15 minutes.
You could roll your mainsail and secure it to the boom with sail ties if you didn't want to have slugs installed. Take Care, John
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Re: Main during storage

Postby RobH912 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:08 am

GreenLake wrote:OK, so a little thread drift - let's discuss main during storage...

...The benefit in rigging time can be substantial. I don't have to feed the main, rig outhaul and reef line and connect the mainsheet. I go through those steps once at the beginning of the season and with that (and rigging all the other lines from scratch) rigging time is practically double.

PS: I use a soft shackle as a "quick disconnect" from the continuous jib sheet, so it, and the barber haulers can stay rigged. The shackle forms a Prusik loop around the sheet and has never slid, not even during tacks (the position is marked, so I would know).


GL - thanks for your thoughts on storing the main. Feel free to recategorize my post.

I too was thinking that I was spending a lot of rigging time on the main. My boat has a boom crutch so I was thinking that after I pull the boat on the trailer and get trailer parked I would continue to leave the boom attached to the mast, but leave the sail on the boom, boom in the crutch, roll the main sail up, then using some sail ties to tie the sail to bottom / side of boom (to clear sail from any crutch contact).

Like the idea of being able to to keep jib sheet rigged as well. Had not thought of that. I'll do some internet searches on Prusik loops as I am not familiar with those, or how to use a soft shackle to attach jib to sheet.

Thanks!
Rob

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Re: Main during motoring

Postby GreenLake » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:56 pm

Rob, a bit of thread drift is fine - this is a forum, not a knowledge base. I mostly try to step in if someone starts to discuss sails in a centerboard discussion etc.. So not to worry. About your comment on Prusik loops. Here's an image of my setup:

2664

You can clearly see the diamond knot that forms the toggle of the shackle. A former DSII owner, @Tim Webb posted a variant of this where the shackle is sown into the sheet. (Using a much thinner shackle). My setup relies on the friction from the Prusik loop (which is just a fancy name for laying the sheet across the loop and then feeding one half of that loop around the sheet and through the other half, two times). With the correct combination of diameters and rope material, a Prusik loop can hold extremely well when under tension.

Anyway, with either type of shackle the jib sheet can stay rigged. You only need to attach the clew. A continuous sheet tends to hang up less while tacking, which is another reason for this arrangement.
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby GreenLake » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:05 pm

John, luckily I don't have a tide window, but still, my average trip is not much more than two hours. Mainly because that's the time it takes for the kind of fun race event we have here, but also because spending more than two hours on the nearest lake becomes repetitive. I do got other places as well, and once technically did an overnight (sun rose when the mast came down :) ), but still, I get you on shortening the rigging and derigging.

With the boat on the trailer I need more than 15 minutes, but we've made in 30 once. (De-rigging, that is). Including taking off the spinnaker sheets etc. When I added my jib tensioner, I made sure I could connect it with a simple hook, leaving the halyard on the mast, and the tensioner on the boat. Those few minutes saved do add up.
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Re: Main during motoring

Postby RobH912 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:29 pm

jalmeida51 wrote:A lot of the time my sail is about 2 hours and I come back in. to me it doesn't make any sense to take an hour to rig the boat for a few hours of sailing.


John thanks for the good ideas!

While last summer was my first year with a DS, learning each time I rigged the boat, but I found that with all of rigging & un-rigging I was spending more time doing that than I was sailing. :(

GL - thanks for posting some pictures on how you secure the main sail on the boom, and of your soft shackle set up for the jib. I did some internet searches on Prusik loop and diamond knot. Here is a good video that includes how to do both. https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/gear/softshackles-38323

Can't tell from the picture, how long do you think your Prusik loop is measured end to end? What's the diameter of the rope used in the shackle?

I have been thinking about changing my jib sheet over to something lighter and softer on the hands and have been looking at 9mm Regatta Lite.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/new-engl ... ode=221616

It is all polyester and I am now wondering if it will be too slippery for a dyneema Prusik loop to stay in place.

Thanks!
Rob

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Re: Main during motoring

Postby GreenLake » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:40 pm

Nice find on that video. There are two lengths that are of importance. One is the length of the finished shackle when stretched. This has to be long enough to reach around the sheet for two wraps and leave enough free length to easily open. An inch or two too long is better than too short.

The other length is the length of the rope required to make a loop of the desired size. I think the factor is something like 3, but good instructions would have that information. or you can experiment.

Finally, the rule of thumb is that the shackle diameter should be less than the sheet diameter. I think mine are close to 3:5. I think I should have gone lower in theory, but the setup works. The green jib sheet you see in my picture was from a bin of cutoffs at the local marine store, so I don't know make or materials. The cover is smooth but grippy. I would have assumed it's polyester.

Soft shackles are easy to make, the material is affordable at the lengths needed, so why not give it a try. Do not worry about loads; any dyneema rope thick enough to be workable is going to produce a shackle you can lift your boat with (or almost).

PS: the link you give for Regatta light shows it to be Polypropylene. That material tends to show noticeably more friction than Polyester; combined with the knobbly braid shown in the sample pictures would be ideal for a soft shackle. Just wear gloves with it; I think your chance of rope burns are a bit higher.
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