Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Moderator: GreenLake

Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby Beach4824 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:55 pm

Sailed at a Kiser Lake Ohio. Wind was 15 to 20mph. ok ill give it a shot. Rigged and launch. Launching was an issue due to wind. Sailed for 1hr and said "enough of this" only had mainsail up. Saw people launching kayaks and started to paddle. They helped me in. How do you lower main in that kind of wind condition so that the sail is not all over your cockpit? I have a topping lift and would like to flake it over the boom but the wind had the sail everywhere. Another heads up for Kiser lake. The dock is incredibly short leaving a small target considering the lake doesn't allow motors of any kind. My stern was hanging at least 4ft from the dock. Then the stern of my boat was was catching the wind while i was trying to trailer it. ANY IDEADS . Greatly Appreciated.
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Re: Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby GreenLake » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:38 pm

I don't use a topping lift and when the sail comes down I might push it down in the cockpit between boom and seatback so it doesn't fly away. I have a dedicated line that I use to wrap around the sail to secure it. If I need to take the sail down for example to motor some extended period, I might quickly roll it and then secure it to the boom (and use the halyard as a topping lift). If I just drop it for the dock at the launch, I don't care if it sits in one half of the cockpit for a bit.

I've tried flaking it, but that's a two person job -- unless you have a mast track with sail slides that keep the luff of the sail at the mast. With that, you could "flake from the rear", tie down the back third, move forward to do the rest of the sail. Without the assist from a track, the part of the sail that you can't reach will try to get away from you.

When retrieving a boat from a beach with wind from the side, I tie a long line to the stern of the boat. Needs a helper, but then I can control the swing of the stern and keep the boat parallel to the trailer. My trailer is set up with an aft roller that has a notch in the center of a shallow v. That notch "traps" the bow very nicely, once I get the bow in about a foot. I park the trailer so that roller is just at the water level, so the bow rises a bit rolling over and rests firmly in the notch.

If there's not too much wind, I can even "lever" the boat by pulling the painter at an angle and it will pivot around the point where it rests on the first roller. With more wind, I need the guy line to the stern.

The minute the boat is aligned, I pull it quickly forward, far enough to where the bunks try to take the weight at the back (my aft roller is dropped an inch so the stern rests only on the bunks). At that point, the boat won't go anywhere (except for waves/wakes) and I can connect the winch cable and winch her in.

I found that if I try to "float" the boat onto the trailer, it's impossible to keep it aligned. If that's your technique, you need guide posts on your trailer.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby Beach4824 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:52 pm

Thanks Greenlake.
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Re: Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby Beach4824 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:49 pm

"I might quickly roll it and then secure it to the boom" Greenlake.

My boom does turn. Id imagine to reef or have the sail at a mooring. Is that what your talking about?

"If there's not too much wind, I can even "lever" the boat by pulling the painter at an angle and it will pivot around the point where it rests on the first roller." Greenlake.

What is the painter?

Thanks Chris.
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Re: Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby Beach4824 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:03 pm

And again THANKS Greenlake for your prompt posts on topics. Im a intermediate sailor with a new to me boat I purchased this year. Still learning new things with the help of this forum and family. Gonna take her out for one last time Saturday. Gonna take pictures and Video. Getting pretty chilly here in Ohio
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Re: Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby tomodda » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:14 pm

Hey Chris, chiming in quickly.. The painter is just the rope attached to the front of the boat that you use to pull the boat. Onto your trailer, for instance. You can either tie it to the foredeck cleat or the bow eye.

And roller reefing is a nightmare. I didn't read GLs post, but don't roll your sail around the boom.
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Re: Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby GreenLake » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:06 pm

As Tom wrote: rolling the sail refers to making it into a roll, not rolling it around the boom. Now, my sails are new-ish and rather stiff. The previous set remained that way even after years of use. Never softened much. Rolling them into a stiff roll is easy. With softer sailcloth you may need to fold over a bit of the top and then roll. Folding doubles the first few turns of the roll and makes a more solid "core" around which to roll the remainder of the sail.

The confusion may arise, because I don't take my main off the boom when I roll it; I end up with a roll of sailcloth that is attached to the boom at one edge, and easy to secure to it with sail ties.

An alternative, esp. for softer sails is to let the boom drop and to pull the bottom 3-4 feet of the sail over the seat and loosely fold/flake the remainder into the pocket that is formed. Then pull up the sail by the fold and wrap that over the boom. Now you have your sail wrapped in itself and can use sail ties to keep the bundle to the boom. If you need the cockpit free, you can use a topping lift, or the halyard clipped to the end of the boom to raise it up again.
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Instead of sail ties

Postby GreenLake » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:19 pm

Instead of sail ties, I like to use a single rope with this knot:
714

The knot is started on the left in this example (as if you were standing on the starboard side facing the boom and tying the end of the sail first). It starts with a simple loop. You can use a slip knot, if you want, for faster untying. Then you bring the rope forward a bit, take a bight (a "U shaped bit of rope") and wrap it around the sail bundle and after that tuck it under the rope and push the remaining 1-2 feet of it forward, but don't pull all the rope through. Instead, you reach behind the sail, grab another bight, bring that forward and after wrapping the sail in the other direction, tuck it through the first bight and push it forward a foot or so. Rinse and repeat. At the end, tie off with slip knot.

More complicated to describe than do. Try it sometime with a blanket roll like in my picture.

The beauty is, once you untie it, you only pull on the free end an the whole thing unravels. You also never pull through more than 2-3 feet of rope (doubled in a bight) at one time making the tying a quick affair as well. And you don't need to have dedicated sail ties; when not securing your sail, that rope is free for some other purpose.

PS: I'm sure this tying technique has a standard name. Perhaps someone knows it, which would enable people to google better tying demos.
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Re: Lowering Mainsail in 20mph wind and gust.

Postby Beach4824 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:33 pm

got something like that with my new to me used sails ill send pictures.
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