Raising and Sailing Your Main – Strength Hacks

Raising and Sailing Your Main - Strength Hacks, Raising and Sailing Your Main – Strength Hacks

Sailing does not have to be so difficult. Here are some work-arounds for handling the main on a sailboat when upper body strength is lacking.

  1. Before Raising the Main
    1. Prep all lines, identify lines and clutches
    2. Unlock reef lines, look at sail to see if it’s reefed
    3. Big bundles of line have been “pulled” 
    4. Short line you probably are going to pull on next
    5. Is the main full of heavy water from a rainstorm
      1. Fluff the sail, close the hatch, warn everyone in splash zone
    6. Remove sail ties – makes it so much easier to raise the main
    7. Untangle or unwrap secured reefing lines so they run free
    8. Make sure sailbag is clear of running rigging, but secure
  2. The Main Halyard
    1. Use the “bow and arrow” method of sweating up the main
    2. Invite a friend to “tail” the line for you
    3. Use your legs
    4. Recruit a partner – get two people on the line
    5. Use the winch
    6. Use an electric winch
      1. Don’t put in self tailer in case of problems
  3. Once Main Is Aloft
    1. Reexamine reefing lines at tack and clew of sail
      1. If they are pinching the sail; let out more slack on them
    2. Examine topping lift
    3. Examine outhaul tension
    4. Examine halyard tension
  4. The Main Sheet
    1. Loosen before raising the main so sail goes up, boom swings free
    2. Trim sail once the main is up
  5. Clearing Overrides in the Main Halyard
    1. Non-emergency
      1. Double back and attempt by hand
      2. Double back, run to another winch and attempt with winch
      3. Release boom vang to get a couple inches
    2. Emergency
      1. Cut the line – hopefully after attaching a messenger line
  1. Clearing Overrides in the Main Sheet
    1. Non-emergency
      1. Double back and attempt by hand
      2. Double back, run to another winch and attempt with winch
      3. Loosen main halyard; boom will drop and give you a couple inches
    2. Emergency
      1. Cut the line – no need for messenger; still have the other sheet
  2. Putting the Main Sail Away
    1. Flaking – start from clew, NOT the tack
    2. Extra length of reefing lines can be laid on top of sail or in the bag
    3. Flake back and forth with enough sail hanging over each side of the boom to help hold it on the boom
    4. Flake back and forth with not so much sail hanging over the boom that it will peek under the sail cover
    5. Make sure cover shields clew from sunlight damage
    6. Tie with reef knots or bows for easy removal
  3. Reefing From Raised Sail
    1. Determine depth of reef desired
    2. Locate appropriate reef lines for that reef – deep or shallow
    3. Ease main sheet
    4. Lower halyard until new tack will reach hook/level of boom
    5. Temporarily secure main halyard
    6. Jiffy reefing – tension reef line to secure tack and clew
    7. Traditional reefing – attach tack to gooseneck, tension clew to make new outhaul
    8. Raise main using halyard
    9. Sheet in mainsail, sail in comfort
    10. Secure reef lines in middle of sail if needed / rigged / desired
      1. If the main is loose footed; tie reef lines under sail but not under boom to avoid tearing sail
  4. Reefing at the Dock
    1. Locate appropriate reef lines for desired reef – deep or shallow
    2. Jiffy reefing – tension reef line to secure tack and clew
    3. Traditional reefing – attach tack to gooseneck, tension clew to make new outhaul
    4. Ease main sheet
    5. Once ready, raise main with main halyard – it will stop at the reef points. 
    6. Sheet in and sail
  1. Roller Furling Main Procedures
    1. Free drum at mast – pin to starboard is “coming out,” to port is “roll into mast; going to my home port”
    2. Ease main sheet
    3. Use outhaul to pull main to end of boom; freewheeling the return line
    4. Sheet in and sail
    5. Return pin to “port” setting immediately so it’s ready to roll in if there’s an emergency
    6. To reef, simply release sheet, release outhaul, tension and pull the return line to desired position , re-tension outhaul, then sheet and sail
      1. Some sails have dedicated reefing locations with reinforced “new tacks” that look like fan-shaped sewn areas
      2. Keep tension on outhaul when reefing or when striking the sail
        1. Looseness on the outhaul equals overlaps inside the mast = really bad news. Here are some solutions: 
        2. For an override in the sail, alternately tension the roller line and the outhaul to roll it tighter in the mast like wrapping paper
        3. Run a galley spatula up the override to coax it free
        4. Remove outhaul and lead it downward to the deck and put pressure to free top of sail
        5. Swear. A LOT. Sell the boat. 
Raising and Sailing Your Main - Strength Hacks, Raising and Sailing Your Main – Strength Hacks

I Don’t Go Anywhere Without:

  • Stream2Sea Reef Safe SPF 20 or 30 mineral, regular or tinted sunscreen, mask defog, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, rash guards and more reef-safe supplies. Use my code “KimW” for 10% off.
  • MyMedic Individual Bleeding Control Kits, this link and my code “KimW” will save you 10% on your purchase. We take ours everywhere.
  • North American Rescue CAT tourniquets.
  • Travelex is our trip insurer – click for a free quote.
  • Girls That Scuba – members discount card for all things diving.
  • Sailo for $100 off your next boat rental! Discount Code: “KimWa1”
  • PierShare to rent your dock out or rent a dock.
  • RoadId for $5 off your cycling/running/kayaking/travel id.
  • Thank you for using my links – your price does not change, but they may gift me a small percentage of your sale in return for my mention, which allows me to continue to bring to you fun content.
  • AD: affiliate links used.
  • Thank you Bill for being the Best Sailing Partner EVER!
About

Leave a Comment

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Application-Confirmation 1.0 Verify-File 013e980104dec2d39acba78865f09e1e316adccd