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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    8,535

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    I want to fit lazyjacks to my fully battened loose footed mainsail. It has a low friction track which is great.

    A semi- facetious answer to the original question is “a gaff one”.
    Last edited by Minn; 02-05-19 at 12:55.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    7,502

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Best mainsail if ease of use single-handed were your sole criterion would be junk rig.

    Of course, other factors may come into play, not least of which would be that your mast/s is/are probably in the wrong place for it!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    4,398

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSister View Post
    Best mainsail if ease of use single-handed were your sole criterion would be junk rig.

    Of course, other factors may come into play, not least of which would be that your mast/s is/are probably in the wrong place for it!
    The ability to be able to raise or lower the sail on any point of sailing would be a great advantage as far as I am concerned.
    " Brexit is like watching your library being burned down by people who can't read"

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Carribbean currently Grenada
    Posts
    6,780

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    I am a creaky old fart and single hand a 44 ft cutter. My full batten main comes with lazy jacks but no single line reefing. I have a reliable autopilot so although putting a slab in requires a visit to the mast it is no big deal.

    I am lucky in that sailing in the Caribbean comes with fairly predictable wind speeds so I can decide on a mainsail size and then play with the genoa to get a comfortable ride.
    Monkey patching programmer [retired ]

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by boatmike View Post
    Following my previous thread (Westerly v Moody) I am seriously looking at a Westerly Oceanquest centre cockpit version of 1999 vintage that is fitted with a fully battened main and stackpack system. In all my long years I have never sailed one of these although I seem to have used just about everything else! I will be sailing short handed most of the time (SWMBO loves boats but does not pull ropes) .
    I like the convenience of in mast reefing but don't like the fact that you have a flat sail with no roach. In principle the FBM and stackpack seems a good idea and the main ought to be able to be raised and dropped from the cockpit. Of course reefing still has to be done on deck and dropping it into lazyjacks does not stow it but I guess coming into harbour its easy to drop it on the way in, berth the boat and tidy up afterwards....... Seems OK. Am I over simplifying? What experience do you good peeps have? Comments please!
    What works for one person wont work for others i can only tell you what works for me

    I have a fully battened main without single line reefing and manage fine on my own, sticking in a reef requires messing with reef cringles at the mast but while your doing that a decent autopilot can steer, or SWMBO as its not rope related, or just fit single line reefing then you dont need to go up to the mast at all and can stay in the cockpit.

    its not that much of a faff and takes seconds so i havent opted for single line yet - when you want to get rid of the sail, just drop it into the stackpack and tidy it later, if you keep your main nicely flaked and have decent sliders it often flakes itself back into a modest order anyway.

    maintaining your sliders is the key to getting the sail up without a winch and down again quickly.

    i would never consider changing from in mast to slab reefing on any boat, i'd just live with what it came with and make it the best it can be, with a slight preference towards slab reefing because its just simpler in my mind to DIY maintain.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,028

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by westhinder View Post
    It means you have more string in the cockpit, which is a drawback, but a bit of discipline in tidying up takes care of that.
    .
    I see constant comments about " string in the cockpit".
    What difference does it make if there is a few metres more or less. It just means a couple more coils. Surely most owners coil the reef lines & hang them up once the reef is in. Just dumping the lot on the cockpit floor is just careless.
    I coil the ropes & finish off so the ropes hang on the back of the cabin, neat & tidy.
    It takes seconds. What is the difference if it is, say, 10 metres or 15. I can never see the problem.
    Certainly much easier to do in the cockpit than at the mast where it can foul the jib sheets in a tack as well.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,300

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Two things to throw in the pot
    1 don’t drop the main without tying it down into the stack pack and then run down wind in a strong breeze as you have Chinese gibe with battens on either side of the mast
    2 flake the halyard down and let it go gets it down much quicker
    We always found a coiled halyard tended to end up with wind knots.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,028

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by scottie View Post
    Two things to throw in the pot
    1 don’t drop the main without tying it down into the stack pack and then run down wind in a strong breeze as you have Chinese gibe with battens on either side of the mast
    2 flake the halyard down and let it go gets it down much quicker
    We always found a coiled halyard tended to end up with wind knots.
    1) In 16 years never had the " Chinese gybe that you mention & cannot imagine a situation where it would.
    2) Tend not to let the sail go at a run because the end of the battens can come down too quick & "dig in" preventing the luff from dropping properly, Just causes the batten to bend. A controlled drop whilst heading dead into the wind being far better.
    3) Knots are often the result of poorly coiled halyard. There is a "right way" to coil a braided rope. Not like a plaited rope.

    Just goes to show that different boats have different quirks & what suits one does not suit another. One should not let another person's comments put one off, but just bear them in mind & try out the boat & see what works best.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Marina
    Posts
    1,821

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by laika View Post
    The stackpack doesn't ensure a tidy drop. It's definitely "good enough" for reefing. It would usually be mostly good enough for an emergency drop but at the end of the sail I'll normally motor into the wind and ask first mate to gradually lower the halyard while I run back and forth along the side of the cockpit flaking the sail as it comes down. Flaking care depends on the conditions but just letting it drop would require stuffing rogue bits of sail down before zipping up. On the odd occasion I've done this on my own it's a bit awkward and involves a lot of jumping down to the cockpit to drop bit by bit interspersed with sail tidying. I'm sure if I did it regularly I'd take the drop-first tidy-later approach.
    I find having a sail tie handy and quickly loop it round the boom by the kicking strap to hold the sail until I can flake it later and zip it in the stackpack.
    If my foresight was as good as my hindsight, I would be a multi-millionaire.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Brighton
    Posts
    4,845

    Default Re: Best mainsail for single handed sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
    I find having a sail tie handy and quickly loop it round the boom by the kicking strap to hold the sail until I can flake it later and zip it in the stackpack.
    Sure that's helpful and it's my last step whether or not I flaked it but the "flake it later" option is not so straight forward with my batton cars: it's not like I can just slide the sliders out the gate at the bottom: the only realistic option that doesn't involve a spanner is re-hoisting which isn't practical with any significant breeze and a marina berth not pointing into it

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