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Thread: Dropping the Main - Pointers Needed

  1. #1
    Ex-Viking, Now Native American toddbrsd's Avatar
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    Dropping the Main - Pointers Needed

    I am doing a little more single handing and wondering if I am doing something wrong.

    When I am ready to lower the main, I point directly into the wind and release the halyard clutch. The halyard runs from the clutch (near the cockpit) through an on-deck block and then through another block located at the base of the mast. I think this is fairly standard.

    I envision that as soon as I release the clutch that the sail would drop under its own weight. Not so. I generally have to hop on the cabin, stand next to the mast and pull down the main sail. The plastic slugs seem to be subjected to a lot of friction.even when pointed into the wind.

    Is this common for a standard (older) main sail on an E27 or is there some way to provide some lubrication?

    I usually pick a spot with pretty much room and can lower the main fairly quickly. I would prefer not to leave the cockpit if possble. I am just curious if thats just the way it is or not?.

    I am thinking that if I rig the main for a jiffy reef led to the cockpit, then I could use that to "pull" the sail part way before hopping on the cabin.

    BTW, I don't have EZ-Jacks installed yet either although I imagine thats a not too far off project.

    Thanks for your input.
    Last edited by toddbrsd; 09-21-2010 at 09:14 PM.
    Todd
    Ex-Owner
    Sar.enna.ty
    1976, E-27
    Hull 1000

  2. #2
    Sustaining Partner CSMcKillip's Avatar
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    Team McLube....works great.
    Chris McKillip
    E33RH-Hull 22
    www.e33rh.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Ex-Viking, Now Native American toddbrsd's Avatar
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    Sailkote?

    Was not aware of this product. Just visited their web site and it looks like they recommend their Sailkote product. Looks like it might even work my OEM traveler car for the main sheet.

    Any other recommendations welcomed
    Todd
    Ex-Owner
    Sar.enna.ty
    1976, E-27
    Hull 1000

  4. #4
    Sustaining Partner CSMcKillip's Avatar
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    great stuff...

    I have seen where you take a 3" long bolt rope with a runner, attach it to your Halyard and coat with the McLube. Run it up and down the track and coat your slugs, it will drop.....
    Chris McKillip
    E33RH-Hull 22
    www.e33rh.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Track cleaning

    Hi there,

    at some point you may want to climb the mast and physically clean the track form the salt and grime stuck in there. Otherwise, ditto to all the advice above.

    Regards,
    Stan

  6. #6
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    Chris has hit it on the nail. Many years of racing on boats and I have seen all ways of making sails drop. The best by far has been to use the halyard to hoist a McLube saturated (a) 1-2 foot long piece cut out of an old sail or (b) piece of well used/fluffy double braid up the mast track/foil track with a retrieval line attached. A couple of passes before a regatta and the jib/main will drop like a stone.

    Good luck.
    Rob Powell
    Bluechip
    E35-2 #469, 1976
    Whangarei, New Zealand

  7. #7
    Ex-Viking, Now Native American toddbrsd's Avatar
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    I'll Try It!

    Great tips guys.

    Thanks
    Todd
    Ex-Owner
    Sar.enna.ty
    1976, E-27
    Hull 1000

  8. #8
    Principal Partner Jeff Asbury's Avatar
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    McLube Sailkote does help, but I still always have to go topsides to the mast to bring down the main. Even with a well lubricated sail track, the weight of the sail is not enough to bring it down alone. McLube Sailkote can be very pricey, especially at West Marine so I have sought out other alternatives that are basically the same thing. You can find them at most hardware stores or Home Depot for about 10 to 15 bucks less.


    I as well have no Lazy Jacks or Jiffy Reefing systems as well. As I have said before "I Sail Econo" and I just don't want to spend the money right now on such systems. I also feel that it's just more clutter in the rigging and on deck. One advantage that I have in bringing down the main the way I do is that I do not have a halyard clutch. Just a cam cleat that leeds to the cockpit. I first raise and secure the topping lift and release the cam cleat and go forward to the mast while holding on to the main halyard. I do assist in pulling the main down and flake the sail as I do so. I secure the main to the boom with bungee ties that some call a centipede sail tie system that runs the length of the boom with ties spaced evenly. (http://www.westmarine.com/1/1/11885-...centipede.html). I actually make my own now out of shock cords and wooden pegs.

    One real advantage I did invest in for single handing is a Simrad Tiller Pilot TP-22 (http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en/Pr...-Tillerpilots/)

    I have named mine "Sinbad" because he is always available and reliable to take the helm for me and assist in holding my boat into the wind while taking the main down.

    Rob's and Chris's suggestion sounds like a excellent one and I plan on trying it out. Thanks Guy's!
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    Last edited by Jeff Asbury; 09-22-2010 at 10:58 AM.
    Jeff Asbury Former owner of the "Pride of Cucamonga" 1973 E-27 Hull# ERY27355M73H

  9. #9
    Principal Partner Jeff Asbury's Avatar
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    In this shot you can actually see the centipede sail ties hanging down off the boom.
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    Jeff Asbury Former owner of the "Pride of Cucamonga" 1973 E-27 Hull# ERY27355M73H

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    Jeff,
    I am a compulsive fix-it-myself owner as well and I do all I can to avoid WM's prices (on that note I frequent Defender, Boat-Fix and Jamestown for items at often half the price). In the case of silicone spray I would warn that while McLube is far from perfect it is dramatically less likely to attract dirt and salt crystals than the other non-marine products. My last two riggers (MA & MD) had a mild conniption when I mentioned McLube on the furler foil but both nearly had heart attacks for the non-marine versions.

    Rob
    Rob Powell
    Bluechip
    E35-2 #469, 1976
    Whangarei, New Zealand

  11. #11
    Principal Partner Jeff Asbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robjpowell View Post
    Jeff,
    I am a compulsive fix-it-myself owner as well and I do all I can to avoid WM's prices (on that note I frequent Defender, Boat-Fix and Jamestown for items at often half the price). In the case of silicone spray I would warn that while McLube is far from perfect it is dramatically less likely to attract dirt and salt crystals than the other non-marine products. My last two riggers (MA & MD) had a mild conniption when I mentioned McLube on the furler foil but both nearly had heart attacks for the non-marine versions.

    Rob
    Yes I have noticed that the silicone spray that I have been using from Home Depot seems to be a little oilier than the McLube but it does not appear to leave any noticeable residue. Seems to dry very fast but not as fast as McLube. I will take that under advisement. I have a dock neighbor with a Catalina 34 and I swear he must be using 3 in 1 oil on his jib winches because they just ooze oil from the bases.
    Jeff Asbury Former owner of the "Pride of Cucamonga" 1973 E-27 Hull# ERY27355M73H

  12. #12
    Ex-Viking, Now Native American toddbrsd's Avatar
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    Pulled the Trigger

    Well I pulled the trigger over lunch and bought a 6 oz aerosal can of the Sailkoat for $10.00 at WM. Yes I checked the other sites online and believe it or not WM was a few cents cheaper. I had a $10 WM rebate so it was a wash. I am anxious to try it out this weekend.

    Jeff,

    I use bungee cords as well, but I generally lower the main in the open area of AB Marina and have to contend with the other boat traffic and smaller sailing classes usually going on, so I just do a quick roll up on the main sail and flake it at the dock. But as a fellow frugal sailor, I always appreciate your ingenuity.

    Thanks again all.
    Todd
    Ex-Owner
    Sar.enna.ty
    1976, E-27
    Hull 1000

  13. #13
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    I have found that flaking the main halyard in a figure 8 pattern, starting with the bitter end, allows the halyard to pay out smoothly and the main drops better. Once the main starts falling if the halyard snarls or slows it in any way that will not help. Granted I have a full batten main with Schaeffer slides so it may not be as big a deal for you.

    Another non-Ericson sailor in my club uses a downhaul on his main. Hes old and not so agile anymore so this allows him to get the main down from the cockpit.

    RT
    Rob Thomas
    Wakefield, RI
    1983 Ericson E38 "Ruby"
    "I purchased a boat because setting fire to $100 bills was not an efficient enough way to dispose of them...."

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    Dropping the mainsail

    O.K. my .02 Worth....

    Since I fit into the catagory of "OLD".....also...lazy.....and the less I have to go forward...out of the cockpit the better I like it.... I do all of the following...

    Use McLube...it does work

    I have a Dutchman Flaking System......wont sail without it....had one since 1987

    I have a downhaul, which consists of a 1/4" line tied around the very top sail slug......led to a small block at the base of the mast, and brought to the cockpit through a bullseye fairlead to a small Spinlock Clutch which I mounted on the underside of the Traveler

    I bring the boat head to wind....release the main halyard clutch and pull on the downhaul......yank one...feed the other....

    I also have an autopilot....Autohelm 4000....ancient but it works.....I call it "Will Helm".....best I could do after we called my buddies "Otto Pilot"...

    So much for the senior citizens approach.....just remember....you all hope to get there some day....
    Mort Fligelman
    A Capella
    E35-3 1987
    Glenview, IL

  15. #15
    Sustaining Partner CSMcKillip's Avatar
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    I have had lazy jacks, i think they are very over rated...
    Chris McKillip
    E33RH-Hull 22
    www.e33rh.blogspot.com

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