Latest News: Forums Technical Taking down the main at sea

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    I wanted to see if people had any tips on how best to deal with the boom and sail when these are taken down at sea, say to coming onto a lee shore. I have found that things can be awkward in the boat with a lot of white fabric and a boom filling up the space. Also sometimes the boom is shipping over the side into the water. My best tips so far are:

    a) be head to wind amap
    b) hold onto boom with one hand as pulling down sail with other – stops it going over side
    c) take boom of gooseneck and stuff boom under the foredeck
    d) make sure tiller is on other side to side take boom down onto – thus not caught under boom

    Be good to find a quick way to stow the sail



    While cruising I add a topping lift. For that I have added a small cheek block to the side of the mast, near the top. It doubles as a spare halyard.

    The topping lift is adjusted in such a way that it does not have an effect on the sail trim but it will catch the boom when the main is lowered and prevents fouling the helm. The aft part of the main is quickly but temporary stowed by a bungee on top of the boom in such a way that the helm can move free under the boom. When circumstances allow it the entire main is nicely stowed on top of the boom, usually by some quick ties.

    Most often I then continue my sail on Genoa only. My Genoa is on a reefing furler. The control line of the furler is led aft so the helm can furl it away quickly. IMHO it is the easiest way to approach a lee shore and with this set-up I can do it single handed if need be. The latter being a safety factor in case one of the crew is hurt.

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