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Sailpack vs Dutchman


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I have a Tartan 3000 that I singlehand. The main has a Dutchman system.

When I come back in and it’s getting dark and choppy, I am very wary of messing around on the cabintop flaking the sail and putting on the sailcover both because I’m usually tired at that point and afraid of slipping off the cabintop into the cockpit (as well as more generally because of the time it takes etc.).

A sailpack / lazyjacks combo seems like it would be a safer / quicker arrangement but I am wondering if there are any downsides to it.

Gabe

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52 minutes ago, Gabe_nyc said:

I have a Tartan 3000 that I singlehand. The main has a Dutchman system.

When I come back in and it’s getting dark and choppy, I am very wary of messing around on the cabintop flaking the sail and putting on the sailcover both because I’m usually tired at that point and afraid of slipping off the cabintop into the cockpit (as well as more generally because of the time it takes etc.).

A sailpack / lazyjacks combo seems like it would be a safer / quicker arrangement but I am wondering if there are any downsides to it.

Gabe

I have a Dutchman system on my J/32.    One thing that is nice is that when the main is reefed the bottom of the sail is somewhat controlled by the Dutchman lines so it hasn't been necessary to tie in the intermediate reef points.   Does a sailpack help like this?

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I mainly daysail in nice weather so reefing isn’t a huge concern.  

That being said, I had forgotten to ask about any pro / con of having sailpack / lazyjacks while leaving the Dutchman in place: would the two systems complement each other or would it become a huge foul-up?

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I’ve never heard of the two being combined. We have a sailpack and lazy jacks, and while it does a decent job of keeping everything in one place, it definitely doesn’t do much for flaking; I still end up on the cabin top wrestling my main into shape every time we come in after a sail.

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Don't know about a sailpack, but on my boat I had mixed results with a Dutchman.  Worked fine on my old, soft, worn-out main.  Worked like a janky POS of my new heavy hydronet main.  Maybe would have worked better with more lines -- sailmaker said it would be fine as-is.  He was wrong.

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2 hours ago, Gabe_nyc said:

I mainly daysail in nice weather so reefing isn’t a huge concern.  

That being said, I had forgotten to ask about any pro / con of having sailpack / lazyjacks while leaving the Dutchman in place: would the two systems complement each other or would it become a huge foul-up?

Instead of having a single zipper  for the stackpack you would have to break the zipper at each of the Dutchman line.

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I am 73, single hand my Tartan 3800 in areas of 12-18 knot of wind on average.  I have lazy jacks...so when inside the big harbor on return trip, I set the lazy jacks, drop the main from the mast, flaking the luff as I go, and half ass tie down the main on the boom till I get to the slip.  There I move the lazy jacks to the forward end of the boom, dump the main to one side, then flake the sail properly, tie off with gaskets, put on cover...time for a Margie on the rocks, no salt.  If I had the dinero, I would invest in a in-boom roller furling system as I become older, that dacron main is getting heavy.

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7 minutes ago, foamy1946 said:

I am 73, single hand my Tartan 3800 in areas of 12-18 knot of wind on average.  I have lazy jacks...so when inside the big harbor on return trip, I set the lazy jacks, drop the main from the mast, flaking the luff as I go, and half ass tie down the main on the boom till I get to the slip.  There I move the lazy jacks to the forward end of the boom, dump the main to one side, then flake the sail properly, tie off with gaskets, put on cover...time for a Margie on the rocks, no salt.  If I had the dinero, I would invest in a in-boom roller furling system as I become older, that dacron main is getting heavy.

There is a Tartan 3800 near my boat - the owner singlehands it and he is 15 years older than you.    It also has lazy jacks and a conventional cover.   The only modification he has made to the boat to make it easier to use as he has gotten older is an electric halyard winch.

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I took a totally different approach, and it works very well on a much bigger main (Olson 40).

My main is carbon mylar, fully battened, with slides in a TideMarine StrongTrack.

No lazy jacks, stack pack, furling boom, nor dutchman.

No cost. No maintenance or tweaking. No windage. No weight aloft. No leech hanging up on hoists or when reefing or unreefing.

Steve Dair put little stickers on the leach and at each luff slide, indicating which side is up and which side is down (blue up, green down). With the main perfectly flaked, they line up.

As the main is dropped, the luff is properly flaked, so all the blue stickers are up, the luff changing direction port/starboard at each luff slide. Let the rest of the sail fall where it may. Obviously, this first step is very easy to do.

Then, the main gets flaked starting from the clew, pulling aft on the leach, folding so each blue sticker is up and green down.

Since the sail is carbon/mylar, it is very light, flexible, and slides easily on itself, so this operation is easy. After about half way up the leach, the rest of the sail basically folds itself on the boom, like magic.The entire operation of dropping to having it flaked nicely on the boom takes about 2 minutes, one person, in wind or no wind. 

Well, there is a cost, but it's probably negative over time: the carbon/mylar (Dimension Polyant GPL GraphX https://www.dimension-polyant.com/portfolio/gpl-graphx-en/?lang=en) main costs more than a Dacron main. But a Dacron main becomes blown out in a small fraction of the time that a carbon mainsail keeps its shape. Mainsails on maxis made out of this stuff win races after a decade. The reason people need to reef dacron mains, and fight weather helm, is because the main is shot, while still in one piece. Ask your sailmaker, they know their satisfied customers.

If the main was heavy dacron, then folding is certainly more difficult every single time you go sailing. Bummer. And the heavy sail is harder to hoist, and it needs to be reefed due to instability of the shape. Bummer. So having a crummy main makes putting the main away difficult and less fun, just like crummy sails makes sailing more difficult and less fun in general.

Like tires on a car, sails on a sailboat are the wrong place to go cheap. Get the good stuff, and everything gets better. In the specific case of handling mainsails: much lighter and more flexible sail cloth makes things clearly easier and simpler.

By the way, I went through all the sailcloth options, from cheap dacron through 3Di, and I like this DP GPL GraphX the best. A key determinant was price (more than cheap dacron, much less than 3Di), durability (probably better than any other), flexibility (by far the best, even much better than "soft dacron"), and weight (half or less than Dacron and Hydranet, or string sails).

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I had dutchmans on the Newport 41, with 2 control lines. I had the system rigged to a pulley system on toppling lift that would lower so the cover did not need to be changed,  the control lines came out the aft end of the sail cover. I sailed that system on two different mains for many years including the coconut milk run.  I have a much larger main that would require 3 control lines and came with lazy jacks on Kaufman, they work well, but the dutchmans were clean.  It made sailing short handed easy.

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14 hours ago, carcrash said:

 

Steve Dair put little stickers on the leach and at each luff slide, indicating which side is up and which side is down (blue up, green down). With the main perfectly flaked, they line up.

As the main is dropped, the luff is properly flaked, so all the blue stickers are up, the luff changing direction port/starboard at each luff slide. Let the rest of the sail fall where it may. Obviously, this first step is very easy to do.

Then, the main gets flaked starting from the clew, pulling aft on the leach, folding so each blue sticker is up and green down.

 

Fucking genius.

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On 5/6/2020 at 9:16 PM, carcrash said:

Steve Dair put little stickers on the leach and at each luff slide, indicating which side is up and which side is down (blue up, green down). With the main perfectly flaked, they line up.

As the main is dropped, the luff is properly flaked, so all the blue stickers are up, the luff changing direction port/starboard at each luff slide. Let the rest of the sail fall where it may. Obviously, this first step is very easy to do.

Then, the main gets flaked starting from the clew, pulling aft on the leach, folding so each blue sticker is up and green down.

Since the sail is carbon/mylar, it is very light, flexible, and slides easily on itself, so this operation is easy. After about half way up the leach, the rest of the sail basically folds itself on the boom, like magic.The entire operation of dropping to having it flaked nicely on the boom takes about 2 minutes, one person, in wind or no wind.

This sounds like a great solution for your boat, and the stickers are really neat trick to keep it simple, but it does seem to hinge on a lot of factors all coming together which may well not be the case for a lot of other situations.

I've used a Dutchman system a few times and I'm not a huge fan - I think for regular cruising a stackpack(sailpack)/lazyjack combo is more practical. In my experience the key factors to getting this combo to work as best as possible are;

1. Lazyjack layout - often overlooked but if the lines of your lazyjacks don't have the correct lay-out/dimensions then they will be really inefficient and not catch or guide the sail correctly on the way down. Speak to a local rigger/sailmaker about this prior to having them made up and then make sure the covermaker is in the loop.

2. Luff cars/sliders - the more friction at the mast, the slower and less smoothly your sail will come down which increases the likelihood of a bad flake. If you can't afford an upgrade to better hardware then regular cleaning and lubricating of existing sliders is your best option.

3. Full battens - not always a straightforward option but I've always found fully-battened mainsails work better with stackpacks, extra stability across the sail to keep the leech extended for fuller flakes and the increased weight helps with the luff sliders/cars.

4. Stackpack design - you're relying on your cover maker here and I've seen some that are way too small so you end up still having to wrestle the mainsail into the cover. Ask to see some previous examples before committing and look at other versions. Also think about what else a stackpack could offer -  for example, most can be easily adapted to include intergral or zip-on cockpit shades.

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On 5/6/2020 at 9:16 PM, carcrash said:

No lazy jacks, stack pack, furling boom, nor dutchman.

No cost. No maintenance or tweaking. No windage. No weight aloft. No leech hanging up on hoists or when reefing or unreefing. 

Steve Dair put little stickers on the leach and at each luff slide, indicating which side is up and which side is down (blue up, green down). With the main perfectly flaked, they line up.

As the main is dropped, the luff is properly flaked, so all the blue stickers are up, the luff changing direction port/starboard at each luff slide. Let the rest of the sail fall where it may. Obviously, this first step is very easy to do.

Then, the main gets flaked starting from the clew, pulling aft on the leach, folding so each blue sticker is up and green down. 

 

This is an interesting approach, and the stickers are a great idea.  Do you have issues with operating while the sail is down but not yet furled?

This is why we went with a dutchman system.  It kept everything on the boom while operating short handed.  Prior to that when you dropped the main, the entire cockpit would be flooded with mainsail that would cover all the other lines, slip and slide underfoot, and even get caught on the tiller.  With a crowd in the cockpit to bundle up the sail it was no problem, but shorthanded it could be a huge pain.

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11 hours ago, MFH125 said:

This is an interesting approach, and the stickers are a great idea.  Do you have issues with operating while the sail is down but not yet furled?

This is why we went with a dutchman system.  It kept everything on the boom while operating short handed.  Prior to that when you dropped the main, the entire cockpit would be flooded with mainsail that would cover all the other lines, slip and slide underfoot, and even get caught on the tiller.  With a crowd in the cockpit to bundle up the sail it was no problem, but shorthanded it could be a huge pain.

Yes, the sail does go all over the place. Its a fully battened main, so at least its pretty languid as it drops.

The boom on an Olson 40 ends forward of the tiller, so no sail gets in the way of the helm, which is good: if the sail fell on the helm, this would be a big problem.

I have a different main sheet system that really helps a lot: I removed the traveller, and have two separate main sheets, one to starboard and one to port. Rigged similar to a Farr 40 main sheet, but its not continuous, it is two distinct sheets: each dead ending at the rail, then up to low friction rings at the end of the boom, forward to rings at the goosneck, then out to rings at the chainplates, along the deck to the rail just forward of the pair of mainsheet winches, and to dedicated mainsheet winches.

So the boom is held in position to the side, not centerline, so when we head up from (say) port to drop, the sail drops inboard of the boom. Then bearing away back towards the slip or mooring or wherever we are headed, the sail stays aboard. Its pretty easy to see around it.

This seems simple: no special equipment, no windage, no weight aloft, nothing to hang up on hoists or drops.

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I have a "Stack pack" setup on my boat and I love it! It makes dropping the sail much easier, although it is not perfect. I do still have to get up and straighten the leech out to get it all the way down because the full battens can get fouled up in the loose sail, but at least it is all contained. You can get the sail down and contained, and then tidy it up and zip the bag later. For reefing the bag keeps the loose sail contained so there is no need to lash it down. Combined with the single line reefing on my boat it takes less than a minute to put the reef in with no need to leave the cockpit. Shaking the reef out is just as quick and easy.

 

The downside is that the bag is always there, but if that bothers you, it can be set up so the lazy Jacks can be slacked off and pulled forward to the mast, and the bag rolled down and strapped to the boom so nothing interferes with air over the sail. If I were racing I would do that, but so far I havent bothered. I  guess that's why they call it a "Lazy Bag"!

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My HR 35 Rasmus came with lazy jacks on my mainsail, which has full battens. The sail flakes pretty much ok as long as I douse the sail when running dead upwind. A little off upwind, and the flaking is iffy

I think the design is important - the number of "legs" & the spacing between them is critical for holding the sail on the boom,. My mainsail lazy jacks are a 4-leg set up.

I made up my own set (really easy!) of lazy jacks to my mizzen. With it being a shorter boom, I initially tried a 2 leg system, but that caught the battens both raising and lowering .  A 3-leg design fixed that 

A little trick that helps when short handed is that I made up thin bungee cord loops with plastic hooks - rather than ties. 

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