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I was wondering what would be the best way to get the mainsail if you're on the water (and you don't have an engine). I would assume that pointing the boat upwind would make it easiest to raise the mainsail but if I am not mistaken pointing the boat upwind without an engine is hard. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, bluefightingcat said:

I was wondering what would be the best way to get the mainsail if you're on the water (and you don't have an engine). I would assume that pointing the boat upwind would make it easiest to raise the mainsail but if I am not mistaken pointing the boat upwind without an engine is hard. 

 

 

Not sure what the maneuver is, here. What are you trying to accomplish? For small boats (no engine), hoisting and dousing sail is usually done at dock or mooring.

If you're in open water, drifting downwind as you douse a sail should not be a problem. Most boats tend to drift bow-downwind because of the drag of the rudder. This gives you a window of time to get the sail mostly down, and furled or otherwise secured, before the boat swings to an angle that will really cause a problem. If you can manage to keep the boom from interfering with the tiller, you can give a couple of sculls to pump the bow upwind for a bit more time.

Hoisting in open water is more of a problem, because it's difficult to get the boat to swing into the wind in the first place, and more things tend to hang up / delay. Do-able with the right gear and preparation... boats like Etchells with a very tall mast, long hoist, and lots of complications (fancy racing boat) commonly do it and the racing crews manage to look pretty smart about it.

FB- Doug

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Having the boat pointed into the wind will make it easiest, on any boat I can think of.   Some boats are pretty forgiving on this, others demand that the wind is really close to the bow.  In my experience, boats with fully battened mainsails really want to be very close to the wind.   If the battens are loaded up, the sails can be difficult to raise in any condition, loading them with wind pressure can make the hoist almost impossible.   But more traditional triangular mainsails should hoist fairly easily in light to moderate winds.   Reducing friction on the cars or bolt rope will be key, you want to be able to get the sail up smoothly and quickly.

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Thanks for the info. I'm just asking because I've been in a situation where I've had to lower the mainsail (that was not really a problem). In the end I had to be rescued (wasn't a big deal) but I am curious to know whether there is a way to raise the mainsail again whilst out on the water. In my case if the boat is not facing into the wind, then when raising the sail, the sail tends to get stuck in the shrouds because the boom is wide open.

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What kind of boat? With smallish keelboats, sportboats, J22s, J24s, if we cannot sail to or away from a dock, we rock the boat in and out. It's amazing how fast the boat can go simply by rocking it, with plenty of steerage too.

Edit... in regards to your last post, once the sail is part way up you should be moving and have enough steerage to spin it into the wind to finish the job.

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Like varan says. My weathercock comment was obliquely sayong same thing partially raised.

Anchor if you need to. That also helps. 

If jib is alredy up that makes it harder

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On 3/9/2021 at 12:01 PM, fastyacht said:

If jib is alredy up that makes it harder

Hmmm...my dock roof interferes with my main, so I leave the dock with just a jib, gain some speed turn into the wind, raise the main. FS

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Do we know the size of the boat? Most boats will turn beam-to-wind with no sails. Sheeting the boom near the centerline and hoisting the main a little ways should turn most boats into the wind...at least for a moment....where one might finish the hoist. If not in one tack in several. Having the jib up like @eyeshotpar implies would not, in general, be a good idea unless there is some way (momentum?) to keep the bow to weather. Some boats might sail well enough, close winded enough, on jib alone to help hoisting the main. Though sailing on jib alone, for me, is always to be avoided except in certain open water situations.

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