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Stack Pack (and lazy jacks) for main - anyone have tips for making?


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how about taking something like starboard and making a slug that fits in the groove.  tap it with a machine threads  and then attach the SS strap to the slug ensuring that the screw protruded through the back of the  starboard to make contact with the boom surface to make a friction fit.  of course ensuring that the screw isn't too long, or too short

folks at selden said I should reach out to my local riggers...no cad diagrams.

here is what i was thinking...red slug, blue strap, grey screw black line is end  view of one side of boom

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You're overthinking.

Go to your local sailmaker and buy 8 of these, they cost about 2 USD each. You probably need an A107 or A108

http://www.bainbridgeint.com/Variants.aspx?Item=PRD-900072

Then you will need to drill holes in the sail slide for a self-tapping screw which will bite just enough in the aluminum boom to stop it from sliding.

 

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3 hours ago, t.rex said:

Then you will need to drill holes in the sail slide for a self-tapping screw which will bite just enough in the aluminum boom to stop it from sliding.

Thanks....I never thought about using a mainsail slide.  Drilldown through the center such that the screws puts pressure on the bottom of the groove, but no so much that it drills into the boom.

nice to be able to bounce ideas around...

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I am not a big fan of the idea of using a ss screw tip against an anodized spar for friction. Just going to start corrosion spots.  A composite machine screw (yea they are available or you can make your own by threading say g10 rod) would be better (but I guess might well still damage the anodizing) - dont know how easy it would be to get/make one small enough for this application.

There are all sorts of gentle ways you could create clamping or wedging or stops. Just for instance would be pretty easy to clamp between the edge of the sail slug groove (between two piece of plastic using a machine screw and a threaded hole on the inside piece to pull it up.) 

Also . . . on the design . . . personally I think you could do perfectly fine with a 3 leg lazy jack, dont think 4 legs adds much.

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1 hour ago, estarzinger said:

I am not a big fan of the idea of using a ss screw tip against an anodized spar for friction. Just going to start corrosion spots. 

Also . . . on the design . . . personally I think you could do perfectly fine with a 3 leg lazy jack, dont think 4 legs adds much.

i'll have to pull off one of my reefing tie downs and see how it works.  IE friction or otherwise

I've been going back and forth  E is 14.  which gives me about 3' between legs.  my wife and daughter are shorter than short and offer no help flaking, and given the position of the dodger and bimini   having the extra leg wont hurt me  worst case if it mean two extra low friction rings, 20' of line and an extra boom attachment.

the aftmost leg,  its not really catching a whole lot of sail..  but with the current bimini and dodger set up,  its tough to reach...

 

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On 8/4/2021 at 1:03 PM, estarzinger said:

I am not a big fan of the idea of using a ss screw tip against an anodized spar for friction. Just going to start corrosion spots.  A composite machine screw (yea they are available or you can make your own by threading say g10 rod) would be better (but I guess might well still damage the anodizing) - dont know how easy it would be to get/make one small enough for this application.

My hand-held pop-riveter kit cost about €15, and is very handy for this sort of task.  The rivet are some sort of aluminium, so no corrosion worries

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Just for a friction-stop, nylon screws are readily available at hardware stores and on-line.  Low-friction rings are overkill for a small rig - ordinary SS rings work fine for a fraction of the cost.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/23/2021 at 1:21 PM, estarzinger said:

yea, if they started slapping or we thought they might, we just tied them out to the shrouds with spare sail ties.  Really a non-issue.

Jud, your boat is relatively small and easy to handle. Just remember that you can easily do things by hand which are a struggle on a 50'er and near impossible on a 75'er.  And there is benefit to putting a perfect flake in the mainsail - that is 'the proper way' for a reason.

 


I came fully to my senses over the past three weeks out sailing and have definitely nixed a stack pack as (1) too expensive, (2) unnecessary on my boat, and (3) in the way of setting a trysail, which I already have and am increasingly seeing the value of (notwithstanding Skip Novak’s worthy opinion in favour of a 4th reef, since his boats are gigantic, and  so bending on a trysail is a big job on them - might as well just put in a final reef instead): https://www.yachtingworld.com/video/skip-novak-storm-sailing-part-3-using-storm-sails-517 )

Re: trysail track, as I look at it, it seems really easy to set up.  No stupid gate to divert/switch lower trysail track on to mainsail track.  Just KISS - a completely separate track offset from the main track.  I think after just moving my halyard winch slightly forward, moving much higher up a halyard exit plate (which I was going to do anyway), and shifting a cleat and my mast winch handle holder, it’ll just be a simple matter of installing track from low down at the deck up to the appropriate height.  
 

Then I need a coupla beefy blocks on the quarters, a solid lash down set up for the boom, and a good 30 kt fall day to experiment with it a bit.

 

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The tracks do bend without much problem - at least the little track I bought did.  You can start more toward the middle , to avoid gooseneck & other hardware as needed, then bend it back closer to the aft of the mast once clear.  I'm not sure though, if I left enough clearance for a putative future Tides Marine Sail Track.  Didn't occur to me until too late.  Oh well,  could always drill out all those rivets and start over.  One unresolved issue is the halyard exit (I've got all external halyards, but might change that.) If one just used the main halyard, or one next to it, the long standing part could slap violently around.  Of course, that is equally true for deep reefs, so really not much of an argument.  

(I saw that video before, and thought that Skip was trying just a little too hard to make it look difficult. He "had" to use the trysail because it was the sail plan for that boat.  But never thought of preparing anything for it ahead of time...)   

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20 hours ago, toddster said:

The tracks do bend without much problem - at least the little track I bought did.  You can start more toward the middle , to avoid gooseneck & other hardware as needed, then bend it back closer to the aft of the mast once clear.  

(I saw that video before, and thought that Skip was trying just a little too hard to make it look difficult. He "had" to use the trysail because it was the sail plan for that boat.  But never thought of preparing anything for it ahead of time...)   

Well, I just don’t see a point of having the trysail track feed into my main track.  As far as I can tell, installing a separate offset track is arguably simpler/more foolproof (the gate to the mainsail track is probably not likely to fail, but it seems like it’s one thing that you don’t want to not work when you’re in a situation where you feel you need a trysail...)

I just came across a bit on Practical Sailor the other day (https://www.practical-sailor.com/sails-rigging-deckgear/diy-trysail-track-retrofitthat mentioned using a separate offset track (which I didn’t know was done - I thought a gate was the way it’s done) — so I took a look at my lower mast (the pic I posted above), and realized that it’s a way easier way to install a trysail, than trying to mesh two tracks together.

Re: Skip Novak article/vid, I think his point about how much work it is to rig a trysail on a boat that big is well made: no way would I want to do it!  And he says by the time you’ve done it, on that big beast of a boat, you might be “too late”, or might just as well have put in the 4th reef by then.  On my boat, it’ll be *relatively* easy to hoist a trysail...provided you do it before it’s over 30 kts, that is.......... :-)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here we go...

I bought a 600' roll of Samson 1/8" amsteel dyneema ($157), 12 tylaska low friction rings($87), 4 cheek blocks($56), 4 small cleats($10), 16 eye straps($21), and a ronstan d-splicer fid kit($46) enough material to build two pairs of 4 leg lazy jacks,. $212 each after shipping/taxes

took 2 hours to get 1/2 of one rig is done, only an hour for the second half (had to do something at work)

still need to buy rivets for the eyestraps and cheek blocks though.

hopefully with get to mount up both systems next weekend.

 

 

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quick question. 

going to hang the lazy jacks this weekend.   the small cleats on either side of the mast.  should I just drill and tap the mast, and tefgel the screw. 

or should use an aluminum rivnut, and then SS screw with tefgel?

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7 minutes ago, Marcjsmith said:

quick question. 

going to hang the lazy jacks this weekend.   the small cleats on either side of the mast.  should I just drill and tap the mast, and tefgel the screw. 

or should use an aluminum rivnut, and then SS screw with tefgel?

For a low-load application like this with the fasteners in shear, I'd opt for the smallest holes in the mast I could get away with: either drilled and tapped for ss screws or just pop riveted with aluminum rivets.

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2 minutes ago, IStream said:

For a low-load application like this with the fasteners in shear, I'd opt for the smallest holes in the mast I could get away with: either drilled and tapped for ss screws or just pop riveted with aluminum rivets.

i'm going rivet for everything else.  but wasn't able to locate a rivet long enough grip to go through the body of the cleat. Ive got two other places to check on my way to the boat tomorrow.  figured  I might has well have other options ready just in case.

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Install went smooth on both boats.  No surprises used rivets everywhere, have not mounted the cleats yet,  have enough at the mast so I don’t think I’ll need them.  

I brought the all lines aft of the spreaders.  I think though I might end up taking the tension line forward of the spreaders to help reduce any chance  of twisting or tangling .  We’ll see how it plays out for now 

They worked pretty well.   I understand why folks like them.   I’m sure that an integrated cover will be in my future.  It will give me another project for my new sewing machine. 

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On 9/17/2021 at 11:33 PM, IStream said:

or just pop riveted with aluminum rivets.

I have had very little success with aluminium rivets in a salt water environment. Short life span , and fail with little warning.

So many  alloys in close proximity- mast alloy , rivet body ( thin walled), and rivet mandrel. Nasty.

Best solution is to Drill  and tap for metal threads , assuming it’s bigger than a dinghy mast.

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  • 2 months later...

Stack pack question.  Attaching pack to boom.  Witha loose footed main, easy enough to drop some slugs in the slot normally reserved for the bolt rope in the foot.  Or use some webbing and wrap the webbing around the boom

I don’t have a loose foot, my main foot has a bolt rope.

Could I remove the foot of the main from the boom and then reinstall the stacpack cover under the bolt rope.  Provided of course that there is enough space in the  groove for the bolt rope, sail and sunbrella for the cover.

 

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Update on my lazy jacks/stack pack project (since I started this thread :-) ).  I’d forgotten all about it.

No stack pack - went with simple lazy jacks per the advice from some pretty seasoned offshore sailors.  I like it - simple, no “excess” shit hanging off the boom.  Plus, stack pack cost was too high.  Finally, easier to deal with trysail without stack pack.  
 

I may change my tune on them in years to come if I get old and lazy, or if I ever got a bigger boat (and hence bigger sail cover - but even estarzinger, with a 47’er didn’t have one) - but for now, cost was the over-riding original consideration in not getting a stack pack made —since I’d just spent $4k on a new mainsail (and I have neither the time or skills or machine to make a stack pack).  And, not going with one, I came to see/appreciate the benefits of not having one, as counselled by others originally.

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4 hours ago, Marcjsmith said:

Stack pack question.  Attaching pack to boom.  Witha loose footed main, easy enough to drop some slugs in the slot normally reserved for the bolt rope in the foot.  Or use some webbing and wrap the webbing around the boom

I don’t have a loose foot, my main foot has a bolt rope.

Could I remove the foot of the main from the boom and then reinstall the stacpack cover under the bolt rope.  Provided of course that there is enough space in the  groove for the bolt rope, sail and sunbrella for the cover.

 

Your last suggestion, removing the boltrope from the main and adding a boltrope to the base of the stackpack, is a common solution. If there is enough space you could use a Teflon/slot tape in the base of your stack pack and wrap this around the boltrope in your mainsail foot as you slide them both in together. This is reliant on your existing boltrope being thin enough to accommodate the extra width of the slot tape.

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4 hours ago, Marcjsmith said:

... I don’t have a loose foot, my main foot has a bolt rope.

Could I remove the foot of the main from the boom and then reinstall the stacpack cover under the bolt rope.  Provided of course that there is enough space in the  groove for the bolt rope, sail and sunbrella for the cover.

 

The lazy bag is usually constructed in two halves and then joined together with a 10 cm (4") dacron tape with a boltrope in the middle.

If the mainsail already has a boltrope, then the lazy bag can be constructed by sewing each half to the port and starboard side of the tape. The dacron goes on the outside to help prevent chafing of the acrilan. Remember to place openings for reefing and outhaul.

Usually the lazy bag is fitted to the boom by hoisting the mainsail, then sliding the dacron tape between the mainsail boltrope and the internal track on the boom.

Alternatively the mainsail and lazy bag can be slid into the groove together, although this adds weight and complexity to the process. You will probably need to hoist the mainsail anyway to 'even up' side-to-side and fore and aft.

Note this dacron tape trick can also be used for sunshades with zippers.B)

 

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28 minutes ago, t.rex said:

Note this dacron tape trick can also be used for sunshades with zippers.B)

You can also add these zippers into to the base of your stackpack or get really funky and build shade panels directly into the stackpack with integral storage pockets for when not in use... the possibilities are endless. 

IMHO trying to slide the stackpack tape into the boom track with the mainsail boltrope already in the track is going to be an adventure into frustration. We'd always remove the foot of the sail from the track and then insert the two together. On a small enough boat you can roll the mainsail from the head down and handle it 'whole', for larger sails you'd need to lay it out on the side deck and wrestle the foot along the track from whichever end you have the feeder section. 

With a loose footed main I would agree about hoisting the mainsail first - get the thing out of the way.

Either way, treat yourself by running a rag or cloth down the track first to clean it out and have a can of PTFE or McLube handy to help things along. 

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Thanks for the confirmations folks.

I was originally thinking of just using sunbrella(existing sail cover)  or maybe textaline (for drainage) under the bolt rope.  but dacron is a great idea abrasion resistance and its slippery so sliding it all on should be far easier.

textaline/phifertex  should i worry about drainage/ventilation.  I'm not in the PNW or tropics.

 

next time I'm at the boat I'll have to check the gap on the bolt rope/foot...

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Usually I'd insert a few panels of mesh into the base of the stack pack just to either side of the boltrope to help with drainage after serious downpours. But if you're on the boat regularly and will be able to drain any water and perhaps open the cover to let it breath for a few hours then it shouldn't be an issue. 

'Regular' Sunbrella (now referred to as Sunbrella New) does have some level of breathability but it's not great. The Sunbrella Plus with the PU coating on the inside is more waterproof but not at all breathable and more likely to end up with moisture accumulation and mildew issues if left damp. If you're somewhere that gets temps up into the 90s/100s then be extra careful with any Sunbrella Plus as the PU coating can soften and get dirt/dust trapped in it which then in turn attracts moisture and gets a mildew coating that is near impossible to remove. 

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Given the photo of you boom shows a track on either side, an alternative might be to have two separate covers not joined at the bottom but with sail slides that went into the relevant boom side track - it solves the drainage issue, give a little more space for the sail, though would make cover removal more difficult as it would mean removing the lazy jacks.

An equivalent alternative would be to put webbing  straps sewn to the cover bottom through sail slides in the same location, clipping back to the cover or together under the boom - that would the cover easily removable leaving the slides fixed.

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Bilge,   The track is pretty wide.  I though of using two piece slides that Selden sells for lazy jacks, but ended up going with an eye strap.  Plus the slides from selden were prohibitively pricy.

if I added a few more eye straps on th boom to spread the loads, I could do the webbing back to the cover  using a nylon webbing adjuster buckle and make it  removable without having to remove the sail.

 Since I have Brummell eyes on the lazy jacks, I could run the batten on the top of the pack through the eye or put a carabiner style clip on the jack to clip to the webbing.  This allows the jacks to be removed from the cover and stay on the mast.

nzk, the existing sail cover which I’d be modifying is old school sunbrella, not the new stuff with the rubberized coating.

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Sorry for the cross posting, but I would like to keep these thoughts together and this topic has better legs.
I’m curious to get opinions on the merits of a sail pack / stack pack whatever you like to call them for mainsail handling. Largish mainsail, getting it flaked boom is a major piece of work and a challenge when short/single handed, so I’m wondering if having a bag on the main would make the whole thing easier, and also provide a place for furled main to stow.  The downside is the windage of that bag once sailing, so thinking of a design that could easily be snugged against the boom out of the way, with lazy jacks led forward and stowed on the mast.

Thoughts or experiences?

To reduce the windage it's relatively easy to install or retrofit a lazy bag with 3-4 clic-clacs (those plastic clips you see everywhere on a backpack) on each side.

The trick is to sew the female clic-clac on a short webbing loop to the polyester tape holding the bolt-rope on the outside, and the male part on a short length of webbing (70 cm forward to 30 cm aft)  to the same polyester tape on the inside of the lazy bag. Sewing 6 layers of acrilan, 2 layers of polyester and 3 x 2 layers of webbing in one go can be ... well ... entertaining.

With the sail set, fold the mast covering section back into the lazy bag, lower the lazy jacks inside the lazy bag and pull them forward to the mast. Roll up the lazy bag around its batten and fix with the clic-clacs. Tighten as necessary.

 

Hi Jud,

As far as pricing goes; up to early summer, we had this quote policy for lazy bags.

- measure from the back of the mast to the end of the boom.

- 100 euro per meter.

- Lazy jacks are not included and we try not to get involved with installing them. Plenty of riggers around going up wobbly masts.

- If the client asked or we knew that the client raced, then we'll throw in the clic-clacs (nobody ever uses them).

- Sun shades are not included and neither are 'predisposed' zippers.

Halfway through spring, our main production period, the manager of the loft sits me down and says "For what I pay for acrilan and what I pay you to make these, I am losing money on the rent, lights ..."

- 150 euro per meter.

-------

I have a 'fun' story about NZK 's comment on adding sun shades to the lazy bag. He's right, it can be done.

The client (beneteau 47?) had a factory lazy bag with curved zippered pockets to hold zippered-on sun shades (for washing?).

The lazy bag was getting old, various tears including along the sun shade zipper stitching as well as sunburn on the top zipper.

The client ordered a new one but said the sun shades were fine.

I spent a couple of days cursing and swearing getting on those curved pockets and reinforcing the lazy bag along the sun shade zipper.

Told the loft manager that I would never do one again and if there was a next time, it would cost him more for the sun shade 'garages' than for the lazy bag.

Four days after installation, the client called and complained the dark blue lazy bag didn't match the color of the dark blue sun shades. You can't win ... you can't win ...

 

But it does bring up a point that I want to make:

- Lazy jacks pull the lazy bag upward and slightly inboard.

- Sun shades, if attached to the body of the lazy bag pull the lazy bag outboard and downward. Even more if they're flapping in the breeze.

- Acrilan is not the right material for these kinds of loads.

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On 11/25/2021 at 12:24 AM, Bilge Boy said:

Given the photo of you boom shows a track on either side, an alternative might be to have two separate covers not joined at the bottom but with sail slides that went into the relevant boom side track - it solves the drainage issue, give a little more space for the sail, though would make cover removal more difficult as it would mean removing the lazy jacks.

An equivalent alternative would be to put webbing  straps sewn to the cover bottom through sail slides in the same location, clipping back to the cover or together under the boom - that would the cover easily removable leaving the slides fixed.

On Hunters, they have a track on each side of the boom, Stack Packs are two sided with a bolt rope that slides into those tracks.  Nice part is not having to remove the main to install the Stack Pack.  (I’m a sail maker, and have installed a lot of Stack Packs)

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2 hours ago, View from the back said:

On Hunters, they have a track on each side of the boom, Stack Packs are two sided with a bolt rope that slides into those tracks.  Nice part is not having to remove the main to install the Stack Pack.  (I’m a sail maker, and have installed a lot of Stack Packs)

to be able to use the track, I’d have to drill out the rivets and remove the end cap on the boom.  Which makes removing the main easy....

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