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Mainsail boompack for single handed racing


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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?

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How large is the sail? Dacron main of light race construction? From a race standpoint none of that equipment is go-fast, so...

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We fitted just dyneema lazy jacks to a 3600 which has a 3di raw mainsail with a bolt rope luff and it transforms handling the mainsail. I had an idea for a lazy type bag that you describe but it is made in mesh and webbing with lazy jacks soft shackled on. When you pack the boat up you disconnect the lazy jacks and throw a boom cover over the whole thing. Our traditional stack packs have a batten in the top (like most stack packs) and you can release the lazy jacks and roll the stackpack up around the batten and clip it in place. 

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For my F-31, I have a UK Stackpack, which makes handling the main quite easy... in the worst case, it's possible to head roughly into the wind and blow the halyard, and the sail will end up safe, if not neat.  Normally one person is at the mast controlling the halyard with their foot, helping it flake a little more neatly, but we can easily drop the main in a few seconds.

While sailing, we sweep the the lazy jacks to the mast (they stay attached to the pack, and wrap the pack up, so there's no real windage.  (It's not "pretty" in the pic below, but it's possible to roll and clip it away neatly to the side of the boom.)

1799311247_sailfurled.thumb.png.d91a7e39cc55d880a9e6900154f8f438.png

297705021_sailpackstowed.thumb.png.b248975b5c51e28ee02d9e3ddd4fd5f6.png

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I have a Lazy Jack bag made of Textilene mesh fabric, without stiffeners along the edges, on my Express 37 with an Ullman carbon main. It makes flaking the main, while singlehanded, possible and controls the folds when reefed. I am on my second one. I wouldn't be without it. 

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Works a charm on a bigger boat for sure. After years of dealing with a very hard to tame main with no lazy jacks and regular cover, I got a new main and UK Lazy Cradle this year. Cradle stows tight to the boom with nearly no added windage as can be seen in the pic. Dropping the main into the bag after sailing is a joy, and makes handling it a lot easier short handed.

20210307_121141.jpg

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18 minutes ago, Goatish said:

Works a charm on a bigger boat for sure. After years of dealing with a very hard to tame main with no lazy jacks and regular cover, I got a new main and UK Lazy Cradle this year. Cradle stows tight to the boom with nearly no added windage as can be seen in the pic. Dropping the main into the bag after sailing is a joy, and makes handling it a lot easier short handed.

20210307_121141.jpg

That is a nice tidy system. I could never accept the bulky covers that store like the RedHerring pic a few posts above.

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On 4/14/2021 at 11:29 AM, JL92S said:

We fitted just dyneema lazy jacks to a 3600 which has a 3di raw mainsail with a bolt rope luff and it transforms handling the mainsail. I had an idea for a lazy type bag that you describe but it is made in mesh and webbing with lazy jacks soft shackled on. When you pack the boat up you disconnect the lazy jacks and throw a boom cover over the whole thing. Our traditional stack packs have a batten in the top (like most stack packs) and you can release the lazy jacks and roll the stackpack up around the batten and clip it in place. 

send som pics please! i have to think of something for my new boat.

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6 hours ago, Borracho said:

That is a nice tidy system. I could never accept the bulky covers that store like the RedHerring pic a few posts above.

Yeah, you're right, that's not a great pic of it... it can roll up nice and tidy-like, but I can't find a good pic.  Usually the days I take the time to get the windage down are also the times I don't have the camera out, apparently!

For short handed sailing (meaning, with the family), I usually just do a quick and dirty buckle of the straps and don't worry about it.  Shameful, and slow, I know... it's like an airbrake that limits me to under 20kts.   :)

I would like to see examples of better ways of doing it as well...

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Thanks for the feedback.

 

I guess it’s relevant to point out this is a 13m boat with a 45 sq. Meter mainsail.  The sail is an aging North 3dl Marathon that has done fantastic service for the past 8 years and still has great shape. But it’s a heavy beast to wrestle down, particularly when it’s windy.

i hadn’t thought about separating sail management from sail cover/up protection, so will likely head in this direction.

 

keep the comments coming, and thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most of the IMOCA's in the VG seemed to have a boompack to catch the sail, and they left them deployed most of the time.  Not sure what effect they had on windage, or whether they just accepted a loss in windage for a greater gain of making sail handling easier and not wearing themselves out.  I recall a few of the skippers used them as hammocks in nice weather.

Jean Le Cam on his boat with pic from back showing him in main part of boat leaning sideways in sea spray

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I just ordered the Doyle Stack Pack system for our 40'.  I have had the dutchman system which works fairly good if it is tuned right.  However keeping it tuned right has proven difficult and I get upset every time I see the holes in the mainsail that the clear threading line has to go through.  I'll post back once it's rigged.  I definitely was inspired by the vendee globe guys using boompacks.

J

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We got rid of the boompack when we started racing offshore for 3 main reasons 1) battens gets stuck in the lazy jacks setting the main  2) no possibiltiy for letterbox spi takedown 3) the larger roach did not fit

If I had to go back to it however and live with these issues, I would definitely opt for a lazy bag rather than just lazy jacks. Our Elvström boompack was quite snug

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I made this instead of a stack pack after seeing the imocas.  I set the lazyjacks so that they are just loose enough when I'm fully sheeted on for upwind that they just lay against the sail.  Seems to work pretty well but my boat is much smaller.  First picture is with a reef in.

20200911_135912.jpg

20200711_163100.jpg

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Would Harken Switch Track with lazy jacks on hay racks reduce stack bulk enough to significantly reduce the size of a stack pack- ish setup, and it’s  inevitable dirty aero?  (As an aside, I’ve been beating my head against the wall of a Park Avenue / Canoe / Trough boom, but as Buzz Ballenger pointed out the other day, they are heavy and the wind age is huge.) (As another aside, I’ve been doodling wishboom booms of differing geometry, to take advantage of the platform’s convenient base for lazy jacks underneath, like WylieCats.  But do wishbooms work with swept spreaders w/o destroying the wishbooms or shrouds?)


 

 

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On 4/27/2021 at 3:49 AM, Corryvreckan said:

Most of the IMOCA's in the VG seemed to have a boompack to catch the sail, and they left them deployed most of the time.  Not sure what effect they had on windage, or whether they just accepted a loss in windage for a greater gain of making sail handling easier and not wearing themselves out.  I recall a few of the skippers used them as hammocks in nice weather.

Jean Le Cam on his boat with pic from back showing him in main part of boat leaning sideways in sea spray

Yep, that was how mine was set up, only three lazyjacks per side though :blink:. They act the topping lift as well. Each side is a single line so if you need to  drop the lazyjacks it's only one knot to undo. A batten at the top each side helped keep it neat when the sail is up.

IMG_1763_zps6ggyywe8.thumb.jpg.39898af94058b6e2b641bddcc3f75e39.jpg

You could slide it down the black webbing straps and lash it neat and tidy against the boom if you want nice clean lines, we'd do that only for longer races. Otherwise it would sit like this. You can see the front of the bag hanging down behind the boom, you used to have to tuck the front flaps inside the bag like the windward one is.  

100648785_IMG_0595(2).thumb.JPG.4a0407ef37e9b2300d0cfa0a12965b25.JPG

 

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Would Harken Switch Track with lazy jacks on hay racks reduce stack bulk enough to significantly reduce the size of a stack pack- ish setup, and it’s  inevitable dirty aero?  (As an aside, I’ve been beating my head against the wall of a Park Avenue / Canoe / Trough boom, but as Buzz Ballenger pointed out the other day, they are heavy and the wind age is huge.) (As another aside, I’ve been doodling wishboom booms of differing geometry, to take advantage of the platform’s convenient base for lazy jacks underneath, like WylieCats.  But do wishbooms work with swept spreaders w/o destroying the wishbooms or shrouds?)

anyway, a boom something like this, on a ‘normal’ gooseneck, ‘normal’ sail controls vang, out haul etc, w/ lazy jacks underneath?

Run the sail lower too? 
 

here’s vid of how the wishbone works for sail lowering on a Wylie 30- it’s right at the end of the video..

 

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I considered all options which included the stack pack as you describe and I ended up with a tides mast track, retractable dyneema lazy jack system and traditional sail cover.  (With no cutouts for the jacks; you have to retract them before putting the sail cover back on)..   This systems works well for me.  The jacks are 1/4” dyneema; My main is 300 sq ft.  ( E33RH).  I can drop the main pretty quickly and I end up tidying up the flaking when I am back up the dock.   You then retract the lazy jacks and put on the sail cover.   It’s a pretty uncomplicated system.  If you have a stack pack, you still have to zip or strap it closed at the end of the day.  You also have to worry about water/moisture getting trapped in it.  Cosmetically, I think it looks cleaner without the stack pack on… My 2 cents.

 

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On 5/2/2021 at 9:35 AM, shaggybaxter said:

 

100648785_IMG_0595(2).thumb.JPG.4a0407ef37e9b2300d0cfa0a12965b25.JPG

 

 

What happens when it rains ?  where does the water drain ?

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52 minutes ago, 964racer said:

 

What happens when it rains ?  where does the water drain ?

Hiya 964,

The bottom of the bag is open and isn't attached to the boom along the whole length, you can reach your hand up and pull through reef lines for example. The first pic shows the air gaps along the length. 

You get more water in the folds of the sail from lazy flaking.

Cheers.

SB

 

 

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On 5/2/2021 at 12:35 PM, shaggybaxter said:

Yep, that was how mine was set up, only three lazyjacks per side though :blink:. They act the topping lift as well. Each side is a single line so if you need to  drop the lazyjacks it's only one knot to undo. A batten at the top each side helped keep it neat when the sail is up.

IMG_1763_zps6ggyywe8.thumb.jpg.39898af94058b6e2b641bddcc3f75e39.jpg

You could slide it down the black webbing straps and lash it neat and tidy against the boom if you want nice clean lines, we'd do that only for longer races. Otherwise it would sit like this. You can see the front of the bag hanging down behind the boom, you used to have to tuck the front flaps inside the bag like the windward one is.  

100648785_IMG_0595(2).thumb.JPG.4a0407ef37e9b2300d0cfa0a12965b25.JPG

 

ShaggyBaxter, Your StackPack cover looks nice. Who makes it? 

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6 hours ago, Quickstep192 said:

ShaggyBaxter, Your StackPack cover looks nice. Who makes it? 

HI Quickstep,

Its from Incidence, the loft that did my sail wardrobe. Really lovely guys, super enthusiastic and keen racers, I think 4 or 5 of the Vendee Globe skippers were using Incidence last trip round. If you're looking to get pricing, just tell them you're looking for a Pogo 12.50 style boom bag. They work pretty closely together so they'll know what you mean. 

The bag was toast at the end of 5 years, but that's not surprising, UV around here is a killer. 

Cheers!

SB

 

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