The Discarded- Rescuing a Tartan 33

estarzinger

Super Anarchist
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when so many people here told me that this is not correct/not optimal.

tiny turning blocks that simply attach to the mast.
There is a performance/esthetics/chafe vs convenience/safety compromise on sailing with lazy jacks up vs forward. There is reasonable argument for both points of view. Probably you want your design to nicely allow both and you can then choose day to day.

Our lazy jacks went up to tiny micro blocks about a foot (? would need to dig up a photo to be sure of how far) out the spreaders. This opened up the slot between the lazy jacks to help them avoid snagging on our full batten ends when raising from a reefed position to full hoist.

One thing I had to come to terms with was setting the lazy jacks a bit looser and a bit lower, which made the flake into them less neat than I wanted, but reduced hassle during use. To get a proper CCA flake, I would slowly drop the main without the lazy jacks while motoring into the wind, or do a quick drop into the lazy jacks but when we anchored dump the mainsail out and flake it by hand (if I remember when you sailed with me, we did a quick anchor drop just to flake the mainsail properly before going back into the slip). I was OCD about mainsail flake because when I tried to shortcut, I could always hear my sailing mentor in the back of my head saying 'no, that is not proper'.
 

steele

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Land of the locks
I have had two boats with lazy jacks so have a few thoughts. Attaching them to the spreaders does make for an easier time raising the sail, but spreaders are not designed for downward loads so be careful of snaging or over tensioning the jacks. If you use dyneema you do not need any hardware on the legs, the stuff is slippery enough on its own. This reduces weight and chafe. Accept in rough conditions I do not need to deploy the lazy jacks to raise the sail as long was the flake from the last session was decent. The sail will stay on the boom long enough to pull the ties and get it up. Even if it does fall off the boom it is ok since we are raising the sail anyway.
Kimbottles has a good set up on his boat. The top of the jacks are attached just above the lower spreaders, and the spreaders have some hooks just a few inches outboard of the mast. These are not used while sailing, but at rest the jacks are pulled out to the hooks from deck level. This holds the line away from the mast and keep everything quiet. Most lazy jacks tend to bang against the mast in a breeze otherwise.
 

Ajax

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@steele to clarify- mine aren't attached to the spreaders, they're much higher.

I fear Dyneema because it has no stretch and is very strong. The stretchy double braid failed when it snagged the spreaders instead of bringing the mast down on my head.

I agree, I don't need the lazy jacks for raising the main, only capturing it on the douse. And yes, the first thing I noticed is that the damned things will make a racket when banging against the mast. I'm already working on some kind of alternative means of securing them.

As big a PITA as this is, they are very, very beneficial to me on the douse when single handed. I have a large main and it's a real shit show when I'm on the cabin top under auto-pilot, trying to secure the main to the boom in a nasty chop or a busy harbor.
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
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@steele to clarify- mine aren't attached to the spreaders, they're much higher.

I fear Dyneema because it has no stretch and is very strong. The stretchy double braid failed when it snagged the spreaders instead of bringing the mast down on my head.

I agree, I don't need the lazy jacks for raising the main, only capturing it on the douse. And yes, the first thing I noticed is that the damned things will make a racket when banging against the mast. I'm already working on some kind of alternative means of securing them.

As big a PITA as this is, they are very, very beneficial to me on the douse when single handed. I have a large main and it's a real shit show when I'm on the cabin top under auto-pilot, trying to secure the main to the boom in a nasty chop or a busy harbor.

Mine are dyneema with plastic thimbles. I like they are very light which I hope would imply less chafe. I noticed they slap on the mast when brought forward, so I made sure the soft shackles were long enough to give enough clearance from the mast when tensioned - long enough not to slap on the mast but short enough to avoid impinging on the sail again. I like my lazy jacks, but I despair at getting a neat stack. I have to do it all over again once at anchor.
 

SemiSalt

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When I took the sail cover off my boat last night, I noted that the reefing hooks were buried under the flakes of the furled sail. I can see how adding LJ lines to the mix might not work well.
 

Snore

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I share your confusion.

For racing, I can see stowing the jacks to get them out of the way. Ease them, hook them under the reefing horns, or with a soft shackle and go fast.

For cruising, this a geometry question. If the boom angle does not change, then he distance the lazy jacks span from the boom to the mast does not change. On a delivery, I don't tweak the topping lift or vang. I am assuming it is the same when you are crusing. As such the lazy jacks could be set to a distance equal to the distance of the boom to the mast + an allowance for the draft of the sail and just left up. The only way they would get snagged on a T-33 spreader is if the aft-most line is aft of the spreader. But that would be a whole-lot of sag!

Any hoot that is my plan, as my T-33 and I age, lazy jacks look better and better.

Curious, how 'floppy' were the lazy jacks when the got fouled?
 

Ajax

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I went down to the boat last night to exercise the lazy jacks. Here's the conclusion I'm coming to:

I should place small cam cleats on either side of the boom for raising/lowering the 'jacks and some kind of small clips on the boom further aft that the legs can rest in when the 'jacks are down.
Curious, how 'floppy' were the lazy jacks when the got fouled?
Not very. It was more of a geometry issue. It still is but I think I can correct it enough to prevent the snagging. We'll see.
 

Whinging Pom

Super Anarchist
To stop the lazy jacks slatting against the mast when stowed try wrapping a spare halyard round and round the mast. This worked well on my previous boat, which had single spreaders, I used the pole lift. This also had the benefit of stopping vortex shedding on windy days. Current boat has twin spreaders and the technique doesn't work so well.
 

SloopJonB

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To stop the lazy jacks slatting against the mast when stowed try wrapping a spare halyard round and round the mast. This worked well on my previous boat, which had single spreaders, I used the pole lift. This also had the benefit of stopping vortex shedding on windy days. Current boat has twin spreaders and the technique doesn't work so well.
Having the upper blocks of the jacks set out a bit on the spreaders instead of against the mast solves that problem.
 

fufkin

Super Anarchist
Ok, it's time to revisit the "lazyjacks of DEATH!"

Last year on my way to Maine, the lazy jacks snagged the spreaders and parted. Then the mess got fouled around the mast, out of reach for a short time as I was motoring to Block Island. Providence provided an angel who went aloft and untangled the mess shortly after I grabbed a mooring and the lazy jacks have been out of commission ever since. I have backswept spreaders which is a recipe for snagging the damned things.

Several people here said that the lazyjacks are to be stowed at the mast nearly all of the time except for when dousing the mainsail, NOT left raised. I purchased 100' of new 3/16ths line and re-rigged the whole thing with an extra leg and enough slack to stow the jacks along the boom at down the mast.

Two things:
  • I would like clips or some kind of hardware on the boom to hold the slack jacks.
  • I'm wondering if it's possible to run the jack tails through very small turning blocks on the mast back to the cockpit so that I can pop up the jacks and douse the main while singlehanded without leaving the cockpit.
Lastly, the cleat at the forward end of the boom for tensioning the lazyjacks in the raised position is too far aft causing a weird angle on the first leg and also contributes to the snagging issue. I'm going to install a cleat closer to the gooseneck.
Personally, I sail with them up. The main hoist is from the cockpit and with careful dead to wind steering, clearing the battens is no problem. I run the lazy jack line back to the cockpit. It is very handy to quickly tighten the lazy jacks before dropping the mainsail. Also, if you sail with them up, you can tighten them a little if they’re getting really slack.

The first year I used them they were prone to snag at the hounds. I had metal ‘snag guards’ installed and it hasn’t been a problem since.

Two blocks at the aft of the boom either side, one near the gooseneck right above a block at the mast collar and back to the only cam cleat in the system which is in the cockpit.
 

Much smaller boat but these little blocks were perfect for my lazy jacks if you’re using small enough line. Much simpler than using a regular block with a leather chafe cover, etc.
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
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Edgewater, MD
Ok, I think I have this fairly sorted out.

By moving the middle leg forward on the boom a bit, this significantly changed the geometry of the primary legs so that they stay much closer to the mast with little chance of snagging the spreaders. This also spaced the legs so that they gather the sail very well when it comes down. I *can* safely sail with the lazy jacks raised and I'll probably do so on casual excursions around the bay but I can also lower and stow them at the mast when I'm doing more serious sailing where the consequences are higher.

I'm putting small cam cleats on the boom near the gooseneck to allow me to quickly raise them and adjust the tension. I'm putting small horn cleats on the mast to stow them securely when in the lowered position. I found some small fittings to install about mid-boom which will secure the 2nd and 3rd legs to the boom when they are in the lowered position so that they aren't drooping and snagging on things. The ability to lower and stow the lazy jacks means that I won't need to sew slots into the sail cover to accommodate them.

In a breezy anchorage, the tails are long enough that I can lower the lazy jacks and pull the primary legs completely away from the boom and tie them off to the cabin top grab rails so that they aren't slapping the mast. That should keep everyone happy.
 
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