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Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help
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Author:  dunebugmi [ Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

Hi,
We ran into some trouble this weekend raising the mainsail on our new-to-us 1981 H16. It feels like the sail is getting stuck at the mainsail tack plates. We let some slack out of the halyard and tried to push the battens up, but it still caught where those plates meet the mast track. Any thoughts on how to get this sail raised, or repair the plates so that it can be raised?

Thanks

https://imgur.com/zcntHK0
https://imgur.com/285UDFM

Author:  A1cnc [ Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

Lay your mast on the ground, then slide the sail up the mast to see what is going on. Maybe you will see what is catching and can fix it.

Author:  A1cnc [ Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

I looked at your pictures, for some reason yesterday I didn't see them.
Those tack plates are in bad shape and I am pretty sure are too close to the luff rope. I would suggest replacing them and putting them a bit farther out . Maybe take a look at some pictures to see how far out they should be

Author:  Tim H16 [ Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

By the 2000's, Hobie replaced the clew and tack plates with grommets. Also the luff and foot bolt ropes are now two separate ropes instead of one continuous bolt rope.

Two years ago (on my 1987 sail) the tack plate etc. looked like yours, so I replaced the tack plates and separated the bolt rope into two separate ropes.

The tack plates and luff rope at the gooseneck should have no effect on how far you can pull the main sail up the mast. Also make sure your outhaul is not too tight.

I would also recommend following A1cnc's advise about trying to pull the main sail up when the mast is horizontal to find out where it is binding.

Author:  tgrahmann [ Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

My mainsail tack looks very similar to yours and is the older style. When I first started sailing my Hobie (84 original sails ) I had a similar difficulty. Eventually I figured out that if i unpin the boom from the tack, it would lessen the tension just enough to where I could hook the slug in the mast fork. Then I'd re-pin the tack, insert the boom into the mast and downhaul the mainsail as normal.

For some time now, I haven't had that problem. I can only assume that frequent use has stretched the old bolt rope enough to where there isn't quite the same tension and binding in the luff track.

Unpin the tack and try lifting and seating the mainsail slug, if that doesn't work, try removing the boom entirely to lessen the weight and binding on the luff track.

Some final notes.
1. I couldn't tell from the pictures, but make sure you raise the mainsail BEFORE the jib. tensioning the jib adds a lot more difficulty to raising the mainsail. (And gets in the way)
2. Also super obvious, but make sure you don't have the downhaul hooked on anything and consider removing the boom slide from the luff track. Get the mainsail slug seated, then insert the slide after.

Author:  HobieMarty [ Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

Also... make sure the mast track is clean. You can use a lubricant such as Sail Kote or even a simple bar of soap on the mast track and bolt rope to help things along.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Author:  dunebugmi [ Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

A1cnc wrote:
I looked at your pictures, for some reason yesterday I didn't see them.
Those tack plates are in bad shape and I am pretty sure are too close to the luff rope. I would suggest replacing them and putting them a bit farther out . Maybe take a look at some pictures to see how far out they should be


Thanks. Perhaps I'll put the sail in after drilling the plates out, and then mark how far out they need to be before reinstalling them.

Author:  dunebugmi [ Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

tgrahmann wrote:
My mainsail tack looks very similar to yours and is the older style. When I first started sailing my Hobie (84 original sails ) I had a similar difficulty. Eventually I figured out that if i unpin the boom from the tack, it would lessen the tension just enough to where I could hook the slug in the mast fork. Then I'd re-pin the tack, insert the boom into the mast and downhaul the mainsail as normal.

For some time now, I haven't had that problem. I can only assume that frequent use has stretched the old bolt rope enough to where there isn't quite the same tension and binding in the luff track.

Unpin the tack and try lifting and seating the mainsail slug, if that doesn't work, try removing the boom entirely to lessen the weight and binding on the luff track.

Some final notes.
1. I couldn't tell from the pictures, but make sure you raise the mainsail BEFORE the jib. tensioning the jib adds a lot more difficulty to raising the mainsail. (And gets in the way)
2. Also super obvious, but make sure you don't have the downhaul hooked on anything and consider removing the boom slide from the luff track. Get the mainsail slug seated, then insert the slide after.



I didn't know about the jib; thanks. We have been raising that first following some youtube advice. Won't do that anymore. Will investigate unpinning the tack for fit purposes.

Author:  dunebugmi [ Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

HobieMarty wrote:
Also... make sure the mast track is clean. You can use a lubricant such as Sail Kote or even a simple bar of soap on the mast track and bolt rope to help things along.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ok thanks. I take it lubricating the mast with something like spray lithium isn't great for the sail?

Author:  dunebugmi [ Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

Tim H16 wrote:
By the 2000's, Hobie replaced the clew and tack plates with grommets. Also the luff and foot bolt ropes are now two separate ropes instead of one continuous bolt rope.

Two years ago (on my 1987 sail) the tack plate etc. looked like yours, so I replaced the tack plates and separated the bolt rope into two separate ropes.

The tack plates and luff rope at the gooseneck should have no effect on how far you can pull the main sail up the mast. Also make sure your outhaul is not too tight.

I would also recommend following A1cnc's advise about trying to pull the main sail up when the mast is horizontal to find out where it is binding.


This split bolt concept is very interesting, and might make a big difference. Thanks. When you replaced your tack plates, did you need to reinforce/patch the sail? I'm trying to figure out if the plates are held in place by the rivet pins being snug in those holes in the sail, or if that is irrelevant and the plates are held simply by friction from the rivet pressure?

Author:  Tim H16 [ Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

My personal preference is to raise the jib first, so that I can tension the rigging before raising the main.

I don't think it really makes that much of a difference as to which sail you raise or lower first.

Author:  HobieMarty [ Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

dunebugmi wrote:
HobieMarty wrote:
Also... make sure the mast track is clean. You can use a lubricant such as Sail Kote or even a simple bar of soap on the mast track and bolt rope to help things along.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ok thanks. I take it lubricating the mast with something like spray lithium isn't great for the sail?


Correct, you don’t want to use something that may stain your sail, no petroleum. I was having the same issue that you have described and I cleaned the track with some dish soap and a rag made from an old t-shirt. I did this a couple of times, make sure the rag is kind of tight when sliding in the track so that it gets all sides of the track clean. After cleaning the track, raising the mainsail was much easier. Hope this helps.

Author:  Tim H16 [ Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

I like to put a couple squirts of Dawn foam on the first foot of the luff rope before I raise the main sail. It helps to clean the luff track, makes it easier to raise/lower the sail and is water soluble.

I also put a few squirts of Dawn foam in the main and jib traveler tracks for the same reason.

Author:  jwallis [ Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

I feel like having the battens tied too tightly has given me issues in the past. I've had the pockets worked on, so they're not exactly stock anymore.

Author:  Tim H16 [ Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Difficulty raising the mainsail; please help

You only need enough tension on the battens to get the wrinkles out of the sail.

Too much tension will force the batten pocket end protector past the luff rope and make it difficult to raise/lower the main sail.

Also, too much tension on the battens will also cause the luff rope cover to wear through.
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