Jump to content

Hoisting main single handed

Recommended Posts

Would like to do some single handed sailing but not sure how to hoist the main...


AP into the wind is a no brainer and I generally do that two handed.


Winch and clutch is on the cabin top.


Sail is to heavy to hand haul it from the cock pit through the clutch.

Winching it from the cock pit... while I am ok with that for shaking out a reef when it needs to be done .. It seems mighty exhausting for something I want to be a pleasant experience.

Electric winch is unbelievably expensive (I could buy a new main)


Which leaves pulling it up from the base of the mast...


Thought about hanging a drogue out the back to pull the slack line through the clutch whilst motoring at 5 knots..


Thought about adding a v jammer to the mast to hold the line in place between hauls, but hate the idea of drilling holes in the rig


Have already tried tying a knot after hoisting it at the mast but that took three of us to fix.


Tried a prussic that worked but was reslly fiddly.


I own a couple of jumars which I feel might be a goer, but I am likely to chew my halyard


Any other ideas? I feel I am missing something obvious

Link to post
Share on other sites

I often hoist my main at the mast, tie a slipknot when up and it stops against slot in the mast. Then go back to cockpit, pull tail through and winch knot out and last half m of halyard up. Thats on Gale Force, so pretty much the same size.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an extra cleat on the mast pull it up. One wrap on the cleat. Pull the slack out and put it on the winch leaving just enough slack to take it off the cleat. Then back to winch and tension.


A rope clutch would be a bit more efficient but not enough to stir me into action.


I do this for the jib and foresail. Main halyard winch is at the mast.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd look to reduce friction everywhere.

Clean the mast track.

Lube the cars, can of silicon spray.

Wash the halyard (can get grimmy and stiff)

Service and or lube every turning block, mast crane etc.


Best mileage should be in the mast track and cars.


Not sure where you got the idea racing solo is supposed to be a pleasant experince? It's supposed to be extremely hard physically, and you should get scared witless running your biggest gear and seeing how long you can hang on for, before having a class 1 cluster and wrecking something expensive. Only then will you get the sense of achievement possible with racing solo...

  • Upvote 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Mates system.

What I did is add a cam cleat to the mast, not a big deal. You put it just off the fair lead of the halyard. Make a fairing block out of umpy or wood, or cast in situ with epoxy.

How big is the main we're talking about?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I now use one of these;


Milwaukee M28 right angle drill with the "cranker" replacement chuck. Works great! Still it around $1k . Also still need all the gear (halyards, sheeves, turning blocks, jammers) in good order, same with the winches. I used to do the main halyard manually with a jammer at the mast, now from the cockpit with this, takes only about 30secs....if that. :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s only a 35 footer as stated above I’d say from experience that you’ve got a friction problem

On my 38ftr we needed two if not 3 to hoist the main until I got the sheaves changed in the mast (they looked ok from the outside but had flogged out internally) then I could hoist it 80% by hand standing in the cockpit and then just winch the last bit

Made a huge difference to how often I used the main cruising

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lubricate with chain oiil on all moving parts, most often on the main slides, hanks and center boards. It doesnt evaporate like CRC and doesnt dry out like grease.

Do you mean chain wax, as in motorcycle chains, or just chain oil as in chainsaw chain oil???

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...