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 Downhaul Before or After Raising Main
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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812 Posts

Initially Posted - 05/14/2013 :  16:16:26  Show Profile
From another thread:
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Steve Milby</i>
<br />[quote]<i>Originally posted by Captmorgan</i>
<br />
If you need to put extra tension on the luff of the mainsail, you can raise the sail all the way to the top of the mast, and then put one butt cheek on the boom and sit down, and you can add as much tension as you need. Then tie the boom down with the downhaul.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

When I started sailing a few seasons ago, I never touched the downhaul. Used my mainsheet halyard winch to raise and tighten the luff of the main. Last summer during a race, an old salty sailor who crewed with me told me to let loose the downhaul, raise the main, sit on the boom, and secure the downhaul. I've been doing it ever since although I might not with company aboard. Seems to give me flatter mainsail shape - my 150lbs on the boom seem to do more than I can accomplish with the winch. Some might saying hopping on the boom is uncouth.

Does anybody else do this?



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2 (sold - yay!)
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
https://whichsailboat.com/2014/07/27/catalina-25-review/

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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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812 Posts

Response Posted - 05/14/2013 :  16:17:22  Show Profile
As an afterthought, my main may be a little blown out, so that may make a difference?

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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5758 Posts

Response Posted - 05/14/2013 :  16:37:47  Show Profile
It is just as important to put the correct amount of tension on the luff of the mainsail as it is to put the correct amount of tension on the luff of the jib. Neither sail should ordinarily have scallops in the leading edge. In moderate wind conditions, it isn't necessary to use the butt cheek trick to tension the luff of the mainsail. You can just push down on the boom with your hand. But, in very strong winds, you need to put extra tension on it, and, by using your body weight, you can tension it as much as you need to. Some people add a multi-part downhaul that has mechanical advantage. There's no one correct way to do it. Whatever works for you.

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awetmore
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1144 Posts

Response Posted - 05/14/2013 :  21:45:52  Show Profile
We leave our downhaul tied off at a position that keeps the main near the top of the mast, but gives us a tiny bit of wiggle room to adjust tension with the main halyard.

I also sometimes sail on smaller boats that don't have winches, and there we use the downhaul to adjust luff tension. On the C-25 with cabin top mounted winches and clutches I find it easier to adjust luff tension with the halyard.

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dlucier
Master Marine Consultant

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Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
7583 Posts

Response Posted - 05/15/2013 :  02:49:48  Show Profile
Having fixed my gooseneck, I don't use a downhaul to tension the luff of the main, but instead I use the cunningham.

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Ape-X
Admiral

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USA
662 Posts

Response Posted - 05/15/2013 :  03:55:16  Show Profile
I raise the main first, with the downhaul off, it is easy to pull smartly to the top. Once the halyard is tied off, then I can adjust luff tension as desired, prior to falling off and filling the sail. It usually takes one hand to push down on the boom and the other to tie off. I found it easier to lie down and pull with both hands to get the gooseneck to move for higher tensions: It is all about getting the forces acting straight down to keep the gooseneck sliding freely

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Sam001
Vice Commodore

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USA
441 Posts

Response Posted - 05/15/2013 :  06:33:54  Show Profile
I use both the downhaul and the Cunningham

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PCP777
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1225 Posts

Response Posted - 05/15/2013 :  13:33:51  Show Profile  Send PCP777 a Yahoo! Message
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by dlucier</i>
<br />Having fixed my gooseneck, I don't use a downhaul to tension the luff of the main, but instead I use the cunningham.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Same here. I don't even have one. I do have a cunningham which I will use to flatten the sail during heavier air.

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Captmorgan
Navigator

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USA
220 Posts

Response Posted - 09/08/2013 :  19:10:07  Show Profile


Seth I noticed you have the same multi color sail I do. Can you get these replaced. I have not seen colored sails listed anywhere


<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by sethp001</i>
<br />From another thread:
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Steve Milby</i>
<br />[quote]<i>Originally posted by Captmorgan</i>
<br />
If you need to put extra tension on the luff of the mainsail, you can raise the sail all the way to the top of the mast, and then put one butt cheek on the boom and sit down, and you can add as much tension as you need. Then tie the boom down with the downhaul.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

When I started sailing a few seasons ago, I never touched the downhaul. Used my mainsheet halyard winch to raise and tighten the luff of the main. Last summer during a race, an old salty sailor who crewed with me told me to let loose the downhaul, raise the main, sit on the boom, and secure the downhaul. I've been doing it ever since although I might not with company aboard. Seems to give me flatter mainsail shape - my 150lbs on the boom seem to do more than I can accomplish with the winch. Some might saying hopping on the boom is uncouth.

Does anybody else do this?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

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shnool
Former Capri-25 Tech Editor

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USA
1032 Posts

Response Posted - 09/09/2013 :  03:43:08  Show Profile  Visit shnool's Homepage  Send shnool an AOL message  Send shnool a Yahoo! Message
All very good advice on here... I just play summary man...

When you raise the main, you should have vang off, downhaul off, cunningham off, and mainsheet loose (usually motoring into the wind)...

In light air, you would probably put no vang on, would sheet as you need, and you'd use either a downhaul or a cunningham, to set the proper tension on your halyard (usually JUST enough to take the scallops out of the main). A downhaul or cunningham only adjusts luff tension at the lower 1/3 of the mainsail... if your main is bagged out though, that's where it'll bag the worst. You can squeeze more life out of an old main by learning to adjust these.

As for sitting on the boom to adjust the downhaul... yep, I could easily see that (to get the right tension in moderate winds).. Also to save that procedure you could put a 3:1 vang line type purchase on the downhaul... OR you could use a 3:1 or 4:1 vang like purchase and a cunningham hook through the first cringle above the tack. Both would accomplish the same thing (to tighten the lower 1/3 luff), using both is redundant, and unnecessary.

Usually the colored sails are a custom order thing. Most times people do that to "drifters," when the material is lighter than their number 1 (first large genoa of regular material, dacron or laminate). A drifter is for when it's just lighter than light out (winds), and the dacron is too heavy to move with a breath of air. However, it can be built with any material (even heavy which sounds like what the 2 of you have)... you just need to work with a local sail loft to make it. We used to have a 170 on my father's boat (it was technically a drifter, due to size, but the material was heavier than a typical drifter, but lighter than a typical 155, it was made with alternating stripes of orange and yellow, the 2 color option made the sail cost twice as much!). A true drifter will usually be made of nylon, 1oz or so (like a heavy spinnaker). But it's not unusual to order colored sails... when you find out, however, how much more it'll cost to make, you might opt for old white...

Either way, it sounds like the old salt gave you the tip you need to make what you have NOW work! Those kinds of tips are priceless.

Edited by - shnool on 09/09/2013 03:45:06
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