By Ron Huff
An easy way for a Jack Tar to stow the sails.
BY RON HUFF
You may have noticed by now either in
pictures of launchings or on your own boat that the mainsail has a tendency to fill up the
cockpit or fall overboard when it is down.
The answer to the problem is a lazy jack. So ok whats a
lazy jack you ask. Simple it is a net, of sorts, that catches the sail and folds it neatly
more or less on the boom.
To make a lazy jack for one of our boats you need 1/8 inch woven
chord the, kind that doesnt stretch ,two small pulleys and a small cleat. The line
is run from the cleat attached to the bottom of the boom to a pulley on the side of the
mast then up to a pulley placed above the gaff jaws. The line then runs to the boom about
¾ of the way out from the mast thru an eyelet, made of wood or a screw eye. The line is
then returned up to the line below the pulley but above the gaff and swagged or tied off.
Be sure to set the pulley high enough so that when the line is slacked off it will be
loose enough to run free of the sail and not disturb the sail shape. Now come down this
line a bit, two or so feet and tie another line into it. Back under the boom ¼ of the way
out from the mast and up to the first line on the opposite side. One more line from the
second line about two feet down from the junction with the first line then under the boom
and back up to the opposite side and there is your net. Be sure to allow enough line at
the cleat to give you plenty of line to slack off at the upper pulley two or three feet
just to make sure. Experiment a little 1/8 inch line is cheap compared to going aground on
the reef while you are trying to get out from under the sail.
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