Your Mainsail Is Your Friend


I have been noticing lately that many sailors have de-emphasized their mainsails. In some cases to the point where the main is the first sail to come down when the going gets tough and often does not even get set in the first place.

I guess this trend is understandable because of the advent of reliable and easy to use roller furling on headsails, but it's also a mistake and potentially dangerous.

We Need Our Mainsails

When things get gnarly, our mainsails are our friends. And without them, our options are severely limited. Let's look at why.

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Meet the Author

John Harries

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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