Some time ago I was on a well designed and well tricked-out offshore voyaging boat. When it came time to hoist the main I was asked to take the helm while two strong and experienced guys set the mainsail.
And that’s when the surprise came: it took about three times as long and more effort to get the main up and drawing as it takes me alone (Phyllis or the autopilot steering) on Morgan’s Cloud, even though our mainsail is about double the size and weight and I’m a creaky sixty-some.
Not only that, the boat in question is fitted with a 2:1 main halyard, and one of those “lazybag” permanently installed sailcovers that incorporate lazyjacks; gear that, at least in theory, make sail handling easier.
So why is hoisting the main easier and quicker on Morgan’s Cloud? Do we have:
In-mast roller furling?
In-boom roller furling?
No, no, and nope.
What we have working for us is simplicity…with a bit of elegance thrown in.
Here’s a video of the geezer in action:
Ninety-five seconds, from start to sailing. Let’s look at the details that make this work:
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.
Nothing on this website or in direct communications received from us, or in our articles in the media, should be construed to mean or imply that offshore voyaging is anything other than potentially hazardous. Dangers such as, but not limited to, extreme weather, cold, ice, lack of help or assistance, gear failure, grounding, and falling overboard could injure or kill you and wreck your boat.
Decisions such as, but not limited to, heading offshore, where you go, and how you equip your boat, are yours and yours alone. The information on this web site is based on what has worked for the authors in the past, but that does not mean it will work for you, or that it is the best, or even a good way for you to do things.