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Heavy Mainsail..?

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Category: Hints & Tips
Forum Name: 385/388
Forum Description: 385/388 Hints, Tips and News
Printed Date: 04 December 2023 at 22:12
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.06 -

Topic: Heavy Mainsail..?
Posted By: Jonw
Subject: Heavy Mainsail..?
Date Posted: 03 April 2022 at 18:49

We're proud 'new parents' to a 2012 385, and absolutely loving her.

We went for our first proper sail this weekend and found the mainsail very hard work to hoist (manual 2 speed winch on starboard side).

Once the sail had got to about half way up, I was into the 'easy gear' and then had to work hard to get her the rest of the way up.

The sail is pretty standard, fully battened.

I come from a Hallberg Rassy 29 which of course had a much smaller sail.

My question - does this 'work out' to manually winch up a mainsail sound about right?

Or - might I do well to check the halyard runs free, the mainsail runs free in the tracks etc?

(note - when I drop the sail she comes down very easily)

Many thanks

Posted By: Matt1
Date Posted: 03 April 2022 at 19:37
Did your HR have Dacron sails and does the Hanse have FCL (Laminate). Laminate sails are appreciably heavier. 

I was going to suggest some dry PTFE spray on the mainsail cars / track but you said it comes down quite quickly. Iím assuming the reef lines are all nice and loose. I certainly have to winch my 418 main up from about 1/3rd hoisted, using the easier gear for the last metre or so

Hanse 418 #64 EmBer. Hamble, UK

Posted By: andrewlambert
Date Posted: 03 April 2022 at 19:38
Hey JonW 
Congrats great boat I have a 370 and came from a Sadler 29  so had same change as you from tiny main to large one 

Mine is battened with rollers goes up with no winch about 60 to 70 percent then if by possible we sweat it at mast but usllay needs winch for last 10 percent 

Half way for you sounds unusual sounds like you are checking the obvious stuff 

I have a similar issue with head sail  but think the bolt rope is too thick 

Hanse 370 #237 "Ginger Bay" UK, River Hamble

Posted By: H8jer
Date Posted: 04 April 2022 at 17:36
I have tried different mainsails from North and the one without expensive car/rollers are easier to hoist.
I use 10mm dyneema(hanse 370)
But I hoist from the Mast and crew pull in the slack from cockpit. When almost at top the ropecluch is engaged and then tension is added with the winch. I feel the tension at the mast and yell out when it is enough.
Then we adjust the outhaul and then the kickingstrap

Hanse 370#487 30HP 3-cabin

Posted By: perry
Date Posted: 04 April 2022 at 18:31
Hanse 315 and previously H301, both full battened main, yes heavy sails.
We make first hoist from mast; this avoids the extra friction around deck organisers and foot blocks.
After first hoist we reef and un-reef from cockpit no problem.
When short handed I use a clam cleat fitted low on mast and when main  hoisted I slip the halyard into cleat, return to cockpit and pull in halyard slack and tighten on winch. Important:--The clam cleat is positioned so the halyard pops out when winched, and doesnt catch halyard  on dropping main.

Note:  Hanse Halyards are far too thick polyester.
My Main Halyard 6mm Dyneema [H301] and 8mm Dyneema in h315.
With hind-sight I should have fitted 6mm Dyneema on 315.
Using the thin halyards of Dyneema has a big reduction of rope friction.
Use dry lubricant on sail slides and batten cars regularly to help minimise friction and make for fast sail drops.
Oh yes nearly forgot:-  mark main halyard at Clutch to identify the drop points for first, second and third reef. Then when reefing drop to mark, makes reefing easy if you work with marks.

Isle of wight

Current Yacht Hanse 315 2007
Last Yacht Hanse 301 Round GB in 2017

Posted By: Jonw
Date Posted: 05 April 2022 at 09:50
All really great and helpful replies!
Thank you
And more questions to come for sure!! LOL

Posted By: 415 Singapore
Date Posted: 05 April 2022 at 12:53
Hi, might be worth double checking that the topping lift and the main halyard aren't twisted around each other, quite hard to see from deck level, but when that happened to us it made an enormous difference.
On our 415 we can sweat the main up most of the way and just need the winch for the last metre or so, but we do have the roller batten cars.
Good luck

Paul - Night Train - 415 #136

Posted By: Jonw
Date Posted: 05 April 2022 at 13:58
Thanks Paul, actually this could be the case since the main halyard was attached to the aft end of the boom over winter, and I recall peering up to see if I'd got it correct side of the halyard, so I'll pull this out and double check

Posted By: Ian2019
Date Posted: 04 June 2022 at 08:59
HI Jonw Congratulations on your new baby!!! I had/have the same issue hard to get up, and it wouldn't  drop very easily. As Singapore said check the topping lift. I found my topping lift twisted round the main sheet inside the mast, and after several unsuccessful attempts to try to unravel it I leave the topping lift really slack and have no problems lifting or dropping the sail. In fact I am debating whether to just get rid of the topping lift by just untying the boom end and pulling it through the mast at its exit point. 

H385 #317 2014 Tivat Montenegro

Posted By: S&J
Date Posted: 04 June 2022 at 09:30
On the 385 I was able to get the FCL main with MDS cars about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way up from the cockpit when sailing solo before using the winch at all.  When sailing with crew I usually bounce the halyard at the mast and if the crew is able to synchronise with me we get the sail on the 458 almost all the way to the top before winching.  Beneficial not to use the winch until you need as it is much slower.  (For reference I am moderately fit 62yo)
Both boats drop the sail in seconds by preparing the halyard on the cockpit floor and opening the clutch quickly once head to wind.  In stronger winds the sail movement may impede 100% drop.
All this is made possible by the MDS cars.  If your boat is pre 2015 it may not have the Selden rig so might be worth investigating alternative batten car options if you don't have these.
Enjoy the 385.  They are amazing boats.

H458 #159 Primal Mediterranean cruising

Posted By: samuel
Date Posted: 04 June 2022 at 17:37
Originally posted by perry perry wrote:

Oh yes nearly forgot:-  mark main halyard at Clutch to identify the drop points for first, second and third reef. Then when reefing drop to mark, makes reefing easy if you work with marks.

I prefer to put some bright flourescent tape around the mast (suitably cut at the mast slot of course). These are positioned where the lower batten cars come at the first & second reefs. I am always looking at the sail when reefing & prefer not to have to look down for small marks on the halyard at night. They fade every couple of years but are simple to replace. There is less stretch in the setup there, as it is only 4-5 feet from the boom. Marks on the halyard are 25 metres from the start of the boom so stretch can vary the set even with laminate sails & dynema halyards. It also depends how much tension you want to apply to the sail each time.
I also find it better when reefing to winch the sail down with some friction in the halyard by leaving a turn on the winch when doing 2nd reef or slipping the clutch when doing the first one. If one drops the halyard in one go the lines can get tangled & a kink can catch in a block or a a bit of sail cloth can catch. I prefer to keep a little tension in the reef lines as I reef. I find that a neater option. But I sail SH so want avoid going on deck & a few seconds longer to reef is not always the issue. A decent sail set is.

Daydream Believer- Hanse 311- No GBR9917T- Bradwell Essex

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