Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

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warren631
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Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by warren631 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:54 pm

Anyone had mainsail raising problems? My first time raising the mainsail on a 1988 26D and the mainsail stopped within 8-10 inches of the pulley at the top of the mast and refused to go any higher. An 'instructor' and I couldn't understand why. Could not see any restrictions in the groove up there. Mainsail is missing about 4 slugs and all but one batten but otherwise looks in good shape. Front edge of sail seems tight so I don't understand how it could go any higher. As a result of this mainsail problem the boom hangs low in the cockpit with the mainsail up. The logo on the sail says "M 26" so I guess its the correct sail or are there many sizes for the 26D?
Last edited by warren631 on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Berber Boy
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by Berber Boy » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:09 pm

The most common reason is that the mainsheet is on too tight and holds the boom down but I am sure you would have noticed that. A tight boom vang can also do that if you have one. Short of that have you checked the channel at the top end of the mast?? If not then I would think that the sail is not correct dimensions

BB

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warren631
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by warren631 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:23 pm

If its the sail dimensions that is the problem then I just have to reef the mainsail to raise the boom?
Last edited by warren631 on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gazmn
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by Gazmn » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:54 pm

Geez...
Another guy who can't raise his main...

Am I in the right forum :? :?



Blame it on the alcohol...
:wink:

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cptron
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by cptron » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:46 am

Gazmn wrote:Geez...
Another guy who can't raise his main...

Am I in the right forum :? :?



Blame it on the alcohol...
:wink:
He said his boom is sagging. :D :D :D
We all get that way with age. :(
warren631 wrote:If its the sail dimensions that is the problem then I just have to reef the mainsail to raise the boom?
You could try and reef the main to get the boom up, but I would look further into the size.

After looking at the previous sentence I am sure someone will have something to say. :o

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kadet
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by kadet » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:31 am

If your luff is tight, sailed raised as far at it will go, and your leech is loose, boom sagging, and the sail was originally made for your boat then the most common cause would be that the bolt rope in the luff has shrunk. Try cutting any stitching holing the sail to the bolt rope and see if you can raise the sail higher and lift the boom. If this fixes the issue replace the bolt rope.

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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by Highlander » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:00 am

first off if u have mainsail marked M26 u,ll need to check the measurements of that sail , if it is for an :macm: it,ll be 2ft too long as the M has a 30ft mast compared to the :macx: & mac26 which have a 28ft mast , so the only way to know whether that logo M26 means :macm: 30ft mast or Mac26 which would be a 28ft mast so u will need the check out the mainsail size

If ur mainsheet or vang r too tight they will not allow the main to go all the way up , u also might have a dent in ur mast grove near where the main sail stops , if ur bolt rope has shrunk ur main sail will be all bunched up & u will not be able to flatten it out , also check ur main halyard & make sure there is not a knot in it about a foot from the top stopping it from passing through the main halyard pulley on top of the mast

Just something to ponder on also if u take a pic & post it someone may see the problem

Hope this helps u out

J 8)

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warren631
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by warren631 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:50 am

kadet wrote:If your luff is tight, sailed raised as far at it will go, and your leech is loose, boom sagging, and the sail was originally made for your boat then the most common cause would be that the bolt rope in the luff has shrunk. Try cutting any stitching holing the sail to the bolt rope and see if you can raise the sail higher and lift the boom. If this fixes the issue replace the bolt rope.
Replacing the bolt rope sounds like a big job and high $$. If the bolt rope has shrunk is there any way to stretch it back (get it wet and keep a lot of tension on it)? The sail could have been stored a few years which allowed it to shrink.

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warren631
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by warren631 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:05 am

Highlander wrote:first off if u have mainsail marked M26 u,ll need to check the measurements of that sail , if it is for an :macm: it,ll be 2ft too long as the M has a 30ft mast compared to the :macx: & mac26 which have a 28ft mast , so the only way to know whether that logo M26 means :macm: 30ft mast or Mac26 which would be a 28ft mast so u will need the check out the mainsail size

If ur mainsheet or vang r too tight they will not allow the main to go all the way up , u also might have a dent in ur mast grove near where the main sail stops , if ur bolt rope has shrunk ur main sail will be all bunched up & u will not be able to flatten it out , also check ur main halyard & make sure there is not a knot in it about a foot from the top stopping it from passing through the main halyard pulley on top of the mast

Just something to ponder on also if u take a pic & post it someone may see the problem

Hope this helps u out

J 8)
Thanks. Lots to consider here. The sail goes up to within 8 to 10 inches of the top pulley so I don't think its a 2 ft short sail. Mainsheet is loose. Don't have a vang. No obvious dent in mast. Luff and bolt rope seems tight except some sag from the missing slugs. No knots in the halyard. There does seem to be some bunching near the bottom so it could be bolt rope shrinkage. I'll take some pics.
Last edited by warren631 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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warren631
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by warren631 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:48 am

kadet wrote:If your luff is tight, sailed raised as far at it will go, and your leech is loose, boom sagging, and the sail was originally made for your boat then the most common cause would be that the bolt rope in the luff has shrunk. Try cutting any stitching holing the sail to the bolt rope and see if you can raise the sail higher and lift the boom. If this fixes the issue replace the bolt rope.
If the bolt rope has shrunk, instead of replacing the bolt rope (high $$) could I just pick out the stitching holding the bolt rope at the bottom and leave it like that or stitch it back in allowing for the shrinkage (so there is no bolt rope for say 6 inches at bottom of sail). My sail has slugs so I don't rely on the bolt rope to attach the sail to the mast. The sail also seemed very full ("blown out"?) see http://macgregorsailors.com/phpBB/viewt ... =8&t=19751
Last edited by warren631 on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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sailboatmike
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by sailboatmike » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:07 am

I think I have the answer, I had the same issue with my X and for the life of me I couldnt work it out, then I stopped and looked, I had been raising the main pulling the halyard on the port side because thats is where the jammer is, HOWEVER, the halyard exits the top of the mast on the starboard side, so the halyard was jamming because it was crossing over itself at the top of the mast, I just moved the halyard around the other side of the boom and lead it across to the jammer on the port side and now it goes up without any problems.

I spent plenty of time staring at the top if the mast from all angles to work it out, and the harder you pulled on the halyard the tighter it got obviously because it was pulling down on to itself

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warren631
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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by warren631 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:16 am

sailboatmike wrote:I think I have the answer, I had the same issue with my X and for the life of me I couldnt work it out, then I stopped and looked, I had been raising the main pulling the halyard on the port side because thats is where the jammer is, HOWEVER, the halyard exits the top of the mast on the starboard side, so the halyard was jamming because it was crossing over itself at the top of the mast, I just moved the halyard around the other side of the boom and lead it across to the jammer on the port side and now it goes up without any problems.

I spent plenty of time staring at the top if the mast from all angles to work it out, and the harder you pulled on the halyard the tighter it got obviously because it was pulling down on to itself
I'm sure I don't have a crossed halyard. I'm also sure I attached the inside end of the halyard to the top of the sail.

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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by Mike C. » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:20 am

My 26D has what sounds like the same problem when I bought it. It was the bolt rope. When I considered the sail and its condition, I just went ahead and bought a new main. Great decision for me.

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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by dlandersson » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:42 am

THAT is very interesting. I love this site. 8)
sailboatmike wrote:I think I have the answer, I had the same issue with my X and for the life of me I couldnt work it out, then I stopped and looked, I had been raising the main pulling the halyard on the port side because thats is where the jammer is, HOWEVER, the halyard exits the top of the mast on the starboard side, so the halyard was jamming because it was crossing over itself at the top of the mast, I just moved the halyard around the other side of the boom and lead it across to the jammer on the port side and now it goes up without any problems.

I spent plenty of time staring at the top if the mast from all angles to work it out, and the harder you pulled on the halyard the tighter it got obviously because it was pulling down on to itself

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Re: Mainsail won't fully raise - why?

Post by warren631 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:52 am

Good description and pics at http://www.ne-ts.com/mac/bb/bb-103sail.html

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