cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

Moderators: kmclemore, beene, NiceAft, Catigale, Hamin' X

Post Reply
JeffJuneau
Chief Steward
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by JeffJuneau » Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:20 pm

Hi, We are about 7 hours from nearly gale force winds predicted in Juneau. Would attaching the mast cable supports for the lifting system add any additional security to my 26 M moored in the harbor? Concerned about the mast coming down. Too late to pull it out as they are constantly over 20 now at airport now. I have the Mac docked as securely as possible at the harbor now. Bimini down, shrouds seem to be right tension, 4-lines, checked all fasteners, main covered and secure, but I didn't have time to remove the main. I'm a nervous new owner. Thanks, Jeff

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5734
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by Tomfoolery » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:33 pm

With the standing rigging in place and both sails hoisted, the wind will pull the boat right onto its side. The rigging is sized for that, with a generous factor of safety I might add, while pumping and banging about in a rough seaway.

With no sails up, even a gale won’t produce enough force to do that.

Standing rigging on bare poles will be fine. Just remove and stow the boom below decks or off the boat, or tie it to both port and starboard, so it’s not banging back and forth and maybe getting loose. Also strip off the headsail if it’s on a furler, and if you can’t, be sure the sheets make many turns around the furled sail and the furling line is doubly secured. If it stays wrapped tight, nothing is likely to happen to it.

It’ll be fine. These boats are a lot tougher than most people think, except for experienced owners of course. :wink:
Tom
Be seeing you . . .

JeffJuneau
Chief Steward
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by JeffJuneau » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:39 pm

That is very helpful TomFoolery. Thanks. We were already getting gusts into the 30's by the time I could have even tried to pull the main, remove the boom, or jib yesterday. So all that I could do was try to present the smallest profile possible by putting extra wrapping around the main. That worked, and all was well today, despite max gusts in the 50 mph range yesterday on land. Wouldn't I have to remove the forestay, and lower the mast to remove the jib from the furler? Sorry for the naive question, as I have yet to break it down for transport. The weather has been horrible here, as we just broke a rain record. Over 70 inches of rain since January 1, with the rainy season yet to come! Jeff

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5734
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:53 pm

JeffJuneau wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:39 pm
Wouldn't I have to remove the forestay, and lower the mast to remove the jib from the furler?
No, not normally. Assuming it's a Flexible Furler II system, there's a skinny halyard that runs inside the foil and is tied at the drum. You tie a messenger line to that, undo the little shackle that holds the tack fitting, and start pulling the sail down. If the weather isn't cooperating, open the hatch and stuff the sail into the vee berth while you pull it down. The messenger line will follow the halyard up the foil. Now you have a bare foil, without disturbing the mast or rigging tuning.

Other furlers use the boat's halyard, which pulls a top bearing with the sail attached up the foil as the sail is fed into the groove. But most of these boats use the FFII, which does not use the boat's halyard. I took mine off altogether, and use the spinnaker halyard for the MRS.

But wrapping the sails extra good in preparation of a strong blow is normally enough. Just be sure the bitter ends of the sheets are doubly secured, as all that pounding in high winds can loosen them, at which point the head sail will rip itself to shreds.
Tom
Be seeing you . . .

JeffJuneau
Chief Steward
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by JeffJuneau » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:29 pm

Thanks TomFoolery, The only thing that would be better than your clear answers on this site, would be if you lived in Juneau and could show me in person. This has been a big help. Jeff

DaveC426913
Admiral
Posts: 1442
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:05 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Toronto Canada
Contact:

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by DaveC426913 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:51 pm

"There's only three ways into Juneau: by boat, by plane and by birth canal."
- Juneau Tour operator on our 2018 Alaska Cruise.
MacX 2000 Honda BF50A 'SeaSaw'

JeffJuneau
Chief Steward
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by JeffJuneau » Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:22 pm

Ha! I love that quote. After 44 years in Juneau, I've never heard that one.

User avatar
Herschel
Admiral
Posts: 1047
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:22 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by Herschel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:25 pm

Sorry to join this thread "a day late and a dollar short" so speak. I do get a similar workout here in Central Florida with our hurricane seasons. I keep my Mac 26X in a marina slip year round. Gale force winds get ginned up pretty regularly with our afternoon thunder storms and when "named" tropical storms scoot by us a few miles away. My personal protocol is to always leave my boat with mooring lines "doubled up" with four lines out. Three fenders on each side. Main sheet cleated of course in the jam cleat, but the remaining sheet tied to itself twice up above the jam cleat just for good measure. I do have a head sail on a roller furler so I make sure the jib sheets are wrapped around the jib an extra turn or two, that the furler line is secure and cleated down. Then I go up on the bow and use one of those large rubber coated twisties to wrap the jib as high as I can reach above where the sheets reach the jib. I add a second one about a 18 inches below where the sheet reaches the jib so the jib is constrained with three devices. If possible sustained tropical storm force winds are forecast, i will go up and collapse my Bimini and dodger and secure them to the cockpit or deck. Then I will double check all the rudder jam cleats and the center board jam cleat and make sure the jib sheets are fed through the small space between the hatch cover and the hatch into the cabin so they won't get loose and flail around. If the named storm is expected to bring hurricane force winds to my area I will take the boom/mainsail and store it below and unstep the mast. Don't like to do all of that unless it seems really necessary because we get so many close calls down here, I don't want to go to "general quarters" unless it is really called for. :) OBTW, the Admiral and I enjoyed a southeast Alaska cruise summer of 2019, starting and finishing in Juneau. That has got to be a really nice place to sail. 8)

JeffJuneau
Chief Steward
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by JeffJuneau » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:05 pm

Thanks Herschel, I really like your systematic approach to ramping up safety measures with the expectation of increasing winds. With your approach and the advice from others here, I am a lot more comfortable with the tools I have to keep my Mac afloat and mast from crashing down when the weather gets dicey. For example, I just started to use fore and aft spring lines for a total of 4-mooring lines on a routine basis, and have wrapped up the bimini a couple of times to make it a small wind profile. Your right, I am excited to explore a lot of the areas in Southeast Alaska that I have either visited briefly and others that cant easily be enjoyed without a good cruising boat. I think the Mac will be a fun way to get into some of these unique places we have here. The year you visited Southeast AK, 2019, was the best summer in recent memory. Good timing! Jeff

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5734
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by Tomfoolery » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:24 am

JeffJuneau wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:05 pm
For example, I just started to use fore and aft spring lines for a total of 4-mooring lines on a routine basis, and have wrapped up the bimini a couple of times to make it a small wind profile.
At the slip, I use a forward spring line to keep the boat from nosing into the dock. The stern line comes down at a short 45 degree angle, so it has enough to do keeping the boat close to the dock without having to be solely responsible for keeping the bow off the aluminium dock. Lines are adjusted at the dock cleats, so I only have to loop the eyes through the cleats then over the horns. If a blow is coming, I'll add another spring from the stern cleat, though the two 1/2" bow lines have good geometry and don't really need it. But I don't trust the cleats all that much, so extra lines to reduce cleat loads can only help. We don't get the big winds inland like the coast does, but it can get nasty enough to worry.

If big winds are forecast, I'll also strip off the Bimini and dodger canvas. Only takes a few minutes, and the bare hoops don't present much of frontal area.
Tom
Be seeing you . . .

User avatar
Herschel
Admiral
Posts: 1047
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:22 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by Herschel » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:07 pm

I failed to mention that when I do collapse the Bimini and dodger for tracked tropical storms, I will unplug from shore power (at the dock, of course) and secure the 110 cord in a coil at the bow. If it is a hurricane threatening, I'll completely take in the electrical cord. When I do unstep the mast for hurricane threats, I do leave the furled jib attached to the mast. I just secure it well with line up and down the mast. I pile on the clove hitches to the extent Houdini, himself could not get loose. :) The area I am of two minds about is whether or not to open the ballast tank and fill it with water. On the one hand it would make the boat heavier and sit a tad lower in the water; perhaps make it less jumpy on the dock lines. But that would put more strain on the cleats and lines. Heretofore, I have left the ballast tank empty when I secure the boat after a sail, so I leave it that way for storms. My marina is very protected inland about 3o miles from the coast as the crow flies, surrounded with concrete sea walls and three large buildings. The marina staff inspect the docks whenever there is a tropical storm and will often add lines to boats not properly secured. So, I feel pretty safe. The only time I had any damage from a hurricane was in 2004 (Charley) when I had the boat on its trailer in my yard and a small tree fell across the mast. Didn't do a lot damage, but it certainly left me feeling that my marina was safer than my yard! :o Any thoughts/experiences/recommendations would be appreciated.

JeffJuneau
Chief Steward
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by JeffJuneau » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:43 pm

Thanks Herschel and others for this great documentation of how to protect Macs that are moored during wind events. I have printed a copy of it for the stuff I keep on my boat, and am a lot more confident about weathering the next Juneau storm! Jeff

User avatar
Herschel
Admiral
Posts: 1047
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:22 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by Herschel » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:22 pm

JeffJuneau wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:43 pm
Thanks Herschel and others for this great documentation of how to protect Macs that are moored during wind events. I have printed a copy of it for the stuff I keep on my boat, and am a lot more confident about weathering the next Juneau storm! Jeff
You are welcome. I imagine you will have some great sails. You have some exciting spots to vist by boat.

Image

Image

JeffJuneau
Chief Steward
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: cable supports for mast fitting in gale? in 7 hrs

Post by JeffJuneau » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:15 pm

Great image of Mendenhall Glacier Herschel. I live just a few miles away from it, and the river is a few hundred feet from our house.

Post Reply