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Speeding up rigging and unrigging.

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I have been wanting to do this for a long time to speed up my packing up and unpacking the boat but other jobs had priority. I watched Jay packing up his rig and he inspired me to get it done.

 

I measured the gap between my two masts in their trailing position which turned out to be 1 1/4". The main mast being in the tabernacle puts the track down and head aft. I elect to stow the mizzen mast with the track facing up and head forward. This makes the masts about level athwarts where the crutches need to be for stowing the sprits even though the tracks are on opposite of the mast. This is because the mast diameters are apposite where each of the sprit crutches need to be.

 

I made the crutches out of 3/4" ply and it takes about 3 feet of 1/4" shock cord for each crutch. It takes just seconds to move the loop of shock cord under the masts while gathering the rigging and passing over the top of the sprits and putting the loop into the slot. There is no tendency for the crutch to fall over and the setup is very firm when both shock cords are secured.

 

Like Jay and Chick, I leave all of the lines attached except for what I need to undo to remove the sails. Where I differed is not pulling the sprits up the masts but let my snotters go to the stopper knots. This puts them on the deck making the masts easier to lower.

 

If anyone wants I can email them a pdf of the crutch shapes, they can adjust it to their mast stowage setup. I have not sealed them yet. I will pad the bearing surfaces when they are coated.

sprit crutch.jpg

Sprit crutch.jpg

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Great idea, Graham. I am dealing with this issue right now with my new BRS 15 mk2.

 

We took it for the first sail yesterday and when rigging down, were able to leave the sails lashed to the masts when laying the masts down. I disconnected the sprit tackle from the masts (snaps), and because of the way I installed the lashing, the sails naturally flaked with a little assistance. I was then able to roll the flaked sail, still lashed to the mast, from the clew up to the mast, then stuff each sail in its own sailbag. These bags then hung down into the hull, mostly, and travelled well at highway speeds. All lines still remained reaved through their blocks, except the sheets and snotter tackles are unsnapped from their sailing positions.

 

I still have the loose ends of lines to deal with, but experience should allow me to clean these up.

2096A78D-8D38-47FA-B27B-1FC3F28A0D1B.jpeg

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Thanks Graham, I was just padding the crutch Alan built for my CS15, but I like yours with slots for the sprits and ability to keep them attached. Will send email for the .pdf. Rick

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Those are nice crutches.  I managed to leave my sails on the masts of the CS17Mk3 but I only have one bag long enough to cover what I need to cover so that they don't flog when trailering.  I'm going to need to find a second 18 foot bag to try that experiment.  But with the sails on, the hatch is a lot harder to open and close as well as putting in the companionway slats.  So the jury is still out whether this procedure speeds up rigging time or not since there is some extra tying to be done and slipping the bags past the crutches, etc. 

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I have a different approach to these rigging problems.  Bear in mind that I originally used a set up similar to Graham's, but Chessie's mizzen mast was (and is) stepped by hand.  This required transport crutches forward (for mizzen) and aft (for mizzen & main).  The sprits were supported on crutches (like Graham's) over the masts.  And I stowed the sails in separate (light-weight & not waterproof) sail bags with the battens installed.  For transport, the sail bags were stowed in the cabin.  Attaching the sails to the sprits with all the leech reefing lines properly rigged was a hassle.  Basically, the rigging [of the reefing lines] had to be done on deck and not until the sails were bent to the masts and sprits.

 

My attempt to ease this problem was to keep the reefing lines and sails on their sprits (properly rigged) -- and then stow ALL [sail, installed battens, rigged reefing lines, and sprit] in a SunBrella canvas zippered bag.  The two bags won't fit into the cabin, so I transport them securely lashed to the port-side seat of the cockpit.  The mainsail's sprit (in the bag's extension beyond the luff) overhangs the transom by about 18".  When bending each sail, I just lay the sail bag on the port-side "walking board" with its zipper up, lift it all (out of its bag) to the cabin roof (sail ties & all), then attach the snotter, topping lift & sheet to the sprit -- and (while standing on the "walking board") attach the halyard and start slipping the sail-slides into their track.

 

The reefing downhauls have been left in place and are now hanked into their cringles.  The leech reefing lines have not been moved since the last "takedown," so they just need adjusting.

 

I've only been using this approach since late last season -- so it's not yet smooth out.  But so far, I like it.  And I've noticed advantages other than not having to mess with the leech reefing lines -- especially reducing the up [into] and down [out of] the cockpit with sprits and sails.  Also, when Chessie is stowed on the driveway or in the garage, it is easy to lift each sail bag from the cockpit seat and move them onto their wall-rack in the garage.

 

After Chessie is out of her garage I'll post some photos.

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Thanks Pete, that is another interesting perspective.  Hadn't thought about storing the sprits in the sail bags.  I'm going to pull a hem out of one of my sausage bags (for the mast end to go through) so that I can wrap it around the sail, and then I will trailer it to see.  So I can see what is faster, going to the trouble of leaving the sails attached to the masts, or the trouble of pulling them off and on each time.  guess I will need a stopwatch to see which approach gets me in the water faster. 

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We have found simple black foamy pipe insulation perfect to pad our sprits as they lay on top of out lowered parallel masts, and some snap lock fasteners on 1 inch nylon webbing.  I think you can tell where we launch by bits of lost pipe insulation!   I haven’t tried to leave the sails on the mast as we travel, I did make some sail covers with both twist locks and also zippers.  When we are using the boat we use the covers and twist locks and when we remove the sails they are zipped into the covers which become sausage bags.  The reefing lines have S hooks and stay with the sprits. A mast cover keeps all the line wrangled up. One of the great things is the quick rig times! We can be under sail in 10 minutes from arrival. 

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