To properly raise a sailboat’s mainsail, one should be able to do the following: familiarize the parts of the sailboat; locate all the sail sheets; point the boat into the direction of the wind; release the vang sheet and other supporting parts; announce when the sail is already raised; hoist the mainsail; and; make a final check on the mainsail for creases and luffs.
It is important to master the task of raising the sailboat’s mainsail properly. Once the mainsail is properly raised, your sailboat’s speed capacity can be maximized. Below are the easy procedure of properly raising the mainsail for a smooth and fast sailing:
Familiarize the parts of the sailboat
Always make sure that you know or at least familiar with the sailboat’s rigging mechanism. Know the important parts of the mainsail to effectively locate where the shackle and clew can be found. This is to make sure that you can properly attached all the supporting parts together before releasing the mainsail.
Locate all the sail sheets
Find all the sheets of the mainsail. Ensure that the sheets are complete for every sail. Also, locate the boat rope and halyard to easily prepare the sail for hoisting and decreasing or increasing the luff.
Point the boat into the wind direction
Point the boat in a direction where the wind directly blows over the sailboat’s bow. Before releasing the sail check if the wind indicator located on the boat’s mainmast is pointing forward. By doing this, raising the sail will be easier since the boat’s movement is minimized.
Release the vang sheet and other supporting parts
Release the vang that hold’s down the boom closer to the deck. This will make raising the sail easier. Also release the cunningham which pulls the sail downward the mast.
Announce when the sail is already raised
Always let everyone know that you are raising the sail. This is to ensure safety and to avoid any accidents while raising the sail. Remind the people in the sailboat to move away from the boom while the sail is being raise.
Hoist the mainsail
Confirm if everybody is on their position before giving the signal of raising the mainsail. Use a crank to pull the haylard for larger sailboats, while a cleat can be used in pulling the halyard for smaller boats. Slowly hoist the mainsail and check the sail slugs every time it is hard to hoist the sail. Ensure that the haylard is not jammed with anything and slowly pull it downward until the luff is tightened.
Make a final check on the mainsail for creases and luffs
Keep on raising the sail until its tip reaches the mast. Check for creases and luffs and fix it to properly unroll the sail. When the mainsail is properly hoisted, the halyard can already be cleated off. You can now start the boat to sail away.
Always follow the directions carefully,especially when hoisting the mainsail. Following these simple procedures will help you get ready for a smooth sailing journey.