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Main hard to raise

Jan 28, 2017
54
Catalina 30 Mk II Williamsburg
The mainsail on my MkII tall rig goes up easily until it is about 2/3ds of the way. It then becomes really tight. I have tried all manner of lubricants including Sail Coat but the problem persists. Once I muscle it up it it comes down freely . Wonder if this is something common to tall rigs or if anyone else has had a similar problem.
 
May 24, 2004
5,850
CC 30 South Florida
Release tension from all reefing lines, that fact it comes down freely means you are loading a downward force somewhere. Either friction or tension. Topping lift, boom vang, main sheet?
 
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Jan 28, 2017
54
Catalina 30 Mk II Williamsburg
My reefing lines and boom vang are not rigged. I will check the topping lift. How would the main sheet create this problem-what should I look for? Thanks!
 
May 29, 2018
94
Canel 25 foot Jonathan Shoigama, japan
Do you have bolt rope or slugs?
If slugs, check then all for attachment and damage.
Do you have an internal mast track or an external mast rail?
If it is internal it could be restricted at the choke point by salt, sand or some other build up.
To both clean and check the condition of an internal track I highly recommend the
AMAZING DOCTOR GARY'S FREE TRACK CLEANER.
You need about a foot of rough cleaning rope that fits the track pretty snuggly.
Parallel to the rope you whip on a piece of lighter line that is 2 or 3 inches longer at each end (See Pic 1).
There should be an eye in each end of the lighter line.
The whipping will make the diameter of the rough cleaning rope even snugger in the track.
Connect the main halyard to one eye and feed cleaning rope into track. (See Pic 2)
Connect a light down haul line to the bottom eye.(See Pic 3)
Haul up a yard or so and haul down a few times then repeat as you raise the line up the track.
Pay attention to the spot where you think the sail is binding.
When you have cleaned the whole track haul the cleaning rope
mast clean 1.jpg
mast clean 2.jpg
mast clean 3.jpg
IMG_20180811_141956.jpg
down , spray it with track lubricant and repeat the haul up/down to lub the complete track.
Will tack 30 minutes to make the cleaner and 30 minutes to clean and lub the track. I do it once a year as a part of maintenance.

Good luck
Gary
 
Jan 21, 2009
200
Catalina 30 Lake Perry, KS
If you have full battens, I found these slugs help. I replaced the standard slugs in front of each batten and 2 at the head of the sail. They slide easier but also reduces the sail/slug twist in front of the batten. They are a little pricey but helps. I would love to replace all my slugs but am satisfied with getting my sail up as of now.
https://www.sailrite.com/Slug-Allslip-Flat-3-4
 
Jan 28, 2017
54
Catalina 30 Mk II Williamsburg
Thanks so much, Dr. Gary. I will try that as soon as it stops raining. Great system.
 
Jan 28, 2017
54
Catalina 30 Mk II Williamsburg
Thanks also for the idea on the slugs. My slugs are only about two years old, but I may try to replace a few of them out of frustration. The sail is fully battened.
 
Oct 19, 2017
4,909
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Twists or kinks in old halyard? Too much bend in the mast from overly tight backstays? A dent in the mast track? It shouldn't be like that. I've never sailed on a Cat 30, but I'm sure that's not a normal expectation.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jul 6, 2013
120
Catalina 30TR Milwaukee
Try running the halyard up with just a messenger line attached. Just to check that the masthead sheave is running smooth.
Doctor Gary’s track cleaner is a great idea. I’m going to make one just for routine cleaning.
 
Nov 23, 2015
3
Hunter 30T Coconut Grove
I have exactly the same problem with my 1991 Hunter 30. The masthead sheave runs easily, I've replaced the slugs to no avail, the reefing lines and vang are loose. The sail raises very smoothly until it becomes very difficult at the top spreader, requiring heavy winching. It doesn't slide down all that easily either. Several riggers have looked at this and told me everything's fine. But no sailor aboard agrees.
 
May 12, 2004
1,205
Hunter Cherubini 30 New Port Richey
My reefing lines and boom vang are not rigged. I will check the topping lift. How would the main sheet create this problem-what should I look for? Thanks!
If the mainsheet is not released, it will not allow the boom to raise thus pulling the mainsail back and not allowing the slugs to go up the track easily. You stated this happens about 2/3 of the way up. That's about when it usually starts binding.
 
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Jan 28, 2017
54
Catalina 30 Mk II Williamsburg
I will try that tomorrow. The mainsheet is locked tight to keep the boom from swinging but that may be the problem. I will let you know. Think I will try Dr. Gary's approach too. I will also run a messenger up and down just to be on the safe side, although if the sail comes down easily - which it does, it probably isn't this. What the heck. Can't hurt.
Many thanks.
 
Nov 7, 2011
2,446
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
The mainsheet is locked tight to keep the boom from swinging but that may be the problem.
That's your problem. Your boom needs to rise as the sail goes up. You are preventing that by keeping the main sheet tight.

To raise your main you need to motor slowly directly into the wind, release the main sheet, vang and reefing lines completely. The boom needs to be able to swing freely. By motoring directly into the wind there is no wind putting pressure on the sail and slugs. You should be able to raise the sail by hand, then tension the luff using the cabin top winch.
The other reason to keep the main sheet loose is you don't want the main filling with wind while you are still raising the sail. That puts pressure on the sail and lugs and makes it much harder to raise the sail.

On my MkII TR, I raise the main by hand to about the last 6", then put the halyard on the cabin top winch and finish and tension the luff.
 
Jan 28, 2017
54
Catalina 30 Mk II Williamsburg
OK. On my last sailboat I was able to raise the main in the manner you describe but it was a small 27 footer. I am anxious to try raising the main the way you describe. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
 
Jun 25, 2004
507
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Thanks also for the idea on the slugs. My slugs are only about two years old, but I may try to replace a few of them out of frustration. The sail is fully battened.
Pictures of the luff at the slides please..
How are the slides attached at the full battens? Webbing? Shackles?Articulating threaded studs into the batten receptacles?
What kind of batten Receptacles at the front of the battens?
What is the top slide at the headboard, metal or plastic?

Judy B
Retired sailmaker
 
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Jun 25, 2004
507
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Twists or kinks in old halyard? Too much bend in the mast from overly tight backstays? A dent in the mast track? It shouldn't be like that. I've never sailed on a Cat 30, but I'm sure that's not a normal expectation.

-Will (Dragonfly)
Hi will,

Cat 30 masts are tree trunks. It’s a masthead rig, with non swept spreaders, cap shrouds are in line with the mast. You don’t bend rigs like that more than an inch.

And besides, you’d need a ridiculous amount of mast bend to make it difficult to raise the mainsail. There’s always more curve in the luff, by several inches, than there is mast bend.

Best regards,
Judy
 
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Jan 28, 2017
54
Catalina 30 Mk II Williamsburg
Thanks, Judy. I will snap a few pic's and post them. I casted everything loose and tried to raise the main. Still binds badly in the upper 1/3 of the mast. Truly have no idea.
 
May 12, 2004
1,205
Hunter Cherubini 30 New Port Richey
Thanks, Judy. I will snap a few pic's and post them. I casted everything loose and tried to raise the main. Still binds badly in the upper 1/3 of the mast. Truly have no idea.
OK, here's a thought. Maybe it's not actually binding at the top third but, instead, the lower slugs are binding in the track. Like I said, just a thought.
 
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