7 basic steps to hoisting a sailboat mainsail for a smooth sailing experience
To properly hoist the mainsail of a sailboat, you must be able to do the following: familiarize the parts of the sailboat; locate all the leaves of the candle; point the boat in the direction of the wind; release the vang sheet and other supporting parts; announce when the sail is hoisted; hoist the mainsail; and; do a final check on the mainsail for creases and holes.
It is important to master the task of correctly hoisting the mainsail of the sailboat. Once the mainsail is properly hoisted, the speed capability of your sailboat can be maximized. Below is the simple procedure to properly hoist the mainsail for smooth and fast sailing:
Familiarize yourself with the parts of the sailboat.
Always make sure you know or at least become familiar with the rigging mechanism of the sailboat. Know the important parts of the mainsail to effectively locate where the shackle and clew can be found. This is to ensure that you can properly attach all the support pieces before releasing the mainsail.
Locate all the leaves of the candle
Find all the corners of the mainsail. Make sure the sheets are complete for each candle. Also, locate the boat rope and halyard to easily prepare the sail for hoisting and lowering or raising the luff.
Point the boat in the direction of the wind.
Point the boat in a direction where the wind blows directly over the bow of the sailboat. Before releasing the sail, check if the wind indicator on the mainmast of the boat is pointing forward. By doing this, it will be easier to hoist the sail as movement of the boat is minimized.
Release the vang blade and other support pieces.
Release the counter that holds the arm closer to the deck. This will make it easier to hoist the sail. Also release the cunningham that pulls the sail down the mast.
Announce when the sail is already hoisted
Always let everyone know that you are hoisting the sails. This is to ensure safety and avoid accidents when hoisting the sail. Remind people on the sailboat to stay away from the boom while the sail is being hoisted.
Hoist the mainsail
Confirm that all are in position before giving the signal to hoist the mainsail. Use a crank to pull the haylard for larger sailboats, while a cleat can be used to pull the halyard for smaller boats. Slowly hoist the mainsail and check the bales of the sail whenever the sail is difficult to hoist. Make sure the haylard is not jammed with anything and slowly pull it down until the luff is tightened.
Make a final check on the mainsail for creases and holes.
Keep hoisting the sail until its tip reaches the mast. Check for creases and holes and fix it to properly unroll the sail. When the mainsail is correctly hoisted, the halyard can be moored. You can now launch the ship to set sail.
Always follow the instructions carefully, especially when hoisting the mainsail. Following these simple procedures will help you prepare for a smooth ride.