How to Pull up the Main Sail in a Marina

One of the first steps when setting sails is raising the mainsail. This is usually a simple task, however it can be tricky in certain wind conditions and one has to be careful and follow some guidelines to ensure the main goes up smoothly.
Normally the sails are being pulled up in the open water. To do so, the boat is pointed into the wind.
In our courses we teach docking under sails. To do so the room to maneuver has to be big enough and the wind conditions have to be right.
To pull up the main sail, the main boom has to point into the wind. If the main boom is not pointing into the wind you will have too much pressure on the sail slugs and the luff. If you are using ‘lazy jacks’ you also have to make sure the sails do not jam especially in the areas of the battens. Dirt in the sail groove can also jam the sails. If that happens just lower the sail a bit, check where the problems are, fix it and then proceed. Make sure you keep watching that the sail is moving up smoothly and does not jam.
Remember when you are using a winch you have much more power and must watch careful and not keep pulling up the sails when it is jammed. You might break something.
If the sail is fully up you can trim it with the help of the winch.
Watch our video on ‘How to Pull up the Main Sail in a Marina’

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