Raising the Mainsail

By Stephen Jensen:

I had problems when I went to my new mainsail that used the stock bolt rope to hold it to the mast instead of the sail slides I had installed on my first main to make it easier to single hand. I had problems getting the main up because I couldn’t guide the main into the mast groove slot and hold the boat into the wind all by my self. What I needed was a pre-feeder. However a pre-feeder for a boom that pulls out of the mast during de-rigging is a problem. You need a removable pre-feeder.

Here is my solution. I found this pre-feeder at Annapolis performance sailing.  It’s the HA824 and is inexpensive. I combined it with a sail slide stop

I use the round one, and added a spacer to keep the thumb nut from hitting the top edge of the pre-feeder.
With this attached after the boom is on, you can route the main bolt rope through the pre-feeder then into the mast groove. In light to moderate winds it’s just a pull of the halyard and the main goes right up all by itself. In heavier winds the luff tends to get blown aft and you need to keep it forward but it’s easier to do this than to feed it into the mast. At the location shown, the bolt rope exits the pre-feeder when the main is all the way up and the pre-feeder can be removed to allow the Cunningham to be used or to throw a reef in.