Getting the Sail Up

A Vortex mainsail can be tricky to hoist in a breeze, especially if your boat isn't pointing in the right direction. Here's a couple of tips pulled from the old site's forum:

Make sure the rig tension is loose/light.

Make sure the Gnav is loose/free.  

Do not apply your rig tension until you have hoisted the sail.

Make sure that the boom is parallel to the bottom of the if the wind has blown it off to one side, then move the boom around to be under it (or move the boat) As the mast rotates the angle of entry to the groove changes - this makes it all much easier.

I usually unroll the sail and lay it folded on the starboard side of the boat and feed the clew into the track on the end of the boom.

You can then stand on the deck next to the mast (starboard side) and feed the sail into the mast track with one hand while pulling the halyard with the other. When you have fed about a foot of sail into the mast track you can loop the halyard down to your foot and pump the halyard with your foot hoisting the sail up the track. Be careful feeding the batten webbing reinforcement into the track, as it can get caught on the track entry guide. Just apply a little pressure with your thumb to push the webbing into the track guide.

It is also much easier if the boom is not sitting on the deck. To suspend the boom in mid air a short piece of string tied to the eyes in the center of the boom round the bottom of the gnav, holds the boom off the deck if you get the length right.

This means that as the wind veers everything remains lined up. You also don't get that nasty black scratch from the end of the boom as it doesn't touch the hull when you bring the sail down!

Check that your battens are not too tight as over tightening will press the sail hard against the mast track and increase friction making it difficult to hoist the sail. And finally,do make sure you are pointing dead into wind and when it does all go tight feed some of the sail in from the bottom to get past the tight spot.

A squirt of silicon lube up the mast track or on the luff of the sail helps lubricate things whilst you sort out your technique as describe above.