Catamaran basics Setting the mainsail

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1) Take in the mainsheet to stop the boom moving, but without excessive tension.

Setting the mainsail step 1

2) Center the mainsheet traveler, so that the boom is easily accessible from the bimini.

Setting the mainsail step 2

3) Open the lazy bag, without forgetting any possible Velcro at the end of the boom, and the tapes around the mast.

Setting the mainsail step 3

4) Check that the topping lift and lazy jack tensions are correct – too tight and the sail's profile will be spoilt and the leech will be too open.

Setting the mainsail step 4

5) If it hasn’t been done, attach the halyard to the sail’s headboard – shackle or bowline. If your sail has a square head, fit it on the first slider.

Setting the mainsail step 5

6) Free the mainsail reef pendants. If you are equipped with automatic reefing, the lengths are sometimes important. The same goes for the sheet, which is now ready to be freed.

Setting the mainsail step 6

7) Place the halyard around the winch. Depending on the model, this can be fitted at the mastfoot, or within reach of the helmsman.

Setting the mainsail step 7

8) When hoisting the mainsail, position the boat head to wind, and make sure you have clear water ahead of you.

Setting the mainsail step 8

9) The apparent wind is logically stronger; you mustn't allow yourself to be unintentionally embarked on one tack: use the engines to give the boat enough speed to remain maneuverable.

Setting the mainsail step 9

10) Hoist the mainsail, firstly by hand at the mastfoot, then with the help of the winch... Don’t forget to let the reef pennants run freely and center the sail between the lazy jacks.

Setting the mainsail step 10

11) Coil the halyard, using the winch to tighten it.

Setting the mainsail step 11

12) Steer the required course and trim your mainsail – sheet, traveler and boom vang – to establish a laminar flow. The leech pennants are the best indication of trim. You’re now sailing, switch off the engines!

Setting the mainsail step 12

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