Un-cluttering the Deck

We currently have 5 sails on the deck: Drifter, Jib, Staysail, Mainsail, Trysail; and we can't take them off the deck of the boat. We keep the sails flaked and/ or bagged on the deck to keep them out of the way, but we can't escape the fact that all of these sails are always on the deck.

Maddie has told me that we can't have any more sails on the boat if they are all going to live on the deck. While the sails are put away, they still take up our limited deck space, and she wants as much space as possible for living and relaxing.

The solution is simple: The working sails can stay on the deck but the light air sails need to be stored in a locker. The storm trysail will remain on the mast, as it needs to be ready to hoist at a moments notice should a squall develop quickly.

The reason all of these sails needed to remain on the deck is the way the sheets are tied to the clew. I used a larks head knot, which offers a very secure attachment to the clew while keeping bulk to a minimum. This means the sheets won't foul on the rigging as we tack and the sails have to slide through the forward stays slot. The problem is a larks head knot can not be untied without removing the sheets from the deck. I would have to pull the sheets out of their leads and coil them up to store the sail off the deck. To set the sail up, I would also have to run the sheets through all their leads and back to the cockpit. This seems like a lot of effort in my opinion, so the drifter lives in a bag with the sheets permanently run to it. 

The solution to our clutter problem is simple, change the knot we use to attach the sheets from a larks head to a bowline. A bowline is a very strong and secure knot which is a standard for sheet attachment with a little bulk that can get caught on the rigging. Being how we have synthetic standing rigging, we won't let a fouled sheet stay fouled for long because it could saw into the rigging as the sail flogs around in a blow. 

With bowlines, we can easily untie the sheets from the clew and store the sails that are not in use in a locker. The sheets can be left tied to the lifelines forward of the shrouds and ready to attach to the clew of the sail we want to raise. This also helps make it easier to reef the jib, as we just need to lower the sail, tie the sheets to the new clew, and re-hoist the sail.

The sheets are out of the way attached to the lifelines with the excess coiled up on the lifelines by the cockpit.

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