Mainsheet caught on lifejacket when tacking

Thread starter #1
Hello,

From time to time when I'm tacking in the upwind legs (with lots of vang), the mainsheet along the boom would sometime get caught on the top of the lifejacket on my back when I duck under the boom to tack. This is a very embarrassing thing which always leads to a capsize. It can be quite scary too if I don't get the main off straight away. I always turn around the opposite way so that it doesn't wrap around my neck! The lifejacket I use is a quality Henri Lloyd.

Does this happen to anyone else? I am 6"2 and I do try to duck as far down as possible each time, I guess I sometimes forget this little extra attention. What can I do to avoid this? The only thing I can think of is to put a rashie (waterproof top) over the lifejacket (that would create a smoother curve over the jacket foam) but I already have one on (under the life jacket) which is enough for the hot summers here in Sydney! If nothing I guess I just have to keep reminding myself to duck duck duck as far as possible! I wouldn't ease the vang each time I tack for sure, especially when it's blowing!

Cheers
 
Thread starter #2
I was just checking out the Zhick jacket and it says "Back of Buoyancy Aid doesn't ride up and get caught on the boom as you duck under. No more capsizing between tacks because you got caught on something.".

Now this may be an answer! Is it just thinner on the back?
 
#3
the rashie or short sleev similar on the outside, to cover the jacket, is a pretty common solution. you could also
add another "loop" to hold up your mainsheet onto the boom. fashion a temporary one out of duct tape allowing the main sheet to flow freely.
 
#4
I have the rooster freeform buoyancy aid which is slimmer foam on the back to reduce snagging. I also wear a lycra race bib over the top to really stop anything from snagging. Haven't got caught on anything since starting to wear these.
 

Merrily

Administrator
#5
I have a low-profile-in-the-back life jacket and am quite limber (when "touching toes" I can put my palms flat on the floor), but still have problems with this ever since I started using more vang. I guess I'll try the rash guard over all. Sometimes the boom sweeps me off the boat--don't think the rashie will help with this! ;)
 
#7
I'm about the same size (6'1", 210lb) and have had the same problem in the past. I found it helped to tape down the buckles at the top of the lifejacket. Also, in big wind, with big Vang, I consciously "dive" down going through tacks.
 
#9
I sail using a Yak (made by Crewsaver) which was designed for kayaking. In my experience, the mainsheet only ever gets caught if I forget to tighten the shoulder straps. Oddly, if I allow the jacket to sit lower, it gets caught more often, but pull it right up 'til the buckles are almost in front of my shoulder, and it seems to be fine. Occasionally I feel the boom brush over it when its really blowing, but I think it saves me a bruise or two!
 
#12
If you have either a metal or hard plastic fairlead, they can catch your PFD. I always change these to soft 1" webbing, riveted on. There are some other ideas. See the class rules for various ideas.

Al
 
#13
Hello,

From time to time when I'm tacking in the upwind legs (with lots of vang), the mainsheet along the boom would sometime get caught on the top of the lifejacket on my back when I duck under the boom to tack. This is a very embarrassing thing which always leads to a capsize. It can be quite scary too if I don't get the main off straight away. I always turn around the opposite way so that it doesn't wrap around my neck! The lifejacket I use is a quality Henri Lloyd.

Does this happen to anyone else? I am 6"2 and I do try to duck as far down as possible each time, I guess I sometimes forget this little extra attention. What can I do to avoid this? The only thing I can think of is to put a rashie (waterproof top) over the lifejacket (that would create a smoother curve over the jacket foam) but I already have one on (under the life jacket) which is enough for the hot summers here in Sydney! If nothing I guess I just have to keep reminding myself to duck duck duck as far as possible! I wouldn't ease the vang each time I tack for sure, especially when it's blowing!

Cheers
First, as one of the other sailors said, you should put another support piece (a metal U and rivot it to the boom). I didn't think that any boom could not come with that piece, in which case it is that metal U that gets caught on the lifey. Even when you are two blocked and maxed on vang, letting a little mainsheet out should help. In regards to your comment about the Shick (i think thats it), it is so thin, that with a drysuit, boots, etc. it may or may not hold you up depending on how heavy you are (i'm in th US and in all my regattas i need a USCG approved lifey, that is not USCG approved). good luck
 
#14
The problem that you identified is one of the reasons that I went from my Lotus super adjustable high-tech PFD back to a simple, one zipper Extrasport Challenger (which I read that they don't make anymore). The shoulder buckles would catch the mainsheet, and I just could not live with it anymore.

On sale now: http://www.rei.com/product/768465?p...-0A9E-DD11-873B-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA
Thanks for this tip, which I just saw now and bought one. They have L and XL left for 25 bucks apiece. That's a good deal. I'll give it a try and it will be a lot better for the occasional passenger than the big orange thing.
 

B-L Bandit

Leeward Bound and Down
#15
I have problems with this too, i got use to pulling in the main sheet just a little during my tacks just to keep the line that much more above me, but a spray top does the job really well.
 
#16
If you slide your butt out toward the rail as you go through the tack, much like you were roll tacking, that will make it a little easier to get under the boom as you can get closer to the deck. I'm a big dude too (6'0 220lbs) and I have not had an issue with the mainsheet getting caught on my life jacket since I started sliding to the rail.

My lifevest is also the extrasport retroglide avenger which is a nice low profile. too bad they stopped making it.....
 
#17
i personally have a stohlquist low profile with a side zip. I also have to agree with the tip on sliding your butt back toward the rail. I went out today and thought about sliding back... it was what i've been doing all along. I'm 6'1" 175 lbs. and i've never had a problem getting under the boom. Just duck really low, lower than you might think necessary. (I'm also 16 and my body is still real flexible from tae kwon do).
 
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