Poor Man's Lazy Jacks

  • August 01, 2011 7:52 AM
    Message # 667094
    Deleted user

    Here is a link to Rhapsody's home made lazy jack rig.



  • August 01, 2011 7:00 PM
    Reply # 667509 on 667094
    Deleted user


    Am getting ready to do the same thing (as soon as Fall comes and temperatures fall below 100F).  I am intending to use line and rings too (I will have lots of rings from dismantling the present system) but to attach the turning blocks to the spreaders a bit out from the mast (8 to 10 inches) to obviate lines slapping the mast when not in use.  But am wondering whether I need 4 legs instead of 3 because the spreaders are a bit lower than optimal for lazy jack placement, or maybe there'll be too much fore-aft tension and not enough vertical to keep the lowered sail from falling out of the cradle.  Any thoughts?


  • August 02, 2011 8:14 AM
    Reply # 667806 on 667094

    I think four legs is a better setup from the spreaders. I chose to go to the after lower shroud, lashing a teardrop rope thimble to the wire about 1' down from the upper terminal, which was nice as I didn't have to screw into the spreader. The height hasn't been an issue for us, but we have five legs for our stackpack. It would be nice if it were higher, but then the only option is going to the sides of the mast, which than creates a very narrow slot. With the legs going "out" to the shrouds, it opens up the area for the sail to fall in to.

    You probably don't need rings at all; just bend a loop to the end for the after two legs, and use a butterfly knot a bit higher for the forward legs. Go up from the boom, through the loop, and back down, this way it's easy to adjust both sets of leg's tensions in addition to the regular adjustment for the lift. Because we went to the shrouds, I chose to lash a plastic cleat at a deck-adjustable height to the same shrouds, so the lazyjack goes up to the thimble, then parallels the shroud down to the cleat. Wrapping the line around the shroud a couple times keeps it from slapping in the wind.

    Photo of thimble lashed to shroud.

    Photo of cleat lashed to shroud for lazyjack support.

    Photo of cleats on shrouds.

    Photo of lead of lazyjack up to shroud.

    Another option, if you really wanted the lead higher, would be to seize a line to the upper shrouds at the same height as the spreader lift tangs, then either tie/seize it to both the lift tangs, or go around the front of the mast. Then you can seize a small block or ring to that line in between the shroud and mast, thus giving a bigger throat to the lazyjacks while retaining their guiding height.

    Good luck!
  • August 02, 2011 3:16 PM
    Reply # 668142 on 667094
    Deleted user


    I think I may have mentioned that my intention was to add a fourth line but I ran out of materials and time. I was going solo up the Chesapeake from Norfolk to Annapolis and had to catch a weather window at the time and wanted the jacks for this leg. I haven't added the fourth line to this day some 10 years later but as well as the system works now with three lines, it would certainly benefit from a fourth. I do occasionally have to throw a sail tie around the after portion of the main as it will spill onto my sun shade but the rest of the main is well contained even during a pretty good blow. The three strand is a little stiff after all this time and when I replace the system will add the fourth line. I can't comment on whether a fourth line would be needed on your installation as my block is up at where those whatchamacallit wires that keep the spreaders from moving around are attached at the mast. It probably couldn't hurt. Stay cool...


  • August 02, 2011 3:24 PM
    Reply # 668147 on 667094
    Deleted user


    Whoops, I missed something in your post. Don't know if you looked at the pictures on my web site, but with the three jack lines belayed on the grab rail and the control line at the belaying pins, all lines are well clear of the mast.


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