Friday, June 21, 2013

Stackpack Cradle Cover Secrets

Hi Bob,

I watched your video.  When we drop our mainsail it doesn’t fold neatly into the cover as shown. How does the stack pack improve this?

Regards John 

Hi, John --

It's a better system! 

Knowing how to use it is the most important.  You want to be into the wind, and you want the sail to drop quickly.  The momentum of the sail helps stuff it inside, and the inside of the Sunbrella walls is lined with Dacron.  The Dacron adds strength needed to reinforce the cover and make it durable enough to hold the sail and battens, but also, Dacron on Dacron is a slippery mix and the sail slides in well.  The top of each side of the cover has a batten that acts as a more rigid threshold that connects to the lazy jacks, giving a continuous plane that guides the sail into the cover.  And the forward and aft ends of the cover are supported by their own single-point lazy jacks that keep them supported.  Last, getting the size and shape right means it's big enough to serve as a "canyon" for the sail to fall into, but small enough to look neat and not sloppy when zipped.  The system has evolved over 20+ years of bareboat charter and private owner use, and I've been measuring and installing them on Lagoons for 10+ years.  We've got it pretty figured out.

To be fair, there are ways it can fall short of what you saw in the video.  The most common is when you're not into the breeze.  In this instance, the back of the sail beyond the aft lazy jacks can bend outward around them, not drop into the cover, hang out a little and limit how far the front can drop.  When this happens, we include small brass clips across one side of the lazy jacks at cover height.  These clips can be used to quickly close the cover by reaching across and clipping to the other side.  This contains the sail until you reach a place where you can stuff the rest and zip the cover shut properly. 

Often the hassle of dealing with a large mainsail is the small mental factor that can prevent you from using your boat.  You put considerable time, effort, and money into owning it, and we can remove this obstacle and let you enjoy sailing more.