tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)

This fall/winter I would like to explore installing lazy jacks on my peapod.  I have only recently become aware of what lazy jacks are (this year) so I am still a little hazy on how to rig it. 
lower part off the spar seems straighforward, as well as lines that clip to that "triangle pattern" seem straightforward.  But how to rig the top of the mast as well as cleating it I still need to figure out.
I am assuming I would need a block at the top. (double block, maybe?) on acount of the hole at top of mast for halyard I assume best course of action is run a thin line through the hole and do a "luggage tag" type arrangement for the block, to keep halyard hole as clear as I can.  If so, should block go aft or forward of mast?  Also, for lashing the lazy jack line, I guess I would need an additional cleat.  Same side as halyard cleat?  somewhwere else?  Nothing seems ideal.  Lashing to existant cleat does not seem like a great idea either, as as I understand it, first you set lazy jacks, then hoist sail, then re-set lazy jacks to account for sail billowing.  Which you can't do if the halyard is cleated on top of lazy jack line.  While I am at it, I wondewr about a block for the halyard as well, as sometimes I have trouble getting the sail those last few inches up due to friction.  Also, every time I do it,I imagine the halyard sandpapering off my varnish around the hole.....

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RE: tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)


I've had lazy jacks on 2 boats now and I love how easy the made things for me. Here's what I have on my Faering Cruiser, designed by John C. Harris himself:

There are 2 blocks for the lazy jack lines, one on each side of the mast below the sail halyard block. They are screwed firmly into the side of the mast, not dangling on a line or something. There's nothing loose to sand your varnish and the lazy jacks do not pass through anything except the blocks.

The 2 lazy jack lines join on the front of the mast and are tied to the lazy jack halyard to for a y-shaped harness (just above the arrow in the picture). The lazy jack halyard runs down to the cockpit along the front of the mast.

At the front of the cockpit you have , from left to right, the downhaul, the mast, the sail halyard (red) and the lazy jack halyard (mostly covered by the mast).

The downhaul is attached to a 2:1 purchase tackle. You can see the 2 blocks , one at the base of the mast and the other attached to the boom. The lower block has an integral cam cleat to secure the downhaul once the sailor lets go.

The sail halyard is simply reeved through a block and cleated on the side of the centerboard trunk (not shown). The block performs the same function that a fairlead would, but with less friction.

The lazy jack halyard is a combination of the two. It also has a 2:1 purchase tackle, is routed through a fairlead and ends up going through a cam cleat. In the picture you can see the upper block for the lazy jack halyard tackle behind the red sail halyard. The lower block is hidden behind the mast. The line running from behind the mast to the right is the lazy jack halyard. It enters the failrlead in front of the cam cleat, turns 90 degrees to pass through the cam cleat and into the cockpit.

With this setup all I have to do to tighten the lazy jacks is pull the halyard through the cam cleat and let go. To loosen them, I just pull the halyard up and out of the cam cleat and let go. If the lazy jacks are too loose, I pull the halyard through the cam cleat again. I can do this all one-handed and do not have to wrap/unwrap any lines around cleats.

I think this addresses all your questions but I've got one more tip for you. This is my own modification to John's rig. It makes it more convenient to disconnect the boom/sail/halyard assembly and to store it in the boat without needing to unstep the mast.

At the apex of the Y for each lazy jack I added a Brummel clip.

They let me quickly disconnect the lazy jacks from their halyard which lets me store the boom/sail/yard lashed together into one assembly in the cockpit. Otherwise I would have to disconnect the lazy jacks from the boom.

Hope this helps,




RE: tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)

Thank You!  I had watched a rigging tutorial on a Scamp, and it default is rigged with lazy jacks, and it too had quick unclip design like where you put brummel hooks.  So absolutely I am going to do that.  two more questions: 1) what size line did you use?   It seems lazy jaks can be quite a bit thinner, as i gather they are not subject to the loads of a full sail, but rather more for holding boom at a certain height.   And, there are two of them, so they split the load.  Which brings me to my second question 2) how did you mate the two lines coming off the blocks on the mast to one larger line for ease of cleating?


RE: tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)

 I have a different method cribbed from Bobby’s Pathfinder. It has fewer moving parts and is possibly a bit cheaper. There is also less weight aloft. I have a Bermudan rig and my fixed lines are attached just above the shroud hounds. This can be adapted to a lug rig by running fixed lines to eye straps at the masthead.

Click the picture to imbiggen.
There are two fixed lines made off to eye straps on either side of the mast.

The other end of these lines have a hook.

This hook attaches to a little device called a ‘Shock’ made by Ronstan.

The hook clips into the open side of the Shock so it can easily be unhooked for storage and transport.

The basket is made of one continuous line made off at the forward part of the boom,

The small blue line.

reeved up through the Shock, brought down to an eye strap under the aft section of the boom,

I added a bit of HPDE from a cutting board to reduce friction.

then back up to the second Shock, from there back to a Low Friction Ring or possibly another Shock,

The light blue Dynema is attached to the eye strap on opposite side of boom.

from there to a clam cleat mounted at a location on the boom

where you can get to it easily but won’t end up hanging outside the boat when lowering sail.

Loads on your sail are very low, you’d be able to get away with all kind of devices, blocks aren’t really necessary. I mostly cobbled this together from bits left over from other projects.


RE: tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)

   You'll want to experiment with boom attachment locations, that is where the "basket" will form. You'll want the yard captured in a way that doesn't get fouled when re-raising the sail. Start with boom attach points at 1/4 from the boom ends. Tension on the basket is controlled by where the basket line is cleated off in the clam cleat so you’ll want enough line to fully accommodate the filled sail.

Reply if this is too confusing and I’ll give it another try.


RE: tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)

   Ah! yes that make a lot of sense.  It's also interesting in that it has the adjustment occursin the lower triangle vs the upper lines to the mast.   Wich coincidentally puts the cam cleat in a possibly more convenient place, possibly easier place to reach.  I coincidnetally just found out about the Ronstan shock blocks and ordered a pair, but I was expecing to put them at the masthead off a line.  I think I like your method better.  But as you say, some experimenting is in order for exact placement. 

RE: tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)

   You seem to have identified most of the pros and cons of lazy jacks Nate. I have my fixed line attach points at 'reach height'. That will limit your lower triangle size and may be the best single reason for Laszlo's method.

For a lug sail the size of ours (I also have a Northeaster Dory) maybe they aren't worth the hassle.

On Indogo, my Autumn Leaves, with 114 sq/ft of main they have drawbacks such as interfering with the sail battens. However, for that sail they are worth the trouble.

When I'm striking my Lugs'l on the dory I just grab the leach and hand it down to keep the yard from paying off into the water. The way you have your halyard set up will be a big help on that front.
Best thing to do is just fool with it until you decide.



RE: tips on retrofitting lazy jacks (on peapod in this case)


Family circumstances have kept me away from boats for a while. I'm just now getting back to being able to read and answer your questions.

The first thing that I see in your latest post is that the triangle has equal legs. Lazy jacks typically have the forward leg shorter than the aft one. The attachment point of the forward leg should probably also be closer to the mast so that the lazy jack halyard's lifitng force is focused more on the front of the boom. (See the picture in my first reply above).

I have never wanted or needed to detach the lazy jacks from the halyards on the water, only on the land. To disconnect them, I lower the halyard as far as it will go and then it's in easy reach.

Also, all the cam cleats, blocks, etc. should not be on the boom. You want them in a fixed location on the boat, not swinging out over the water when yiou need to be operating them.

There's 2 ways I've found to keep the sails from jamming while dropping them. First drop them really fast and the inertia will keep them moving instead of jamming. Second, drop them slowly and hand them down with your spare hand. It's the inbetween speeds that get stuck.

Finally, lazy jacks aren't meant to keep the yard in line with the boom. They're only meant to hold the boom up when the yard is down and to keep the sails out of the water as you're raising/lowering them.

More later once I've caught up with the rest of your posts.




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