That’s about the best summing up I’ve heard of the problem!
He went on to suggest that maybe looking at his boat might help. It has two halyards. One is at the peak; the other at the throat next to the mast. Using the two halyards to control the fall of the yard, you force the descent of the throat first. This has the effect of ‘brailing’ (furling the sail towards the mast). He points out that this is often seen on big gaff rigged boats such as Humber Yawls, Norfolk Wherries and Thames Barges. Once the power is out of the sail and the throat starts to descend, the peak halyard can be released in a controlled fashion as the leverage on the gaff has moved forward due to throat and sail falling. All being well, the result should be that the whole lot should fall between the lazy jacks. He does finish by saying “Well that’s the theory anyway”.
So....option one – get another halyard running......which is interesting because I’ve just discovered something on the plans which I never noticed or checked before. My mast builder put in one sheave in the mast top. On John’s plans, there are two! Oops!
Osbert has never found the lack of topping lifts to be an issue on his Walkabout balanced lug main. He always use the mizzen (and/or sea anchor) to keep her head to wind while lowering the sail and then lashes the sail, yard and boom together with the tail end of the downhaul. The thought of more lines to get tangled up in fills him with horror! Horror? Osbert my friend, you have no idea what ‘lazy jack horror’ is until you’ve been with me on Arwen!
Hajo had this to say:
He suggested I look at this link which took me to this image below:
Quite a nice simple arrangement actually.
Robin suggested this arrangement:
Yet again, my friend, and forum members come to the rescue of an amateur in all sense of the word. Thanks guys. Ho hum!! We live and learn.......and I’m a great advocator of ‘life-long learning’. I just wish, sometimes, I could learn a little less, a lot faster, with less pain and humiliation!
PS I will get around to thanking you all in person via email..when I've waded through lesson planning and 'A' level marking. I just posted this quickly as a break to save my sanity. Thanks guys.