Lazy Jacks are a must for single-handing your sailboat.
They take the fight out of hoisting and dousing the main. You can buy a kit to fit your boat from Harkin, www.harkin.com and CatalinaDirect www.catalinadirect.com makes their own version, or if you are a do-it-yourselfer they are relatively easy to make.
What you will need:
1. 4 eyes
2. 2 small blocks
3. 1 cleat
4. 3 lengths of 1/4 inch line
5. 1 small cheek block
6. 1 small brass snap shackle
The purpose of the brass snap shackle is to allow you to install and remove the boom without have to undue any screws. You simply undue the cleat, untie the Port-side knott and release the snap shackle.
Positioning of the first eye and the cheek block are critical. If they are too far aft then the battens will slip between the red lines and give you fits hoisting the main. If they are too far forward then the advantage of the Lazy Jacks is lost. The Main will still fall off the boom when lowered.
For the cleat at Position 6 you can use a standard cleat, a camcleat, or a clamcleat but an item that is quickly becoming my favorite is the Lance Cleat. It's an English Contraptions available in a couple of sizes from West Marine, www.westmarine.com
Lance Cleats come in green and red and are simple to install and operate. The photo at left shows the Lance Cleat in the locked position. In
Measuring from Mid-Mast the First Leg is 18" from the Mast.
The Second Leg is 54" from the Mast.
The Blocks are 60" from the bottom of the Boom. However I'm thinking of lowering the Blocks as the battens are getting stuck between the two legs.