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Lazy Jack bags
Hugh Birley
13 Posts
25th February 2021 - 4:01 pm

Hello all

I want to fit a mainsail bag this year as I've found clambering about solo on the cabin top with a mouth full of sail-ties in a stiff breeze when trying to drop the main a tad uncomfortable at times. I don't really like lazy jack bags, but it might make life easier and a little safer.

I've seen a few partial photos of others who have them - was hoping someone might give me informative pics, measurements or tips about

1 where the support cords fix to the bag/packaway - what's the distance between them and where are they mounted on the bag and

2 where the support cords are run to - on the mast through side pulleys (above the spreaders?) or to the spreaders.

Then we could put it in the technical archive!!

Thanks in anticipation. 



Stephen Moorey
212 Posts
25th February 2021 - 6:13 pm

Hi Hugh,

I cant offer any advice regarding lazy Jacks Bags, but your post brought a much needed smile to my face today. Cant beat clinging on to the boom with a mouthful of ties while trying to gather the main up in a stiff breeze.

Happy Days



John Tetlow
172 Posts
2nd March 2021 - 6:06 pm

Stephen Moorey said
Hi Hugh,

I cant offer any advice regarding lazy Jacks Bags, but your post brought a much needed smile to my face today. Cant beat clinging on to the boom with a mouthful of ties while trying to gather the main up in a stiff breeze.

Happy Days




... and hoping the crew, if there is one, or you if there isn't, has belayed the mainsheet properly!  laugh

Peter Mulville
171 Posts
6th March 2021 - 10:32 am

Hi Hugh

In keeping with the levity above my Father [Jack] would rise from his grave to admonish me where I ever to fit Lazy Jacks to Viveza. He regarded them as being for lazy seamen...but he was brought up in the days when you had to climb masts to set topsails. The idea of leaving the sail cover on the boom when sailing would cause him a major difficulty...I think that would be regarded as a major crime akin to sailing with fender over the side. I was reported [somebody saw me when I borrowed the boat] for that once...and given a right dressing down.

However, especially when sailing alone, it makes things safer. In heavier weather it can be difficult to find a suitably calm spot to drop the main.   

It's a bit of a cop out but, with no direct knowledge of the things, I anonymously [my Father might be watching] wandered around the web and found a wealth of contradictory advice. I have sailed on Cabrach [now Blue Horizon] which had a full battened mainsail plus a stack pack. This worked well. There is a picture in the Gallery. You can just see the three 'ears' for the Lazy Jacks. One is in the centre of the boom and the others around a foot from the clew and the tack.

The then owner reports:  
No I didn’t tie them forward. Some people are keen to drop the stack down to the boom and tie the lazy jacks out the way forward. I don’t see the point. If the lazy jacks are set right they don’t distort the set of the main and I don’t think the extra drag is significant. Obviously if I was setting up for racing like Sea Urchin I’d clear all the cruising clutter out of the way, but that’s a whole different scene.
I really liked just being able to drop the main even on the run. With the full length battens it was tamed and didn’t even need zipping up till you were moored up. It was a little more difficult to hoist. You had to make sure the batten ends didn’t catch on the lazy jacks. 
Peter Sanders gave me a good tip. Don’t put anything like blocks or thimbles on the loops where the lazy jacks meet. They chafe the sail and are unnecessary.

There is a picture of Roquetta at anchor off St Martins Bay in the Gallery. You can clearly see that the Lazy Jacks are secured roughly evenly along the boom...i.e. the foot of the sail is divided into 4 parts. 

The general consensus seems to be that the blocks for the top of the Lazy Jacks are somewhere above the spreaders. It will probably be your sailmaker who has the final word. 

John MacMullen and Ann Musgrave
134 Posts
6th March 2021 - 10:38 am

Lazy Jacks surely?

Post corrected.  Note that this response was but a few moments after I posted. I shall leave post this up for a while to shame myself but then delete mention of my error. Peter.

John Tetlow
172 Posts
6th March 2021 - 1:11 pm

I have lazyjacks but not a stackpack.

If it is any help here are the positions of the lazyjack attachments on the boom

113, 219, 317cm measured from the after side of the mast.


The lazy jacks lead up to cheek blocks above the spreaders and then down to cleats on either side of the mast where they are belayed. This arrangement allows me to pull the lazyjacks forward when they are not needed.

David Hopkins
132 Posts
8th March 2021 - 10:07 pm

I've got bag and Jacks but my dimensions will be different due to the big rig on Draig y mor. 

Absolutely love them for the 3 am reef when you can barely keep your eyes open. 

Make sure you have enough line in the Jacks to slacken them enough to not impinge on sail shape in fact enough to pull them to the mast with the bag completely slack is best, and be careful if you get twists not to pull too hard or the line might jam in the mast block as mine did. Lesson learned! 

My main is fully battened and I do occasionally get a little hooked up when raising but it's not usually a problem, only when very roly-poly in which case I'm usually more concerned about hanging on than avoiding a hook up. 

A top Tip is to get the biggest zipper size you can for the bag with a pull chord too. Saves digging around for the zip at the end of the boom while the boat is trying to throw you overboard.

If you trawl my YouTube you will see them in use. 



(plotting course to naughty corner)

Hugh Birley
13 Posts
27th March 2021 - 2:59 pm

Thank you all for your detailed or humorous responses! I'm now getting one made so hopefully I'll be able to demonstrate safety with minimal lack of style. I'd rather not have it to be honest but as I sail mostly on my own and have experienced the sort of very rapid and unpleasant squalls that climate change is increasingly producing in the Med I'd rather not be a swimming traditionalist as my boat sails off dragging me along in my harness!

Paul Westbury
12 Posts
8th August 2021 - 4:51 pm

My first year with lazy jacks, they do help sailing alone, but in a stiff breeze blow all over the place so i try and and put a tie on or struggle to zip the bag up

Andrew McPherson
1 Posts
29th September 2021 - 7:07 pm

I`m a new Twister owner, but not new to sailing although I still wack myself in the head on the boom occasionally. That being said, I also make lazybags for a living in a sail loft so if anyone needs answers, I may be able to help. 

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