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Dutchman Sail Flaking System

How the Dutchman Sail Flaking System Works

  • The Dutchman Sail Flaking System uses vertical control lines laced through fairleads in the sail. The lines are attached to the topping lift and at the base of the sail, and don’t move.
  • The sail slides up and down on the lines like a Roman shade. As you drop the sail, the lines guide the main down to alternate sides of the boom. A few seconds straightening, and you’re done. One person can perfectly flake pretty much any size sail in under 20 seconds. Many owners don’t even bother with sail ties.

Easy to reef

Dutchman Sail Flaking System
  • Offshore sailors particularly like how easy it makes reefing. The system collects the sail on the boom with no need to tie in the intermediate reef points. If you lines are led aft, you can reef entirely from the cockpit.
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Let Dutchman flake your main. You’ve got more important things to do!

The Dutchman Works with All Sails

  • The "Dutchman" works with conventional or full-batten sails, and can be easily retrofitted to an existing main.
  • There is no effect on sail shape.
Dutchman Sail Flaking System

The Advantage Over Lazy Jacks

The sail can’t get caught on the Dutchman lines is it is raised or lowered. Lazy jacks catch all the time. Lazy jacks were developed for gaff or junk rigs, which the Dutchman can't work with. With such rigs, the leech is always behind the jack lines, so they never catch the sail. Many people find it annoying that lazy jacks always catch the leech as you raise and lower a modern sail, even if you're head to wind. Imagine hoisting the sail between a web of lines about one foot apaart, with the leech moving back and forth. No wonder it catches.

There’s no need to head into the wind to raise, lower, or reef the sail. Just let the sail luff. The Dutchman lines pass through the fairleads in the sail every 2 to 3 feet, so they can’t chafe the sail.

Dutchman Effortless Flaking with no need for sail ties

The Dutchman tabs automatically slacken the control lines after the sail is raised. Adjust it once and you’re done. Lazy jacks have to be adjusted or moved forward and back every time you raise and lower the sail.

More importantly, the Dutchman works better with today's stiffer sails. Lazy jacks were fine with the soft sails of 30 years ago that you rolled up, but do not offer enough space between the lines to make nice, big, loose folds with today's stiffer sail fabrics.

The Dutchman is inconspicuous, with no noise, chafe, catching or performance loss. Your sail lasts longer. More than 20,000 systems sold in 14 years.

Easier to use.
Easier on your sails.

Any Performance Loss?

Performance loss is par with adding a flag halyard.

The control lines are about 2mm (1/16th inch) in diameter, and the “hole” in the sail is really a vertical slit just wide enough for the control line to pass through.

There is virtually no performance loss.

Dutchman Sail Flaking System

Any chafe?

When you raise the sail, the Dutchman tabs sewn to the base of the sail stand up, lessening the control lines. When the sail is dropped, it pushes down on the tabs, tightening the control lines. There’s no adjusting needed, unlike lazy jacks, which need a lot of messing with.

Dutchman Control Lines

How Do I Reef?

Use normal slab or jiffy reefing. However, since the Dutchman holds the sail on the boom, you don't need to tie off the intermediate reef points (the ones in the middle of the sail). Many owerns, especially those who sail offshore, comment on how much easier this makes the reefing. Of course, it helps that the sail is not flogging itself all over the deck!

Reefing with the Dutchman Sail Flaking System

What About the Sail Cover?

Most owners modify their existing cover by adding vertical zippers that run up one side. Be sure you sailcover fits loosely. A tight cover makes sharp creases, which will shorten your sail's life.
Dutchman Sail Cover

For more information or to order a Doyle Dutchman: