Our DIY Lazy Jacks

Our new lazy jacks = complete snazziness

If we were to buy a lazy jacks kit for a boat our size we could easily spend over $350.00. Ever the DIYers, we decided we were going to save $330.00 and make our own. To be fair, we had most of the items needed to put a set of snazzy and Chance-approved lazy jacks together and only needed to buy one block and the line. Even if we had to buy all the individual parts, this project wouldn’t of cost more than $60.

I’m getting good at hauling him up the mast. We don’t have our windlass installed yet so I have to hand crank him up! He’s attached to the jib halyard and his bag of tools to the main halyard.

Lazy jacks are a set of lines that attach to your mast and help you fold or flake your sail easier when you let it down. You could easily sail without them, but for a $20 investment they will make our cruising life so much easier. The main items you need to make your own set of lazy jacks similar to the ones we made are line, small blocks, O rings or D rings, eyelets and some stainless screws.

Jason installing the blocks for our new lazy jacks

On Chance we pride ourselves on being bright, colorful and out of the ordinary. (Why else would we quit our great jobs in a bad economy and sail away?) Due to this fact we picked a lime green paracord for our lazy jacks. It screams, “Hey, look at me!” and “I know how to have a good time,” instead of “I’m plain white line, just like the rest, and I like to blend in.” Paracord is what they use when you skydive so it is absolutely strong enough for our purposes. We could of easily used 1/4″ line as well, but the store we got the line at didn’t carry it in lime green. Clearly our priorities are in line.

Where the lines attach to the D rings. Sadly you can see that our main halyard is boring white with flecks. Gross.
Look at all those colorful lines! We have lime green, bright blue, red and pink with navy specks in this shot.

The sad thing is that now that we have these new fancy lazy jacks in place I can’t use our new sail cover that I made. I was already going to have to make some adjustments for our mainsheet purchase system, but now I have more things to consider. For now, we’re just placing the cover over the sail and securing it with some fancy bungees. If that doesn’t scream “sophisticated sailing vessel” I don’t know what will. I think all I am going to to end up doing is taking out the bottom zipper and adding some straps that go under the boom until I can make us a proper sail bag someday way in the future when I have time.

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  1. You can still use your unmodified sailcover if you after snugging down the mainsail run your lazy jacks to a hook on the mast and snug down. Then your sailcover will fit as you originally cut it. We ready to sail remove the sailcover and release the lazy jacks and you are read to hoist the sail after releasing the mainsail ties…. just a thought. Bill SV Iron Jack and SV Magic, Merritt Island