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Frequently Asked Questions
I've never heard of Jiffy Jax before. How long have you been in business?Hi. I'm Dave Taylor and I started Jiffy Jax in March of 2005. I've been a sailor for about 30 years and currently own a Vagabond 38'. I was disillusioned with all the sail flaking systems available and wanted to provide a fast, easy-to-deploy and secure system at a reasonable price! I believe that the Jiffy Jax design does exactly that. It is also very simple to install as the pictures illustrate. All components are name brand and all cutting, splicing, and assembly work is done here in the U.S. to allow fast customer response and tight quality control. I'm confident you'll be delighted with this product!
Why do you call the Jiffy Jax system "fast"?Jiffy Jax is fast due to its design. Each side has independent control lines. These lines dramatically speed up the deployment process. In fact, it takes only about 10 seconds to deploy each side prior to lowering your mainsail. Those few major brands that do retract when not in use must shift line between sides during the deployment process. This takes critical minutes - oftentimes when you can least afford them. This same speed also comes into play during stowage - a double benefit!
How does Jiffy Jax compare to the competition?With many competitors providing different approaches to sail flaking, it can be difficult to do a direct comparison. Retractable lazy jack systems provide, in our opinion, the best value-per-dollar flaking methodology. The Jiffy Jax system, due to its unique design, offers the following key advantages over other lazy jack systems:
• retractable - sail chafe is eliminated and no sail cover modifications are required
• custom made for your boat - get the mainsail support you need with 2,3,4,5 or 6 support lines per side
• cockpit deploy option - for singlehanding and safety
• a faster deployment methodology with independant lines on port and starboard
• a more secure system with higher rising (approx. 30%) support lines
• a more flexible and easy boom mounting system with eyestraps mounted on each side of the boom
• an elimination of support line droop achieved with drawback hooks through which all support lines "slide"
• a great "value per dollar" pricing structure.
When it comes to other types of systems - Maintamer, Stackpack, Dutchman, in-mast or in-boom furling, we believe that lazy jack type sail flaking systems are a much better value per sailing dollar spent. They are simple, easy to install, cost effective and a very effective solution to the sail reefing/stowing activity.
Will the Jiffy Jax system work with a loose footed main?Yes. Jiffy Jax support lines attach near the bottom of the boom, lie securely along the boom while in the stowed mode, and will not interfere with the belly formed along the foot of a loose footed main while underway. Once deployed, Jiffy Jax will easily gather the loose-footed main onto the boom.
Will the Jiffy Jax system work for a trailer sailer?Yes. We provide an optional halyard snap hook which allows a trailer sailer to quickly de-couple the halyard line from all of the support lines. Thus, when the boom is detached from the main, the halyard line is stowed with the main while all support lines stow with the boom.
Will the Jiffy Jax lines interfere with my jiffy reefing system?No. Stowing alongside the boom and alongside the mast, the Jiffy Jax support lines will not hinder your reefing efforts. In fact, you may wish to deploy them prior to reefing for more securely bringing down the main to the appropriate reefing points.
What's the straight scoop on the disadvantages of your system?First - Jiffy Jax will not straighten out and exactly flake the sail. After it's lowered and on the boom, you will usually have to provide some finishing touches prior to putting on the sail ties. Second - mast mounted cheek blocks mean that the halyard lines lie flush along the mast. Line slapping on the mast may need to be addressed - usually by more tightly cinching the system down in the stowed position. Third - you may damage the system if you allow it to support the full weight of the boom and sail - you must use your topping lift to support the boom and sail!
For mast mounted systems, how probable and serious is line slapping?Our customers tell us it is either a non-existent problem or a minor one at most. Using a short piece of shock cord and a sturdy security hook, the system is designed to cinch up in an "L" configuration very taut against the boom and mast - thus avoiding line slap in all but the strongest breeze.
Under what circumstances do you recommend spreader mounted blocks and nylon thimbles?This is primarily a personal choice matter. That said, we typically recommend spreader mounted blocks for boats with partial battens - to provide a bit wider sail gathering capability during sail lowering or reefing. Regarding rings vs. thimbles, we typically recommend rings since they are virtually bulletproof and cannot "escape" from the eye they are woven into. Thimbles, however, do look a bit more bristol, and the nylon variety will minimize any possibility of spar finish damage. When all is said and done, it really is a personal choice matter.
Is the Jiffy Jax system strong enough to support the weight of a large sail with only ¼” line?Absolutely. Since the sail is only supported laterally, ¼” line is more than adequate to support the sail. In fact, even the ¼” cheek blocks can support up to 1200 pounds each. However, it is a very bad idea to use the Jiffy Jax support lines as a topping lift! Do not allow the full boom and sail weight to be supported by the Jiffy Jax system!
Do you provide a cockpit deployable version of the system?Yes. If you click on the link How to Order you will see the cockpit deploy option and the component parts that comprise the kit. Since deck hardware varies boat to boat, we do not provide the blocks necessary to get the halyard line from the the foot of the mast to the cockpit. A key component of the kit is 15' of additional halyard line to reach the cockpit. If this additional 15' of halyard line per side will not be enough for you, we will supply your specified length at the rate of $.50/foot beyond the allowed 15' per side.
Are there any sailboat configurations that Jiffy Jax will not work on?So far the only sailor that regretably rejected our design was an Aussie with a classic 65' yacht featuring a gaff rig with wooden spars. With all reefing and halyard lines located on spar exteriors, adding Jiffy Jax lines would have cluttered the boom and mast too much. Other than this gentleman, we have successfully built and confirmed installation on more than 100 types of vessels in the past several years - of every size from a 26' MacGregor to a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49'.
Do you provide installation services?No. We would recommend a local rigger to do the installation if you feel uncomfortable or are unable to perform the tasks required. We do provide a thorough set of installation instructions and will provide phone or email consultation if required. We believe that if you follow the installation instructions, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to install the system. You may wish to check the Testimonials link for real customer comments regarding installation as well.
My JiffyJax saves me so much time... What should I do with all my spare time?Have you considered getting a cat? My daughter Melanie breeds amazingly beautiful Ragdoll kittens in her cattery called Riverside Rags. Ragdoll cats make wonderful pets. Check out her website at riversiderags.com.
Not surprisingly, JiffyJax sail flaking systems come highly recommended by Riverside Rags, and JiffyJax systems are preferred by 9 out of 10 Ragdoll cats. (1 of the 10 would rather just keep the boat tied up at the dock and eat mac-and-cheese.)
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