Originally Posted by RichH
Usually no need to have a flattened main when deep reefed.
On the contrary, if deep reefed and flattened a sail will have little 'drive'/power for upwind work, ... especially if in big waves or very steep chop.
1. Flat sails are for 'speed sailing' in relatively flat water (think of this as a 'high gear' shape);
1a. full drafted or increased draft is for 'power' to punch through when in steep/big waves (think of this as low or lower gear shape).
The outhaul(s) can be equated to your 'gear selector' in an automobile.
To 'best' do this, adjust your outhaul to get the maximum speed from your knotmeter; otherwise, you can wind up being in high gear when you want to go 'up' a big hill. ....
(Obviously when not racing, you dont want to go very much beyond 'hull speed' in a displacement boat, etc. etc. etc.)
2. Reefing controls the amount of heeling.
Two different functions controlling two entirely different issues.
It seems like every time you post, I learn something.
After I posted about mainsail shape, I was thinking, "it was the pounding from the tall steep wave profile that sent them packing, not heel or lack of control". That was likely a function of the lightweight boat and it's flat-bottomed hull.
I wonder if my Formosa 41 with its finer clipper bow entry and full keel would have fared any better? Methinks the teeth would still be loosening from our skulls and with wife and kids aboard, at this point in our sailing career, we would have turned back earlier than they did.