reef line set up
I have a question concerning the proper set up of a reef line (on a mainsail). Currently, on my boat there is an steel ring on the boom where the line is attached then goes through an eye on the sail and onto a block on the boom and finally the cleat on the boom.
Now, on the side of the ring there is a fat knot on the line with the obvious purpose to stop the course of the line through the eye. Thus when the line is tensioned, there is no force exerted on the ring. The block takes it all.
Now, I can understand that as I have doubts regarding the strength of that ring (not part of the boom, a screwed in fitting). However it seems like an unreasonable set up. If the ring is not doing anything why have it there in the first place? Also wouldn't having the block take all the load create side forces that could damage the block?