Originally Posted by capttb
Sorry, can't get past this part, how do you reef without pointing into the wind ?
I almost never head up to reef on. Flogging the sails just puts unnecessary wear and tear on the sails and rigging.
My boat has a two line reefing system with all lines run back to the cockpit. Reefing is pretty easy on almost all points except essentially dead downwind, where there is a lot of friction. The way that works is that I have my main halyard marked for the reef and slack it to the mark. There is a 2:1 downhaul on the dogbone on each tack cringles for the reefs and that line can ususally be tensioned without a winch, and sets up the luff tension. The reef clew lines usually go slack and be mostly tensioned with hand tension, and only the last 6-8 feet ground out on the winch. Its surprisingly fast.
I personally consider it critical to safety to be able to reef on the fly. There are times when you are overcanvased at deep angles that it will be tough on the boat and all aboard to head up before you reef.