Originally Posted by capttb
Thank you, I didn't understand how you'd lower the main while it was still under a load.
Sorry, about the 'dogbone' slang. Dogbones are the strops with D rings on each side and which pass through the reef cringles. A lot of mainsails have these when there are ram hooks for reefing on the boom. I have a line which starts below the gooseneck, runs through a shackle on it's side of the gooseneck, through the D ring, back through a guide shackle on the other side of the boom, down to the deck and back to a halyard lock at the cockpit.
This effectively acts as a low mechanical advantage cunningham. There is not much load on the luff except at the very end of tensioning the luff. On my 38 footer with a roughly 400 s.f. mainsail, I have been able to reef on a deep reach in winds approaching 30 knots without using a winch. I ultimately adjust the final luff tension with the halyard after 'two-blocking' the tack. If I had a bigger boat, I would probably rig something like a 4:1 or 6:1 cunningham tackle for each reef to still be able to reef easily.