Also, make sure you untie any of the reefing point tie lines before trying to shake out a reef...or you're probably going to tear the sail.
IMHO, you don't generally need to tie in the reefing points unless you're going to be reefed for an extended period of time. If you're just reefing for a brief summer thunderstorm, I wouldn't bother tieing off all the reef points.
I would recommend using a single line for each point, rather than the one long continuous line, since it will generally be easier and faster to tie them off with individual lines. A short piece, 4-6' of 1/4" line (or a bit longer depending on the size of the sail, boom and whether you have a boltrope foot on the mainsail) passed through the reefing point, with a stopper knot tied on either side of the mid-point to hold it in place would do the trick nicely.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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