Faster and Sailingdog thanks for your excellent responses and advice.
I realize I have 2 choices. One is to handle the reefing right on the boom and the other is to run lines back. Technically the leech line is currently led aft. Just not very elegantly. I also realize that Sailingdog’s advice is very sound keeping everyone in the cockpit, faster, and simpler, etc. But I do love to go forward in a blow and check things out. Plus I sail a monohull which means when I’m at hull speed Sailingdog is well into double digits and living it up! He probably covers 2-3 miles in the time it taks me to reef.
Damn, you must be exceptionally slow at reefing...no wonder you need a new setup... it takes me at least eight minutes to go two nautical miles...
Faster I am ordering a Gauhauer rigid boom vang. I have wanted one for going down wind plus I’d love to lose the toping lift. Whenever we head downwind I run a line from the boom to the bow and then aft to act as a preventer. This works real well. I would seriously consider running everything aft but I hate to go to too much trouble because in a season or two we will be upsizing because the kids are getting much larger.
The Garhauer gear rocks...
However, I think a boombrake is safer than a preventer. A preventer can cause problems in a bad gybe where the boom is pinned and the boat will get knocked down... a boom brake tends to avoid those same situations, since the boom can move...just not quickly enough to injure anyone.
If I do decide to run lines aft how do I get sheaves inside the boom? I assume you have to make cutouts. Is there any way to be sure this will not weaken the boom too much? Or should I just shop for a new one. If I decide to keep the action up by the gooseneck is there a special mounting plate to put a winch on the boom or is this a metal shop issue?
Depends on the boom in question. Many have end castings with sheaves in them already. Many can be retrofitted to be this way... others require hacking and cutting.
As for the mounting plate—you can make one out of aluminum, have a machine shop make it up or make one up out of thickened epoxy. The thickened epoxy route isn't too hard to do. If you can, through-bolt rather than drill, tap and then use machine screws. Through-bolting is much stronger.
Thanks once again for your help and advice. I will be reading the links so I can learn to use this forum better. And I plan to check out the reefing links this evening.
Glad to help. If you have more questions, let us know.