Join Date: Nov 2002
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Jiffy reefing is the only way to go. You end up with a better shaped sail with a lot less effort and risk. If its not easy to reef your main you will tend to put off doing so. Make it as easy as you can to tuck a reef or two in the main and your boat will go faster.
I had a boat with a long footed main when I lived in florida. It has roller reefing and it was a real pain. We had to roll up bath towels in the center of the sail to keep the reefed sail from being too baggy.. Baggy sails contribute to heeling force.
When setting up jiffy reefing I advise against leading the reefing lines aft to the cockpit. Doing this puts all the force of the sail in the gooneck.
A good way to do it is to put sheet stoppers on the boom. Just pull the reefing lines through the sheet stopper to reef. This way all the tension of the new clew is on the boom itself.
Another trick that a friend taught me is to go to REI and buy narrow nylon webbing (like mountain climbers use) to make the nettles for your sail (lines used to tie up the excess sail when reefed.) The nylon webbing is easier to tie and untie than line.