Join Date: May 2002
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With a mainsail, your choices are to reef it or take it down. I would not recommend that you try to fabricate reef points yourself. I've never tried it with a small sail. You might be able to do it, but it would be very easy to ruin a good sail if you don't do it right.
When the wind is too strong and the mainsail can't be reefed, most people change their jib to a smaller one, flatten the sails as much as possible and ease the mainsheet in the puffs. If that isn't enough to keep the boat on its feet, then it's time to take the sails down and take her home.