Maintaining head to wind
I looked at some pictures of H17''s on the www and can''t see any reason why this would not work. If you go under "seamanship" and "what is slab reefing" I posted a procedure for jiffy reefing that should work on your H17. I note that the mast is stepped in the cockpit and not on the deck, that''s in your favor when scrambling to get the reef tack secured, you''re down lower. Can''t say much more except to try it out. If you capsize and are getting ready to right it, it will be very important to grab the painter and get the bow head to wind before attempting to right it, or indeed, it will try to sail off without you. It''s a very pretty boat, I am sure you''ll get off the learning curve in a hurry and have alot of fun with her.