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Old 08-07-2008
mxtommy mxtommy is offline
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Setting up for easy single handed reefing

Hi!

I have a quick question. Currently my boat has little in the way of making my life as a mostly single handler easy. That said I'm looking into options to help me raise/lower/reef the main, but am unsure about which method is the best. Basically from what I see I have 2 options.

1) Install lazy jacks, and lead lines aft to the cockpit. Use two line reefing also led back to the cockpit.

Pro:
- Don't have to go on deck to raise / lower / reef main (good cause it keeps me close to the wheel, and I don't have an autopilot)
- Relatively simple setup. (by simple I mean there's no complicated mechanical "things" to get broken that can't easily be replaced.)

Con:
- Would have to be creative to fit all the hardware beside the companionway. I don't have a lot of space there.
- Haven't really looked into prices, but risks being a bit pricey (clutches, turning blocks, etc). Currently there's not really anything related to reefing installed on the boat, and no lines are led aft.

Also a quick question or two about this, to lower the main, do you need another line to "pull" it down? While my main doesn't catch on anything, I usually have to help it down a bit when lowering at the mast. Also for the reefing lines, my main has two reefing points. Do people normally rig both sets? or just the first one and then do something else for the second?

2) My other option is boom roller reefing. (I believe that's what it's called anyways) The wooden boom on my boat is capable of rotating, rolling up the sail around it's outside.

Pro:
- would allow for pretty fast (and variable) reefing.
- Everything I need is more or less already there (though I am missing the winch handle for it, I can more or less easily obtain one)

Con:
- It's a bit complicated. If something broke on it I wouldn't be able to fix it myself.
- Related to the previous point, it's really old. I seriously doubt I could find OEM replacement parts. Might get expensive having parts machined, if it can be done at all.
- No way to lead the control for the boom rotation to the cockpit, so need to go on deck.

I'm sure you guys can think of other pro's and cons. I'm just looking to see if anyone has experience with one or the other (or even better, both) and can swing me one way or the other. This is the next priority on my boat, as right now it's a big chore to raise/lower the main by myself.

Thanks all!

Thomas
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