Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Lake Minnetonka (near Minneapolis, Minnesota)
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Your mainsail should have a three foot piece of rope attached along the lower part of the luff, which is external to the sail's luffrope. The track slides on this part of the sail are on the external rope, not the luffrope. When you lower the sail, the external rope hangs lose allowing the material containing the reef tack to hang down as far as the reef hook, permitting the hook to be properly attached. The sail should have been cut with a external rope tail like such.
This is IIRC a jack line. Any sailmaker should be able to add one to your sail. Or you can go up to the mast, remove the sail track stop, lower the sail to your reef points, removing the offending slides as you go, and then put the sail stop back in. This kind of takes the "jiffy" out of "jiffy reefing."
The best solution IMHO is to get rid of the sail track stop completely. You can fabricate a piece of aluminum to partially close off the gate (wide spot that you feed the slugs in.) The idea is to make the slot in this portion of the mast the same width as in the rest of the mast and keep the slugs from falling out when the sail is lowered. This allows the slugs to drop all the way down to the boom and simplifies reefing. (You attach this aluminum plate with a couple of screws after the slugs are inserted into the mast; you remove it at the end of the season when you take the sail off.)
Chiquita - 1974 Macgregor Venture of Newport 23
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