Reefing - I have a mainsail with three sets of reefs.... Alternatively, if I used cheek blocks with beckets, and placed them behind the clews, I'd have problems keeping the clew held down to the boom, correct?
Topping lift - I was thinking of putting a small block on the end of the SS cable and a small camcleat at the end of the boom. Then I'd just use a small line to manually adjust the boom height and loosen the topping lift when I start to sail, leaving it loose until I drop the main. For those of you with an easily adjustable topping lift - do you find it to be a very useful feature?
Lines led aft - The area I can't quite get my mind wrapped around is the lines coming off the boom... So say I want to run an outhaul and two reefing lines for the reefing clews back to the cockpit. Getting the lines running toward the mast seems simple enough, but what about the downturn? Suppose the lines arenít internal, they're running alongside the boom, what hardware do I use to make the downturn? How do I avoid interfering with the Boomvang? And - I've always wondered this - when the boom is pointing directly aft, won't the tension on the lines be different (increase/decrease) as it swings to the side?
Thanks for reading!
Reefing:using blocks with beckets should work fine. Adjust the position of the blocks so you get the right flattening of the foot when the reef clew is trimmed down to the boom, in general as long as the pull is aft it should work out OK. You should be able to trim the clew right to the foot - be sure to release the vang before. Run the reefing line under the boom and terminate to the becket with a bowline. The third reef is a trysail-alternative, don't worry about it until you head offshore.
Don't worry about adjusting the topping lift, ideally you wont need to and shouldn't. Figure out how long the lift need sto be so the main carries the boom closehauled, i.e the lift has some slack in it. When you drop the main, if the boom is not drooping into the cockpit, you can permanently set this lift length and forgetabout it for the season. If the boom droops too low, you need an adjustable lift. Be sure you never fail to ease it when you raise the main or you will put the boom at risk.
As to running the lines back, that is a nice feature, but IMHO over-rated, you might sort out what you have, get it working and re-assess after a season the value to you of the lines aft. The challenge is the turning blocks on the boom, at the base of the mast, followed by deck organizer, stoppers and winches.