A couple of follow-up questions...
I had a chance to use the second reef point in my main two weekends ago (amazing how a 26' boat can still feel safe in 30+knots). I use a tack hook on the boom for the luff of the sail. On my first reef, the clew line runs from a rinky-dink little cleat on the port side at the aft end of the boom through the clew and down to a (well worn, loose and chipped) block on a slider track on the starboard side. This is nice because when I use the first reef the sail flakes nicely to port side and the reefing line does not chafe the sail. For the second reef point, I tied a line on a second block on the slider track, wraped it under the boom and through the second reefing clew back down to the block to be tightened. This worked 'okay' but when it was all tightened down, the clew was sitting on my tightly crumpled main sail. I felt bad doing that to my main.
It seems to me that if I run the second reefing line from the aft end of the boom, then the sail would not bunch up under the clew and I could pull it tight right down to the boom.
The majority of the advice I've gotten/read about, is to tie a bowline around the boom (or to the becket/block on the other side). So, does this mean that when you reef your main, the sail is crumpled up under the clew?
I've bought a used (but in excellent condition) main sail for our boat. I haven't used it yet, but it's so crisp and nice compared to what we have now that I can't imagine crumpling it up under the clew, especially in high winds, i.e high chafe. It also does not have gromets to tie the reefing line to the boom (it has a bolt rope in the foot).
I'm leaning toward running both reefing lines from the end of the boom, through the clews and down to blocks - I'm looking for someone to tell me that this is a bad idea, in-case I've overlooked something...
Next question; I can attach the new hardware to the end of the boom with bolts and nuts on the inside of the boom by taking the end cap off to gain access. But, What about the hardware toward the middle of the boom? Should I use SS rivets, or drill and tap? How thick should the boom be - at a minimum - for me to consider tapping for fasteners?
I've abandoned the idea of running the lines aft in favor of setting up a proper outhaul and safe slab reefing system. Harken recomends 40mm Carbo cheek blocks and H137 eyestraps. For the cheek blocks, can two 3/16th SS rivets or two tapped bolts really support the forces of reefing lines and an outhaul?
Would two 1/4 inch SS rivets holding the H137 eye strap be able to hold the forces to secure the ends of reefing and outhaul lines?
Thanks again for your time!