Let me first qualify this by saying that I have limited experience and this is my first post. So here goes...I agree with everything that has been said, but I think it needs to be added that 'if you're headed down wind in a blow, go with the head sail. If you headed to weather go with the main.' (Of course you have to have a roller furling or a storm jib to do this.) My experience with this was on a chartered Beneteau 39. I put in a double reef on the outbound leg to weather. Everything went perfectly. I went with a single reef on the way back the next day. Even sheeted in with the traveler out only a foot I had so much weather helm that the rudder wouldn't hold when surfing down the waves. Had I rolled out a little headsail and left the main stowed the boat would have tracked right home (and I wouldn't have had to put on my harness and wrestle the main down in heaving seas).
I'd love to hear the forum's thoughts on this. Thanks, Bob
Last edited by bobsaxet; 10-12-2011 at 10:34 AM.