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post #9 of Old 10-04-2006
hellosailor
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Mike-
On reefing, the best advice I've ever been given was "If you're thinking that maybe you should reef...YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY DONE IT."

Most of us don't realize that the boat will be faster, as well as drier, by reefing before you think you need to. And, of course, reefing will be faster and safer in lower wind.

Often your polars (you can usually get polars from other owners, or from USSA) will show that you should drop from a 150 to a 100, and/or put the first reef in the main, in speeds as low as 12-14 knots. Yes, sometimes it really is that low and you can pick up speed by doing it. (I don't know about your boat, just generalizing.)

If you can't get polars, experiment. Reef and unreef, get practiced at it, and compare boat speeds and wind speeds.
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