Re: I love to learn the hard way!!!
First time out on my Pearson Triton after a quick once over I said it all "looked" good, the bobstay broke and we snapped the bowsprit in 35knots as we left an anchorage 25nm from anything. At least I knew by the time we got back that the engine was reliable.
When I changed my mail sail I didn't put lines in for the reefing points because the weather was perfect and we were only going 20 nm. A nasty and unpredicted gale rolled threw and I had to run lines and set blocks in 45 knots.
ratchet straps. they are the answer here, of course rigging your reefing before departure is the real answer, but in a failure- or your situation, ratchet straps are the "jiffyest" of jury rigged reefing- hard lesson I learned the hard way, hahaha.