Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-22-2013
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Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

Hello all,

I'm pondering some rig changes for this winter. My goal is to make this boat a bulletproof cruiser, able to handle most anything. The boat is a 1961 28' Pearson Triton

I currently have three reef points in the main. Unfortunately I don't have the dimensions of them at this point and can't put the main up at the moment, but the first one is approx 20" up and I think the second is about the same. The third one is quite extreme, maybe half the length of the sail.

I have jiffy reefing for the first and second reefs. Currently I don't have a reefing line for the third reef. I've never been tempted to use it at this point, but I'd like to be able to. I did make the outhaul for the main long enough that it should be able to make it to the third reef. I figured I could use that plus a sailtie around the boom if need be.

In everything up to a medium breeze (maybe 13 knots) the boat balances beautifully under full main and working jib. After that, weather helm starts building up quickly. I end up reefing pretty early and the boat will balance under working jib and reefed main. My issue is that generally if I end up taking in the first reef, I'll end up taking the second one shortly after that.

So I'm pondering dumping the first reef entirely and moving that block to the third reef. I could also install an additional reefing line for the third reef, but I'm concerned about increasing the amount of spaghetti in the cockpit and increased fouling of the mainsail.

Pros of dumping the first reef:
If I actually do need the third reef, it's likely to be in a situation that I don't want to get the main outhaul off the main and attach it to the third reef. Also, without a reefing line on the third reef I don't have any of the downhaul action from the reefing line to help get the sail back to the boom (this is also an argument for just installing a third reef line)

Cons:
I'd lose the first reef...the 2nd reef is pretty deep. There is probably a good window of wind speed where the 1st reef is going to be helpful.

Unforunately I have limited pictures of the boat sailing or with the main up. This is a picture of me sailing with the 2nd reef taken in and full jib.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Paul
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

Getting rid of the first reef seems to be a bad solution..
how often will you need the third reef?

If you make the reefing lines for the first reef so long that you can move it up to third when necessary.
That way you can decide before setting out on a trip the reefs you want to have rigged.
1 & 2 for most days
2 & 3 for longer crossings or expected bad weather.

I would prefer to have all three reefs - but I don't know what changes you need to do to get that on your boat.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

How likely is it that you'll find your self needing that 3rd reef without warning? Setting up the main with all 3 sets of reeflines gets to be a bit messy and can impede the hoist.

I think, in practical terms, keep reefs 1 and 2 ready to use, have at least one of the reeflines long enough to run through #3, keep an ear to the forecasts. If 3rd reef conditions are imminent, set that up before you go, or at least before those conditons arrive. I think jumping to reef #2 as a starting point might be severe, esp if the need for reef 3 is as rare as it's been to date.

Using say, reef1's outhaul/clew line will mean you'll need a way to bring it the 3rd reef clew down to the boom to be efficient; a sail tie, simple lashing, or a velcro clew strap would be effective but ensure it's sufficiently strong. Reef 1 is the logical one to have ready for #3 because chances are #2 is already tied in...

All that said, with todays' strong lines you may be able to go small enough that the windage and inconvenience of 'all those lines' is reduced and might get away with all 3 ready to go.

EDIT:.. cross posted with Knute, who uses fewer words!
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

This is a common problem with folks that think a third reef is the cruising answer to a storm. But how the hell do you rove the third reef in a storm?

When I had my new main cut I had them put in a very deep second reef.

Most of the worlds trade winds are Force 5 or 6 so you want to be able to handle 25 knots easily. Then the next wind strength you get is quite a jump (in trade winds) to over 30 knots.

So I would keep your first reef as it is as long as it can do with 25 knots and then go straight to your third reef as you dont need sail on a 28 footer in 30+ knots of wind.

So scrub reef point 2 imho.

Mark
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

Nice boat! I agree about keeping reef 1 and 2, and leaving 3 as-is for now. Unless you are considering going offshore any time soon. You said that a problem was weather helm - I don't know your experience level, so please forgive me here, but should you first consider your sail trim/sail plan?

Although a different situation, I sail into the high 20's windspeed without a third reef. I do this by playing with the sail trim, and if needed furling the jib. Sometimes (pointing) the main traveller is way down, and the main out/luffing slightly, as I depower the main and let the jib do most of the work.

Just a thought.
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
This is a common problem with folks that think a third reef is the cruising answer to a storm. But how the hell do you rove the third reef in a storm?

When I had my new main cut I had them put in a very deep second reef.

Most of the worlds trade winds are Force 5 or 6 so you want to be able to handle 25 knots easily. Then the next wind strength you get is quite a jump (in trade winds) to over 30 knots.

So I would keep your first reef as it is as long as it can do with 25 knots and then go straight to your third reef as you dont need sail on a 28 footer in 30+ knots of wind.

So scrub reef point 2 imho.

Mark
I agree with you that planning on threading in reef 3 when you already have pulled in two reefs is a little bit optimistic.

With three reefs and two reefing lines you need to select the reefs to prepare before you set sail.

Which one's you select is depending on where you are going.

I have three reef points in the main and there sets of two line reefs.
But the way we use the boat we seldom need reef 3, we only thread the lines for reef 3 when we plan longer offshore runs.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

Sully-
You have cringles in the sail at the 3rd reef position, yes?

What you can do, is take a 3-4' piece 1/2" line, or something similar, and tie a simple overhand or stopper knot about halfway in it. Put a bit of heat shrink or neatly wrap the ends of the line. Now, when you think a 3rd reef might be necessary, you drop the sail (or before you even hoist, if you're starting out) you put one line through each cringle, and tie a second knot on the "free" side. Hoist away and leave it there, let the line flog around.

When you need the third reef, you just drop the sail till that point and secure the lines under the boom. A slipped square knot or whatever you are comfortable with. Cheap, simple, fast. Once you figure out something more elegant, you can worry about it.
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

i dumped the 1st reef,on my offshore suit,the 1st reef does not do much ,the 3rd reef does
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

I had a workable solution that retains three reefs without the long third line being a pain:
1. sew a small loop in the working end of the first reefing line.
2. use some light small stuff to secure a messenger line between the second and third reef clews (run it up and back, secure to itself).

Use reefs 1 and 2 as you do now. Assuming you are under sail, when you want reef 3, be sure to start by setting reef 2, then:
1. untie the working end of reefing line 1, untie the messenger, and secure these two,
2. using the other end of the messenger, pull reefing line 1 up through reefing clew 3 and back down to the boom, then secure it around the boom.
4. You can now set your third reef.

Assuming you keep the main trimmed while you do this exercise, you should be able to do it safely in 90 seconds or so, just dont fall overboard.
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Should I dump my first reef so I can get to the third - Pearson Triton/Cruising

If you are describing the scenario accurately and if I understand it properly there is another way.

Run your existing two reef lines through the second and third reefs. If you need the first reef, ease the main halyard, move the outhaul to the first reef clew cringle, and tie the cringle to the boom with a sail tie. Second and third reef will work as you would like. Give it a season and see what you think. Is it worth three sets of reef lines in or on your boom (that's my solution but may not be yours)? Or is this expedient adequate for your needs?
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