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Old 02-18-2014
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Single line reefing question

I have my single line set up exactly like this picture
Barton Marine - Tech Info - Block Systems - Single line reefing

While it is nice to think all can be run to cockpit and be handled with one line, I am finding it to be challenging. When I reef, I drop the main halyard to a marked point and then tighten on reefing line. What happens is that the luff edge tightens up very nicely but the leech does not tighten proportionately so I end up with a tight tack but the clew needs manual help to be sheeted in tight. I have been careful to get angels just as in the picture but still, once the tack is tight, clew still requires taking up about 6 inches more to be sheeted properly. I am considering going with two line system as that is essentially what I end up doing anyway. But thought I would ask here to see if I am missing something obvious. Thanks.
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Re: Single line reefing question

I should have added that one adjustment I have made to the diagram is to install blocks at the cringles instead of just running through cringles. I thought this would reduce friction and make it all work... alas. :-(
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Old 02-18-2014
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Re: Single line reefing question

You're not missing anything. 2 line reefing is better for the sail and often faster to accomplish.

Good information here reefing
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Old 02-18-2014
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Re: Single line reefing question

Single line reefing can work well, you just need to reduce the friction.

The greatest source of friction is from having a double braid line going through the cringles on the sail. There are two ways to make it better, doing both of them gives the best result. The first is using dyneema for the portion that runs through the cringles (you'll have to splice this to doublebraid where you cleat it off, or start with a dyneema core double braid and strip the cover where the line runs along the sail).

The second is using a block (or Antal-style low friction ring) instead of the cringle. An easy way to do this is to put a ring on one side of the sail, an Antal ring on the other side of the sail, and connect them with a piece of sewn webbing (sail makers call that a "dog-bone") or soft shackle. The other advantage of using a block or low friction ring is that both sides of the reefing line run on one side of the sail, they won't crush and chafe the sail when reefed.

I have single line reefing on my boat and with those two improvements it works very well. If you run your halyards back to the cockpit then I find well implemented single line reefing to make more sense then running 4 lines (vs 2 lines) back to the cockpit to support two reefs. If you run your halyard to the mast then normal jiffy reefing for the clew and a hook for the tack works great.

The rigging work for good single line reefing takes a little bit more time, but it's worth it. I think most people who say single line reefing doesn't work have never tried it when it's been rigged this way.
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Re: Single line reefing question

Tensioning both the luff and leach of the sail against the main halyard is a tall order for the single line reefing system.

I suggest lowering the main halyard past the required point, reefing the sail, then tensioning the main halyard again as the last step.

Does this give you a better set on the leech? If not, time for 2 line reefing.
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Re: Single line reefing question

I'm still "lashed to the mast", not having (yet?) run the main halyard to the 'pit. May I assume that I can reverse the line and do a 'single line reef' from the mast?
I *do* have one o'them block/track dealies on theaft end of the boom; but nevercould figger out how to rig it (too damm'd many confusticatin' leetle cluched sheaves in the neck of the boom!).
The linked pic helped a lot, and thanx for the "dog-bone" trick..sounds like it would help a lot!
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Re: Single line reefing question

The problem with single line - aside from the issue you're already having with excess friction in the system - is that you're expecting the same line tension requirement for both luff and clew - and often that's not going to be the case.. 2 line systems avoid the friction issue, leaves shorter tails in the cockpit, and allow you to easily set each at the tension they require.
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Re: Single line reefing question

Have single line reefing for first two reefs and double for third. Friction is the enemy but totally delighted with single line. Several things are important and have been mentioned.
1. use dyneema or other low friction line.
2.have blocks sewed in at both points. Can leave cringles but with blocks attached that way they won't twist and will always have the correct angle. Mainsail was built with intention of single line reefing so re enforcements done to permit it. Did have traditional cringes put in (belt and suspenders thinking).
3. try to have the least angle in your deck mounted hardware or direct runs to the line clutches. High angles increase friction significantly.
4. Pull in the reefs as you ease the halyard. Often its the totally slack loops of line flopping around that are creating unnecessary friction. That way less opportunity for twisted lines and hang ups. I can do reefs quickly with A.P. on or wheel brake with one hand on halyard and other on reef line.
5. Have Dutchman on main and have fully battened main. Sail "automatically" drops correctly. Lines don't foul and folded portion lies correctly on boom.
6. Get all pressure off main as you reef. Let it flog a bit. Ease mainsheet and head up enough for this to occur. I can reef easily on a reach if the sheet is truly let loose.

On my boat I can pull in reef by hand down to the last little bit and only need the winch to get the sail nice and flat. Think a lot of the bad press on single line reefing is due to folks not trying to eliminate friction in each part of the system. Hope that helps.
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Re: Single line reefing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
.. What happens is that the luff edge tightens up very nicely but the leech does not tighten proportionately so I end up with a tight tack but the clew needs manual help to be sheeted in tight...
Try to lift the boom with a topping lift (run to the cockpit) while you reef and than you will have control regarding the proportionality between the two lines going in. That happens (the luff going faster) because on the luff there is less pressure while the weight of the boom and the wind on the sail makes more force on the clew line.

It had worked for me on the several 2 lines systems I have used.

Regards

Paulo
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Re: Single line reefing question

Paulo is right. Adjusting topping lift is the first step.
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