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  #1  
Old 08-13-2007
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Reef Points

I have reef points on my sails that consist of the hole in the sail but no line or hook with with to reef the sail. The holes are fairly small in diameter (1/2 in?). What is the best material (and procedure) to use for reefing in this scenario? Is a single line for each point the best, or can one line be routed through all and secured at the ends?
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Old 08-13-2007
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Usually, there's a biggish grommet at the tack and the clew: you can run one or two lines here to get the reef in. To keep it in, you need to secure the bunt (the loose foot of the sail) and this means tying reef knots at four or five point along this part of the sail with relatively light line.

The choice of single or more reefing lines is a function of friction, the desire to not go to the mast in heavy weather, and skill set. Some have tack hooks, others don't. I prefer them, but it means a trip to the mast.
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Old 08-13-2007
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Is a single line for each point the best, or can one line be routed through all and secured at the ends?
To answer your question re: separate lines or a single line for all reef points, I believe this depends upon the size of your main. Years ago, I sailed on smaller boats which employed a single line that had to be threaded through each reef point - such as in this illustration:



This was time consuming - with the use of a separate light weight line at each grommet being much easier. Simply tie a knot at each end to keep the lines from falling out.

My current boat has hooks like Valiente's and a single line at the clew end led through sheaves inside the boom, and down to the mast base. I don't use any lines at the reef points, since when the main is reefed, the lazy jacks hold the excess sail against the boom.
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Old 08-13-2007
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I think he is referring to the reefing point for securing the foot... and gather up the sail on the boom. No?

What I have is a bunch of 1/4" line with a small bowline which I pass through the reef points under the boom and then use the bowline as a loop to cinch up the sail and tie it off with a few hitches. I don't leave them in for sailing but tie off the foot after the reef is set. So they are kept handy.

jef
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Old 08-13-2007
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I think he is referring to the reefing point for securing the foot... and gather up the sail on the boom. No?
That's what I thought Bardo meant. Illus. C - shows the excess sail secured by the single line connecting all reef point grommets.
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Thats right. your illustration and explanations make it very clear. I will set that rig up soonest. Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2007
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Just some things to keep in mind: The reef points are only meant to secure bunt of the sail from flogging about when the reef is tucked in. Don’t try to shape the sail with the points! The points won’t handle the strain and the sail will become stretched out and possibly tear. Also, if possible, don’t make the points around the boom. Make them around the foot of the sail only. If your sail uses a boltrope that slides into the boom track, you won’t be able to avoid this.
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Old 08-13-2007
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Also, make sure you untie any of the reefing point tie lines before trying to shake out a reef...or you're probably going to tear the sail.

IMHO, you don't generally need to tie in the reefing points unless you're going to be reefed for an extended period of time. If you're just reefing for a brief summer thunderstorm, I wouldn't bother tieing off all the reef points.

I would recommend using a single line for each point, rather than the one long continuous line, since it will generally be easier and faster to tie them off with individual lines. A short piece, 4-6' of 1/4" line (or a bit longer depending on the size of the sail, boom and whether you have a boltrope foot on the mainsail) passed through the reefing point, with a stopper knot tied on either side of the mid-point to hold it in place would do the trick nicely.
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Old 08-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirateofcapeann View Post
Just some things to keep in mind: The reef points are only meant to secure bunt of the sail from flogging about when the reef is tucked in. Don’t try to shape the sail with the points! The points won’t handle the strain and the sail will become stretched out and possibly tear. Also, if possible, don’t make the points around the boom. Make them around the foot of the sail only. If your sail uses a boltrope that slides into the boom track, you won’t be able to avoid this.
Very important advice that I learned the hard way. I tore the sail at a tie point, although it wasn't loose-footed and I had to go around the boom. The sail may have torn anyway since it was pretty worn and unrepairable; new loose-footed main is on the way.

For the original poster - my original main had two tie points, with a foot or so of 3/8" line knotted on each side to keep it in place.
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Last edited by phallo153; 08-13-2007 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-13-2007
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My main is loose footed, So I won't have to secure the sail to the boom. I read the articles which describe the process as well, but after I posted (as usual). Its so much more interesting to hear all the different approaches from the salty dawgs. Thanks!
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