Reefing Question - SailNet Community

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Old 05-27-2008
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Reefing Question

Hello All,
I have had no experience with reefing a mainsail. I have read and seen diagrams on it and was wondering about one aspect of it where the cringel (clew) line come back to a block on the boom near the gooseneck and then down to a cleat on the mast. Doesn't the line that travels from the boom to the cleat on the mast restrict the travel of the boom? It would seem so to me. Or should the boom travel be naturally limited since you want to be close-hauled?
Anyway thanks in advance for you input.
I think this may be my 10th post so now I can PM USPIRATE for a higher resolution picture of his deckhand.
Stu
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Old 05-27-2008
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Lines from the boom are rarely cleated on the mast for the very reason you have noticed. It is probably rigged wrong.
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Old 05-27-2008
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Lines that come off of the boom at the mast are at the pivot point and don't restrict the movement of the boom. if it was farther out it would start to restrict. I hope this helps and i have understood your question?
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Old 05-27-2008
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Stu-

Might be worth mentioning what boat you have, since this may be normal for your boat.
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Old 05-27-2008
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Alas, I own no boat. I do sail as member of a sailing club here is San Diego. I have taken a shine to the PSC Dana 24 however, and I was looking at a rigging quide that shows, for single handed set-up, the reef lines coming off the boom, down to a block at the mast step and then back to the cockpit. In reviewing the diagram, it (the cringle line) does show the non single handed setup as cleating to the boom. The cunningham line does cleat at the mast, but I understand that this should not interfere with boom travel.
reef diagr on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Hopefully the link works and is clear enough to show the single-hand setup from the boom to block at mast step.
Thank you.
Stu

Last edited by Stu01; 05-27-2008 at 09:30 PM. Reason: forgot link
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Old 05-27-2008
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They are talking about two different methods of reefing. Method #1, what you refer to as "non single handed setup", goes from a tie down on the boom, up through a grommet in the leech of the sail, down to a turning block on the boom, forward to a cleat. There will be a hook on the boom, and you will lower the main to the first reef point, put the hook in the cringle on the main to secure the luff of the sail. You then pull in on the leech reef line. The leech reef line acts as a replacement outhaul and also effectively creates a new sail foot.

The other reef method - referred to by you as "Single handed set-up", runs the leech reef line back to the cockpit. An additional form of this replaces the hook on the boom with a pre-run line through the first reef cringle on the luff of the sail, through a block at the base of the mast and back to the cockpit. With this method you can reef both the leech and the luff without having to go forward (which is how my boat is set up).

A third type is single line reefing, which is fine for smaller boats but gets worse (with friction) as boat size increases. This method runs a line all the way from the leech reef point forward through the luff reef point and down, then back to the cockpit. You pull on one line and you get a reef. It's a long line making many turns, so I'm sure you can see how friction can get nasty.
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Old 05-27-2008
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Labatt's descriptions are pretty good... the first is for at the mast slab/jiffy reefing. The second is for two-line reefing at the cockpit, the third is for a single line reefing system. However, of the two latter systems, two-line reefing is much better, since it gives you much more control over the sail shape by having separate reefing tack and clew controls.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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