Reefing the Main - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-27-2008 Thread Starter
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Reefing the Main

Anyone have any ideas how to explain reefing the sail to a new sailor? I have read about how to do it on our website, but cant seem to understand how exactly to do it. This is my next step in my sailing beginnings. I have a san juan 23 if anyone needs to know. If anyone has a good website with pictures, that woudl be great. Thanks,

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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Of course the main reason is to make the sail smaller.

My sail has a cringle (2 inch metal ring) on the luff and leach.

I have a reefing line running from the boom up and through the leach cringle and back down to a block then to a cleat on the boom.

To reef, I lower that sail and hook the front (luff) cringle onto a hook at the gooseneck, where the boom attaches to the mast, then thighten up the mail halyard.

I then pull on the leach reefing line to tighten up the foot and act as the outhaul.

The smaller "strings" on the sail are tied around the loose foot of the sail to keep it from flapping around.

HTH
Chris

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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the icing on the cake

To add to an almost perfect response to your question --

When you shake the reef (remove it) you do it in the opposite order:
  • remove the "strings"
  • release the reefing line that holds down the leech
  • lower the main until you can disengage the cringle from the ram's horn
  • retension the main
Most of all, practice this several times at the mooring or in a very slight breeze. Don't wait until you need to do it to practice.

Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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And you will find on the mooring that you've most likely rigged the ropes every so slightly wrong and it takes forever to work out! Don't find that out being blown onto a lee shore!

Hi, i'm restoring my old quarter tonner on a budget! Read my blog if your interested!

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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I have found that, if you release a little pressure on the main sheet and the boom vang (if you have one) before you reef the main sail, you will have better sail shape once you retighten the main sheet and boom vang after you have reefed.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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You need to better describe how your boat is set up (including the Main). Is your boom set up with internal blocks where the boom meets the mast and at the end of the boom? Are you set up to run all lines aft to the cockpit, or do you have to go to the mast? Does your main have eyelets built into the sail? Should be 2 in line with each other equal-distant from the luff and the leech, and do you have two reef points?

If you aren't set up with the internal boom blocks, then you need to "reef early and often." have at least 6 quality long length sail ties on board, and simply lower the main to the reefing points, run the sail ties through the points and tie them off (assuming you know which tie to do).

If you want to see a technical diagram, look through the last six months of Sail Mag articles. They had a great article on retrofit reefing. Here's the link to my boats design.

http://beneteauusa.com/wps/wcm/resou...20and%20up.pdf

Go to Page 39

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post #7 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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The inestimable Giulietta has your answer here: Main Sail Reefing?

If the herring jigger ever shows back up you can thank him then!

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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Who's Giulietta??
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-27-2008
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Excellent link. One question. Why the bowline around the boom if using a loose footed sail? Why not a solid attachment point?

Wayne
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-28-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne25 View Post
Excellent link. One question. Why the bowline around the boom if using a loose footed sail? Why not a solid attachment point?
Because a bowline around the boom is infinitely more adjustable and, basically, because you don't want more fittings on the boom than absolutely necessary..

Many old gaffers had fixed attachment points on the boom, but then they were using solid timber that could take the torsional strains - not hollow aluminium.

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