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Old 04-11-2009
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Reef points

I am debating having a sail cleaning company add reef points while my sail is there for cleaning.

I don't tend to sail in heavy air. My current set up is that the boom is designed to furl the mainsail with a crank. It doesn't work very well.

Thus, my question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of adding reef points as far as you know?

(Cost is around $200)

Thank you.
Rick
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Old 04-11-2009
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I would do it. Most of the older round-the-boom roller reefing systems didn't work very well and most people have gone to slab/jiffy reefing on them. Having the ability to reef the sails properly really contributes to the enjoyment and safety of sailing your boat. If you're caught out by a storm, having the ability to safely and securely reduce sail area is a good thing.

Pros:
  • Can reef in stronger winds—boat will be easier to control, sail flatter
Cons:
  • Costs money
  • If not properly done, with large reinforcing patches, can be bad for sail
Don't forget to add the reefing lines to your setup. You'll need to either do a two-line setup or a single-line that handles the forward tack reefing cringle, since your boom probably doesn't have reefing tack hooks at the gooseneck. I prefer the two-line setup.

Practice reefing early and often, until you can reef the sails in under a couple of minutes.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-11-2009 at 08:30 AM.
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I would definitely vote to do it. We are in the Chesapeake Bay where the wind doesn't blow very hard consistently, but it sure is nice to be able to flatten out the boat and enjoy a sail in something more than 10 knots. You might even get a chance to play your guitar and harp while the autopilot is doing all the work :>)

I had roller reefing before also, and slab is much better.

Moe
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SD,

Thank you. I need to ask another question. I don't understand reefing lines, forward tack reefing cringle, and forward tack at the gooseneck. Where might I be able to read or see what you are talking about?

Rick
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Harp—

Look here, here and here.

The last one is a good article on why two-line reefing is better than single line reefing systems.

For each reef, there is a large cringle (big grommet) at the forward end of the sail near the boom, a row of smaller grommets, and a large cringle at the aft end of the sail, near the leech.

The forward one is called the tack reefing cringle, since it effectively becomes the "tack" of the reefed mainsail.

The aft one is the clew reefing cringle, because if effectively becomes the "clew" of the reefed mainsail.

The smaller ones in-between are for reefing pendants, which are short pieces of line or webbing that are used to tie up the bunt (excess portion of the sail below the reef point) and prevent it from flogging.


I would highly recommend you run out and get David Seidman's book, The Complete Sailor. It's about $16 at the local bookstore and worth every penny.
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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
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Many thanks!!! The links are informative and I WILL do it.

Harp
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My Wife is not all that fond of sailing, but will go with me two or three times per month.

Heeling freaks her out, big time!!!

If we get to the marina and I see whitecaps on the lake, I automatically throw in the first reef (our boat has two, but I've never gone to the second set).

So, another advantage of reefing is a day of sailing with my Wife vs. a day of driving to the marina and then back home, with NO sailing!!!

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Yup, that would fall under where I said:

Quote:
Having the ability to reef the sails properly really contributes to the enjoyment and safety of sailing your boat. If you're caught out by a storm, having the ability to safely and securely reduce sail area is a good thing.
Of course, heeling isn't so much of an issue for my boat... capsizing is though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
My Wife is not all that fond of sailing, but will go with me two or three times per month.

Heeling freaks her out, big time!!!

If we get to the marina and I see whitecaps on the lake, I automatically throw in the first reef (our boat has two, but I've never gone to the second set).

So, another advantage of reefing is a day of sailing with my Wife vs. a day of driving to the marina and then back home, with NO sailing!!!

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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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Old 04-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harpguitar View Post
I am debating having a sail cleaning company add reef points while my sail is there for cleaning.

I don't tend to sail in heavy air. My current set up is that the boom is designed to furl the mainsail with a crank. It doesn't work very well.

Thus, my question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of adding reef points as far as you know?

(Cost is around $200)

Thank you.
Rick
I have the same problem, but I don't want to blow a couple hundred on adding reef pionts to an old sail, so I plan on living with it until I purchase a new sail, which will be next winter if I keep the boat.

Eric
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