How to rig mainsail for Reefing - SailNet Community

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Old 09-22-2009
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How to rig mainsail for Reefing

I've seen ways to rig the bottom sliders on a main sail luff so they don't need to come out of the track when reefing by using some cord setup. I'd like to set this up, anyone know where to find an illustration on this? Or description? I've tried a google search, with no luck.

Thanks!
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Seagrass
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I believe it's called a jack line.. (different from jack lines on deck for safety tethers)

Dealing with the slugs you need to "free"... a cord is tied to the grommets for the upper slug, led through the slug and back to the sail.. down the luff to the next set of grommets, through the slug and back through the sail and so on. Finally the cord is tied off at the tack in such a way that when hoisted the slugs are pulled tight to the sail. When dropped, the slugs stack in the track but the now-loose cord allows the sail to fall lower allowing access to the reef tack hook.

Hope that makes some sense - sorry no pictures.
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Instead of using the reef tack hook we just use the block and tackle for the Cunningham. You need a fairly long line on tha Cunningham to allow for the number of falls in the system. We have a strong hook on the top which we un hook from the Cunningham eye, raise up to the reefing point and then haul it down from the cockpit. Lugs stay in the track, but your "new" tack point is adjustable to sit at the top of the stack of lugs.
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Thanks guys,

These are difficult to picture without images. Dave, I've got full battens. I imagine your setup would not work with battened sails?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davewild View Post
Instead of using the reef tack hook we just use the block and tackle for the Cunningham. You need a fairly long line on tha Cunningham to allow for the number of falls in the system. We have a strong hook on the top which we un hook from the Cunningham eye, raise up to the reefing point and then haul it down from the cockpit. Lugs stay in the track, but your "new" tack point is adjustable to sit at the top of the stack of lugs.
This can work, but the problem is that now your tack is high in relationship to the clew, and the boom has to be raised to properly flatten the sail.. and you need the vang to allow that much upper range movement (some rigid vangs are limiting in this way, and some vangs' tackle may be just too short)
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I have full length battens. They have not presented a problem. Of course we also have reefing lines on the leach of the sail which are hauled in. I can't say I have had a problem with the vang or height relationship between clew and tack. I guess that depends on how your sail maker has set up your reef points at either end. Mine seems to work well and is really easy to use. Also apart from raising the hook all work is done from the cockpit. this has to be a safe way to go.
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