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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-10-2003
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Reefing Lines?

Hello,

I am in the process of setting up my boom to handle the reefing lines for a triple reef mainsail.The boat is a Norwest 33, offshore capable cruiser. Is it normal to have 3 dedicated cleats for the 3 reef lines coming from the reef points? Could you have just one and share it? What about a triple rope clutch? What is everyone else using? I have read the Riggers Apprentice and all it shows is a setup for one reef line.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 04-10-2003
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Reefing Lines?

Our Westsail has two reef lines. They are rigges a little different than most. Instead of one end being fixed to the boom and led up through the reef cringle, both ends are led back along the boom through turning blocks. I have a winch on each side of the boom, so I can easily reef from a starboard (prefered) or port tack.

I highly recommend that you have a dedicated cleat for each line. This will actually be one of the least expensive components and not a problem to mount on the boom. They must be mounted infront of any winch, so once drawn in, you can cleat off the line and have the winch free for the second reef.

Having seen many boats with three reef points in the main and only having hardware to handle two of them, I would like to put in a pitch to provide all hardware for all 3 reef points. When you need to make the third reef, the weather and deck conditions will not be suitable for you to try to unreeve the first reef line and re-rig it through your third reef. It may not need to be rigged for casual inshore sailing, but will be comforting when you take your "offshore capable" boat on a bluewater adventure.
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Old 04-10-2003
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Reefing Lines?

Thanks Orionatc for the detail and wise response. What do you think about using a triple rope clutch instead of standard cleats to secure the reef lines? Have you seen this done before?

Chris
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Old 04-10-2003
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Reefing Lines?

I usually set up my boats with one rope clutch (or cam cleat) for each reef tackline lead to a single winch on the opposite side of the boat from the halyard so that you can feed the halyard out as you are pulling in tack lines. I typically have one rope clutch (or cam cleat) for each clew reef line as well and that is on the opposite side of the boat from the vang so that I can ease the vang as I bring in the clews.

If you only share a cleat then you have to release each reef before tying in the next one. I suppose you might get by with a pair of cleats and alternate as you move up the sail.

Jeff
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Old 04-11-2003
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Reefing Lines?

I have seen reef systems that use line clutchs. I think they are just fine. On my previous boat (Tartan 27) we had ALL lines led back to the cockpit using line clutches and only 2 big honking winches on the cabin top to manage them. It works well.

Here is another important area to carefully work out. You must consider how to configure the tack reefing hooks, the other end of the reefing pair. Most stock arrangements are just too hard to install the sail reef tack cringle on that darn hook. Especially when its blowing stink. Since you have three reef points, you will need some arrangements for three tack cringles.

On my w-32, I have two reefing hooks but find them too hard to use in all but the most ideal conditions. They are OK if I reef before leaving the dock. I have two short stout pieces of line attached to the gooseneck fitting, such that the fitting doesn''t chafe them. I can thread them through the cringle lickedy split and "cinch" them up securily even with the sail flogging quite a bit.

Anyway, just a another approach to rigging reef lines.

A word to the prudent sailor! After reefing on any offshore passage, Inspect the reefing lines at the sail cringles and all turning blocks often. You may even need to add extra line or "web strap" material through the criingle and around the boom if the reef is in for more than a few days. Believe me, when its windy enough to need a reef, there will be "extra action" on all chafe points.

Not to ramble, but the previous poster raised an important point about being able to control and adjust the halyard and vang as you haul the reef line in. Reefing is a "system" and all parts must be well thought to have success.
Good luck with your project.
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Old 04-12-2003
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Reefing Lines?

I had led the reefing lines back to the cockpit on my last boat and changed that after a conversation with a surveyor (who also happend to be a circumnavigator).

His argument was that running the lines aft put all the stress of the sail on the gooseneck of the boom. He felt it was better to put sheet stoppers on the boom and keep all the tenison in the boom. That''s what I did and it worked well.

I used one double and one single sheet stopper (because of space constraints.) and kept the three reef lines rigged all the time. As someone else in this string mentioned, that third reef is not something you want to rig in the kind of weather where you need it.

Another useful idea that a fellow cruiser gave me is to replace the traditional nettles (lines that you use to tie up the extra sail when reefed) made from line with narrow flat nylon webbing. This stuff is available at REI (climbers use it). The webbing is much easier to tie and untie. It is also less likely to chafe against the sail while it is hanging loose.
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Old 04-12-2003
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Reefing Lines?

While it may be nice to have three sets of reefing lines ready to go at any time, we''ve found that having two rigged at a time works well. We have a light messenger line rigged in a loop between the second and third leech cringles. When we think we''ll need the third reef, we run the first reef-line through the third. This saves on toe-stubbing deck hardware and keeps the leech a bit cleaner, both aesthetically and aerodynamically. We''ve used the third reef often enough, but never had to go immediately from the first to the third reef.
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Old 04-14-2003
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Reefing Lines?

Chris --

My two cent''s worth on this topic is that I have two reef points on my Beneteau 23, both rigged with Harken single line reefing kits, with the tails led to individual rope clutches on the cabin top.

What I like about this rig is that I don''t need to leave the cockpit to reef, which is expecially helpful in my case because the boat is rather tender. I find that it''s rather straightforward to pay out the main halyard with one hand while taking in on the reefing line with the other. In fact, I routinely use #2 reef to help my douse the main when coming into port.

The only challenge I''ve run into is the friction of the mainsail slugs in the mast track in general, which affects reefing as well. Someday when I have some $$$ I don''t know what else to do with, I just may install something like the Harken Battcar (sp?) system to lessen the friction.

Generally, I''ve been able to reef just fine in any conditions that I''ve found myself in.

Hope this helps.

Mark
"One Step Closer"
Lake St. Clair, MI
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Old 04-14-2003
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Reefing Lines?

try spraying the slugs with teflon lubricant (available at West). One treatment every 6 months was all I needed to keep things running smoothly on my last boat. Just spray the whole stack of slugs when the sail is down.

John
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