Join Date: Dec 2001
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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.