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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-11-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

I am wrestling with how to provide reefing capability on my Helms 25. Apparently it originally had roll around the boom reefing. Aside from the lack of any crank to spin the boom or mechanism to lock the boom to prevent rotation (the only equipment that came with the boat that clued me to the roller reefing feature was a boomclaw and the fact that the sail has no reef points and was stowed rolled around the boom by previous owners), the other problem I will face if I decide to try and make this work is the well known drawbacks of this type of reefing system: No outhaul capability, poor sail shape due to boom sag. I am considering going with a harken "single line" jiffy reefing system, meaning I will have to add reef points, as a reasonable compromise instead of trying to get the "roll around the boom" reefing to work. Would one set of reef points combined with a CDI roller reefing system on the head sail be a reasonable compromise affording fairly good flexibility in handling different wind conditions in an inshore/coastal cruiser? I''m 90 percent leaning towards the latter option, but would welcome anyone''s two cents to try and confirm my current opinion or talk me into making a 25 year old obsolete reefing system work. Feel free to respond here on the board, or in private to my email: aflanigan@comcast.net.

Thanks,

Allen Flanigan

Alexandria, VA
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Old 04-11-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

Allen,

That roller boom reefing was obsolete from start!! I have never seen anybody in the aftermarket come up with anything to make it work. Our ''72 Ranger 26 came with the hardware. A PO abandoned it and installed reef points!!

So, take the mainsail in for a couple of reef points, add purchase to the outhaul, and, maybe, consider a loose foot modification to the mainsail (As long as it is in for the reef points).

I will let others flame about your consideration of the CDI!!



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Old 04-11-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

Thanks, John, for responding.

Any modifications to the main will be done by me. I''m not aware of any flaws in the CDI furler designs; they''re not silver plated, and they''re probably not rugged enough to suit bluewater sailors, but the CDI FF4 and the Schaefer snapfurl system were honestly the only ones that fit my budget.

I did pick up the harken model 430 single line system at a really low price, so that''s what I''m working with. It''s designed for one set of reef points only. I suppose I could add a second set of points and use a two line jiffy system down the road if I find I want more reefing capability than a single set of points gives me.

Thanks for your opinion.

Allen Flanigan

Alexandria, VA
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Old 04-12-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

IMHO that one set of reef points should be fine for what you need. Talk to the sailmaker so the boat stays somewhat balanced under the reduced sail area. If you need to reduce sail in a big way, you can always strike the jib (or conversely, the main) entirely. Of course, if it''s blowing hard enough for that, you''ll have already gotten back into the harbor... Practice on a light day so you know how it all works. Based on what we hear about summers on Chesapeake Bay, you may never need to reef anyway! ;-)
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Old 04-13-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

paulk:
You wish !!!
"...you''ll already be back in harbour"

Gord
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Old 04-14-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

GordMay, how right you are. If I knew in advance when a reef would be needed I could strike the main and set a handkerchief. Hence the appeal of a system that will simply and reliably reef the main while retaining decent sail flatness and shape.

Maybe if I spent more time working overtime and less time on the boat, I could afford to pay a sailmaker to make these modifications for me. But that would be somewhat counterproductive, eh? ; > )

I am already thinking of how I can use the Harken 430 system to reef at two locations if needed. I''ll set it up for a lower set of reef points, and have a carbine hook or similar quick release shackle at the "clew" reef point so that I can thread the reefing line through it when I want to reef at the upper (2nd) set of points. Up front, I''ll try putting a hook with an eye on it threaded on the reefing line, which can be engaged with the upper tack reef point. This SHOULD give me the ability to properly tension the tack and clew at the upper set of points while not interfering with the normal "single line" operation for reefing to the lower points.
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Old 04-14-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

GordMay, how right you are. If I knew in advance when a reef would be needed I could strike the main and set a handkerchief. Hence the appeal of a system that will simply and reliably reef the main while retaining decent sail flatness and shape.

Maybe if I spent more time working overtime and less time on the boat, I could afford to pay a sailmaker to make these modifications for me. But that would be somewhat counterproductive, eh? ; > )

I am already thinking of how I can use the Harken 430 system to reef at two locations if needed. I''ll set it up for a lower set of reef points, and have a carbine hook or similar quick release shackle at the "clew" reef point so that I can thread the reefing line through it when I want to reef at the upper (2nd) set of points. Up front, I''ll try putting a hook with an eye on it threaded on the reefing line, which can be engaged with the upper tack reef point. This SHOULD give me the ability to properly tension the tack and clew at the upper set of points while not interfering with the normal "single line" operation for reefing to the lower points.
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Old 04-14-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

A couple of points came to mind while reading this.

1. If your boat is designed to have main reduced you are better off reefing main than furling a jib.

2. Jiffy reefing would be easy and fairly cheap to implement. Ensure that a sailmaker puts in the grommets so there is adequate support to the surrounding sail.

3. My experiences with a loft are that they charge by the hour and the work you need done requires very little time. It will not cost very much to install two gromets in the main! The roller furling of Jib will certainly cost far more than any Jiffy reefing modification.

My 2 cents. Hope you have a great sailing season!

Mike
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Old 04-14-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

In respect to the possibility of "Just adding a couple of grommets" to your sail, there will be reinforcing required at those points. It is necessary to disperse the point loading on the sail where the grommets are placed.

Wind loading on a sail is far from linear, it is more of a log curve. As wind speed increases, the loading builds rapidly. The wind load increase from 5 to 10 kts is better than 400%. The increase from 10 to 15 kts is about 200%.

As you attempt ro reef, you will be putting a good deal of strain on your reef points, and then they will have to be capable of controlling the sail once it is trimmed. You probably notice other boats when they are sailing have complete clew and tack reinforcements at the reef points. An absolute necessity, as you will rip simple grommets out and possibly destroy your sail in the process.

Have you sailed on "Jiffy Reefed" boats before? The process can be done quickly and efficiently once it is set-up properly.

Oh, and don''t forget to leave your clew reefing line(s) rigged, always. What good is a reef point if it is impossible to rig when you need it most.

RD
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Old 04-14-2003
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Mainsail reefing dilemma

I have reef points on my sail put in by the sailmaker. They work well but I really like the roller furling genoa. It is a fast way to take down sail fromm the cockpit and be safely at the helm. I know it''s expensive but it is a really efficient system. Try reefing a friends main sail in mild conditions and then think how it would be if you were alone and a storm come in quickly. My system is designed to allow partial furling with decent sail shape. Nice when those squalls come in so fast, just pull the reefing line and sail is reduced. Takes about 1-2 minutes from the cockpit. Just my thoughts. Tom
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