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post #1 of 22 Old 06-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Converting to double-line reefing

I would like to convert my very conventional system with two reef downhauls at the clew, cleated to the boom, and a hook at the tack, to a two-line per reef system (so I'd have 4 lines altogether for my two reefs) with all the lines brought back to the cockpit.

I have bought a 4 way rope clutch, and 4-way deck foot block. I'll need 4 stand up blocks for the deck too. Maybe a small winch will be needed?

The aft end of the boom has two cheek blocks in use already for the reef clew lines so I'll continue to use those.

1) I'm thinking of adding a double block to the underneath of the boom for the two clew lines. What's the best way of attaching this block to the boom? Use a bail? It'll need to be strong.

2) I can add two bullseyes to the mast for the tack lines. I will need a way of tying the two tack lines to the boom, then they get routed up through the tack cringles, back down to the bullseyes on the boom. How do I tie the lines to the boom? A bail again?

I'm trying to design the whole system to at least 1000lb working load. (180sq ft main)

If anyone has experience of this conversion, parts they liked, things to watch out for, advice in general, I'd be very interested to hear.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay

Last edited by MarkSF; 06-18-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-18-2012
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

My boat is set up for double line reefing as you describe (i got it that way) for two reefs with all lines led back to the cockpit. Turning blocks at the base of the mast, line organizers and then clutches for each. There's a small cabin top winch port and stbd to tension the lines. Sounds like you are going to work this at the mast. Cheek blocks screwed into mast and cam cleats should work.
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

Hi Jim, no I'm going to bring all the lines back to the cockpit. I have a 4-line clutch to mount in the cockpit, and a 4 way foot block for the deck. I do intend to add a small winch near the clutches eventually.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-18-2012
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

Mark,

Why not single line reefing? It isn't any more expensive, and certainly lett complicated, since you only have one reef line for each reef. I prefer to bring them both back to the same side of the cockpit, but you can keep them separate. Assuming you already have a cockpit winch it can likely double for this as well.

You do give up a little bit of sail shape since the out haul can't be played, but typically when you need it you are going to want it tight anyway.

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Last edited by Stumble; 06-18-2012 at 10:03 PM.
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

Interesting to hear a positive view of single line reefing as I read quite a bit of negative views, saying that two line is much better. I'll have to think about it a bit more. How long is your boat? It seems to work better for smaller craft.
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post #6 of 22 Old 06-18-2012
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

I had single line for a bit, worked ok. Then went double per say, but a bit simpler....maybe....

I use my cunningham hook for the tack end of things, and two lines at the aft of the boom for the clew end. Yeah it does involve going forward or having a crew when racing mover the cunning ham hook. but a few less lines coming from the mast back tot he cabin top. Altho that could mean two more clutches..........have 16 or 17 already...........no, what I have works!

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post #7 of 22 Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Interesting to hear a positive view of single line reefing as I read quite a bit of negative views, saying that two line is much better.
I've heard the same things. Major complaint is too much friction which the two line system greatly reduces.
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Mark,

Why not single line reefing? It isn't any more expensive, and certainly lett complicated, since you only have one reef line for each reef. I prefer to bring them both back to the same side of the cockpit, but you can keep them separate. Assuming you already have a cockpit winch it can likely double for this as well.

You do give up a little bit of sail shape since the out haul can't be played, but typically when you need it you are going to want it tight anyway.
Having used quite a few single line reef systems, there are a lot of reasons not to use single line reefing. First of all there is significantly more friction in a single line system making the reef harder to get it. In order to reduce the impact of that friction, additional purchase is sometimes added to the system which means that you are also hauling more line which is still also more heavily loaded. While you say that a single line system is simplier, except that there is only one line led back to the cockpit, single line really isn't any simplier since all of the parts are there and then some and worse yet, the complexity fo the system occurs out of sight within the boom where it is harder to inspect and maintain.

Then of course there is the sail shape issue, which is very significant since reefing occurs in heavy air when proper sail shape is a necessity affecting heeling, helm loads, and the ability to sail off a lee shore rather than a luxury.

Two line reefing systems are cheaper to build and install, much more reliable, and easier and faster to use. There is no excuse for single-line systems.
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Having used quite a few single line reef systems, there are a lot of reasons not to use single line reefing.
Agreed. I also offer that there are a lot of reasons not to lead lines back to the cockpit. Why would you want to do that? Greatly increased friction leads to greatly increased loads. The friction requires more advantage which means higher loads which mean bigger lines leading to more friction and oh by the way more cost for everything.

Remember the halyard needs to be led back also, so you're talking about two winches not one. What other controls have to be led back once you make that decision? Vang? Cunningham?

Halyards, cunningham, vang, and reefing belong at the mast. Everything is to hand and generally only needs a winch for the last little bit. I know a lot of people truly believe it is easier (or safer) to lead lines aft. I don't agree. It is harder and much more expensive to run them aft. If a line parts something bad is going to happen. Alternatively going to the mast is fast and simple.

I'm probably an old fart who prefers the old-fashioned, simple, and elegant. If an old fart like me can scramble up to the mast and throw in a third reef so can you.
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Converting to double-line reefing

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
There is no excuse for single-line systems.
Well, here's one: my boat came with a single-line system already set up. It may not be a good reason, but it is a decent excuse.

I can see how you have more control with two lines--that is after all what you have before you reef. With the single line you definitely have to work it right to get the right sail shape. Friction is not a problem with ours though--I lube the in-boom shuttles once a year to help out. And I like only having two lines in the cockpit for the two reefs.

Tom K

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