Boom rise with reefing... How much? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-04-2013 Thread Starter
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Boom rise with reefing... How much?

On my mainsail, when I put a reef, 2 or three reefs in, the end of the boom raises quite a bit off the level of the deck. With no reefs the boom is parallel to the deck. With 2 reefs the main boom seems like it's trying to point at the north star.

I've heard that the boom is supposed to rise with reefing because it helps keep the boom from snapping off if it gets caught in a wave in a rolly sea while going downwind. Of course it is more likely to be a rolly sea in higher winds (thus the reef) but rolly sea states can exist with little wind and thus you'd have the main unreefed.

It also seems to me that having to let out a bunch of mainsheet (to allow for boom rise) makes reefing more difficult. If you let out the pre-determined amount of mainsheet before hauling in the reefing line, you'll have an out of control boom. If you do it the other way, you have to go back and forth between adjusting the reefing line and mainsheet.

Is the boom supposed to rise with reefing and if so by how much? How do y'all deal with the need for extra mainsheet while reefing?

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post #2 of 22 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

It varies from boat to boat. I have sailed some in which the boom does not rise at all.

You want your reefing lines taut so that the sail flattens and depowers. Going upwind the sail should be luffing when you reef; there should be no tension on the mainsheet. Reefing going downwind can get tricky.

The extra mainsheet should not be an issue.

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post #3 of 22 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

Your topping lift should support the boom during the reef... simply luff the sail, drop it, tighten the reef tack, then the clew, then rehoist the halyard and tension. Remember to leave enough ease on the vang to absorb your boom lift (which must have been built into the sail by the sailmaker) - btw the angle of the reef 'foot' should be readily visible when the sail is fully deployed. If the reefed 'foot' line doesn't look as angled as the boom ends up it would seem that something's not set/tightened quite right during the reefing process. Having said that, though, I'd think that boom drop would be a more likely problem when people fail to adequately re-hoist the sail after putting a reef in.

Pictures would help tremendously here!....
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-04-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

Do you guys think boom lift is helpful at all while reefing?

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post #5 of 22 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

Boom lift does reduce sail area a bit.

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post #6 of 22 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Do you guys think boom lift is helpful at all while reefing?

Medsailor
It seems not for you. Boom lift prevents the boom to get lower than what should be. I don't understand why your boom goes up. If you are lowering the main and have not the boom secured by the boom lift or a have strong boom jack, the weight of the sail should bring the boom down.

The only thing I can thought is that you have a very powerful boom jack but if that's the case you have just to pull it down to the right position before reefing.

Regards

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post #7 of 22 Old 02-04-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

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It seems not for you. Boom lift prevents the boom to get lower than what should be. I don't understand why your boom goes up. If you are lowering the main and have not the boom secured by the boom lift or a have strong boom jack, the weight of the sail should bring the boom down.

The only thing I can thought is that you have a very powerful boom jack but if that's the case you have just to pull it down to the right position before reefing.

Regards

Paulo
Hmmm.... Good point. I don't have a boom jack, but I do have a topping lift that I rarely adjust. When I put a reef in I have to let out a bunch of mainsheet and then as I pull the reefing line in the end of the boom lifts up to meet the new clew.

Then, when I shake out the reef I let the reefing line out slowly and the boom comes back down. Were I to loose control of that line it would "fall" back down to horizontal where the topping lift would catch it.

Perhaps I should phrase my question differently:

Is there any reason that I shouldn't just have the sail built so that the boom stays level with each reef?

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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

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Is there any reason that I shouldn't just have the sail built so that the boom stays level with each reef?

MedSailor
Probably not, unless you do intend to reach/run in big seas when reefed. If you're hanging around the San Juans primarily, or inside waters of BC you may not need the 'clearance' that the high clew provides.

Certainly if you're getting a new sail made you should have it made how you want it. If you're close to buying a sail, have your sailmaker look at what you've got (on the boat so he can see the setup) no doubt he'd have some input.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Boom rise with reefing... How much?

What's happening at the front of the sail? Are your sail lugs/slides bunching up and having a bunch of sail on top of the boom near the mast track? On the third reef I let the slides out of the track.


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post #10 of 22 Old 02-05-2013
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Reefing

Sounds to me like your raising the boom when you reef, the idea when reefing is to shorten sail and lower the center of effort, keeping the sail balanced, somewhat, by raising the boom the amount that you reduce the pressure is very little. imho
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