Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-19-2013
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Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

I've been practicing reefing the mainsail on my new-to-me Spirit 28 at the dock. All the systems seem to work just fine, except one. The mainsail attaches to nylon slides that fit into a track on the aft side of the mast. There is an opening in the track about one foot above the boom where the slides can be removed or inserted. In order to keep them from falling out, there is spring loaded slide lock that fills the opening, and is removed in order to insert or remove sail slides.

In order to get the reef cringle low enough to attach to the hook, I need to remove some slides from the track. And in order to do that, I have to remove the spring loaded lock, pull out a few slides, and then reinsert it. Easy enough to do at dockside, but it seems a little cumbersome to be doing during a blow. And if I were to accidentally drop the slide lock over the side, I'd have a difficult time raising and lowering the sail.

Does anyone else have a sail/slide arrangement like this, and if so, is there an alternate way to reef which isn't so intricate?
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

Rather than having the sail attached directly to the slides, my old mainsail had a length of rope, that ran between the luff of the sail and the first few sail slides, to overcome this problem. (think of the line being laced back and forth between the luff and the slides). The line is made exactly the right length so that it becomes tight when the luff of the sail is tight, and is tied off at the top to the sail, and at the bottom to the boom or mast.

I had the new sail made to not need a luff line, as it just adds to friction when hoisting. Still, it sounds like your main was made with one in mind.
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

I was looking for this, thread I started 2 years ago, see the helpful diagram :

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...questions.html
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

Actually, I have a line on the front of the sail just like you describe. It's about 4 feet long, and the first 3 or so slides are attached to it, instead of the sail. However, the line doesn't have enough slack to allow the cringle to reach the hook (not even the first one, let alone the second or third). Maybe if I make the line longer, and capture more slides, it will work. I'll have to take a closer look at that.
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

An alternative would be what my sailmaker did on my new sail - the reefing cringles at the luff have a 9 inch webbing strap passing through them, with a metal ring on each end. This 9 inches is sufficient to let the ring reach the horn.

It's a really good, and simple, solution.
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
I was looking for this, thread I started 2 years ago, see the helpful diagram :

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...questions.html
Nice -- thanks!

I think my setup would work fine if the slides could start stacking right above the boom. But with that slide lock sitting about a foot above the boom, those cringles don't have a chance to reach the reefing hook without removing the slides from the mast, even with the line.

But this information is helping me see the problem more clearly, so I'm sure I'll figure out a fix.
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
An alternative would be what my sailmaker did on my new sail - the reefing cringles at the luff have a 9 inch webbing strap passing through them, with a metal ring on each end. This 9 inches is sufficient to let the ring reach the horn.

It's a really good, and simple, solution.
I thought about that approach, but wouldn't that 9 inches throw the alignment with the cringle on the clew end out of whack?
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

What's odd is that my gate in the track is an opening at the side, so that the slides will pass the gate unimpeded, even when the gate is closed, and stack up from the height of the boom.

I think there is something wrong with the spring-loaded mechanism. It shouldn't block the track when closed.

Is there a Spirit 28 forum anywhere?
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Last edited by MarkSF; 03-19-2013 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty123 View Post
I thought about that approach, but wouldn't that 9 inches throw the alignment with the cringle on the clew end out of whack?
No, you just have a similarly longer length of reef clew line. Or, actually what happens is the boom rises a bit more than it would, which is no bad thing.
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Sail slide track won't allow quick reefing

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
What's odd is that my gate in the track is an opening at the side, so that the slides will pass the gate unimpeded, even when the gate is closed, and stack up from the height of the boom.

I think there is something wrong with the spring-loaded mechanism. It shouldn't block the track when closed.

Is there a Spirit 28 forum anywhere?
My track gate is basically a wide area in the slot. The retention mechanism (stopper) is a metal slide with a spring loaded pin that snaps into a hole in the bottom of the track, preventing access to the gate. So there's no way for the slides to bypass the gate with the stopper in place. Although if I pull out the stopper, it's possible to guide the slides past the gate so that they drop down to the boom. At which point the reefing jackline would probably provide enough slack to engage the horn.

So maybe that's how it's designed to be used. I suppose I could rig up a retention cable for the stopper so I wouldn't drop it over the side when I pull it out.

There are a few Spirit 28 sites out there, but they're pretty rudimentary -- not much in the way of forums. But I'll poke around and see what I can come up with.

Thanks for the help.
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