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Old 06-08-2013
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Reefing Sail Ties

Tie them around the boom or just around the sail?

The foot of my sail is attached to the boom with slides.

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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

With slides, I'd probably tie them around the sail.
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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

I would tie around the boom. Easier and I see no advantage to tying only the sail.
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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

A few possible advantages in my mind. If tied around the sail, you could probably get a neater, tighter reef. Also, if tied around the boom your cringles absorb any load, I'd rather let the slides do their job.
In either case you can experiement and find out what suits you best.
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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

My understanding is that whether around boom or just around the sail, they should not be so tight as to put a whole lot of stress on the reef points which could rip or distort the sail. I wrap them around the boom. It seems easier than trying to thread line between sail and boom when the sail is flapping around. I try to make sure they all have about the same tension and that the great majority of tension is taken up by the big corner grommets. It always seems to require a bit of readjustment to get them all equally tensioned.
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Absolutely do not secure your ties around the boom. Should you do so if the reefing line is released in error, you stand a good chance of ripping the belly out of the middle of the sail. The grommets engineered into the sail for passing through the reef ties are not reinforced to carry the load of the sail. Just compare them to the reinforcement on the reef clew and you can see that they are not load bearing.
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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

Sailingfool has brought up the issue I had read about in the past. Around the boom would be a bit easier/neater but it would suck to damage the sail if things went awry.
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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

Good point. It has always seemed that reef points are very vulnerable to overtensioning and distortion or ripping the sail. It almost seems better to live with a less-than neat appearance and just "contain" the excess sail, letting the corners take all the stress and the reef points take their untensioned position. One solution, which I just sewed into a heavy cruising main, is to run a 4" full-width patch with plenty of small reef line grommets in between instead of square reef points.
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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

If you've got slides on the foot, I think it's best to consider a reefed sail essentially 'loose footed'... the reef clew and tack reinforcement are designed to take the loads, the reef ties are not. Not that the OP is a beginner, but a common error newbies make is to tie the reef and ALL the points in tightly at the dock on their first 'windy' day.. a good recipe to tear out a few grommets.

Short term I'd just let the bunt hang, for a longer leg a loose gathering of the extra sail for tidiness is all that's required. Tying them more tightly is probably ok with a loose footed main as long as you don't tie around the boom. If lazy jacks are in place that should be enough to contain/contol the excess.
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Re: Reefing Sail Ties

I see the point about not tieing around the boom. However, the foot of my mainsail (C&C 24) sildes into a slot along the top of my boom. If the reefing grommets are used, they only way to tie them is around the boom.

So, tie, or leave loose?

Chuck
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