Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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Since I am a day-sailer, casual cruiser, I don't need more than 1 reef for the main. If it is windy enough to require a second reef I will either be at the dock, motoring with sails down, or sailing with just a little bit of headsail deployed.
If I planned on sailing out of sight of land, or more than 10 hours from land I would want another reef point.
Reef points add complexity, cost, and weight to a sail, and reduce performance in light air.
Figure out what kind of sailing you want to do and that will determine the number of reefs you need.
Regarding battens, generally, the longer the batten the longer the life of the sail. The longer battens prevent te sails from slatting, but add weight and cost to the sail. A number of manufacturers do offer some full length and some partial battens.
When I bought a new sail for my last boat the sailmaker asked me a lot of questions about the type of sailing I did, my desires for longevity, budget, racing, etc. Based on my answers he recommended a 7 oz dacron sail, 1 reef point, loose foot, top batten full length, the rest partial.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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