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  #1  
Old 12-03-2007
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Mainsail Reefing

I know this topic has been done to death (nearly), but I have one small question I'm hoping others here can assist with before I start drilling holes. I'm having to change our reefing set-up on account of our boom being only wide enough for a single cheek block (hey, 18' is a small boat!)

I've tried using two blocks in line (one for the outhaul, with one reefing block behind it) and finding that:
a) It looks stupid
b) The angle is too great to haul it in in a blow
c) I can only rig one reef at a time.

Mainsail Reefing-img_3269.jpg

So.. the answer seems to be a cheek block on either side of the boom.

Question: The boom is approx 10' long. I know most boats run their lines inside the boat, but if I use cheek blocks either side, the reefing lines will then run on the outside of the boom, unsupported for most of the way, to a cleat near the mast.

1. Is this the best way to get 2 reef lines on a small yacht? Is it okay in practice?
2. How important is it that the reef lines are free to run once the pennants get tied around the boom?

Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2007
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Cameron,

Ok so Raven is a bit bigger than 18 but.....our reefing lines are mainly outside the boom as is the outhaul. All four lines (three reefs plus outhaul) go into the end of the boom but them exit a way along. We have one winch on the boom with ordinary cleats that will soon be replaced by jammers. That's the only part of the system I insist on changing. Not state of the art but it works.

A further improvement would be to have the winch on deck but I'm sure that's irrelevent for you. The advantage of course is that on deck you have a more stable winching platform than a boom provides.
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Old 12-03-2007
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Hartley,

I think it is best for what you want to have the block at the end of the boom, then you install a line passage fiitting and pass the line inside the boom.

I don't really know the name in English, but they look like a metal piece you rivet to the mast or boom, so a line can pass to the inside of a spar.

I am uploading a photo now.

Alex
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Old 12-03-2007
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My main sheets run paralel and outside the boom, and my boom is 23 feet long.

I have a few "eyes" shaped rectangular and then I hold the shhets from coming down with velcro straps.

Here is a photo of the metal pieces I talked about



And here the set up I believe I would do in your case. I had that in aboat I owned in 1990.



And if you need to run them outside look at this set up, it shows the eye and the velcro strap. I but these at WestMarine for a few bucks.


Last edited by Giulietta; 12-03-2007 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 12-03-2007
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Cam, I don't see any problem with putting a cheek block on either side of the boom, one for each reef line. The slack lines along the boom can be controlled with padeyes or with the velcro straps that Giu mentioned. You can place the blocks in the optimum position to enable an effective outhaul angle for each reef point.

Do you plan to run the lines aft or cleat them forward on the boom?
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Old 12-03-2007
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Ummm...Mr Hartley, sir? How did you end up with that mess?

I think you are overcomplicating life a little bit.

The boom on an endeavour 24 is not much longer then yours and we just used two plastic Whitworths fairleads per rope to bridge the length and keep the rope form sagging into a garrot over the cockpit.

We have two reefing points in the main and thus a reefing line runs on the port and one on the starboard side of the boom. For boats as small as ours single line reefing is fine, if it is set up right.

Send me an email at akharnam(at)optushome.com.au and I will send you some pics and MS Paint diagrams of how we set up the mainsail reefing system we have just done.

On a totally different note, since you are a denizen of Corio Bay...Could I get you to take a peek around and see if there is a sail yacht for sale in the 25-28foot range for someone with a hull budget of around $12K. A friend is on the hunt for one and internet listings are looking very paltry right now. I have alsways found the best way is just seeing what is pinned on the noticeboards of the clubhouse...So if you happen to be in the neibourhood...

Thanks.

Sasha
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Old 12-03-2007
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No need to run the reefing lines inside the boom, as long as you keep it fairly taut and use two or three fairleads along the boom to help prevent the line from sagging, as Sasha_V has suggested.

You don't really need two reefs on a 18' boat, but it really depends on how many reefs your mainsail has. If the mainsail only has one...you certainly don't need two reefing line sets.

BTW, I would highly, recommend you use a tack hook and reefing line, or a two-line reefing line setup, rather than a single line to do both the tack cringle and the clew cringles. The reason is that the tack hook or two-line reefing setups allow you to control the sail shape a lot better than a single-line reefing system does IMHO.

The pieces that Giu is talking about are exit slots... and allow you to put a line into (or out of) the spar without damaging the line.
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Old 12-03-2007
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Alex, our existing system just has ugly (and probably boom weakening) slots in it - I hadn't thought of using exit slots - that's a great idea! Thank you for the photos and drawings - they are greatly appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
No need to run the reefing lines inside the boom, as long as you keep it fairly taut and use two or three fairleads along the boom to help prevent the line from sagging, as Sasha_V has suggested.

You don't really need two reefs on a 18' boat, but it really depends on how many reefs your mainsail has. If the mainsail only has one...you certainly don't need two reefing line sets..
SD, I can say from experience that you really do need two reefs on an 18' boat. We've got two sets of reefs in the main and I've found over the past few weeks that I have the following choices of sails to keep the boat balanced:
- Wind speed < 10 knots = No reefs + #1 headsail
- Wind speed 10-15 knots = 1 reef + #2 headsail
- Wind speed > 15 knots = 2 reefs + storm jib

Since the weather of late has rarely got below 10 knots whenever we've been on the water, with only a single reefing line we've had to heave-to to put in/shake out the 2nd reef - not a comfortable excersize on a 18' boat in 6' waves and something I want to avoid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
BTW, I would highly, recommend you use a tack hook and reefing line, or a two-line reefing line setup, rather than a single line to do both the tack cringle and the clew cringles. The reason is that the tack hook or two-line reefing setups allow you to control the sail shape a lot better than a single-line reefing system does IMHO.
I'm currently using a two-line reefing setup (tack hook) for all the reasons you mention and have no plans to change it right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Do you plan to run the lines aft or cleat them forward on the boom?
Ron, I plan to cleat them forward on the boom (no room on the cabin top to run them aft). Any ideas on what sort of cleats to use? V-jam, cam-cleats or just ordinary ones??

Thanks all for the advice - Sasha, expect an email shortly
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Last edited by Classic30; 12-03-2007 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 12-03-2007
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LOL, I don't even start reefing until 20 knots...
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Old 12-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
LOL, I don't even start reefing until 20 knots...
Oh, the joys of owning a bigger boat!

OTOH, maybe you (a) don't have a wife/crew who's only been out on a boat a dozen times in her life - and all in the last year - and (b) sail in better weather conditions than Port Phillip Bay serves up for breakfast!
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