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  #1  
Old 04-07-2008
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My first Reef...

So Saturday here in the SF Bay the winds were about 20 knots for the most part of the day so I decided to head out with reefed sails. I haven't done it before so I was a little nervous to see how well my reef would work considering my 1973 Cal 27 is only set up with two reef grommet's one at the Clew of the sail and one at the aft end of the sail. Surprisingly it worked out just fine. Although I have a few questions about it. Because I only had those two points of the sail that were tied down it gave my sail more of a pocket which changed the sail shape; is this ok? should I consider having my sail tailored with new grommets? If it is ok should I change the angle of which the wind hits the sail?

Another question I had was about the boom. I haven't noticed it before but when sailing reefed the boom was tweeked sideways. Are booms supposed to be able to swivel?

Thanks for the help guys...

Steve
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Old 04-07-2008
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Although I don't fully understand your reefing system, to reduce sail area in high winds consists in :
a) reducing the sail area
b) flattening the sail to reduce force on the sail

so when you say that after reefing, your sail had 'more of a pocket', something is not working correctly. See if you can tighten the clew in order to improve the shape of the sail to have less/no pocket for high wind conditions.
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Old 04-07-2008
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The aft reefing line should be coming from the aft end of the boom thus acting as an outhaul to flatten the sail as well as pulling that aft cringle DOWN to the boom.
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Old 04-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capttb View Post
The aft reefing line should be coming from the aft end of the boom thus acting as an outhaul to flatten the sail as well as pulling that aft cringle DOWN to the boom.
Although on most boats I have sailed, the clew and tack reef points will still leave a little "baggage" and maybe a sagging "pocket" at foot of the sail along the mast unless you tie up the sail to make it look and lay better.

In my opinion, it is not that important. When you are reefing you are simply trying to reduce sail area, so having the optimal sail shape for maximal power is not the issue. The real issue would be how did your boat handle and perform under the reef? If the boat performed well and was easy to handle, you've got it.
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Old 04-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby Barlow View Post
Although I don't fully understand your reefing system, to reduce sail area in high winds consists in :
a) reducing the sail area
b) flattening the sail to reduce force on the sail

so when you say that after reefing, your sail had 'more of a pocket', something is not working correctly. See if you can tighten the clew in order to improve the shape of the sail to have less/no pocket for high wind conditions.
Could it be that his grommets are too far apart?

Also, if I'm not mistaken, our boom rotates a bit in a heavy wind.
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Old 04-07-2008
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Thanks guys. I'm going to have to check out my reefing system again to make sure the lines are all ran correctly to ensure that when I'm pulling on the reefing line the sail gets pulled to the aft end of the boom.

The boat did sail really well though under it's reef and having a furling jib taken about 3/4 the way out the boat felt like it would on a day of 12 knots of wind with the sails completly out. I was just conserned about breaking something. Should I be?

Steve
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Old 04-07-2008
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Stevy-

You probably don't have two reefing cringles at the luff of the sail. It is far more likely that your sail only has a single reef. The lower of the two "cringles" is probably for a cunningham.

Slab reefing reefs always have a tack and clew cringle at the luff and leech respectively.
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Old 04-07-2008
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If you have two reefing lines at the luff (one lower and one higher), then you should have two reefing cringles.
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Old 04-08-2008
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If your boom twists you may have the leech reefing line setup wrong. It should start on one side of the boom at an eye pad (likely), go up to the leech cringle and down to a block slightly aft of the leech reefing cringle then run forward along the side of the boom. When you tighten that reefing line, the sail should come down square on the boom. If the reefing line runs up from one side it will put a twist in the boom when you tighten it.
Some goosenecks allow booms to swivel so that rolls can be taken in the mainsail. That would be quite an older setup.
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Old 04-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevyboy View Post
The boat did sail really well though under it's reef and having a furling jib taken about 3/4 the way out the boat felt like it would on a day of 12 knots of wind with the sails completly out. I was just conserned about breaking something. Should I be?

Steve
Nope, don't worry about breaking something. Things will break sometimes, but it rarely is helped by worrying, and in the conditions you describe, etc, everything sounds perfectly normal. Reefing is cool eh, kinda neat to have a well mannered boat in 20 knots. Next on the menu, heaving to. Practice that next time you are out reefed in 20 knots, it will help build your confidence in your boat and yourself to know you can stop sailing and rest anytime you need even in 20 knots.
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