Reef points - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-06-2011 Thread Starter
G20
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Reef points

Hello all,

I am a noob sailor and have recently aquired my first boat after many years of dingy sailing and bumming rides from others.

My boat is a 1985 Gloucester 20 and I have two good sets of sails that came with the boat, one used but in good shape and one that has never been used. Bonus!

Both mains have one reef point, or at least what I would consider the first/only reef point, that is about three and a half feet off the foot. My question is why on both sails is there another set of tack/clew grommets about 1 foot above the foot of the main with no reef points between them? IS this actually the first reef point but there is not enough sail to worry about strapping down the middle of the sail to the boom? This just seems like an incredibly small reduction in sail area, perhaps I am wrong, but am none the less curious as to what these should/would be used for.

Thanks for any advice, I am been a longtime reader of Sailnet and am happy to finally be posting.

-G20
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-06-2011
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The first grommet is for the cunningham (pulls the luff of the sail down).
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Thank Barquito.... the cunningham makes perfect sense at the luff but I don't get why there is also a cringle at the same height, a foot or so off the boom, at the leech of the sail as well.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-06-2011
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If there is a grommet and reinforcement 'patch' ~12" above the foot on the luff AND another grommet and reinforcement 'patch' ~12" above the foot on the LEECH ... then this is a 'flattening' reef that is used to reduce the amount of draft in the lower sections of the sail and is used/employed before you put in the 'first reef' ... especially good for sailing in the higher wind ranges (15+ knots) and FLAT water with small waves. Use the 'first reef' when the boat is 'struggling' to keep upright and you feel undue pressure in the tiller/steering wheel.
This arrangement is used on older style 'shelf foot' mainsails where the foot of the mainsail is attached to the boom with sail slugs ... all along the foot of the sail. Its just as effective as the more modern 'loose foot' mainsail but does involve a 'bit more bother' when engaging the 'flattening reef'.
;-)
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Agh, I get it now! My main is fixed with a bolt rope, the older style. I am curious about this now because the previous owner didn't have the reefing points rigged on the boat and I didn't know if it would be worth rigging those cringles as well as the usual reefing lines for the 'first reef' as I plan to do that this fall. Sounds like I should plan for those as well.

Should the line run to that cringle be run in a similar manner to regular reefing, ie down and aft from the cringle with a turning block... or are these rigged differently?
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-06-2011
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Same as 'standard' reefing but no tie-in 'points'.

Best on smaller boats is to use a single 2 line reefing arrangement with 'hooks' that you move between the needed luff/leech cringles.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-06-2011
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This thread has been helpful to me as well. I just bought my first sailboat, a 1975 Ericson 25 ft. the mail sail has two large cringles near the luff and leach part of the sail with two smaller grommets between. The last owner did not ever reef his sails and so the lines running through the boom are just hanging there. I don't know how they were intended to be rigged. Is anyone familiar with an 1975 Ericson boom or where to find an owners manuel on line so that I can set up the reefing system the way it was intended?
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