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Old 05-23-2012
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Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

Since there is currently a thread entitled "running reefing lines through the boom", here is a problem that I've been putting off for a while but might as well raise it with you guys here and now - perhaps you can help!

Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom-dsc00088.jpg

In contrast to the other thread, I have a hollow timber boom with cheek blocks either side back aft (one for Reef #1 and one for Reef #2 perhaps) and plan to run reefing lines to a horn cleat? or two (I have a couple of spare Spinlock XA clutches I guess I could use instead?) mounted on the boom up near the mast... Seems simple enough..

The big, currently insurmountable, issue is how to run the lines outside of the boom without leaving conveniently-placed nooses for the crew to hang themselves on during a gybe or whenever the sail is furled. If I use a series of pad-eyes, how do I work out how many I need? I'd rather not drill heaps of holes in the boom and thus weaken it - is there a better solution? How do others do it??

Thanks!
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Last edited by Classic30; 05-23-2012 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

I have my reefing line lengths set so that when the sail is up, they just reach from the padeye, through the sail, to the cheek block on the other side. When I reef, they nicely reach the horn cleats mounted further forward on the boom, and the second reef point line just needs snugging up to prevent any loops hanging down.
Means I have to get the boom over the boat to reef, but it also means that there is nothing hanging down. I can't reef without the boom over the cockpit anyway as the main refuses to drop unless it's bang into wind.
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Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

Not sure about the aesthetics of this for you, but what about running a tube along the boom as a conduit?
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Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Not sure about the aesthetics of this for you, but what about running a tube along the boom as a conduit?
I'll give it some thought.. but I'd be worried about the force of the lines tearing the conduit off the boom if I didn't get it positioned exactly right.
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

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Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
I have my reefing line lengths set so that when the sail is up, they just reach from the padeye, through the sail, to the cheek block on the other side. When I reef, they nicely reach the horn cleats mounted further forward on the boom, and the second reef point line just needs snugging up to prevent any loops hanging down.
Means I have to get the boom over the boat to reef, but it also means that there is nothing hanging down. I can't reef without the boom over the cockpit anyway as the main refuses to drop unless it's bang into wind.
Interesting... very interesting. Sounds like that could work.

It also sounds like the measurements are critical. How far along the boom are your padeyes? How to you access the reefing lines without getting smacked by the boom?

Have you, by chance, got any pics or a diagram of your setup??
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Last edited by Classic30; 05-24-2012 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

My ketch also has wood spars. The reef lines don't run very far forward and are kept tight enough to avoid snagging anything.
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

Mine are run outside the boom, one on each side. They run to the front of the boom to a cleat. Hang the excess on the mast on another cleat. So far that has not been a problem the few times I have had the main reefed.
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Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

Some dinghy sailors attach a cloth sleeve, that holds the mainsheet close to the boom. Could work for reefing lines.
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Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

It was not uncommon for raceboats to take webbing and make stitched loops that hang over the top of the boom and keep the lines from droping more than a couple inches below the boom. With a loose footed mainsail there is a small line running fore and aft, at the top of the boom that keeps the loops spaced. The cloth sleeve has become more common lately.
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Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Running reefing lines OUTSIDE the boom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Interesting... very interesting. Sounds like that could work.

It also sounds like the measurements are critical. How far along the boom are your padeyes? How to you access the reefing lines without getting smacked by the boom?

Have you, by chance, got any pics or a diagram of your setup??
Do not put any padeyes on the side of a boom. If you have any, remove them. being hit on the head by a boom will be some form of painful, all the force going thru a padeye, is a whole different, more fatal, form of painful.

Terminate the reefing line by securing the bitter around the boom. The sailmaker should have provided grommets in the foot for this purpose, if not, this is a good reason to switch to a loosefooted main (just have ethe sailmaker remove the boltrope.)

If you can get rid of the blocks, even better. Frankly this alone is a reason to go to a modern boom with the blocks built into the outboard end.
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