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Re: talk about gettting caught.with your pants down
This is all my opinion, but if you're unable to reef, the sail you should drop is the main, not the jib.
You see, with the main up the "center of effort" is far aft, and causes a lot of weather helm, which causes you to round up in strong wind, and perhaps auto-tack against your will.
On Jib alone, the center of effort is far forward. You may have lee helm instead, but at least you won't be rounding up, and should maintain control of the boat.
A reefed main and a small, 90% jib in those conditions is the better configuration. The helm will be more balanced and you'll be in control.
1981 Tartan 33 #168