single line reefing question - SailNet Community

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Old 02-17-2013
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single line reefing question

I have a picture showing my problem/question, but I do not yet have enough posts to be allowed to post photos or links. So I am going to try to ask my question using very careful descriptions.

I believe what I have now on my Catalina 22 is a jiffy reefing setup, but I was curious about converting it to a single-line reefing setup that can be controlled entirely from the cockpit. (Please correct my definitions as needed.) Currently, I have a reefing line secured to the aft end of my boom on the port side. The line goes up and through my clew reef cringle, then down to a block on the starboard side of the boom at the aft end. It then turns and runs along the boom to a cleat near the forward end of the boom on the starboard side. By uncleating this line and pulling, I can reef the clew end of my sail, then lower the main a few feet to secure the tack reef cringle to the gooseneck. This is all well and good, but it does require leaving the cockpit to secure the tack reef cringle.

It seems easy enough from articles and diagrams I've seen to convert this entirely to a single-line method. With a longer line, instead of cleating it near the forward end of the boom, have it go to a block on the starboard side of the mast, then up and through the tack reef cringle, then down to the base of the mast, then back to the cockpit. So that if the line is pulled, both the clew and tack ends are snugged down onto the boom. The only problem is that my sail stop prevents the lower-most mailsail slug from dropping down any lower. So even with this system, I would have to go to the mast and remove the sail stop so that I could reef the tack end all the way to the boom. Is the solution to this to simply remove the sail stop once the mailsail is hoisted in case reefing is needed? I would like a way to keep all my parts in place, but it doesn't seem possible with my current setup.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: single line reefing question

You need a gate on the mast to stop the slides coming out, you can do away with the sail stop then.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: single line reefing question

Two things..

While single line reefing systems look good on paper, in practice they are generally high friction setups and difficult to use effectively unless a fair amount of money is spent on bearing blocks throughout, ideally including the turns at the reef clew and tack. This adds a fair bit of cost to the whole thing.

To address the sail stop issue you can use something called a 'jackline' that cinches the sail to the stop when hoisted but releases it when dropped. Like this:



Your description of your reefing sequence says you reef the clew then drop and secure the tack.. I'd suggest reversing that - I'm guessing you're not running a vang - it's unlikely you could pull in that much boom lift by reefing the clew first otherwise... We have a rigid vang, and we drop and secure the tack before reefing the clew. Without a rigid vang the topping lift would support the boom during the same sequence...
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: single line reefing question

I understand the mastgate completely, and I'm curious about the jacklines. Are these two designs to be used in tandem, or is it typically one or the other? Seems like the could both be used together and get rid of the sail stop completely.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: single line reefing question

If you have a gate you don't need a stop.. The slugs can drop to the bottom of the slot/track. But, esp for a second reef they often stack up too high to let the reef tack drop to the tack hook. That's where the jackline setup comes into play. So yes they can work together.
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single line reefing question

I recently sold my Catalina 22. I installed mast gates and single line reefing using cheek blocks on the boom, a turning block at the base of the mast and a simple jam cleat on the port side of the cabin top. It worked great-I simply dropped the main a couple of feet, cleated in the ref line then tighter the main halyard again. Very easy, no friction issues.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: single line reefing question

Have used various variations of single line reefing and putting it on my "last boat". Would suggest
1. use one of the new "no stretch" lines
2. have blocks on sails rigged so you know the sail will flatten appropriately. If re doing existing sail position of where lines apply force will shift downward using existing "anchor points" for new turning blocks so geometry may be altered. Make sure clew pulled aft as well as down.
3. avoid sharp 90 degree bends in deck organizers/turning blocks etc. Less the bend less the friction.
4.don't use system with captive block inside boom. ( think Harken does it this way- don't recall). If line fails you have no hope of re reeving reef lines while underway.
Don't know where you are as not listed in your profile but may wish to talk to Robin Sandaro at Hood Sails as he seems very knowledgeable on this subject.
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: single line reefing question

I had a single line reefing setup on my C22. Way too much friction. Would tend to catch bunches of sail in the block as I pulled reef in. I would go with two reefing lines. One for the clew and one for the tack, both led back to the cockpit.
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