Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
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Re: More what's this rigging questions
Bill, thank you for the quick photo. Just as I surmised, your boat is set up for two double line reefs and also a “flattener reef”. When you go back to the boat, take a bunch of photos covering your entire rig (in case we want to talk about other things) and do an inventory of all the rigging bits and pieces (photos too) that are in your lazarette. From what I can see your rig is pretty well laid out but perhaps missing a piece or two. You also have something “strange” on the luff edge of the sail near the first reef tack cringle. It looks like a curlicue piece of stainless steel. Take a picture of that as it has me a little baffled. If it was mounted at the gooseneck it would be a ram’s head and where you would hook the tack cringle when you reef.
You should find a Cunningham somewhere which most likely be a couple of fiddle blocks with a shackle on one and a hook on the other. The hook part fits into the luff cringle that is a foot above the boom. Tightening the Cunningham will flatten the lower front portion of the mainsail. You use the Cunningham when the wind picks up and before you need to reef. A flat sail will shed wind gusts better and lessen the heeling. On older, “baggier” mains, you use the Cunningham a lot. The flattener on the leach end does the same to the back end of the sail.
To reef, you lower the mainsail halyard so you can slip the new tack cringle either around a ram’s head or by putting in the Cunningham hook and retightening. You haul in on the reefing line to bring the new clew cringle down so it lays on top of the boom and cleat it off. There are a couple of tricks like easing the mainsheet so you can get the cringle to lay flat but that is reefing in a nutshell. The second reef works the same way albeit, I was expecting on seeing a second cleat for that one. The chances are you will not need a second reef before next fall so we have time to figure that one out.
A couple more thoughts: Your Cal is “classic plastic” you should get plenty of enjoyment out of her. So far, the gear looks well thought out but it is real vintage (read old). Don’t be surprised if you are buying some new line in the future and that main is looking a bit on the stretched side (be sure to take pictures of it under sail).
You beat me to it - there is a Cunningham, good deal!
2000 Catalina 34 MkII