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  #1  
Old 10-26-2004
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Reefing

I have a Venture 24 and wish to hear some advice on reefing the main . I have one set of reefing grommets on the Doyle main sail . The foot of my sail has a rope hem which slides in the boom. The boom has a cinch cleat at the aft and a small block . The front has a cleat to use .
Do I put a rope through all the grommets and pull it down or do I tie the leech and luff down and use the spaced grommets to hold down the new foot of the sail and contain the reefed part of the main . The papers I got with the boat do not show how to reef the main . Thanks
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Old 10-26-2004
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Reefing

You should lower the main and pull the leech and luff down to the boom first. Then, if you want to (you don''t have to, and in the conditions you''ll likely need a reef, it could be difficult and dangerous, but it might look neater) you can tie off a line or lines through the other grommets and the boom.
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Old 10-27-2004
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Reefing

It sounds like the usual two-line reefing system.
1. release your boomvang from its cleat
2. harden the aft (clew) reefline that should go from a tie on one side of the boom, through the aft grommet on the sail, into a pulley on the otherside of the boom, and then to a cleat. cleat it off.
the rear (aft) end of the boom will now be cocked upwards at a crazy angle. don''t worry about that, you''re not done.
3. ease the main halyard so the front edge of the sail (luff) slides down the mast slot so the forward grommet on the reef point is even with the boom. There should be a line that again passes from a tieoff on one side of the Mast, through that forward grommet, to a cleat on the otherside of the mast. Harden and cleat.
4. tighten up the main halyard again and cleat it off.
5. tighten up the boomvang.
6. Those extra grommets in the middle of the sail along the reefline: pass short ties through them and tie them off around the boom with (of course) reef knots.

Practice this at the dock with no wind until it''s orderly and fast, because when you have to do this, it''s usually blowing.
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Old 10-27-2004
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Reefing

Thank You for the responses . I hope to be out on the water this weekend and will practice some before sailing and in gentle winds . I started to reef the other day when it was 15 gusting to 22 but didnt . I wish I had been sure it was okay to just put the stress on the leech and the luff, but not being sure I went out with full main and a 90% jib . Boat heeled over to about 25-30 consistantly but the winds were shifting so much my two first timers were a bit uneasy as well as me so I just dropped sail and went in . Thanks again for the help
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Reefing

There''s nothing wrong with leaving the dock with a reef in. Especially with new sailors on a windy day. It''s all about having a good experience out there.
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Old 10-28-2004
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Reefing

Maxcotax has given you a very complete description of how to reef a two line reefing system. I would only take one exception to this well written post regarding the sequence. He is suggesting that you make up the clew reef line first. On most boats it is not possible to properly make up the luff with the clew made up first. I would suggest that the sequence, after easing the vang and downhaul, be to ease the halyard (it makes sense to mark the halyard so that you know how much to ease), secure the tack of the sail at the tack reef cringle, tighten the halyard and then make up the clew reef line. I recommend against using the reef points (nettles)on a boat this size as sooner or later you will end up releasing the clew and damaging the sail.

One more specific point about the Venture. My recollection of the way that Ventures were made is that there was a set of reef hooks at the tack rather than being a two line reefing system. If you look at the point at which the tack of the sail is attached to the boom at the gooseneck, there is a hooked shaped piece of metal on either side. The reef tack cringle gets hooked on either of those hooks making sure that you don''t catch any sailcloth in the hook.

Regards,
Jeff
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Old 10-29-2004
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Reefing

I''d add 2 items to the advice already given:

- When you''re getting ready to reef, heave-to on starbord first. Heaving-to is pretty easy: start on port tack, then tack over to starboard withough moving the jib--leave it backed. Ease the main out until it''s just luffing. Push the tiller towards the lee, like you''re trying to tack again, and secure it there with some line. The wind should be coming from about 60 degrees starboard. You''ll be moving mostly sideways downwind, pretty slowly. The boat will be pretty stable. And you''ll be on starboard tack--right-of-way over nearly everything. Plus, most boats are easier to reef from the starboard side of the boom/mast. With the main eased, you can set your reef easily. To get under way, just release the jib and re-set it on the lee side and harden up the main.

- Don''t use anything to tie up the loose foot of the reefed main unless you really need to for visibility or if the loose sail is going to chafe or catch on something. If you do tie it up, consider using bungie cord or very light line that will break before the sail rips. If you tie it up too tight, you can tear out the reefing grommets. Usually, only the tack and clew reefing grommets are strong enough to take any load. The mid-sail grommets are just for pretty.

bw
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Old 11-05-2004
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Reefing

Bob,
Can I tweak this thread just a little off topic to ask a question of everyone about those middle reef points? Are they just for tidiness or are they very important for redistributing the load of the sail down onto the boom, and taking stress off the tack and clew points as well as the luff edge? I ask because I have heard comments both ways. For instance our local Catalina rep says if you do not tie up the reef points you run the risk of tearing out the sail slugs in the mast due to overload.
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Old 11-05-2004
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Reefing

A lot of this depends on the design of the sail and the design of the boat but in a general sense there should be no increased load on the slugs when reefed as there should be a reinforced tack cringle on the sail. The tack cringle should be held by a reef hook or tack downhaul and therefore should take both the vertical and horizontal loads. Similarly there should be a reinforced clew fitting at the end that is lead to the clew reef line. On a modern sail the nettles or reef points (what you call the middle reef points) are only there to tidy up the sail and are not sufficiently reinforced to withstand any significant loads. Loading the nettles with a load is more like than not to damage the sail over time. It sounds like your local Catalina rep does not sound like he has reefed a boat with reef hooks, or else the Catalinas he has experienced were not equipped with reef hooks.

Jeff
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Old 11-06-2004
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Reefing

Jeff, Several times I got back and looked at the load points on my boat when reefed and could not see how I could unload the luff edge by tieing down the middle reef points. I think my Catalina rep might have simply been oversailed even with a reef in, and that''s what popped the sail slugs. They are not very sturdy, most of us carry spares. I''m satisfied the middle reef point ties are for tidiness. We didn''t tie them off on our Beneteau (unsafe at that time)and it did not appear to be a bad thing.
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