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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 09-08-2001
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reefing

I have a small full keel daysailer that I don''t take out in winds much stronger than 15 knots because I feel over powered. It has a large mainsail and only a small jib, but the main does not have any reefing points. So the only way I can think to shorten sail is to either drop the jib(but then I would not be able to go to windward), or drop the main (but that would leave me with only a small jib which would not get me very far)! So does anyone know of a way to trim sails with the set up I have? Or maybe a way to set my sails so that some power is taken out when i have all the canvas up when the breeze is a litte stiffer?
Thanks
tsv
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Old 09-08-2001
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reefing

Many older daysailers had roller reefing booms. These old style roller reefing booms worked one of two ways. Either you pulled aft on the boom and this allowed the boom to turn on an axle or on less sophisticated boats you simply pulled the gooseneck slide off the mast. In either case you simply (or semi simply if you had to rework the mainsheet) rolled some of the mainsail around the boom and then re-raised the sail.

Your other option would be to have a clew and tack reef cringle and cringle reinforcing patches added to you sail and then add a reef hook and a simple one line reef line for the tack of the sail.

Good sailing
Jeff
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Old 09-09-2001
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reefing

Jeff I took a closer look at the boom and I think that roller reefing is possible. Now all I ahve to do is try it! Thanks for you help!
tsv
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Old 10-21-2001
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reefing

tsv,
If it''s possible to roller-reef your boom, you will notice that the boom has a couple of specific features:
1) it''s round
2) it spins freely at the gooseneck (probably)
3) the mainsheet attaches at the end
34 there is a specially-built vang that will work when the sail is wound around the boom.
There are some other techniques to use to de-power a sail when the wind kicks up if you are reefless:
Make sure you''ve hauled the main up tight in the first place. Snug that halyard before you get into stiff wind.
In wind, you want a "flat" (less curved) sail. For the main, tighten the outhaul, and snug down the boom vang to prevent lift, even when working to weather.
For the jib, as the breeze freshens, sliding the jib fairleads forward will allow you to tighten the jib down so that the leech (back edge) is tight (curve is relatively flat looking from the cockpit) and not as efficent at drawing at the wind. When the breeze stiffens and this is no longer effective, slide the fairleads all the way back and keep the trim loose: wind will now spill out of the twist in the jib and the point of pressure has moved away from the front (luff) of the sail (same principle as discussion for mailsail below).
Tightening the outhaul will flatten the profile of the mainsail, reducing it''s lift (power).
Sliding the traveller completely downwind will de-power the main by allowing wind to spill out of the sail instead of driving it.
Keeping the mainsheet trimmed loosely as well will move the force of the wind back along the sail, away from the luff (the 12 inches of canvas closest to the mast). When the pressure hits the sail farther back, it drives the boat w/ less power. You can see the pressure eased along the front of the sail as the point of pressure moves back. It may not look graceful, but it''s acutally a very seaman-like maneuver.
When the wind is heavy and you''ve done all the above, you can "pinch up." Steer the boat close-hauled, and then just a bit higher into the wind. Steer as high as you can without stalling. This causes the wind to travel around the sail with less disturbance and less lift is created. When on this extreme point, you must be careful not to let the bows fall off the wind: you will heel over, round up hard and lose your boatspeed.
In most boats, dousing (hauling down) the jib is an effective way to reduce power. You may lose a bit of headway and gain some leeway (slippage), but there is plenty of wind to drive you along. The only difference you will notice is likely to be less heel and less tendency for rounding up. (Okay, maybe some lee helm as well).
I sail a small boat without reefs, and have read about and practiced this quite a bit. When used in conunction, these techniques can turn a panic into a thrilling, but still controlled, ride, and make you a better sailor.
P.S. If your sail is "blown out" (stretched-out) you will not be able to flatten it physically: it''s time to go shopping for a new sail (one with reefpoints!)
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Old 10-29-2001
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reefing

Thanks very much for your reply. I have noticed that I have the roller reefing system. I have tried it and it seems to work quite well when I know it is going to be breezy and can reef it ahead of time. But my main is quite blown out (about time for a new one I would say), so I find it hard to shape it to take some of the power out in the middle of a gust. But thank you for the new sail trim ideas, there are always apprecieated.
TSV
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Old 11-07-2001
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A new question on reefing. My main has one reef point but no rigging except for 5 ties along the boom . How are the forward and rear reef points rigged with lines to pull the main down to its reef point?
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Old 11-08-2001
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reefing

This somewhat depends on the size of your boat but the most minimal reefing system has a reef hook at the gooseneck that the tack cringle is hooked on and a single reef clew line that starts by being tied around the boom or to an eye on the boom. This is then lead aft to a sheeve near or at the end of the boom and then is lead forward to a cleat on the side or bottom of the boom. A more sophisticated system has the clew line running forward to a block at the bottom of the boom near the gooseneck, then down to a turning block at the deck and then aft to the cockpit. That is typically associated with a line that starts at the Reef tack cringle and runs through a guide at the gooseneck and then down to a turning block at the deck and then back to the cockpit. This set up works best on a boat where the halyard is also run back to the cockpit.

Regards
Jeff
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