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Old 09-11-2007
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Reefing, Spiral Lacing vs single line and how to tell what you've got?

I was reading this morning, and I had some questions about my reefing system on my older boat.

Firstly, I don't know if I am supposed to spiral lace my reefed main or if I am using a strange system of single line reefing. Let me supply some drawings to help (picture # 1 and 2).






Ok now my five questions... and I hope these drawings come out clearly!

How to route these lines properly?
How can these reef lines reach the cleats if the main is flaked down?
How do I keep my boom from sagging down after I spiral lace and tie these off?
How to I tension the new "outhaul" on the reef?
and finally, can I simply tie small lines through the grommets with a reef knot on each end so they don't fall out, then when I reef, I make the lines almost act like sail ties, and reattach the outhaul to the final grommet? (see last picture)

Thanks for any help here, I'm stumped. My other boats either don't reef, or the big one has a roller reef, which is a no brainer.


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Old 09-11-2007
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The reefing line coming up out of the boom goes through the reefing clew only and then down to the boom. If you lead it in the spiral, as shown in the second image, you won't be able to tension the reefed "foot" of the sail, since you'll have effectively eliminated the outhaul function of the reefing line. It would also be very difficult to tighten the line without causing damage to the sail by overtightening the reefing points.

The larger aftmost cringle is the reefing clew. The larger forwardmost cringle is the reefing tack. The smaller cringles are for reefing ties, which do not hold the sail down, but are used to keep the bunt (slack portion of the sail) from flogging. These lines should be kept relatively loose, as any real tension on these grommets will tear the sail at that point. If you have a loose-footed main, tie the sail ties around the sail only, not the sail and boom.

BTW, you need to use a reefing line, as the outhaul will not provide the downward tension on the reefing clew, which a reefing line will. The section of the reefing line that goes from the boom up to the reefing clew provides the downwards tension, while the section going from the reefing clew to the aft end of the boom (in your case they go to the two cheek blocks) provides the outhaul tension.

BTW, you should always tension the reefing tack first, then tighten up on the reefing clew. This will help prevent you from tearing the sail.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-11-2007 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 09-11-2007
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It just looks like a couple of your lines are routed incorrectly. When reefing, there are two parts of the sail that need to be held down - the tack and the clew. The tack is held down by the hooks on the front of the boom. The clew lines need to be re-run. Run them from the padeye on the boom (labeled "lines are spliced here" on the above diagram) up through the first grommet on the leech of the sail, back down through the turning block and forward to the cleat. To reef, drop your main so you can get the tack cringle (grommet) in the hook, then raise your main halyard a little bit to tension it, and then pull in the line at the back end running through the leech end of the sail. Then use the ties/pieces of line to tidy up the sail and keep it from flapping. I'm sure someone else will step up and draw you a picture. With regards to tightening the outhaul - that's not necessary as the line going through the turning block will end up acting as an outhaul too.
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Old 09-11-2007
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ok so if I re-route the reef lines (from the padeye through the cringle and then to the turning block, terminating at the cleat "Reef 1"), then I would need to tie in a small overhand knot or two to keep the line from simply pulling straight through the clew cringle and not supplying tension?

I think I have it down now if that is the case:

line -> padeye to cringle with knot to "hold" then to turning block, pull tight, then tie off.

Rest of the cringles: whip up some small lines of about 3/8" to use as sail ties to keep things tidy.

Tack: obviously, in the hooks on the gooseneck.

WAIT - I just had an idea, why can't I supply a bowline attached to a shackle to that reef line then all I do is clip in the "new" outhaul, and run the line through the turning block without needing to tie a knot that could snag or bind?

THANKS GUYS! This totally shed light on this subject for me, I was honestly left feeling like I lost 100IQ after trying to sort this out before.

Robert

Last edited by Lancer28; 09-11-2007 at 02:01 PM.
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Mine is tied to itself, the reefing line becomes the "new" outhaul this way. You can spiral lace thru the other grommets, I prefer to use individual lines as it's easier to undo. These lines are JUST to neaten up that fold of mainsail flaked to the boom and should not be under tension.
Reefing, Spiral Lacing vs single line and how to tell what you've got?-c270bomd.jpg
Hope this picture helps.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer28 View Post
ok so if I re-route the reef lines (from the padeye through the cringle and then to the turning block, terminating at the cleat "Reef 1"), then I would need to tie in a small overhand knot or two to keep the line from simply pulling straight through the clew cringle and not supplying tension?
Actually, the line should be tied to the boom, through the padeye, if there is one to locate the line. The way you'd route the line is:

Tie the line to the boom, through the padeye if there is one for the reefing point.

Run the line up and through the reefing clew cringle.

Then run it aft and down to the turning block on the boom

The run it forward to the cleat.

Quote:
I think I have it down now if that is the case:

line -> padeye to cringle with knot to "hold" then to turning block, pull tight, then tie off.

Rest of the cringles: whip up some small lines of about 3/8" to use as sail ties to keep things tidy.
1/4" should be sufficient.

Quote:
Tack: obviously, in the hooks on the gooseneck.
This is done as the first step of reefing the main. Shaking out a reef is done in reverse order of reefing a sail, so the tack hook is released last. This is to prevent you from damaging the sail's luff or the reef foot area.

Quote:
WAIT - I just had an idea, why can't I supply a bowline attached to a shackle to that reef line then all I do is clip in the "new" outhaul, and run the line through the turning block without needing to tie a knot that could snag or bind?

THANKS GUYS! This totally shed light on this subject for me, I was honestly left feeling like I lost 100IQ after trying to sort this out before.

Robert
The line is tied to the boom, and there is little chance of it snagging or binding on anything.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer28 View Post
ok so if I re-route the reef lines (from the padeye through the cringle and then to the turning block, terminating at the cleat "Reef 1"), then I would need to tie in a small overhand knot or two to keep the line from simply pulling straight through the clew cringle and not supplying tension?
There's no need to tie a knot in the leech cringle. The padeye should be almost directly below the leech cringle. You tie a bowline around the boom at the point of the padeye. You run it up through the cringle, back down through the turning block and then to the cleat. Now think about what happens when you pull in that line. The sail should be pulled down and aft. When it's tight, you shouldn't need an outhaul. I would not recommend putting a shackle anywhere near this as the chafe in the high winds might go right through the sail or the line.

Take a look at the diagrams on this link... single-line reefing installation

Imagine the green line being the hook, and the red line terminating at a cleat on the mast.
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Labatt's suggestion of tying a bowline around the boom only will work if you have a loose footed main or one with slugs along the foot. If you have a main with a boltrope, you'll have to tie the rope to the padeye instead.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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I'm going to use this from now on, how simple!

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