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post #1 of 6 Old 09-14-2009 Thread Starter
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Reefing a Cutter Rig

I was out about amonth ago on Decision, a Baba 40 Cutter, in a 35-40 knot wind. I was unsure whether I should reef both the staysail and the jib (as well as the main), or simply take one of the head sails in and reef the other. Decision seemed to handle fine reefing both headsails, but it left me wondering if there is a preferred method of reefing a cutter rig in high winds?
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-14-2009
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Not knowing your boat. I would guess to furl the headsail. Leaving a full staysail, and a reefed main. I sail a cutter, and only reef the headsail about 25% going to windward, and then I furl it. I am guessing at the %, and go by the look of the sail.......i2f

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post #3 of 6 Old 09-14-2009
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On Laurie Anne I do what Imagine said. I reef the main first, and then the headsail (simultaneous if conditions warrant). If the wind picks up I furl the headsail in and leave the full staysail and take a second reef in the main. If it were to get even more serious (haven't had to do this - yet) I would take the third reef in the main and furl in 10% or so of the staysail. Beyond that I don't want to think about

John
SV Laurie Anne

1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-14-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I assume the reasoning here is that reefing the jib much beyond 20% causes it to lose shape and you're better off just taking it in and sailing on the staysail. The sail I referred to in the opening post took place during a tropical storm that made it's way to Maine. The wind built over the morning and ultimately we took the jib and the main all the way in and let the staysail out. This was clearly a mistake and Decision became very balky on a beam reach with just the staysail. I'm assuming I should have left some main out for balance...we didn't put the main back out as we were close to the harbor at that point and happy to get back before the wind ultimately built to 50 knots..
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-14-2009
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I sail an almost identical configuration - Tayana 37

Most Bob Perry designed boat reef best something like this:

Back to front then to staysl
1. ist reef in main - 18
2. partial sail area reduction of headsail 20-22
3. second reef in main + use of yankee (may be partly furled) 28
4. full reduction/removal of headsail 30-35+
5. third reef in main and flattening the staysail on the clubfoot. ... or staysail only 40+
6. Third reef in main only & hove to, etc. 50+
6. Mommy !!!!!!! 60+

of course the actual sea state and which direction you are going against/with the wind will dictate.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-14-2009 Thread Starter
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That's great - thanks. I'm going for a 5 day trip starting the end of next week - hope I get enough wind somewhere in there to practice!
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