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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Updating my mainsail reefing rigging
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Thread: Updating my mainsail reefing rigging Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-19-2008 09:45 PM
sailingdog I'd have to agree with faster that an outhaul with some leverage to it is really necessary, for instance, when you're trying to flatten the mainsail in higher winds... getting a bit more leverage makes a big difference.

BTW, I like the Dutchman Boom Brake, as I said before. I think that it is probably the easiest of the three to setup and the most cost-effective. The Wichard has to have a special line for the setup and because it has no moving parts is the least adjustable and probably the one with the most chafe. The Dutchman is adjustable in three different ways... rope diameter, rope tension and wheel tension. The Scott Boomlock is somewhat adjustable, but looks to be the most complicated IMHO to install... and is by far the most expensive.
01-19-2008 09:15 PM
Faster
Quote:
Originally Posted by lharmon View Post


My outhaul is a joke. The main has slugs that run along the boom. The block at the end is very small. I go from it up to a cleat. There is no block and tackle, nothing internal. But it’s only a 30 footer and the main is 254 ft². So I tighten the outhaul for strong winds and loosen it as they moderate. But I cannot re-tighten it without taking the load off the sail. I wonder what would happen if I just cut the lug off?


...


LH
Most outhauls need the load released on the main in order to put more tension on, esp when going upwind... unless they are hydraulic. So that in itself is not a condemnation of your setup.

The slug at the clew is important, but it may well be possible to cut off the boltrope/slugs along the foot and convert to a loosefooted main. Without the heavier slug at the clew, though, the main will tend to lift from the boom and that will reduce the effectiveness of the outhaul.

A modern day alternative to that heavy slug, esp with a loose foot main, is a double-wrap velcro strap that goes around the boom and through the clew cringle. This works well and results in much less friction on the outhaul (as does a loose foot main) It also makes it much easier to remove (unbend) the main if you need to do that.

Should you wish to go that route, the sailmaker who modifies your main can make you such a strap.

As to your reef lines, you may wish to put a light (plastic)padeye or two along the boom to keep them from sagging into the cockpit if they happen to get loose now and then.

Also cut them to length so that with stopper knots they are just slightly loose when the main is hoisted and the outhaul is eased. That will avoid unnecessary line getting in the way or flogging about and catching on cleats/heads/etc.

btw - if you ever get a new mainsail for that boat it will be difficult to really set it properly in all conditions without an outhaul that has some extra purchase, so that may be something to think about for your "wish list".
01-19-2008 08:25 PM
lharmon
OK it's making sense now!

Faster and Sailingdog;

You pack a lot of info into one post! Garhauer required tracings of the boom and mast on their order form so it comes with everything I will need. They told me the boom will not drop due to the model I am buying. They make them custom for each application and I felt like they give really good value for the price. Sailingdog confirms my decision.

I like what you said about using the hardware that exists for the Vang. I believe that is what it was used for in the past life of the boat due to a conveniently placed bail mid-boom. I have also used it to run a downhaul through the Cunningham to play with the sail shape.


My outhaul is a joke. The main has slugs that run along the boom. The block at the end is very small. I go from it up to a cleat. There is no block and tackle, nothing internal. But it’s only a 30 footer and the main is 254 ft². So I tighten the outhaul for strong winds and loosen it as they moderate. But I cannot re-tighten it without taking the load off the sail. I wonder what would happen if I just cut the lug off?


I think I will try to stay external like you all and Mikehoyt discussed. It gives Murphy fewer opportunities and conforms to the KISS principal.


Sailingdog I know the line to the bow is not an optimal preventer. Do you have a favorite boom brake. I used it because it was cheap – well free actually! And thanks for the tips on the winch mounting.


Thank you for all your help.


LH
01-19-2008 07:21 PM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by lharmon View Post
Faster and Sailingdog thanks for your excellent responses and advice.

I realize I have 2 choices. One is to handle the reefing right on the boom and the other is to run lines back. Technically the leech line is currently led aft. Just not very elegantly. I also realize that Sailingdog’s advice is very sound keeping everyone in the cockpit, faster, and simpler, etc. But I do love to go forward in a blow and check things out. Plus I sail a monohull which means when I’m at hull speed Sailingdog is well into double digits and living it up! He probably covers 2-3 miles in the time it taks me to reef.
Damn, you must be exceptionally slow at reefing...no wonder you need a new setup... it takes me at least eight minutes to go two nautical miles...
Quote:

Faster I am ordering a Gauhauer rigid boom vang. I have wanted one for going down wind plus I’d love to lose the toping lift. Whenever we head downwind I run a line from the boom to the bow and then aft to act as a preventer. This works real well. I would seriously consider running everything aft but I hate to go to too much trouble because in a season or two we will be upsizing because the kids are getting much larger.
The Garhauer gear rocks...

However, I think a boombrake is safer than a preventer. A preventer can cause problems in a bad gybe where the boom is pinned and the boat will get knocked down... a boom brake tends to avoid those same situations, since the boom can move...just not quickly enough to injure anyone.

Quote:


If I do decide to run lines aft how do I get sheaves inside the boom? I assume you have to make cutouts. Is there any way to be sure this will not weaken the boom too much? Or should I just shop for a new one. If I decide to keep the action up by the gooseneck is there a special mounting plate to put a winch on the boom or is this a metal shop issue?
Depends on the boom in question. Many have end castings with sheaves in them already. Many can be retrofitted to be this way... others require hacking and cutting. As for the mounting plate—you can make one out of aluminum, have a machine shop make it up or make one up out of thickened epoxy. The thickened epoxy route isn't too hard to do. If you can, through-bolt rather than drill, tap and then use machine screws. Through-bolting is much stronger.

Quote:


Thanks once again for your help and advice. I will be reading the links so I can learn to use this forum better. And I plan to check out the reefing links this evening.


LH
Glad to help. If you have more questions, let us know.
01-19-2008 06:50 PM
Faster Buying a rigid vang is a great idea, getting rid of the topping lift is also something I like as it cleans things up and reduces chafe on the leach of the main. My spinlock rigid vang has a ratchet switch that allows the boom to be rigidly supported during reefs and when the sail is down. I don't know if the Gerhauer model does. If not you may have to deal with the boom dropping during the reefing process (not a real problem, just realize that you need to drop things gently or you might lose some gelcoat) This is the one advantage of a topping lift.

Does the Gerhauer come with mast/boom fittings? If so I'd expect they are engineered for the expected loads. If not and you have to buy/fabricate your own, then you do need to be sure that these fittings are up to par (and, of course, that they match the end fittings on the vang). For convenience and safety the vang should be led aft.

With that thought, perhaps you can use the currently led-back clew line's hardware to handle the vang and revert to a boom-mounted system for the reef line, since you are at the mast already.

If your boom-end and gooseneck fittings do not already have the required sheaves (btw- how is your outhaul set up?) then you can run lines inside from the cheekblocks with standard exit slots like you see for internal halyards..plus another exit forward to get to the cleats. This does require cutting into the boom, and if that makes you nervous then perhaps you're best to leave things external.

Depending on the boom section size, you can run your reefing lines down the same side or one on each side (more common). Run from a padeye (or around the boom if loose footed) to the clew cringle, down to the cheek block (opposite side of padeye if used) and forward to the cleat near the gooseneck. If you run each reef down either side, then you kind of have a favoured tack (windward side) on which to put each reef in. That takes a wee bit more planning and forethought.

Many booms have sheaves and clutches built into the gooseneck fitting; this works well too, and a single winch mounted on the underside of the boom can help with tensioning either clew if necessary. But it doesn't sound like you have that setup.

Check out the various catalogues and on-line resources for diagrams and hardware ratings.
01-19-2008 06:07 PM
lharmon
Couple of clairifications

Faster and Sailingdog thanks for your excellent responses and advice.

I realize I have 2 choices. One is to handle the reefing right on the boom and the other is to run lines back. Technically the leech line is currently led aft. Just not very elegantly. I also realize that Sailingdog’s advice is very sound keeping everyone in the cockpit, faster, and simpler, etc. But I do love to go forward in a blow and check things out. Plus I sail a monohull which means when I’m at hull speed Sailingdog is well into double digits and living it up! He probably covers 2-3 miles in the time it taks me to reef.

Faster I am ordering a Gauhauer rigid boom vang. I have wanted one for going down wind plus I’d love to lose the toping lift. Whenever we head downwind I run a line from the boom to the bow and then aft to act as a preventer. This works real well. I would seriously consider running everything aft but I hate to go to too much trouble because in a season or two we will be upsizing because the kids are getting much larger.


If I do decide to run lines aft how do I get sheaves inside the boom? I assume you have to make cutouts. Is there any way to be sure this will not weaken the boom too much? Or should I just shop for a new one. If I decide to keep the action up by the gooseneck is there a special mounting plate to put a winch on the boom or is this a metal shop issue?


Thanks once again for your help and advice. I will be reading the links so I can learn to use this forum better. And I plan to check out the reefing links this evening.


LH
01-19-2008 05:17 PM
micetic This is great
01-19-2008 05:14 PM
mikehoyt On my last boat we had two reefs set up with jiffy reefing. There were TWO blocks on stbd side of mast pretty much under each aof the two reef cringles. From there they were led outside the boom thru the collar (which vang attached to) and to a double block at gooseneck. From tehre to another double block at base of mast and back to cockpit.

Hope this helps

Mike
01-19-2008 12:55 PM
sailingdog Lharmon-

Read this post, as it should explain most of your questions about getting the most out of sailnet.

If you're going to lead the reefing lines aft, you really should lead the main halyard, topping lift and outhaul aft as well. I highly recommend using a two-line reefing system, even though this takes a bit more hardware than a single-line reefing system, because it allows you better control over the reefed sail shape and it is usually faster. There are other advantages to two-line reefing systems, which you can read about here.

You'll probably want a fairlead on either side of the mast, just a bit above or below where the gooseneck attaches to lead the reefing tack lines fair down to the foot blocks to turn them aft. You'll also want the reefing tack lines to come through the boom and then down to foot blocks.

Lead all seven (or eight) lines aft to line clutches, and then to a winch or two. The lines are as follows:
  1. Topping Lift
  2. Main Halyard
  3. Outhaul
  4. Cunningham or Boom Vang(optional)
  5. Reef 1 Tack
  6. Reef 1 Clew
  7. Reef 2 Tack
  8. Reef 2 Clew

Then to reef:
  • Turn head to wind or heave to,
  • Release the Mainsheet, Boomvang and/or Cunningham.
  • Ease the Outhaul
  • Tension the Topping Lift
  • Lower the Main Halyard to the reefing point you want to use—these should be marked on the halyard by a whipping.
  • Tension the Reef Tack line
  • Tension the Reef Clew line
  • Tension the Main Halyard
  • Ease the Topping lift
  • Tension the Boomvang
  • Set the Mainsheet.

To shake out a reef:
  • Turn head to wind or heave to,
  • Release the Mainsheet, Boomvang and/or Cunningham.
  • Tension the Topping Lift
  • Ease the Reef Clew line
  • Ease the Reef Tack line
  • Tension the Main Halyard
  • Tension the Outhaul if using the full main
  • Ease the Topping lift
  • Tension the Boomvang
  • Set the Mainsheet.

As for setting the deck hardware up for this, you'll need seven or eight line clutches, in whatever combination will work for you, a winch that is normally free for use for these lines, seven or eight blocks to use as turning blocks near the mast base, and several deck organizers.

The hardware should all be properly secured, bedded and backed for the loads involved. Setting it up this way should make it possible for you to reef in under two minutes without having to leave the cockpit.

I think this is all about right, but mistakes are possible, so YMMV.
01-19-2008 12:50 PM
Freesail99 Speaking of a boom vang ( which I don't have ) how does one figure out the load factor to size it ?
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