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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > I guessing we should've reefed or ?
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Thread: I guessing we should've reefed or ? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-10-2012 01:20 PM
Merit25lovers When in doubt - reef! Better to take the reef out after you are out in light wind, than trying to put the reef in after you are out in heavy wind!

If you didn't or couldn't reef and the wind gets too much for your comfort level, just let the boom out to dump the winfd out of the main (let the crew know so they can duck, and plan on a lot of noise from lufting), and drop the jib (just be sure to have one of your crew pulling it down as to not dump it in the drink!)
12-08-2011 12:14 AM
INMA I can't comment on the J22 but I have owned, raced and cruised in a J24 and they are a good yacht that handles well when reefed. The reason I bought my J24 was the lack of windows, many nights sleeping dry proved it to be a good decision.

2 reefs in and I have safely got home in 30+ knots without crew.

As novices, its worth setting at least the first reef in before leaving the jetty if the winds outside are lively. Its easy to shake a reef out and you know how to set it again if needed.

Regarding the comments about inclinometers and heeling, what rubbish. A yacht needs to be sailed in a manner that keeps all onboard safe and comfortable.

My current 24 foot yacht sails flat and fast reaching hull speed close hauled from about 8 knot to 20 knot winds and properly sailed she stays flat and fast.

In 20 knot winds she reaches at 10 to 12 knots hull speed flat and fast on main and jib.

My best run was in 20-25 knot winds under main and jib at 8 to 10 knot hull speed, again flat and fast for over 2 hours.

Sail an old fashioned keel boat and some heel is understandable but get in a more modern lighter yacht and enjoy speeds bigger yachts dream of, while relaxed at the tiller and flat and fast.

So a good skipper manages the yacht so everyone feels safe and comfortable, if that means reefing or motorsailing to give crew time to get use to a yacht and its motion that is ok. Changing course or staying in protected waters has no shame compared with upsetting crew.

A light yacht like the J24 is very safe when reefed and it can be sailed in comfort without putting the decks under. They can be sailed with rail meat to the point they submarine and sink, that is something the skipper controls, its not a characteristic of any particular yacht.
12-07-2011 09:48 PM
skygazer
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassdad View Post
The time to reef is at the moment that you think it might be time to reef. If you are inexperienced (or your passengers or crew are inexperienced), reef early. Additionally if you are in heavy winds where the rudder is exposed, reefing will make the boat handle better and alloow you to sail faster. The boat wont be over powered and over heeled. Everyone will have a better time.
I agree, reef early. So many people I know make a big deal out of it, mainly because they never reef so they resist. Do it a few times and get comfortable.

If it's blowing, or I think it will be when I get out of the sheltered area, I'll reef right at the dock or mooring. I don't even raise the sail all the way. And I use a working jib, not a genoa. ( I like hank ons!). It's amazing how well you will sail with reduced sail area, the boat stands up and flies. If you can hit hull speed reefed, there is no point in fighting things and struggling for control. You're supposed to be enjoying yourself.

If the wind drops, or turns out less than you thought, it's easy to shake out a reef. But trying to reef with scared help in high winds is not pleasant.
12-07-2011 05:32 PM
luck66 You will sail more if the wife is happy. Go in when she wants to.
Some times sailing is something you and your wife can not do together. My wife has trouble with sailing, so i go solo most of the time. We do other things together that we both enjoy.
10-19-2011 08:48 PM
glassdad The time to reef is at the moment that you think it might be time to reef. If you are inexperienced (or your passengers or crew are inexperienced), reef early. Additionally if you are in heavy winds where the rudder is exposed, reefing will make the boat handle better and alloow you to sail faster. The boat wont be over powered and over heeled. Everyone will have a better time.
10-18-2011 12:25 PM
CapnBilll I have been in this exact situation. Panicking seasick wife, learning to sail under heavy air, J24 heeling to much for comfort. I did reef though, I couldn't find anything on the boat that looked like reefing gear, so I finally used the sailties by tying them together end to end from the reefpoint to the outhaul cleat. It worked and made the boat much more manageble, even though I didn't have perfect sail shape.

The Admiral insisted we go back early anyway.
10-18-2011 12:14 AM
rgscpat Race boats like the J/22 and J/24 in strong breeze are designed to have an adequate crew actively hiking. Without that rail weight, and with a nervous significant other on board, reducing sail area has do be done much sooner than when in racing mode. One question that probably should be asked, given that this particular J/22 had sail controls in poor condition:
Was this particular boat set up for reefing? Some racing sails don't even have reef points. If a boat's sails aren't set up for reefing, then it would not be the best choice for a nervous beginner. And, with a hanked-on genoa or jib and a curved foredeck without a rail to provide confidence, I don't think your spouse would have polite words for you if you asked her to go forward to douse the headsail. And she might be just as nervous about you going forward and leaving her alone in control of the "monster".

PS, the concern about J/24s sinking seems partly based on older J/24s with cockpit locker doors that weren't secured, driven hard in race mode in heavy air (spinnaker wipeouts with an inattentive crew etc.). If you make sure that your boat has latchable lockers doors that secure properly, that will be good for peace of mind. Now, I think that if Bill had really meant to trash talk the 24s, he would have brought up the vermiculite... but now we're drifting well off course.

Oh, and if you really want your spouse to hate you, try teaching yourself aggressive spinnaker maneuvers in 20 knots while sailing short-handed (without a talented full-sized crew approaching the 275 kg/605 lb. J/22 class limit). It can be spectacular!
10-17-2011 11:35 PM
davidpm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Does anyone have more of a heavy cruiser you can try chartering? My first time sailing the late (Hunt version) Cal 24 was a revelation after the lighter boats - stiff, stable, predictable, sea-kindly. Just what you need to get your SO some confidence.
Great idea I chartered a Hunter 33 a few months ago in Pensacola FL. We sail a Catalina 25 here in Long Island Sound.
She steered the Hunter almost the whole time even in 25 knots and was very proud of herself that she wasn't bothered at all.

The boat makes a really big difference.
What was interesting is that at first she was very leery of steering the bigger boat but after just a couple of hours she found it much easier to control since it had a wheel and everything was so much slower.
So now she likes the idea of a much bigger boat, Sigh!!
10-17-2011 08:09 PM
MarkSF
Quote:
Originally Posted by anthemj24 View Post
The same could be said about the Santana 20, however you never seem to drag that into a thread.

From the Santana 20 class website



I am not at all defensive about J24s, but I will be vocal if someone is exaggerating the issues with the boat. It is not difficult to handle in heavy wind, and the sinking issue is solved be simply latching the cockpit lazarettes. If your intent is to be helpful, then you ought to include that simple bit of information on how to avoid sinking.
Does sound defensive to me. It would be churlish not to recognise that there are cruising sailboats and racing ones with different priorities. The J boats tend to fall into the latter category and are thus harder to sail in high winds than the former. I think that's the point Mr. Schock was making.
10-17-2011 07:57 PM
MarkSF You took a racer out on a windy day and that's why you had a hard time of it.

J-22 has sail area / displacement ratio of 24 and weighs 1800lb with a 700lb keel. That puts it in the class of lightweight racer and it's going to need to be reefed earlier (at least if you want to keep the heeling down) than a heavier cruiser. With winds of 12-17 knots, your level of experience, and your SO on board, I'd have been reefing the main from the start.

Does anyone have more of a heavy cruiser you can try chartering? My first time sailing the late (Hunt version) Cal 24 was a revelation after the lighter boats - stiff, stable, predictable, sea-kindly. Just what you need to get your SO some confidence.

An important skill is heaving to so you can have a break, reef, a sandwich, whatever.
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