Reefing without reefing points - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-24-2008
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Reefing without reefing points

OK, I am sure this has been covered somewhere, but after extensive searching I cannot seem to be able to find it...

There has got to be some technique for reefing the mainsail without using reefing points... right?

I have a '69 Cal-25 that has no reefing points on the mainsail. Short of spending some time with a sewing machine to install reef points, what can be done on a mainsail that has no reef points to reduce sail area in heavy weather?

Muchisimas Gracias!
-Rup
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Old 03-24-2008
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Dowse it? I dunno.
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Old 03-24-2008
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With a mainsail, your choices are to reef it or take it down. I would not recommend that you try to fabricate reef points yourself. I've never tried it with a small sail. You might be able to do it, but it would be very easy to ruin a good sail if you don't do it right.

When the wind is too strong and the mainsail can't be reefed, most people change their jib to a smaller one, flatten the sails as much as possible and ease the mainsheet in the puffs. If that isn't enough to keep the boat on its feet, then it's time to take the sails down and take her home.
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Old 03-24-2008
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Furling it is pretty much your only choice, unless you go to a roller boom furling setup... and getting a sailmaker to add a set of reef points is probably cheaper and easier.
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Old 03-24-2008
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its like tryin to remove your shorts befroe removing your pants...someone may have done it...but I don't kow how....

Get a sailmaker to add reefing points...easy and cheap
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Old 03-24-2008
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Its pretty perplexing that a Cal 25 would have been built without a reefing arrangement. Is there a chance it has a roller furling boom?

If not, are there a reefing tack hook and a reefing line block? If not I would efinitely have a sailmaker add at least one reef point, then add the necessary tackle for reefing. See the thread Reefing, Spiral Lacing vs single line and how to tell what you've got? for relevant details.
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Old 03-24-2008
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Just to be certain, are we talking about a sail that has no apparent provision for reefing built into it; i.e. no reef cringles (grommets) on the leech or luff, and no reef points (ties) in the sail either? Such a sail could be reefed with a roller-furler boom. If you've bought the boat used, the reefing handle you'd need to turn the boom may have been lost overboard, or lost at the bottom of a bosn's drawer or bucket somewhere on board. Have someone who knows give it a look, or post us picture here of the boom gooseneck. We should be able to tell from that if it's a roller-furler boom. If it isn't a roller-furler boom and it doesn't have any provision for reefing in the sail, you may want to have your sailmaker add some. This depends a bit on the size of the boat, however, and how you use it. Our Soling (27') had no provision for reefing the sails whatsoever. When it blew harder we let the sail flog when we had to and hiked more. If the sail has cringles but no ties, it is set up for jiffy or slab reefing. There are many books and articles that describe how that works. Once the sail has been drawn tight, you don't really need to tie it off further - it's just cosmetic, so the ties aren't really necessary. Sometimes there are grommets set in the sail without the reef-points (ties) In that case you can reeve a line through the holes and around the boom to hold the loose sailcloth from flapping, but again, it's just a question of what you prefer.
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Old 03-24-2008
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Lots of boats that get raced in beer can races fly sails with no reefing points. It is not that unusual. Maybe the PO just didn't want to spend the money of reefing points. In a short race there is almost no time to reef anyway.
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Old 03-25-2008
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Yep, I agree with the sentiments above, I know of no way to reef without the appropriate reefing points and not causing damage to the sail.

I have only two reef points in my main and in my opinion it needs a third so I shall have one put in. But if I need to go smaller on the main than my existing two reef points will allow, the main goes into the stakpak.

Andre
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Old 03-26-2008
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Bummer. I suppose that explains why I couldn't find any info on techniques on the web. The boom is definitely not roller and the sail has no cringles, ties, grommets or anything else of the sort.

If I was to have some sort of reefing points put in the sail what would be the best suggestion as to type and a fair price for the work? My first thought is grommets put in at the edges for jiffy reefing and a few cringles to tie the loose fabric to the boom. Or is there a better or more economical way? grommets all the way across...?
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