reefing main when sailing downwind - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 06-22-2009
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reefing main when sailing downwind

Hi

Just curious what procedure people use to reef their main (assuming slab, jiffy or single line reefing) when heading downwind.

do you heave-to, motor, come to a reach under the trimmed headsail and release the mainsheet? i find with strong track/Battcar systems and single line reefing one can easily just ease off the halyard and tension the reefing line simultaneously and it works great, but i'm not sure how safe it is and in some ways i prefer the other methods.

interested in your experiences.
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Old 06-22-2009
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Without the BattCar system there's simply too much friction to have much luck reefing the main without heading up to at least a beam reach. Today's prevalence of swept spreaders adds to the difficulty.

We typically round up to a close reach and put in a tuck before bearing off again.
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Old 06-22-2009
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Quote:
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We typically round up to a close reach and put in a tuck before bearing off again.

Me too!
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Old 06-22-2009
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Same here. If the sea is flat (i.e. you are close into shore with the wind coming off the land), you may be able to reef with the main centered, but it's really not worth it.
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Old 06-23-2009
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I do it from a close reach or else heave to.
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Old 06-23-2009
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Since I'm usually on my own, I go head-to-wind.
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Old 06-23-2009
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Paloma has slab reefing, so we turn into the wind and the headsail drops nicely into place and stays put while we put the grommet into the kringle and tie it to the boom.
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Old 06-23-2009
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Originally Posted by johnshasteen View Post
Paloma has slab reefing, so we turn into the wind and the headsail drops nicely into place and stays put while we put the grommet into the kringle and tie it to the boom.
you have a slab-reefing headsail with a boom????
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Old 06-26-2009
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He (johnshasteen) surely meant mainsail, not headsail!
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Old 06-26-2009
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Yeah, I know...just busting his chops a little.
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He (johnshasteen) surely meant mainsail, not headsail!
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