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post #1 of 11 Old 12-13-2010 Thread Starter
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Proper Reefing Procedure

I've never yet had to use the 2nd reef on my main, but I was thinking and wondering about something.

If you're getting ready to go out into conditions you know will require a second reef, do you tie in the first one and then the second, or do you just go right to the second and ignore the first? I can't picture what effect, if any, it would have on the sail shape to do it one way or the other.
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-13-2010
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Good Question

I guess I never really thought about this, but come to think of it I did go out once where I started w/ the 2nd reef and shook it out, and then put it back in later. (Very up and down wind conditions)

I think if you KNOW you're going to start out double reefed the moment you leave the dock, then snug up the first reef and secure it, then put the second reef in and tension the luff tight.

IF you are able to go to the first reef it's already set up and you'll have less hassle handling the sail. And if you then find you need to go back to the second reef it will be that much easier.
Just my .02
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-13-2010
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I've never yet had to use the 2nd reef on my main, but I was thinking and wondering about something.
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If you're getting ready to go out into conditions you know will require a second reef, do you tie in the first one and then the second, or do you just go right to the second and ignore the first? I can't picture what effect, if any, it would have on the sail shape to do it one way or the other.
There is no need or benefit to putting in a first reef unless you expect to use it. It would be a waste of time.

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post #4 of 11 Old 12-13-2010
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I think the answer depends a lot on your reefing mechanism.

On my boat I have three reefs. There are rings on the luff for each reef, and lines to leech rings. If I'm skipping a reef I don't bother with the luff rings but do crank in--hard--each of the leech reefs. This helps keep the bunt tidy and provides more flexibility later.

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post #5 of 11 Old 12-13-2010
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Yes, you should tuck in reef 1 before you do #2. That way, if the storm (wind) abates a little, you can still “shift gears”. If you need reef #2 to leave the dock, perhaps that isn’t a good day for sailing? If you start out in reef #2 conditions, do you have a reef #3 if things get worse? We use a messenger line between the reef #1 and #2 clews. The reef #2 line is on the boom, but not reeved. I don’t like to keep it roven because of chaffe, wear, noise… you get the picture. After reef #1 is in, I tie the messinger to the flemish and thread then it through while underway. Pretty simple to do. For reef#3, I untie the reef#1 line and reeve it using the #2-#3 messinger. My Cunningham gear becomes the new tack. Something you guys who reguarly sail in snotty conditions might consider is a stropping strap that you reeve through the new clew and around the boom. This will take some of the stain off of the reefing line and will keep the clew down on the boom where it belongs. I had my sailmaker sew velcro on both sides of some spectra webbing. Really fast and it gets the job done.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-13-2010
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Obviously this doesn't apply to all reefing setups, but I always take in the first reef before the second, even at the dock. I have two-line jiffy reefing and I leave the lines rove through the blocks and cringles all the time, so if I took in the second without the first, I'd have the first reef's lines dangling down from the boom and getting snagged in blocks and in the tight spots between the sail and all the hardware.

So for me it's a tidiness thing.

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post #7 of 11 Old 12-13-2010
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I generally put in the reefs in order. The main reason for this, at least for me, is that you will generally not go from a 2nd or 3rd reef to a full mainsail, so when you're shaking the reef out, you'll usually be shaking one reef out at a time, and if you haven't put in the other reefs at the time, you may end up with a problem when trying to shake one out.

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post #8 of 11 Old 12-14-2010
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I follow the same procedure as Dog, however if I KNEW I needed the second reef I might rethink leaving the dock at that moment.

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post #9 of 11 Old 12-14-2010
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Exactly my thoughts. A second reef is getting pretty serious. But I guess if I knew the conditions were going to lighten, then putting in the first, then the second, would make the most sense.

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post #10 of 11 Old 12-14-2010
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But that's when it is just getting interesting...

Of course, if you don't have a third reef in your main, that makes it less interesting...

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I follow the same procedure as Dog, however if I KNEW I needed the second reef I might rethink leaving the dock at that moment.

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