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best way to reef a main
It''s interesting that most of the responders to this nearly year-old question assumed it was in a racing context. If not racing, I like to heave-to on starboard to reef. That way the boat is stable, you have rights over most other sailboats, and the helmsperson can help reef if needed.
As for sail ties to tidy the loose slabs, definitely must be careful here as it''s real easy to tear the sail. Like Jeff, I don''t do this for the first reef, since there''s not much of a slab hanging down. On the 2nd reef there is, and it''s noisy and blocks my view, so I tie it up real loose with light string, which will break long before the sail ever tears.
If hove-to, you usually can''t reach the boom to tidy up the slab, so we do this after getting back under way.