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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 03-31-2012
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5 basic reefing tips.

Sail-World.com : Do You Know These Five 'Time-to-Reef' Signals?.

Mines a simple one, when the tiller is hard to hold on my Centaur, with head sail furling and boom roller reefing, I generally roll the Genoa in a couple of turns, then the main proportionaly until its time for the iron main to take over.

Safe sailing
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Old 03-31-2012
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

I like all the signals in that article.
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Old 03-31-2012
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

Link doesn't work for me.

Now it works:-)) Those five are all good and I think that just indicates that there are numerous signs that will tell you it's time. Each boat sails differently and so there's no one wind speed that applies to all, you need to get know your boat and mostly just be aware of what the wind is doing and anticipate when to reef. I tend to reef early because it's easier done in less wind, sometimes the wind fools me and I end up shaking it out but it's good practice.
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Old 03-31-2012
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by centaursailor View Post
[...., I generally roll the Genoa in a couple of turns, then the main proportionaly until its time for the iron main to take over...
What is your thinking here? Normally it is the lack of wind which causes us to resort to an engine. In any circumstances where there is a good breeze, even up to a gale, where you want to make progress, you will do so far easier under sail than power, the one exception being when you absolutely have to go directly into the wind.
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Old 03-31-2012
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

The link doesn't work for me either.

Upwind, we reef when we heel > 25 degrees. Boat speed falls off rapidly after that. Off the wind, when the boat rounds up, we reef.
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Old 03-31-2012
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

If you every ask yourself if you should reef, the answer is "yes."
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Old 03-31-2012
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

Well, this is a great thread. I have picked up lots from all I have read.

I have just repaired my spinnaker[assym] and put it into a new 'sock'. Itching to try it out but today is 20-25kn so, not today for me.

I shortened the spinnaker pole to just shy of the furler and I know this is too short for the foot of the 150% or the spinnaker, but at 18'6", any longer and ít was too heavy for a singlehander. Also I can gybe or tack with the spin pole out and it just swings [under control] across and out the other side. How much speed have I lost - dont know, dont care as I am usually close to hull speed anyway.

As fir the mainsail, I have had singleline and I have had a boom furler, but have reverted back (years ago) to plain old slab reefing with a cunningham. Its simple, does not fail and only takes seconds longer and is light weight if, as I do, you are overwinched.

Actually, that is probably my only addition to the conversation - I have winches that would suit a boat half as long again and the same goes for the ground tackle and windlass.

Not the best photo, but these are the spinnaker/150% winch and the inner jib or 100% genny sheet winch
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Old 04-01-2012
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

For those who cannot open the link. As to when to use the engine, with strong tides and drying harbours along the coast here the answer is when you have to.

Think of reefing as a balancing act instead of a heavy weather tactic. Sailboats that are balanced tend to sail flatter, faster, steer with less effort (manual, wind-vane, or auto-pilot), and provide more comfort for the sailing crew. Sail your boat balanced and you will maintain good control in all sailing conditions. Watch for these 'time-to-reef' signals to keep your boat sailing balanced with power, speed, and performance:

Whitecaps to Windward?

Do you see whitecaps blowing off the crests of waves to windward? Constant whitecaps tell you that a strong breeze has filled in and will continue for some time. Reef to add power to your boat sails and punch through those waves like a hot knife through butter.

Gusts more Frequent?

How often do those gusts strike the sails and cause the boat to heel? An occasional gust might not be of much concern. But lots of gusts every minute mean you need to reduce sail to keep the boat on her feet.

Helm Hard to Hold?

A balanced helm means being able to steer without strain with one hand. Lots of weather helm and 'white-knuckles' on the wheel or tiller indicates a boat out of harmony with wind and sea. Reef sails to the point that your boat can almost steer herself!

Rail in the Water?

Each time your cruising (or racing) sailboat digs the leeward rail into the water, you lose valuable speed. Extra friction and drag make you slow down. Keep the lee rail clear of the water for faster cruising passages or to beat the competition on race day.

Rounding Up from a Run?

Apparent wind drops when broad reaching or running. And that can lull even the saltiest dog into thinking that the wind has lightened up. Check for whitecaps to windward long before you need to round up. Reef before you round up to keep your boat under positive control.

Use the signals that surround you to warn you that it's time to reef right now. Become the true master and commander of your small cruising sailboat--wherever in the world you choose to cruise!

Safe sailing
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

Ah, a "Capt. John" article, the man behind skippertips.com, where, for as little as $48/year, you can learn a lot more great tips like this, thanks to Capt. John's years of experience...
that he has apparently learned by asking questions on FREE sites and regurgitating the info for his gullible subscribers.

For example,for $48/yr he will provide you with his experience sailing catamarans...once he gets the info he needs here:

Catamaran Characteristics - Sailing Anarchy Forums
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Re: 5 basic reefing tips, whats yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
If you every ask yourself if you should reef, the answer is "yes."
Bingo. This is the only sign you need.
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