reef line set up - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Old 05-13-2013
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reef line set up

Hello,

I have a question concerning the proper set up of a reef line (on a mainsail). Currently, on my boat there is an steel ring on the boom where the line is attached then goes through an eye on the sail and onto a block on the boom and finally the cleat on the boom.

Now, on the side of the ring there is a fat knot on the line with the obvious purpose to stop the course of the line through the eye. Thus when the line is tensioned, there is no force exerted on the ring. The block takes it all.

Now, I can understand that as I have doubts regarding the strength of that ring (not part of the boom, a screwed in fitting). However it seems like an unreasonable set up. If the ring is not doing anything why have it there in the first place? Also wouldn't having the block take all the load create side forces that could damage the block?
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Old 05-13-2013
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Re: reef line set up

Without photos, this is a bit of a guess, but per your explanation, I'd agree with you and take the knot out. You want to balance that load from the reef-eye, evenly between block and ring (ring means padeye where the line originates I would assume).

I believe this is true whether you are describing a luff eye/cringle, or a leech eye, from your text I can't tell which. But if it's the leech line, that's going to assume both the leech and foot tension once you reef, so all the more reason not to load up one part of your gear and not the other side.

Also you get a 2:1 mechanical advantage without the knot, but only 1:1 with it.

Please correct me on this if I'm envisioning it wrong, but I think I get what you mean.

Last edited by nolatom; 05-13-2013 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 05-13-2013
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Re: reef line set up

I agree, remove that knot.

If you want to distribute the load on the boom and have a loose footed main sail you can tie the reefing line around the boom, using the padeye (or ring) to keep it in the correct location on the boom.
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Old 05-13-2013
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Thanks nolatom,

You are correct in all your assumptions: I was refering to the line running on the leech. As for the tack of the reef, it is secured to a hook through a cringle.

I think it makes sense and i will undo the knot. Even with the friction on the eye, can I hope for an increase to a 2:1 purchase as a result?
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That's a good point Alex. Alas the foot is on a track. I could still tie the reef line between two cars but I don't know if it will damage the track even though most of the force should be exerted on the sides and the bottom of the boom, not the top.
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Re: reef line set up

Yes, you will get a purchase of 2:1 with that system.

Smooth running line helps a lot when going around a fixed cringle. I use bare Amsteel for that portion of my reefing line (it is spliced to double braid for the portion that goes through the clutch and around the winch). You could also use a line (like Warpspeed) that is strippable with a dyneema core if you didn't want to do the splice. Dyneema/Amsteel is more flexible and more slippery than regular line, and it's low stretch properties make it a good choice for reefing lines.
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