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Reefing Issues with New Mainsail: Need Advice

The pictures attached to this post show our old main sail and its reefing system. There were slits in the foot of the sail that were directly vertical from the reefing cringles. In the pictures the red&white line was for our first reef and the black&white line was for our second reef. We put reverse bowline knots through the slits at the foot of the sail. Aft of each reefing slit was a pulley.

So for example, the red&white reefing line started with a bowline knot going through the reefing slit at foot of sail. The line went up the sail near the leech on the port side to the reefing cringle, through the cringle, down thru the pulley on starboard side of the boom aft of the reefing cringle. The line goes from that pulley to another pulley on the starboard side of boom forward near the mast. The line then comes up through that pulley to the cringle near the luff then goes thru that cringle and down the port side of the sail and cleated on the bottom port side of mast.

Problem: a squirrel got under our mainsail cover and created a nest and destroyed our mainsail. We just got a new mainsail but it doesnt include the slits for the reverse bowline knot to go thru at the foot of the sail. The sail has the 2 sets of reefing cringles but not the associated slits. Was the sail not made correctly, or is there an alternative way to reef?

Thanks for any and all help!

p.s. If you cannot see pictures attached to this post please let me know.
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Re: Reefing Issues with New Mainsail: Need Advice

Some sailmakers use a brass grommet instead of the slit. If your new sail has a loose foot instead of bolt rope slits or grommets are not needed.

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Some sailmakers use a brass grommet instead of the slit. If your new sail has a loose foot instead of bolt rope slits or grommets are not needed.

Thanks so much for responding. Our new sail is not loose footed; it gets fed into the boom like our old sail. There’s nothing at the foot of the sail though for reefing — no slits or grommets at foot of sail. We do have the 2 sets of reefing cringles (grommets) that were made which become the new tack and clew when the sail is reefed. Do you think the sailmaker forgot the needed reefing openings at the foot of our mainsail, or is there an alternate way to reef that we’re not aware of?
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Re: Reefing Issues with New Mainsail: Need Advice

I don't know if he forgot or was maybe unaware that you had a single line reefing system. I would ask. Might be a couple hundred dollarsish or so to have slits or grommets added.
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I don't know if he forgot or was maybe unaware that you had a single line reefing system. I would ask. Might be a couple hundred dollarsish or so to have slits or grommets added.
What other kind of reefing system would there be if slits or grommets are not sewn in to the foot of a non-loose footed mainsail?

Last edited by Charrob; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:10 PM.
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Re: Reefing Issues with New Mainsail: Need Advice

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What other kind of reefing system would there be if slits or grommets are not sewn in to the foot of a non-loose footed mainsail?
Just regular reefing with hooks, bowlines etc.

Last edited by Arcb; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:41 PM.
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Re: Reefing Issues with New Mainsail: Need Advice

Check with your sailmaker, see what he was thinking, maybe he knows something we don't. The only method I've seen is to attach the reefing line to some hardware on the boom itself. Perhaps he thought the blocks would also act as an anchor point for the bitter end of the reefing line. That could work but it would be better if that one had all 4 screws.
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Quote:
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I don't know if he forgot or was maybe unaware that you had a single line reefing system. I would ask. Might be a couple hundred dollarsish or so to have slits or grommets added.
One more question (thanks in advance for your advice on this):

Unfortunately we purchased the sail from National Sails in Florida (they shipped it to us in Maryland when it was completed). So adding extra grommets/slits now means we’d have to ship it back to Florida.

Alternatively my friend who i co-own the boat with suggested adding cleats to both sides of the boom to take the place of what should have been sewn in to the foot of the new mainsail.

Essentially, if we do this however, a large portion of the weight of the boom will be on a new cleat we install on the boom instead of a looped rope around the boom holding it up. In other words, there will be a _huge_ amount of weight on a single cleat attached to boom... it won’t be nearly as strong and solid of a solution as a looped rope around the boom. The cleat will be holding _alot_ of pressure.

Another problem is that if we add 2 cleats (one on each side of the boom) the reef lines that are going horizontally from the aft pulley to the fore pulley on the boom will have to go around the unused cleat for the alternate reefing point. It _may_ still be a straight horizontal line on side of boom, but i tend to think there will still be some curvature of that line. Considering the amount of weight that line is holding, i just don’t think it’s a good idea to mess with it. But maybe i’m wrong: would like your advice: is it better to add cleats to boom or get sailmaker to add slits/grommets at foot of sail?

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Re: Reefing Issues with New Mainsail: Need Advice

The reefing lines through the sail are not meant to do anything more than keep the reefed sail in check. Therefore, they could go from the reefing grommets around the boom. They should not be tight and are in no way meant to hold the sail to the boom. The out haul (reefing line) should be tight enough between the goose neck and the clew to hold the sail to the boom.
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Re: Reefing Issues with New Mainsail: Need Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charrob View Post
One more question (thanks in advance for your advice on this):

Unfortunately we purchased the sail from National Sails in Florida (they shipped it to us in Maryland when it was completed). So adding extra grommets/slits now means we’d have to ship it back to Florida.

Alternatively my friend who i co-own the boat with suggested adding cleats to both sides of the boom to take the place of what should have been sewn in to the foot of the new mainsail.

Essentially, if we do this however, a large portion of the weight of the boom will be on a new cleat we install on the boom instead of a looped rope around the boom holding it up. In other words, there will be a _huge_ amount of weight on a single cleat attached to boom... it won’t be nearly as strong and solid of a solution as a looped rope around the boom. The cleat will be holding _alot_ of pressure.

Another problem is that if we add 2 cleats (one on each side of the boom) the reef lines that are going horizontally from the aft pulley to the fore pulley on the boom will have to go around the unused cleat for the alternate reefing point. It _may_ still be a straight horizontal line on side of boom, but i tend to think there will still be some curvature of that line. Considering the amount of weight that line is holding, i just don’t think it’s a good idea to mess with it. But maybe i’m wrong: would like your advice: is it better to add cleats to boom or get sailmaker to add slits/grommets at foot of sail?
I am not sure. I would talk to my sailmaker. Mine gives advice for free with in reason.
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