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post #1 of 9 Old 08-17-2015 Thread Starter
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Mainsail reefing points ...

Last week I took the ASA 101 and 103 instruction classes and passed both nicely. I learned a lot (duh!) and enjoyed it greatly. However, I do have a question coming out of the classes.

The boat we learned on was a 2007 Hunter 31' that ran the Halyard, Reef 1, and the Mainsail lines aft via a 3-line clutch on the starboard side. Reef 2 and other lines ran through clutches on the port side.

I would have expected reefing to simply be done by lowering the halyard to the needed reef point(s). But obviously, having separate reef lines to work in addition to the halyard, there is more going on with the reef rigging.

Can someone explain the set up of the reefing for this boat? It seemed somewhat complex to reef - having multiple lines - though I suspect this is a fairly typical setup.

Thanks, Bill (showing my sailing newb-ness here)
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-17-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

Most set-ups are going to require the use of at least two lines. The halyard to lower the sail, and a reefing line ( if it's a single line reefing system). Maybe someone familiar with that boat can chime in. I'm not sure why the mainsheet and the 2nd reef line couldn't be flipped, so that both reef lines and the halyard could be on the same side?
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-17-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

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Originally Posted by WrkdbfGuy View Post
...
I would have expected reefing to simply be done by lowering the halyard to the needed reef point(s). But obviously, having separate reef lines to work in addition to the halyard, there is more going on with the reef rigging....
This statement does not make much sense.

A mainsail is secured at all three corners - head, tack, clew, whether fully hoisted or reefed. When the sail is reefed, the halyard continues to secure the head, then both the tack and clew need securing.

Ignoring roller-furling booms - the clew can only be secured by a reefing line, so a second line is mandatory. The tack is most frequently secured by a ring/hook arrangement, or a second reefing (two line reefing), or by the same reefing line as the clew (single-line reefing).

What's the question again?

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-17-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

You need reefing lines run to the "new" tack and clew of the mainsail. They can be separate lines (best IMO) or a single line run through both. Reefing procedure is to release the mainsheet, lower the main with the main halyard. Snug up the reefing line(s) to tighten the "new" tack and clew, pull the main halyard to tighten the luff on the main again, and pull in the mainsheet and trim the main. With all lines run aft to the cockpit, its a pretty quick procedure.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-17-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

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Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
You need reefing lines run to the "new" tack and clew of the mainsail. They can be separate lines (best IMO) or a single line run through both. Reefing procedure is to release the mainsheet, lower the main with the main halyard. Snug up the reefing line(s) to tighten the "new" tack and clew, pull the main halyard to tighten the luff on the main again, and pull in the mainsheet and trim the main. With all lines run aft to the cockpit, its a pretty quick procedure.
Jim,
just to fill in some detail,

You need reefing lines run to the "new" tack and clew of the mainsail. They can be separate lines (best IMO) or a single line run through both. Reefing procedure is to release the boomvang, release the mainsheet, lower the main with the main halyard. Snug up the reefing line(s) to tighten the "new" tack and clew (or manually set the luff reefing ring on the gooseneck hook if no line to the tack) , pull the main halyard to tighten the luff on the main again, and pull in the mainsheet and trim the main. Then reset the boomvang.

Depending on how the reef points are installed, you may be be able to skip the boomvang step.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-20-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

something I have pondered many times.
Which is better. learning to sail on one boat on one cruise (and Learn) trip.
Or learning to sail one lesson or day at a time on several different boats?
each has its advantages.

Which is better, learn on an old simple boat, or learn on a nice modern up to date boat? again each has its advantages.

One of the disadvantages of learning on one modern rigged cruising sail boat is you just get practical experience of its particular system. which today might include roller furling head sail and possibly even a furling main. and in the case of a single line slab reefing system which while they are excellent. you appear to have missed some of the points of what the system was doing.

When reefing,
What you are effectively doing is replacing the Big mainsail with a smaller main sail.
Rather than taking the whole sail down and off the and putting a smaller sail up which would be a big job.

You just lower it enough to take some of the sail down. Then put it back up again.
There are a number of different means of rigging to achieve this.

Step 1
The first thing you have to is lower the sail.
The probosces starts just the same as stowing the sail.
Head in to the wind.
ease the sheet. ( to de-power the sail)
tighten the topping lift(modern boat may not have one)
Before you let go the Halyard.
Ease the haliard and Lower the sail until the first reef (Tack & Clew ) are down near the boom.

Step 2
Secure the reef cringles to the boom
Now you need to stow the unused sail and replace with new one.
You need to secure the reef points (new tack & Clew)
The Cringle in the luff ( New tack) needs to be tied down to the boom near the goosneck
The Cringle in the Leach (New Clew) needs to be tied down to the boom and pulled tight out towards the end of the boom.
By doing this the reefing points form (a new foot) for the sail.

Step 3
You now have your new sail on the boom. You can raise the sail. Its just the same as raising the sail.
Pull the Halyard back up tight. this forms a New Luff.
After the sail is back up release the topping lift(if the boat has one)
Sheet the sail in bear off and sail now with a smaller main and hopefully less heel.

You now have a reefed Main sail

repeat the same process for a second or even a 3rd reef

There are a number of ways of reefing. Which in different methods or systems for achieving the same thing.

A single line system (appears the boat you learned on has this system) One line led back to the cockpit achieves all the required securing arrangements for the reef cringles to be secured to the boom.
Its completely separate from the Halyard.
Although to separate lines for to separate jobs some skippers may choose to pull the reefing line tight while easing the halyard. so it might have appeared to be one single step when it is two different steps in the process.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Uricanejack; 08-20-2015 at 05:29 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-20-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

It's a fairly complex system you worked with because all the lines ran aft. I'd say that type setup is not as typical as others. The most typical system will have a hook for the reef eye at the tack so that you need to be up at the mast. At the mast you handle the halyard and the reef line(s) which run along the boom via cheek blocks back to cleat(s) on the boom close to the gooseneck. Very nice to have the convenience of staying in the cockpit to reef but there's also a lot of gear to accomplish that and more to break/foul at the wrong time.

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-14-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

Last year I led my reefing lines aft to the cockpit, with the main halyard, reef 1, and reef 2 through a triple rope clutch, all sharing a Lewmar 16 self tailer on the starboard coach roof. simply 1) ease the halyard, 2) haul in the single reefing line, and 3) haul in the halyard. when setting the 1st reef I also need to tidy up the slack for reef 2...

I appreciate not having to get out on deck to reef, especially when I'm single handed. my biggest complaint is the extra friction of the single line through the cringles, but this can be reduced by adding small blocks. as with most things, what works for some is anathema for others.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Mainsail reefing points ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charly_A View Post
Last year I led my reefing lines aft to the cockpit, with the main halyard, reef 1, and reef 2 through a triple rope clutch, all sharing a Lewmar 16 self tailer on the starboard coach roof. simply 1) ease the halyard, 2) haul in the single reefing line, and 3) haul in the halyard. when setting the 1st reef I also need to tidy up the slack for reef 2...

I appreciate not having to get out on deck to reef, especially when I'm single handed. my biggest complaint is the extra friction of the single line through the cringles, but this can be reduced by adding small blocks. as with most things, what works for some is anathema for others.
This procedure works if you're not using a reef cringle at the boom which I think is better, can't be done completely from the cockpit but allows a better luff tension.
I use the boom cringle, with Both Halyards and both reef lines (rigged through the boom for luff only) on one side and sheet outhaul and vang on the other side. All with clutches.
Drop the halyard crew sets the cringle, tighten halyard. Switch the reef line to the same winch and tension the luff while boom crew gathers up the reef ties. On a larger boat reefs and halyards can be on separate sides but involve more crew for the same operation.
I have been told single line reefing is not used as much any more but I cant say why, I would only be speculating.
What I was told to be single line reef by the PO was in fact not, since I use the method above.
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