Does anyone reading this who sails a Pacific Seacraft/Crealock 37 have a triple-reefed main? I can't get my head around how I'd use a third reef. I have two now, with lines leading to the cockpit. For a third reef, I would have to do something similar to the above, leaving the lazy bag open and lashing everything to the boom. It seems to be very messy thing. I'm inclined to think that a trysail would be better.
I welcome more comments. I'm about the buy new sails and I need to decide whether to get a trysail as part of the package -- and/or whether to have a third reef put in the main.
I have both. I had a third reef point put in a few years back that meets the IOC's rules for trysail area, and this past fall I bought a used trysail from Bacon. We only have jiffy reefing lines and clutches for two reef points, so typically keep them on #1 and #2, and plan to drop the sail all the way to rig #3, or just do it the old fashioned way w/o jiffy reefing.
That said, we had some concerns about using a third reefed main as a primary storm sail for several reasons. One, in testing at 35-40 kt, it didn't seem to balance and heave to well with the storm jib. Two, the construction details are not as robust as a trysail. And third, we wanted redundancy.
We only have lazy jacks on the main and a removable cover. We can rig the trysail in about 15 minutes right now (haven't practiced as much as we'd like), but it's pretty straightforward. I would say to watch the foot length because that can start to complicate the sheet leads to turning blocks, winches, etc.
Another option is a drogue, I'm just finishing up building a series drogue. If you have the sea room and just want to go below and run with the seas, it's a pretty good option. I plan on carrying the main with a third reef, storm jib and trysail, and the drogue for offshore work under the, "Two is one, one is none," philosophy of redundant ship systems and survivability. The beer, books, and clothes I sacrifice in stowage is more than worth the preparation and peace of mind.