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post #11 of 15 Old 08-23-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Could be that you forgot to fully release the topping lift after reefing - which leaves the aft end of the boom too too high and results in a BIG belly in the sail, especially at the top ..... OR the sail didn't get pulled firmly down at the new tack yet the clew was stretched ..... (a jam somewhere along in your single line reefing).

:-o
Thanks, I didn't consider the topping lift as it's there mainly to hang the Dutchman lines. I have a rigid vang so I don't pay much attention to the lift. It is possible it was too tight for the reefed sail.

-Shrimp

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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

You may need to add an outhaul line at your reefing clew to increase tension on the foot and achieve better sail shape.

The individual lines that tie beneath the boom to secure the belly of the sail should be loose; they are just to keep the extra sail cloth from billowing all over your cockpit. If you make them too tight, they will tear your sail.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-23-2017
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

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Originally Posted by cshrimpt View Post
I have a rigid vang so I don't pay much attention to the lift. It is possible it was too tight for the reefed sail.

-Shrimp
Then the obvious question is .... did you reset the rigid vang to get the aft end of the boom 'down', assuming you released the rigid vang when reefing?

The following may help (but may be a bit 'detailed') -
Based on normal sail design for almost all boats (but NOT for boats that are designed with significantly raked masts) ... the angle at the tack between the luff and foot (mast and boom) should be somewhere about 87-89.
So, when setting up a topping lift (at the dock) and after you're SURE that the sail is 'raised correctly'**, measure the 'as raised' sail and validate that the tack angle is at least 90 (just use a square 'something' to measure that angle) ... and then PUT A MARK on your topping lift control line for full up. Ditto if using a rigid spring loaded vang. This will quickly 'eyeball' your mainsail to the 'basic' shape geometry that the sailmaker designed .......... and with the boom near centerline, the boat on a hard beat - the area of the leech somewhere below the topmost batten 'should' be parallel to the boat's centerline!

Then, accurately measure up from the tack to the first reefing tack .... and again, from the normal clew to the first reefing clew. If the distance from the normal clew to the first reef clew is LESSER than the distance from the normal tack to first reefing tack (first reef position carries the clew at a lesser tack angle) ...... put a second mark on your topping lift control or your rigid vang control - to be your 'eyeball' setting for how high the aft of the boom 'should' be initially. Do the same for all your 'reef' positions.
And then, when underway you 'tweak' (slightly loosen the topping lift control and slightly tighten the rigid vang control), etc. from this 'basic setting' to get all the (full set of) tell tales flowing correctly.
The amount of normal 'twist' will be set for 12-15kt. for a 'stock' plain vanilla sail even when reefed!!!!!!! Then, use the traveller and mainsheet tension for other amounts of desired 'twist'.
The result will be the 'as raised' shape of that sail will be 'real close' to how the sailmaker designed that sail.

** Dacron mainsails made before the year ~2000, and have a luff bolt rope in a sleeve, usually need to be stretched out along their luff via additional halyard tension by 1" extra 'stretch' for every 10-11 feet of luff length. Dacron mainsails made (for 'cruising purposes') after the year ~2000 usually will not require this luff 'stretch out'. Dacron mainsails, with bolt ropes, made for racing usually need this 1" per 10-11ft. of luff 'stretch out'.

Warning! - if you raise the dacron mainsail correctly, or put in a reef, usually the aft end of the boom will be parallel to the horizon or just a teeny bit higher than the gooseneck. If that aft end of the boom is lower than the gooseneck end; then, the sail probably wasn't raised correctly (stretch out, etc.) or the sail needs some 'adjustment and 're-work' by a sail loft.

hope this helps.

Last edited by RichH; 08-23-2017 at 11:48 AM.
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

Thanks, I definitely didn't set the reef correctly. I'll set up the lift and vang lines as indicated above on a calm day at the dock. It's easy to get lazy with the Crealock since they usually sail fairly well regardless of the sail trim. ;-)

Shrimp

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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

Minor edit to my above post .... correction in BOLD Red
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