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post #1 of 15 Old 08-22-2017 Thread Starter
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Difficulty tacking when reefed

I took my PSC 34 out the other day and decided to put in a reef. The boat was rigged as a cutter with the Yankee and boomed staysail. The reefing is a single line through a set of blocks that pulls the main to the boom.

I had a difficult time tacking in this configuration as the boat would head up and get stuck in irons, only to fall back on the original tack after a min or so. At one point I had to start the engine to complete the tack.

In retrospect, the wind was not as strong as predicted being around 10-15 knots so I didn't really need the reef after all. I'm thinking that may have been part of the problem. In addition, the sail shape was atrocious with the reef in. It was so baggy that even with the boom on the center line, the twist was so great that the top half of the sail was against the spreaders. Again, another possible reason.

Maybe I'm not doing the reef correctly. My understanding is with jiffy reefing all you need to do is pull in and secure the reefing line and tighten the halyard.

Any ideas on how to fix this? Even with the main all the way up, she can still stall if you're not careful with the tack. The helm needs to be just right to avoid braking the boat, but over enough to get through the eye even when letting the Yankee back wind.

Thanks,

Shrimp

S/V Wayfinder - 1985 Pacific Seacraft 34
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-22-2017
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

You need to pull both tack and clew down, do you have single line reef?
On most older boats you need to pull the tack down first, and attach it to a horn or use a form of tie down.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-22-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

It has a single line that's tied to the boom, goes up the sail to a grommet then down to a block and forward to another set of blocks and then to the cockpit. When you pull the line, the tack and clew come down at the same time.

Perhaps I need to use ties on the center of the sail and secure that to the boom as well? There are reef points on the sail, but I'm not sure if I need those as well as the single line.

Normally if it gets too windy, I roll up the Yankee and use the main and staysail. This time I decided to put a reef in the main and it didn't work out as expected.

Thanks,

Shrimp

S/V Wayfinder - 1985 Pacific Seacraft 34
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-22-2017
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

So You sailed with Yankee, staysail and reefed main?
Then you had to much sail in the front and to little aft.
You must not use ties to shape the sail
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

Were you sailing under reefed main alone? Without a foresail, could you have been experiencing too much lee helm?
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

If the single line reefing system is setup right, it should pull down and out towards the end of the boom (clew), and of course pull down at the boom end (tack). If it's rigged right, the new tack and clew should be tight to the boom, and the whole base of the sail (foot) should be tight, not baggy. If it's baggy above that point, well, maybe the sail is a bit shot....but with single line reefing I suspect a problem with single line reefing setup.

The way single line reefing is often accomplished is the line that leads to the new clew (the grommet that becomes the clew when reefed), is first tied around the boom, and then goes aft to a block. In this way the sail is pulled both down and aft, tightening the foot. I'm guessing you are not rigged right as you are describing a baggy reefed main.

That said, knuterikt's point is also correct. You might need some jib, or some pull from something forward to bring the boat around.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-22-2017
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

Quote:
Originally Posted by cshrimpt View Post
................ In addition, the sail shape was atrocious with the reef in. It was so baggy that even with the boom on the center line, the twist was so great that the top half of the sail was against the spreaders. Again, another possible reason.
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).

Steps in slab reefing:
Raise the topping lift.
Drop the sail to the position of the first reef
Reefing lines tight.
Raise the sail to its new 'up' position.
RELEASE the topping lift
etc. etc.

:-o
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Last edited by RichH; 08-22-2017 at 05:01 PM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-22-2017
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

Just my opinion from experience, do not use ties or lines on the sail to affect sail shape or in a manner that places load on them. The sail will rip. The ties or lines are designed to provide assistance to keep the sail tidy.
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Indecision may or may not be my problem.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-22-2017
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

If you're not sailing with a little weather helm somethings wrong. Gusts should round up a bit or at least try. Much easier to tack with a little helm pressure. Oh and you need speed too. All the suggestions on reefing will help.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-23-2017
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Re: Difficulty tacking when reefed

Quote:
Originally Posted by knuterikt View Post
So You sailed with Yankee, staysail and reefed main?
Then you had to much sail in the front and to little aft.
You must not use ties to shape the sail
I'm not very experienced yet with sailing my PSC with a reef in the main, but my first inclination would be in line with Knuterikt. Try reefing your genoa as well. I assume that you have roller reefing on that. Whenever I feel that I need a reef, I reef both the main and the headsail. I haven't sailed more than once with the inner stays'l, so I can't speak to that.

-- Bill
Belle Voile
PSC 34
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