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Tom, what is your intended use for the boat? I'm assuming racing is not what you are contemplating as you mentioned hank on head sails. Are you going to be cruising to more or less primitive locations, where a trip to the local marine supply store is not realistic? If so I would suggest "reliable and proven" over "latest high tech". "Sew on hanks" sort of thinking (so you can rotate their location on the sail to equalize wear) etc.

And another question: single handed sailing infers some sort of self steering aid. Depending upon whether we are speaking of wind vane vs electronic autopilot, the idea of safety going to the mast and forward to handle sails comes into play. I have several thousand sea miles single handing using a wind vane and any the idea of more danger going forward to reef or make a sail change etc. is a non issue. Those miles are from the Marquesas to New Zealand in 1977-8 and from Hawaii to Cailfornia in 1983.

As for reefing if the reef is going to be in place for more than a short while one does need to tie the reef points as well as secure the clew and tack with something besides the reef line. This means exposing yourself to wind and waves. I would like to hear from those who use either a single line (or even two) run aft to cockpit as to what they do regarding reef points as well as regarding securing the clew and the tack. I suspect they are sailing short distances and so chafe (the bugbear of ocean sailing) doesn't come into play. So alot of what you decide is dependent upon what you are wanting to do with the boat.

Bests,
Wiley
 
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