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Discussion Starter #1
:confused: I just got off the phone with a good friend of mine who has just ordered a new set of sails for his Pearson 30. He is getting a new furling genoa and a new mainsail. He is having them made by Doyle. He was describing the features of his new mainsail to me which included draft stripes, numbers, logo, tell tales, 2 full and two regular battens,and one set of reef points. I questioned his getting just one set of reef points. I pointed out that his old mainsail had not only a flattening reef but also 3 sets of reef points and that I could understand possibly eliminating the third set of points , maybe even the flattening reef, but that he should atleast have two sets of regular reef points. My views is that the third set is a deep reef which I see as possibly an alternative to a storm trysail and that I can understand with his type of sailing he would probably never need, but that the second set is good insurance should he find himself out in stronger winds than he is use to. Also, since he is going all out for a decent new mainsail and will likely have it for a long time he should have the second set of points built into it now. The flattening reef I feel he should have as he races alot and in the past we have used the flattening reef quite often of the old sail. He told me he at first agreed with me but that the Doyle rep. who came to measure for the sails talked him out of them. He gave the resoning that he has found that no one ever really needs or uses mmore than the first reef. (I find this mindblowing since I personally have been in many situations where I used, and definately needed to use, my second reef points) When it came to the flatening reef he explained that Doyle had done alot of wind tunnel testing and computer modeling regarding the use and need for a flattening reef and that they discovered it not to be only unneccesary, but actually counterproductive in that it only hurt performance and never made any improvement. I found this explanation to be very qquestionable, not only regarding the testing results but even the whole idea that Doyle really went theough all this wind tunnels testing and computer modeling regarding the use of a flattening reef. Yet why would the rep discourage someone from adding these items if they wanted them? I mean I would think they would just say fine, it will cost so much extra for each set of reefd points, so much more for the flattening reef and be done with it. I mean, the cost was never an issue , so it wasn't like he was trying just to save my friend money. I wonder what everyone else's opinions of this are? Am I the only one who thinks a second set of reef points are a good thing to have? Is a flattening reef an effective sail shape control? Do you really think Doyle did this kind of testing and got these kind of ressults? Maybe I am a little to cynical or suspicious but to me somthing dosn't make sense. I wouild love to hear other views, thanks, Rick:confused:
 

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Hi Rick,
Ok then, I'll be the first :)
I think not having a second set of reef points on a main is not only stupid (specially since a brand new one is being made just for you) but also dangerous. Here in Hong Kong, the wind goes from 8 to 25 kt ..and down to 8 in the same afternoon. Once out offshore, you'd better have the main properly equipped to handle these "3 to 4 hour gusts". When in doubt, I leave the marina with 2 reefs, and see how it looks outside. It's always easier and safer to release one later than realizing too late that you're over-powered...providing you can reduce the sail surface.
Now, I have no idea about Doyle as I have never heard of them. I use North Sails "Soft Norlam" sails on my First 31.7, and I'm happy that they come with 2 reef points. In fact, I don't remember having even mentioned or being proposed the option of having only one.
My 2 cents :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Doyle is a respected sailmaker here on the east Coast US and you both support my feelings about the need for a second set of reef points. That is why I find it hard to understand Doyles Sails contention that it is unnecesary.
 

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Your friend really should talk to a different loft... that's bad advice IMHO. Unless he can manage to control the weather... having a second reef point is pretty much mandatory IMHO on any boat bigger than a sailing dinghy.

Not only does having a second reef give your friend more options in heavier winds, it can also help save the main sail some wear and tear. Having the main sail up and over powered or using a fisherman's reef is far worse for the life of the sail than using a proper second reef.

Adding them when making the sail is not only less expensive, but generally a better option, since the reinforcing patches can be integrated into the sail more easily. I had a third reef added to my main sail a while back... and find that it is a very nice option to have, as I often go out in SCA type weather.

If he races, then a cunningham cringle or flattening reef is really a good idea too... As for the rep talking about computer testing... if it really didn't work... why do so many sailors use them...and why do they work in the real world conditions. Modeling the effects of a flattening reef takes a lot of very sophisticated computer programming, more so than just modeling full sails, and I seriously doubt that Doyle or anyone else spent the time and money on doing that—considering all the real world data that shows it does have a significant effect.
 

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I have NOT seen a flattening reef in a REALLY long time and i am out with 40+ race boats several times a week


I only have one reef but it can carry me to the 30 knot range and wish i did have a second just in case we get yet a nother thunder storm i cant get away from

My orginal J24 sails had a reef in the 100% jib and two reefs in the main and a flattening reef which we never used
 

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How deep is your first reef???
I only have one reef but it can carry me to the 30 knot range and wish i did have a second just in case we get yet a nother thunder storm i cant get away from
 

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Falttening reefs are very out of style, that was n't even discussed when configuring my lasy mainsail..
However, the second reef should be standard for a cruising boat...some serious racers will have a main made with only one reef, or in the case of a sled i race on, no reefs at all, but a boat like a P30 should have two reefs, again unless it is only raced...I us emy second reef around 25 MPH, and that's with a small jib already up. Did Doyle in fact recommend jsut one...if so, why?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sailingdog: agree 100% with your feelings about what I wrote. I too have a hard time swollowing the claim made by the Doyle rep. of wind tunnel testing and computer modeling regarding the flattening reef.

Tommays: I could go along with the idea that perhaps the flattening reef is not neccesary, but sometimes nice to have but the second reef I agree is a necessity.

Sailingfool: Yes, in fact, that is correct and also ewhat really puzzels me, the Doyle Rep. not only reccomened just one set of reef points but actually talked my friend out of it. This I find so perplexing since I would think that even if the rep did not feel the need for a second set of points wouldn't it be easier and probably financially persuasive for him to just agree to adding the second reef points and charging for the extra work rather than spending a lot of time and effort talking my friend out of it?
I tried to persuade my friend not to listen to this rep and go ahead and have him add the second set of reef points, I pointed out to him all the reasons everyone here has given for doing so including the fact that it would be best to add them while the sail is being built rather than at a later time. He expressed that perhaps if he found out later that I was correct he would add them later.
I am hoping that sharing this thread with him might help him see the wisdom of putting those reef points now. Prehaps I should not concern myself so much about his boat but as a friend and also one who has done a considerable amount of work on his boat for him restoring his 1972 Pearson 30 , I feel I must try and help him see all the ramifications. I appreciate all your comments and your sharing your expierience and views. Rick
 

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Here's another vote for the second set of reef points.

Doyle made our new mainsail last summer. Our previous main had two sets of reef points, They wanted to stick with that arrangement, but I wanted a third.

They have some good arguments for limiting the number of reefpoints. Particularly on Chesapeake Bay, most folks will run for cover (which is abundant) when the wind gets that extreme. Also, there is an argument that, even off-shore, you're better off retiring the mainsail when conditions get extreme, and switching to a trysail (thus eliminating the boom hazard).

But I wanted 3 reef points so that we would have more "gears" to choose from. I had found that the reefs in our 2-reef mainsail were quite large, which often left us underpowered in borderline conditions. So the new sail ends up having three smaller reefs, totalling somewhat more than the old 2-reef sail. So far, we are very pleased with this arrangement.

With our old sail, we had to use the second reef on many occasions even within the confines of the Chesapeake. Sometimes you just have to get home. Here we make our way home on the tail end of an autumn gale, with the old mainsail double-reefed:




And here's a pretty good view of our new Doyle mainsail, with 3 reef points and 3 full/one partial batten. The third and final reef point is just below the first full batten.:

 

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I guess the one context where dropping a second reef would be sensible, is if the boiat is sailed in a generally light air venue without much risk of being caught out in stronger winds, such as a lake (not Great Lakes type) where need for a second reef can be avoided. For $100 or so, a strange savings.
 

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I went with two last summer with my new UK Tape drive main. Glad I have two, but I have been out in winds clocking in the 40+ a few times racing.

Not sure what a flatening reef is, other than a modified cunning ham of some sort.

I also could see the reefs over the same approx distance as John did for his PSC. I find it amazing at times, that when the wind picks up, at least with my boat, it is a jib change, or I go from a full main to a double reef.

I am also thinking a P30 has a larger main than my 30'r too, I am about 200# with a full PHRF race roach, slight overlap.

If your friend figures that when the wind gets above say 30, he motors in, or drops the jib and does a main only, then a single will work just fine. I've found unless I am going down wind, a DR alone is useless. I need a head sail of some sort up.

Marty
 

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We recently got a great deal on a lightly used J105 main that fit our boat with minor modifications. It came with a deep single reef. After one summer season with it, one of our first off season chores was to take it in and add a second reef. The second reef is quite deep as well, so we'll be well reefed down anytime it's required, but I don't see that as a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
John Pollard: I find it interesting that Doyle goes all out to talk my friend out of a second reef and yet went ahead and put in 3 reefs in your sail. His original sail had trheee reeefs and a flattening reef but they strongly recommended to him to go with only one reef in this new sail. My friend both cruises and races his boat. The idea of a third reef instaead of a storm trysail is sometimes a valid way of doing things provided the mainsail is built heavy enough, so I could see perhaps dispensing with the third reef if you plan on going for a a storm trysail also. I for one, like your setup with three smaller reefs rather than two large ones.
By the way, did Doyle try and get you to go with only one reef/ Did they try and persuade you to forgo your plans for the three reeef setup? Did you have to insist that the sail be made the way you wanted it? and did they mention to you anything about the so called wind tunnels testing and the computer modeling ? , Rick
 

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John Pollard: I find it interesting that Doyle goes all out to talk my friend out of a second reef and yet went ahead and put in 3 reefs in your sail. His original sail had trheee reeefs and a flattening reef but they strongly recommended to him to go with only one reef in this new sail. My friend both cruises and races his boat. The idea of a third reef instaead of a storm trysail is sometimes a valid way of doing things provided the mainsail is built heavy enough, so I could see perhaps dispensing with the third reef if you plan on going for a a storm trysail also. I for one, like your setup with three smaller reefs rather than two large ones.
By the way, did Doyle try and get you to go with only one reef/ Did they try and persuade you to forgo your plans for the three reeef setup? Did you have to insist that the sail be made the way you wanted it? and did they mention to you anything about the so called wind tunnels testing and the computer modeling ? , Rick
Rick,

No not really. We had a good discussion about many aspects of the sail design. We sort of debated various pros and cons. They definitely leaned toward fewer reef points for the reasons I previously mentioned, but in the end I made the final decision. It's my sail, and I got it the way I wanted it.

There was never any discussion of a single reef point, only debate about whether to add a third. Remember, our boat is more cruising oriented, with an "off-shore" pedigree, so 3 reef points is more typical. Even though I didn't embrace all their suggestions, I actually appreciated hearing their viewpoints -- they certainly have a lot more experience designing and building sails than I do.

We have a VERY stiff rig, so we cannot easily flatten the mainsail with backstay. On a boat with an easily tunable rig, one or two reef points makes more sense because you can crank on the backstay and flatten out and depower the main more easily. Not an option on our boat.

If your friend wants the second reef point, he should just tell them so. They'll do it. As others have pointed out, it is a fairly inexpensive option.
 

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This is the racer talking and Mylar is the only thing that made it happen :)

You have to keep in mind a J24 will carry a 150 genny and full main up to 20 knots, the main is not doing much because the mast is bent about 6" BUT thats what keeps the boat going in choppy water

So buy the time i have NO JIB and a full single reef at 30 the boat sails pretty well and can still point pretty good
 

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J24 racing sails do NOT have any reef points, as tommays has mentioned. We generally carry the full main and 150% to about 18, and the full main + 100% will go to about 30 before things start getting umm "interesting". Lots of live ballast and a racing helm/crew. Fastest I've ever gone on one was about 14 knots, absolutely blowing by 40'-50' boats on beam-broad reach because we were the only ones crazy enough to put the kite up. As long as the trimmer and helm are on the ball and constantly talking you shouldn't wipe out :D

Been out in 35 steady with just the main but having the COE that far aft results in wicked weather helm - I kinda wonder how the boat would behave with just a genoa (already old and blown out of course) and loads of backstay in those conditions... plenty of sail area and being a frac rig there'd be less leverage heeling the boat than with the main alone... at least in my head.

As for the topic at hand... it really depends on the boat and what type of sailing you do. But if the owner wants 2 reefs, the owner should get 2.
 

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Hello,

IMHO, the requirement for a second reef depends on how the boat will be used. Personally, I don't need a second reef. I primarily day sail my boat. Over a season I will spend a few weekends aboard, and my do a week long cruise (spending most of the time in one or two places). If it's windy enough to require a second reef, I either won't be on the boat, or will just drop the main and either sail on a little bit of headsail or just motor.

On my boat I can comfortably sail in 25 kt winds with a reefed main and the 140 genoa reefed to a 110. I supposed I could handle 30 kts with just the headsail. More wind than that and I don't want to sail anymore.

I have been sailing since 2003 and haven't ever used a second reef. I bought new sails for my second boat (Newport 28) and I only ordered one set of reef point for the main. I never regretted that decision. The main on my current boat has two reef points, but I haven't bothered to run the second reef line. The first reef gets used when required, but that's enough for me.

If I were going to be sailing long distances, HAD to be out there when the weather was bad, or was going to be off shore I would want a second reef. If you have the luxury of being in port when the weather is bad, I don't think a second reef is necessary.

A second reef point will add expense and decrease performance. If you don't need it, why add it?

Barry
 

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Bottom line the final decision rests on your friend.
If he want a second set of reef points its up to him, not the sail maker.
Odd that they would try and talk him out of it, its still his decision to make.

Im sure we all have been given over the years what we would consider questionable advise from the so called experts.
We are our own expert and in many cases we know better than they do, what is best for us.
 
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