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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so you may know I have posted before about going out in high winds with no reef... but the Misses and I hate to reef, so we at times end up in the situation I equate to "Driving in a bad snowstorm"!

The situation - Boat: Merit 25, Main Sail Area 151 Sq Ft (no reef, of course), 100% Quiltcut jib. Experienced crew of 2 weighing a total of 310 pounds, wind blowing up to 13 knots. :cool:

Now, with 4 adults and 2 children we have been out with this set up in 18-20 knots and did just fine, sailed flat enough for comfort. However, with just the two of us, I feel as if I don't have control in as little as 10-13 knots. I now this boat will NOT roll over in a lake at 13 knots, but she heals way too much to make it a comfortable sail. Maybe it was the wind gusts, direction, waves... but we have sailed in much more wind, just the two of us, and not had so much trouble. :confused:

Well, we were tired, it was late, could we just have been too pooped to enjoy it?

Anyhow, I write this post in the hopes that I can receive feedback from other folks about comfort levels, similar wind measurements with very different affects on the boat, willingness to heel without feeling out of control...
 

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Crealock 37
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Why not reef? If you're overpowered the boat will perform better with a reef, why not reef? If you feel out of control why not reef? If you're uncomfortable why not reef? What are you gaining by not reefing?
 

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Crealock 37
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Personally I'd rather be thought of as the wimpy guy that knows his boat and handles it in an appropriate manner for the current conditions. (Plus you'll be pointing higher and going faster than the guy that's overpowered)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Makes sense to me. We have reef lines that run through the sail, into the aft end of the boom and cleat at the mast end of the boom (loose-footed sail). We have had all kinds of situations trying to reef with them. I'm tempted to get rid of them and just tie down along the boom.
 

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MeritLover.. you've got way more experience than we do, but I figured I'd chime in anyway. My wife and I love to heel... probably seek it out more for fun and end up going slower because of it. Stupid, but we like the feeling.. we're both semi-adrenaline junkies. In any case, we don't avoid it. The more we learn about sailing, the more I realize we've got a lot to learn and should probably start paying closer attention to sailing efficiently.

In any case, we were out in the strongest winds yet for us on Friday; steady 15 knots with stronger gusts. 26' Pearson w/ 92% headsail and standard sized main. We had a great time sailing upwind closehauled on the way out..laughing like loons and feeling in control the whole way, no reef. Coming back... well... uncomfortable, sobering, and even a little frightening for us. Never even tried going DDW, but even on broad reaches the boat was corkscrewing like crazy with the waves and the tiller required some serious muscle... WAY overpowered, and my wife could not have steered the boat. We were VERY careful with jibes, trying to do everything very slowly and sheeting in the main before making very slow transitions, but it sucked. One got away from us; not bad, no damage, no harm, but still was a good eye-opener to just how much power was up there.

Getting the headsail down (hanked-on, no down-haul) was a nightmare. My wife could barely keep the boat headed into the wind even with the 8hp at pretty much full throttle, and I received my first flogging trying to wrestle down the jib. I've never understood the appeal of S&M to those fringe folks.. now I REALLY don't get it!

We definitely should have reefed. We wouldn't have lost any speed at all, probably would have gained some, and the boat would have been infinitely more manageable. It's like choosing the right gear for a car for a given power need. If you're climbing in a high gear, the car's slowing down and you give it more gas but nothing happens, all you're doing is overstressing the engine and burning more gas... you're not gaining anything. Nothing "wimpy" about selecting the proper gear for the job. Reefing is just selecting the proper gear for the given power needs while sailing... yes?

Best to all,

Barry
 
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...because we feel like whimps with a reef in! I know, sillly, isn't it? :(
Yes, it is silly. You stated you don't feel like you have control with just 10-13k of wind. Your boat is capable of 20k winds easy. Should you need to reef with just 10-13k? I'd say no (looking at your boat specs). Ease the main out, level the boat, have fun.

When your comfort level is exceeded at any point of sail... do something about it. If easing the main doesn't do enough for your comfort level, then your overpowered and your choices are narrowed: stay uncomfortable, get off the water or reef the main. Really, reefing is no big. Practice on a calm day, you'll be a pro in no time! ;)

Dave
 

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Anyone who doesn't reef when he knows he should is a damnfool and I'd not sail with him. Yer gonna break your boat and maybe require rescue. Is it really a case of "Hey, look at me, I'm doing something stupid"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Anyone who doesn't reef when he knows he should is a damnfool and I'd not sail with him. Yer gonna break your boat and maybe require rescue. Is it really a case of "Hey, look at me, I'm doing something stupid"?
Break my boat and require resue on one of the Finger lakes? :confused: I don't think so. The lake is only 1-2 mles wide at the south end and I'm talking about 10-20 knots of wind with water temp around 70 degrees F.

Read the post before passing judgement...

I find your remarks inappropriate.
 

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While I don't agree with the "no reefing" rule, let's keep the responses civil, please. It's not like he's dragging his first born behind the boat on the dinghy line.
 

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Usually I will ease the traveler out, and then out some more, before reefing. It allows you to pull the main down to flatten it for going upwind in the heavier air, without pulling it quite so far in towards your boat's centerline which will heel you more.

Maybe you've done this already. But if not, try it?

If that's not enough, then yes, reef. And if the weather is going to get worse, reef earlier, as it's much easier to do in 13 knots than after it's increased to 23 knots...

And as you've noticed, when you have to reef is influenced by how much "rail meat" you have for the windward rail ;-)
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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Makes sense to me. We have reef lines that run through the sail, into the aft end of the boom and cleat at the mast end of the boom (loose-footed sail). We have had all kinds of situations trying to reef with them. I'm tempted to get rid of them and just tie down along the boom.
Calling the bluff. You don't know HOW TO REEF, good luck hope you can afford rigging repairs or replacements.

Oh.. silly me.. I reef first then let them out if conditions improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
While I don't agree with the "no reefing" rule, let's keep the responses civil, please. It's not like he's dragging his first born behind the boat on the dinghy line.
Hahaha :laugher Now THAT'S funny,as I've been tempted to do this at times :p! (OK, only joking as to not get myself in trouble)

And just to clarify, the "No Reefing" rule has been applied in a very benign environment (wind far < 20 knots, small lake, no whitecaps, warm water temp...). If we ever decide to brave someting severe, we would absolutely Reef. It's just that we have had some major foul ups every time we have attempted to reef with our particular reefing system.
 

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...
And just to clarify, the "No Reefing" rule has been applied in a very benign environment (wind far < 20 knots, small lake, no whitecaps, warm water temp...). If we ever decide to brave someting severe, we would absolutely Reef. It's just that we have had some major foul ups every time we have attempted to reef with our particular reefing system.
Then I'm not sure that I get the point of this thread. Sounds like the real question is how to set up your reefing system so it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Then I'm not sure that I get the point of this thread. Sounds like the real question is how to set up your reefing system so it works.
From my original post: Anyhow, I write this post in the hopes that I can receive feedback from other folks about comfort levels, similar wind measurements with very different affects on the boat, willingness to heel without feeling out of control...

So, I was merely trying to get a feel from other sailors as to their comfort level in wind, heeling, varying winds... that's really all I was getting at. :eek:
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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ok.. do you know how to set in a reef? I just don't know why you want people to validate doing something the hard or wrong way. Clearly, most people that sail know something you don't or don't want to know. Reefing is good, good seamanship, makes for better sailing with plenty of heel and way way less stress on the rig. Most boats sail best at 10-15 degrees or so. Dipping the rail sure seems like it's fast.. but it's really not. And yes I can do that solo in a 30 ft boat but I don't

this is not a great vid but it shows how well the boat is moving with a good degree of heel and a reefed main.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ok.. do you know how to set in a reef? I just don't know why you want people to validate doing something the hard or wrong way. Clearly, most people that sail know something you don't or don't want to know. Reefing is good, good seamanship, makes for better sailing with plenty of heel and way way less stress on the rig. Most boats sail best at 10-15 degrees or so. Dipping the rail sure seems like it's fast.. but it's really not. And yes I can do that solo in a 30 ft boat but I don't
Yes I know how to set in a reef, I just don't like my system.

I never asked for anyone to validate doing something wrong - I asked about comfort levels. As one poster pointed out, a reef was NOT necessary in the conditoins I spoke of.

Looking through the load of crap on some of these forums, I thought I would start an interesting discussion, but I seem to have invited people to take cheap shots and try to show off their sailsmanship from their armchairs.

This site is supposed ot be for advice, not for trying to belittle other fellow sailors.

I just don't understand your attitude...

But thanks for the video (that's more like it)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Usually I will ease the traveler out, and then out some more, before reefing. It allows you to pull the main down to flatten it for going upwind in the heavier air, without pulling it quite so far in towards your boat's centerline which will heel you more.

Maybe you've done this already. But if not, try it?

If that's not enough, then yes, reef. And if the weather is going to get worse, reef earlier, as it's much easier to do in 13 knots than after it's increased to 23 knots...

And as you've noticed, when you have to reef is influenced by how much "rail meat" you have for the windward rail ;-)
Thank You Nolatom... by far one of the best and most relevant
responses to my original post! :D
 
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