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Discussion Starter #1
I have the reefing lines coming back to the cockpit, and there's an awful lot of friction in the two lines going through the clews.

Can anyone recommend a line that has a smooth casing that develops little friction? I appreciate this is kind of the opposite of what most rope manufacturers are trying to achieve.

I also need low stretch so it has to be at least a hybrid high-tech line (spectra or dyneema blend)

I guess there's always Amsteel.
 

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See the last post on this thread:

Isomat single line reefing - Cruising Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums

You can get a dyneema cored line and strip the core where it goes through the reefing cringles.

Alternatively, you can mount a small block to each of the cringles and run your existing line through it, though this may require some re-rigging of the reefing lines since you won't have the lines crossing through the sail.
 

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Mark,

The most common cause of excess friction is using too large a line for the blocks and fittings. Typically just resizing will solve most of the problems. But yes going to uncovered dyneema (amsteel or others) will go a long way as well, plus alow you to downsize even more.
 

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If internal reefing lines, twisting is a common problem.

It is also simple to add blocks to the eyes.

Leading the lines back to the cockpit hurts too. It is easier at the mast.

Just some other possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. The reefing is all external to the boom. Yes, I think a lot of the friction is where the line passes through the clew cringle, I was thinking about using some of these Antal loops to reduce the friction, but I think the system would still benefit from thinner, lower friction lines :

Low friction rings

NB : It's not when reefing that I have the problem, it's when raising the main without reef, and I am trying to pull all 4 reefing lines with their respective frictions.
 

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I use Antal rings on the tack of my reefing line. I'm considering doing the same for the clew. That also has the advantage of keeping the reefing line on one side of the sail, which avoids crushing the sail between the line and boom.
 

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NB : It's not when reefing that I have the problem, it's when raising the main without reef, and I am trying to pull all 4 reefing lines with their respective frictions.
FOUR reefing lines run back to the cockpit? I'd say that's your problem right there :)

If you're having difficulty hoisting the main, seems to me there's a massive amount of friction built into the configuration of the system, that's not gonna be resolved by a simple switch to low friction rings...

Seems a classic example of the tradeoff involved in the attempt to make something 'easier', so often has quite the opposite result :)

What sort of rope are you currently using? I have Warpspeed for my 2 reefing lines, it runs quite nicely, but I have everything at the mast... Seems a common issue with reefing led back to the cockpit, on most of the larger boats I've run with that arrangement, I might never have gotten the main up at all without the help of a big electric winch :)

Are you sure you don't have other contributing issues? Is your mast track and sail slides clean, and running freely? Harken blocks or similar thoughout the system, and so on? Are all those lines feeding back out through rope clutches? There's a lot of stuff that can add up in that sort of setup...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Two per reef, two reefs. The math is unavoidable.

Generally it's a wonderful system for putting a reef in (which, let's face it, is when you need it to be wonderful), the only snag is the friction when raising the last 8 ft of sail or shaking out a reef.

If I pull the clew lines to form a big loop under the boom, the sail then goes up easily. So it's definitely, mainly, friction at the rear of the sail in the clew lines.

Sorry, I don't remember exactly what I bought, except it was a spectra blend.
 

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If you are using spectra then it is probably massively oversized. Realistically your reef lines will never have more than about 1000lbs of load on them at a time, likely much less. Which means a piece of 1/8" amsteel is plenty strong enough. I wouldn't actually go this low to deal with UV damage and abrasion, but it's good to keep in mind how much stronger than you need it to be this line really is.
 

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Some of the new FP cats we have gotten have low friction rings on the clew for reefing. It doesn't work as well as the simple blocks FP used prior. The boats that have had the rings replaced with blocks are much easier to raise. The cats have a line run just to the clew. Needless to say, for that application on large square top fully battened cat sails, I am not a fan. I could see their use on smaller boats or race boats.
 

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Just don't pull the reefing lines in when you drop the main. Coil the forward ones at the base of the mast and tuck the aft ones into the sail ties before you put the mainsail cover on. It's what I do.
 

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Hit all the blocks in each run with a lubricant; something like a white lithium grease.

Lines left on the boat can also become kind of stiff and rough to handle and should be taken home and given a light warm wash while tied up in a daisy chain configuration, then left to air dry. This will soften them up making them easier to handle.

Replacing all the lines is not a bad idea either.

Your boat, your choices, your money.
 

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Second jimsCal's suggestion that you don't take up the reef lines when dousing. I just fold everything into the bag

I use all Warpspeed line for the three reefs that I have on my 1:1 main, everything run to the pit. Reef lines run from dead-end (BIG eyestraps) on boom through cringles at the leech, back down to the boom end where there are sheaves, forward through the boom to sheaves at the fwd end of the boom, down to blocks on the mast, then they turn aft and run to Constrictor clutches on the cabin top

When changing to a high-tech line like Warpspeed, you can downsize at least one size, maybe two. You will then need to consider what clutches you're running because 1: the line is slick and slips in clutches sized to it; 2: if you downsize, you're even more likely to slip in the clutch (my experience).

In light of this, consider the new Constrictor clutches which in my opinion are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

All this said, I'm saying that I went to HMPE line, downsized, and still have a 1:1 on a big-roach catamaran (40' Catana) main and it runs pretty well
 

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Thanks for the replies. The reefing is all external to the boom. Yes, I think a lot of the friction is where the line passes through the clew cringle, I was thinking about using some of these Antal loops to reduce the friction, but I think the system would still benefit from thinner, lower friction lines :

Low friction rings

NB : It's not when reefing that I have the problem, it's when raising the main without reef, and I am trying to pull all 4 reefing lines with their respective frictions.
Considering your sailing area Mark, you rarely need more than two reefs. I suggest you pull the 3rd and 4th reef out of the sail and simply dead end them at the turning blocks on the boom, from which they can easily be rigged when preparing the yacht for a cruise beyond the Gate, if considered necessary. Given the size of the yacht, I suggest you switch to 3/8" Spectra with the cover stripped from the working ends of the lines except where they will be engaged in a winch or clutch to be locked down. At your latitude, the Spectra will easily last 10+ years or more, particularly so as they will most often be under cover.

FWIW...
 

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He has 2 reefs, not 4. There are 4 reefing lines because he is using independent reefing lines for the clew and tack.

You can get away with using the same line for the cunningham, tack reef #1, and tack reef #2. Just put a 3:1 or 4:1 block setup onto a cunningham hook and move it between those three cringles on the sail. Then you would be down to 2 reefing lines, one for each clew, and the cunningham/tack line for all tacks. The downside is someone needs to run forward quickly and move the hook. If you anticipate reefing you can start the day off with the hook in reef #1.

I have my boat setup this way, except that my reefing lines are threaded through the clew and tack (single line reefing). This allows me to reef immediately from the cockpit to get the boat under control, then run forward to hook up the cunningham hook to the tack reef cringle and get better control of the tack tension.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks a lot for the thoughts everyone, I'm going to the boat in a bit, so I'll have a look, take some measurements, and formulate a plan.

I do like the suggestion not to take the reefing lines in when dousing the sail. I'll try that next sail.
 
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