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Normally when depowering the main after having tightened the outhaul, cunningham, and backstay (fractional rig), I let the traveller down (change the angle of attack). If I need to depower more I'll let out the main sheet (which further changes the angle of attack and also adds twist to the main). Of course now the boom has moved substantially to leeward. My question for this group is do you ever have a situation where you let the main sheet out but pull the traveller car up to windward to keep the boom as close to the center line of the boat as you can? My understanding is that doing that essentially twists out the upper portion of the sail (which is where the high wind speeds are) while keeping the bottom portion of the sail "powered up". I guess the theory is that in doing this you don't change the entire angle of attack of the sail as much as you would by letting the traveller down before easing the main sheet. Anyway, does anyone do this and when and why? Also, are you paying attention to the telltales while this is going on? Inquiring minds want to know.
 

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If I've already tightened the luff and the foot, but still overpowered, then I let the traveler off. If still overpowered, then it's time to reef. I wouldn't bring the traveler back in, you'll just have the bottom half overtrimmed, top half luffing all the time and shredding your sailcloth.
 

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......If I need to depower more I'll let out the main sheet (which further changes the angle of attack and also adds twist to the main)....
Once you get to this point, it's helpful to have a powerful vang... from this point on with the vang on hard you can continue to reduce the angle of attack by easing the mainsheet... the vang prevents boom lift and subsequent change in "trim".
 

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If I've already tightened the luff and the foot, but still overpowered, then I let the traveler off. If still overpowered, then it's time to reef. I wouldn't bring the traveler back in, you'll just have the bottom half overtrimmed, top half luffing all the time and shredding your sailcloth.
If you ever ask yourself, "Should I reef?", the answer is yes. A good reefing set up should also flatten your main.

Jack
 

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It is not for nothing that boats built for the charter fleet have stubby little masts. The guys who own those boats know that most charterers don't know when to reef.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
Nassau, Bahamas
 

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reefing early is always a good idea.
 
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