SailNet Community banner

What is the reefing line angle relative to the reefing cringle & boom that I should use

  • #1 - straight down from the cringle to boom (don't tension the foot)

    Votes: 4 50.0%
  • #2 - Towards the leech end of the boom (tension the foot)

    Votes: 4 50.0%
  • #3 - Doesn't matter.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a question about the angle between the reefing sheet and the boom.

My reefing setup consists of reefing hooks/horns on the luff side and an in boom reefing line that runs onto the leech side. My question has to do with the attachment point of the reefing line on the leech side.

Should the attachment be right underneath the reefing cringle or can it be further aft of reefing cringle? I prefer it being further aft because it puts tension on the foot of the shortened sail & gives a better sail-shape (and I have been using this on my old sails), but my concern is it might rip the sail or otherwise damage the sail - particularly since next season I plan on getting new composite/laminated sails.

I have attached a couple of pictures to elaborate. The first picture is of a sketch that I drew of the two possibilities and the second pictures is how I have my boat currently setup. Please LMK what you advise #1, #2 or it doesn't matter.

Rectangle Font Slope Parallel Paper

Water Cloud Sky Naval architecture Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,374 Posts
Agree with Mark. Your angle is pulling the sail aft too much and not tightening the leech enough because there's not enough downward pull towards the boom. It also appears that your topping lift is too tight, making it even harder to flatten the leech. If you need to reef you want the sail FLAT. We might tie the boom end a tiny bit further out than the cringle, but not as much as 3 inches beyond it. Straight down would be better than too far out. In your photo it looks like the reef line should be tied perhaps 2 to 3 inches beyond where the sail tie is tied around the boom.
 

·
Registered
‘77 Pearson 10m
Joined
·
342 Posts
Referencing your hand drawing, #2 will provide more outhaul tension but less downhaul. Both are needed but should be balanced. Sail shape (the ability to make it flat, that is) under reefing conditions is very important, as mentioned above.
 

·
ASA and PSIA Instructor
Joined
·
4,325 Posts
You need a #3 choice, which is both down and out. Most newer reefing line setups simply terminate the line around the boom to itself with a running bowline (any hardware on the side of a boom is a bad idea). When you tension the reefing line, the clew is pulled both aft and down to the boom, producing a flat foot and belly.

Sky Slope Aircraft Airplane Flap

Also, do not secure your sail ties around the boom, but just around the belly of the sail. If the reef ties are secured around the boom, and someone inadvertently eases the reefing line, you are likely to rip out the belly of the sail. I guess the ability to tie a reef in around the sail alone, is an additional justification for a loose foot main.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,374 Posts
We don't bother tying off the bunt of the reefed sail unless it's flapping so loud it keeps the off watch from sleeping.
This is in a shifty Northwest breeze of 20 knots with puffs to 28; one reef in with a 130% genoa up. Our competitor graciously moved to leeward and astern in order to take this photo.

Cloud Sky Water Boat Watercraft
 

·
Registered
Contest 36s
Joined
·
7,793 Posts
I have a Selden rig. The leach reef "tie" locations are "cleats" which are in grooves on either side of the boom. You slide them to the position you want and secure then with a screw pressing the bottom of the groove. So these reef positions are set to be directly "below" the cringles of the reefs that the sailmaker provides.
The reefing lines are run from the boom cleat up through the leach cringle and then down and aft to a pulley at the end of the boom. There are 4 pulleys for 4 reefs.. The reefing line then goes inside the boom and exits over a pulley at the forward and of the boom and then down to the deck through another pulley at the base of the mast and then through a "deck organizer" pulley and finally to the cockpit coach roof where it passes through a rope clutch. Lots of pulleys. So it's best to "tension" the line when there is little pressure on/from the sail... and only fully "tighten" it with a winch to pull it down as low to the boom as possible. So the reef line is pulling down and aft at the reef cringle. I have a Dutchman which does a reasonable job of keeping the sail neatly flaked on the boom forward of the reef cringle. Boom reef cleats without the reefing lines set and two reef lines (one on stbd one on port side of boom.
Cloud Sky Watercraft Boat Blue
Sky Boat Watercraft Vehicle Sailing

one reef line used:
Cloud Sky Boat Daytime Watercraft
 

·
Barquito
Joined
·
3,843 Posts
My assumption is that the force vector pulling on the clew bisects the angle of the reef line. Moving the position around will change how much tension is on the foot vs leech of the sail.
Slope Rectangle Triangle Parallel Symmetry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,636 Posts
Tie the bitter end of the clew reefing line around the boom with a bowline. That allows the downforce of the clew reef line to float along the boom where it will find the ideal location on its own.
I've found that the space needed for the knot raises the clew a lot. Instead, tie a bowline in the end of the line to make a loop, run the line around the boom and through this loop, and through the reefing system as normal. This way, the line positions itself along the boom in an ideal location like above, but the clew can come right down to the boom. An advantage is that the loop around the boom tightens the first or second time it is reefed, and mostly stays in that location.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,014 Posts
Tie the bitter end of the clew reefing line around the boom with a bowline. That allows the downforce of the clew reef line to float along the boom where it will find the ideal location on its own.
This was what my sailmaker advised me when I bought new sails about 20 years ago. A lot easier with a loose-footed main, for sure.
 

·
Super Moderator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
10,421 Posts
Like others have said, I simply tie the bitter end of the reel clew line around the boom with a bowline. I leave the loop free to slide. Once the leech is pulled down to the bowline, the loop can slide along the boom as the aft portion of the line tensions the foot of the sail.

I really like Mark's (Colemj) idea to tie make a loop around the line so the bowline sits against the side of the boom and will try that on my boat.

Jeff
 
  • Like
Reactions: baywater

·
Registered
Contest 36s
Joined
·
7,793 Posts
The Selden boom system means you don't tie the reefs... which means you don't have to leave the cockpit to reef. That seems like a good idea!
 

·
Super Moderator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
10,421 Posts
The Selden boom system means you don't tie the reefs... which means you don't have to leave the cockpit to reef. That seems like a good idea!
As a point of clarification, I will note that I believe that the original post and most of the posts above are talking about the clew reef line set up. The 'bowlines' described above are how the bitter end of the reef clew line is tied to the boom. Per your post above, in your case you are making that tie to the hardpoint on the side of your boom.

Speaking generally, whether the bitter end of the clew reef line is tied to a hardpoint on the boom, tied around the boom so it can slide, or is tied around the boom and through a hardpoint so it can't slide should not impact whether the clew reef line can be set up to adjust from the cockpit or at the mast end of the boom. Whether or not the line is run back to the cockpit is more dependent on the boat owner's personal preference and the geometry of the boat in question.

Over the years there has been some very comprehensive discussions about the merits of reefing from the cockpit vs. at the mast. In those discussions, various skippers made a case why they believed one or the other seems compelling to them. Obviously this is a discussion where one side's or the other's mileage may vary. There is no universally 100% correct and no 100% wrong test answer on this question.

I will also note that tying the bitter end to hardpoints on the sides of the boom is generally considered a discouraged approach among die-hard cruisers since the attachment point is almost by necessity weaker than wrapping around the boom, creates a torsional loading that increases wear at the gooseneck, will result in more chafe at the hardpoint, and creates a protruding hard edge more likely to injure someone in an accidental contact than might occur with an impact of the flat of the boom. If a hard point is desired, it is generally considered preferable to have it on the bottom of the boom, and to still tie the bitter end around the boom passing it through the hardpoint to keep it from shifting positions, I will also note that I have sailed on a number of boats with Selden rigs and that is generally how they have been set up (tied around the boom but passing through the hardpoint).

Respectfully,
Jeff
 
  • Like
Reactions: SanderO

·
Registered
Contest 36s
Joined
·
7,793 Posts
As a point of clarification, I will note that I believe that the original post and most of the posts above are talking about the clew reef line set up. The 'bowlines' described above are how the bitter end of the reef clew line is tied to the boom. Per your post above, in your case you are making that tie to the hardpoint on the side of your boom.

Speaking generally, whether the bitter end of the clew reef line is tied to a hardpoint on the boom, tied around the boom so it can slide, or is tied around the boom and through a hardpoint so it can't slide should not impact whether the clew reef line can be set up to adjust from the cockpit or at the mast end of the boom. Whether or not the line is run back to the cockpit is more dependent on the boat owner's personal preference and the geometry of the boat in question.

Over the years there has been some very comprehensive discussions about the merits of reefing from the cockpit vs. at the mast. In those discussions, various skippers made a case why they believed one or the other seems compelling to them. Obviously this is a discussion where one side's or the other's mileage may vary. There is no universally 100% correct and no 100% wrong test answer on this question.

I will also note that tying the bitter end to hardpoints on the sides of the boom is generally considered a discouraged approach among die-hard cruisers since the attachment point is almost by necessity weaker than wrapping around the boom, creates a torsional loading that increases wear at the gooseneck, will result in more chafe at the hardpoint, and creates a protruding hard edge more likely to injure someone in an accidental contact than might occur with an impact of the flat of the boom. If a hard point is desired, it is generally considered preferable to have it on the bottom of the boom, and to still tie the bitter end around the boom passing it through the hardpoint to keep it from shifting positions, I will also note that I have sailed on a number of boats with Selden rigs and that is generally how they have been set up (tied around the boom but passing through the hardpoint).

Respectfully,
Jeff
My experience with setting reefs on thousands of offshore and coastal miles is the Selden system is pretty easy and bullet proof. If I don't have to leave the cockpit... so much the better.
Getting whacked by the boom is something to be avoided at all cost... On my boat the "hard points: you refer to.. cleats for the reefs are above the dodger or further forward and one would have to be on deck to take a hit from on of those. Rigging a gybe prevent is a good idea as well.
It's always a good idea to prepare for high wind and set reefs before the snit hits the fan.
Obviously most sailors don't use this system... because their booms are not set up for it. I could use the standard practice... (remove boom cleats and interior lines) but I don't see and practical advantage. If it ain't broke... don't fix it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,636 Posts
Is what you describe as the Selden system single line reefing? If so, that is a different matter than the OP asks. Even with the Selden or other single line reefing systems, the reef line still needs to terminate on the boom. His question was about where to terminate, not how. Adding boom cleats for this on a boom not designed for those loads could be problematic.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Contest 36s
Joined
·
7,793 Posts
Is what you describe as the Selden system single line reefing? If so, that is a different matter than the OP asks. Even with the Selden or other single line reefing systems, the reef line still needs to terminate on the boom. His question was about where to terminate, not how. Adding boom cleats for this on a boom not designed for those loads could be problematic.

Mark
The "Selden" system is not meant to be a single line reefing system... but it could be. I set it up that way and found it not very good. So my reefs are dead ended at the boom cleat, pass through the reef cringle then back to a sheave at the aft end of the boom... then inside to the forward end and over another sheave and down to a pulley on deck and then aft to the cockpit. Of course you don't have to set it up for cockpit reefing. You can use traditional reefing. I leave the reef lines "set" for full hoist.... and they are only hauled in for reefing.
 

·
Barquito
Joined
·
3,843 Posts
How important is the angle of the pull on flattening the sail in heavy weather?
If the clew is attached to a fitting sliding in a track, as it may be un-reefed, the downward pull on the clew is unchanged with changes in the outhaul tension. If the reefing line goes through the clew with the bitter end tied to the boom, the downward and backward forces will be the same. In this case the force on the clew will bisect the angles of the reefing line. The result of all this geometric gymnastics is that you can't independently flatten the foot of the sail as you can with the full hoist equipment. Maybe this doesn't matter because you want to flatten the belly of the sail anyway.
Slope Triangle Parallel Rectangle Symmetry
Slope Rectangle Parallel Symmetry Plot
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top