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I use a cunningham hook for the tack, single line for the clew. We can reef in about a minute or less with my crew. One is lowering the main, while another is pulling in the reefline and cunningham, then tighten up the halyard, loosen the boom lift.

As said, let the main sheet out, have enough tension on the boom so the end is slightly up seems to work best for me any how. We're pretty quick about putting in a reef depending upon the length of the course. Sometimes as pudding mentioned, if a short tack up to the windward mark then down wind, just have someone REALLY working the main sheet during gusts, or leave it pretty loose, then you have a full main for the down wind leg.

Sometimes we do reef on the downwind leg getting to a buoy. not any harder than doing it up wind.

At the end, depends upon the size of the boat and its design. My boat is probably more like puddings personal boat, the Farr he races on will probably go a bit higher winds before a reef is needed. Some boats were never designed for reefs too!

Best thing frankly, practice before needing to, or have a plan on how you want to reef, then do it, if it does not work, figure out what did not work, improve the next time.

Marty
 

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How would you set a reef while racing? I tend to race short handed, so I don't have a lot of rail meat to balance the boat. In the past I have been in races where the winds started at 8 to 10 and ended more like 18 to 22. My boat sails better standing up so I would have liked to put a reef in but did not want to head up and lose time and position. So we just manhandled the rudder against the weather helm and rode the boat on its side. I have recently moved my main and reef lines to the cockpit. So it may be possible (I have not tried it) to pull the main down with the tack reef line, while it is still powered. Should I let the main out to de-power it and then reef? Most of the races I have been in are around 3 sides once or twice rather than point to point.

I am new to racing and mostly just daysail, so reefing early is what I do when out alone.

thanks,
Ron
Hi Ron , if the boat is too heeled and trying to turn into the wind, you are struggling with the tiller to keep her on track. that makes drag and slows the boat down. you will find that if you reef, you will go faster, or at least, sail her without struggling and without losing any speed
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Oh, well yes; just let the main out enough to depower it and to be able to release the halyard and haul on the reef line. I had all the lines led back to the cockpit early on as I single hand a lot. I have 4 reef lines, two for each reef point, in the cockpit, all on clutches. With a crew reefing it is not an issue and with an experienced crew reefing was usually not necessary, the boat held its own under heavy race conditions. It was only when I was by myself that I was concerned and then reef early was the key.

thanks,
 
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