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Discussion Starter #1
I am the newest owner of a 1964 Rhodes Chesapeake 32. I believe the boat has a unique reefing system that uses a rotating boom to roll the mainsail. Boat still equipped with original boom. Problem is, previous owner didn't know how to do it and I'll be darned if I can figure it out.

If there's anyone out there familiar with this system any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 

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Does yours have the hand crank to rotate the boom or a line drum on the boom to rotate it. The idea was to wind the sail on the boom as you lower the main halyard to what ever size main you need. they do work but not all that good. had to unhook the vang during use and use a horseshoe bail on the vang if needed during reefing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, Overbored.
It has a crank at the end of the boom, but that turn a screw to tighten the clew.
I haven't noticed anything I could call a line drum. Would it be located near the mast?
It does appear the the the boom will spin independently of the point where the main sheet attaches. But I can't figure out how to spin it. (Though that's probably a lubrication problem).
I don't have a vang....and no attachment points or chocks on deck or boom for one.
 

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is it possible that the turing device has been removed. we had one a few years ago ( 50 or so ) and it had a hand crank at the goose neck that turned a right angle gear box to rotate the boom. some others used a device like a furler drum to rotate the boom. the tang on the end of the boom was mounted on the end of the boom with one bolt and nylon washers so it could turn on the bolt. Do you have the original mainsail with no reef points? does the mainsail use a bolt rope that slides into the boom sail slot?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Original mainsail is long gone. Current one is rigged for dutchman, but that system was removed by previous owner. I have it and may re-install....or go with a lazy jack if I can't make the boom work. No bolt rope. Standard track and tabs.
I was told it was original mast, but maybe not because there's nothing there to indicate any mechanisms there.
I'm not giving up though...I know it should turn, and if it does ,I'm going to use it as designed. I think it's ingenious engineering.

Thank's again. If I figure it out, I'll take some pics and let you know.
 

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I am the newest owner of a 1964 Rhodes Chesapeake 32. I believe the boat has a unique reefing system that uses a rotating boom to roll the mainsail. Boat still equipped with original boom. Problem is, previous owner didn't know how to do it and I'll be darned if I can figure it out.

If there's anyone out there familiar with this system any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Does it have a wooden boom? Wood or aluminum, most of the boom furling mechanisms of that era, had a removable handle at the gooseneck. My boat, a 1961 Alden has a bronze handle that fits on an axle that is part of the turning gear. Maybe it is stowed somewhere?

We used our roller furling boom for many years with good results. When we had a new main built a few years ago, we went with slab reefing(a little faster and easier).

Basically, you roll the mainsail up on the boom. It's as basic as that. We used to get a very flat, reefed main with it. When done, you pull the handle off the gooseneck.

Your Rhodes 32 is a beautiful boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, TomMaine.

She has a wood boom. There is a VERY old crank handle resting in a the steel support bracket at the foot of the mast. I asked the previous owner what it went to...he didn't know...and said it was sitting there when he bought the boat and it's been there since. (At least 9 years) It's about 12' long and 1" wide flat bar with a wooden ball crank knob on one end, a round hole drilled through the middle of the bar and it is flattened and chiseled on the other end. I can't figure out where it fits, but it's going to stay right at the foot of the mast. (Why mess with something that's clearly meant to be there! Laughing). Except for the tiny stern compartment that I have yet to crawl through the lazarette to get to, I haven't come across anything like what you described in my stem to stern cleaning these past few weeks.

Current mainsail as reef points but boom is not rigged for them. It's going to be a choice I'll make once I determine whether or not the boom will cooperate.

Thank you for the compliment on the boat. I first saw her on the hard in August. A little rough, scraped, and weathered but pretty even then. I'd never seen a Rhodes designed boat, but it was love at first sight. I took her out for a sea trial...and that was all I needed. She's sailed beautifully. Now if I could only I knew how to order up 12 knots of wind like that every day.
 

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Usually the roller mechanism is built into the gooseneck fitting, with a crank handle to turn it (typically a hex shaft)

The image in the link has a square shaft drive, but the concept's the same - a worm drive gear built into the fitting...

http://gd28.wdfiles.com/local--files/avatara/goosenecksmall.JPG

All that said, it's generally a pretty unsatisfactory setup, most people have converted to slab reefing. At that point adding a decent vang is a no-brainer and something of a safety item.
 

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I am the newest owner of a 1964 Rhodes Chesapeake 32. I believe the boat has a unique reefing system that uses a rotating boom to roll the mainsail. Boat still equipped with original boom. Problem is, previous owner didn't know how to do it and I'll be darned if I can figure it out.



If there's anyone out there familiar with this system any help at all will be greatly appreciated.



Thank you.


Roller Reefing isn't "Unique" at all... as far as I know. It was the most common system when your boat was built,
Today, there are still modern versions of roller furling booms.

People got away from them, as Dacron sailcloth improved, one could get a vastly superior shape with Slab Reefing, plus Slab is just simpler and faster.

If you don't see where to place that handle, it's possible the worm gear seized and was removed. It would have been right at the goose neck, as in the photo.

If it has parts missing, you will have a hard time finding them, I would think. (Although who knows, you might be able to find the whole apparatus in an Antique Store!)
If you do find a way to make it operate, I don't think a Dutchman or Lazy Jacks would work- I can't figure how they would be attached to allow the boom to rotate.

As it happens, I owned a Chesapeake 32 in the early 80's... as I remember (always suspect these days) she had an Aluminum Boom, Non-Functional Roller Reefing Goose Neck and Slab Reefing. That might be your best choice!

Beautiful Boat by the way!




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Jake - more importantly. I am glad to see the guy who wound up with that gorgeous boat, came aboard here.
My wife was hoping (no praying) it wasn't going to be me :)

I'm with Faster... ditch the roller reefing... add slab reefing (the parts are pretty inexpensive), and add a proper vang. With a wooden boom, use as large a distance on the vang as possible (so the force on the boom is lessened).
 

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Do yourself a favor and go with slab reefing. Roller reefing is not only antique tech it just never worked well in the first place.
 

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The roller reefing that you have is a terrible system. As the sail is rolled in it bunches at the tack and clew and bags in the middle. You end up with a really ugly shaped sail that takes all the tension at the leach and tack. You also have no way to attach a vang that won't put holes in the sail. Sailors used to throw cushions, towels, maybe even a body or two in the middle of the sail as it was rolled in to keep the center of the sail from bagging. Had the system on my first boat and stretched the leech out on the main the first time I crossed the Molokai Channel that effectively ruined a brand new sail.

Put cheek blocks, cleats and possibly a winch on the boom to rig it for slab reefing. Does everything the roller reefing does way easier, quicker and won't ruin the sail.
 
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