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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have my single line set up exactly like this picture
Barton Marine - Tech Info - Block Systems - Single line reefing

While it is nice to think all can be run to cockpit and be handled with one line, I am finding it to be challenging. When I reef, I drop the main halyard to a marked point and then tighten on reefing line. What happens is that the luff edge tightens up very nicely but the leech does not tighten proportionately so I end up with a tight tack but the clew needs manual help to be sheeted in tight. I have been careful to get angels just as in the picture but still, once the tack is tight, clew still requires taking up about 6 inches more to be sheeted properly. I am considering going with two line system as that is essentially what I end up doing anyway. But thought I would ask here to see if I am missing something obvious. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should have added that one adjustment I have made to the diagram is to install blocks at the cringles instead of just running through cringles. I thought this would reduce friction and make it all work... alas. :-(
 

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Single line reefing can work well, you just need to reduce the friction.

The greatest source of friction is from having a double braid line going through the cringles on the sail. There are two ways to make it better, doing both of them gives the best result. The first is using dyneema for the portion that runs through the cringles (you'll have to splice this to doublebraid where you cleat it off, or start with a dyneema core double braid and strip the cover where the line runs along the sail).

The second is using a block (or Antal-style low friction ring) instead of the cringle. An easy way to do this is to put a ring on one side of the sail, an Antal ring on the other side of the sail, and connect them with a piece of sewn webbing (sail makers call that a "dog-bone") or soft shackle. The other advantage of using a block or low friction ring is that both sides of the reefing line run on one side of the sail, they won't crush and chafe the sail when reefed.

I have single line reefing on my boat and with those two improvements it works very well. If you run your halyards back to the cockpit then I find well implemented single line reefing to make more sense then running 4 lines (vs 2 lines) back to the cockpit to support two reefs. If you run your halyard to the mast then normal jiffy reefing for the clew and a hook for the tack works great.

The rigging work for good single line reefing takes a little bit more time, but it's worth it. I think most people who say single line reefing doesn't work have never tried it when it's been rigged this way.
 

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Tensioning both the luff and leach of the sail against the main halyard is a tall order for the single line reefing system.

I suggest lowering the main halyard past the required point, reefing the sail, then tensioning the main halyard again as the last step.

Does this give you a better set on the leech? If not, time for 2 line reefing.
 

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I'm still "lashed to the mast", not having (yet?) run the main halyard to the 'pit. May I assume that I can reverse the line and do a 'single line reef' from the mast?
I *do* have one o'them block/track dealies on theaft end of the boom; but nevercould figger out how to rig it (too damm'd many confusticatin' leetle cluched sheaves in the neck of the boom!).
The linked pic helped a lot, and thanx for the "dog-bone" trick..sounds like it would help a lot!:D
 

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The problem with single line - aside from the issue you're already having with excess friction in the system - is that you're expecting the same line tension requirement for both luff and clew - and often that's not going to be the case.. 2 line systems avoid the friction issue, leaves shorter tails in the cockpit, and allow you to easily set each at the tension they require.
 
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Have single line reefing for first two reefs and double for third. Friction is the enemy but totally delighted with single line. Several things are important and have been mentioned.
1. use dyneema or other low friction line.
2.have blocks sewed in at both points. Can leave cringles but with blocks attached that way they won't twist and will always have the correct angle. Mainsail was built with intention of single line reefing so re enforcements done to permit it. Did have traditional cringes put in (belt and suspenders thinking).
3. try to have the least angle in your deck mounted hardware or direct runs to the line clutches. High angles increase friction significantly.
4. Pull in the reefs as you ease the halyard. Often its the totally slack loops of line flopping around that are creating unnecessary friction. That way less opportunity for twisted lines and hang ups. I can do reefs quickly with A.P. on or wheel brake with one hand on halyard and other on reef line.
5. Have Dutchman on main and have fully battened main. Sail "automatically" drops correctly. Lines don't foul and folded portion lies correctly on boom.
6. Get all pressure off main as you reef. Let it flog a bit. Ease mainsheet and head up enough for this to occur. I can reef easily on a reach if the sheet is truly let loose.

On my boat I can pull in reef by hand down to the last little bit and only need the winch to get the sail nice and flat. Think a lot of the bad press on single line reefing is due to folks not trying to eliminate friction in each part of the system. Hope that helps.
 

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.. What happens is that the luff edge tightens up very nicely but the leech does not tighten proportionately so I end up with a tight tack but the clew needs manual help to be sheeted in tight...
Try to lift the boom with a topping lift (run to the cockpit) while you reef and than you will have control regarding the proportionality between the two lines going in. That happens (the luff going faster) because on the luff there is less pressure while the weight of the boom and the wind on the sail makes more force on the clew line.

It had worked for me on the several 2 lines systems I have used;).

Regards

Paulo
 

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Paulo is right. Adjusting topping lift is the first step.
Adjusting the topping lift might be a necessary step but only if the topping lift is not already carrying the boom as the halyard is eased.

Tensioning the topping lift to raise the boom has some risk, you should only do it if essential. The issue being, if the topping lift is not reset after the reef is in, there's a chance to break something when you next trim the main closehauled.
 

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SF - you're right but find get the tack fairly tight first makes the line run smoother as the leech is totally loose. Even if you forget to ease it the leech remains open after the reef to remind you to let down the topping lift. I just tighten it a smidge so ( knock on wood) haven't broken anything yet.
Don't fully get the concern about long tails. With double line get two clutches, two tails and twice the opportunity for folks to pull the wrong line at night if they are not well familiar with the boat and positions of the clutches. Coastal don't rig the third reef as don't want that much string hanging on the sail so use the clutches for other things ( spin halyard etc.). Can be confusing. Tails just get flaked and dumped under the dodger anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Will experiment with topping lift which by the way when I stepped the mast last March, I forgot to run in advance. Bummer. Have not yet made going up the mast part of my first year learning curve. Oh well it may be time to go up, rig the topping lift, check rigging, and do a couple other things... Thanks all!
 

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Have no idea what this means:

"The second is using a block (or Antal-style low friction ring) instead of the cringle. An easy way to do this is to put a ring on one side of the sail, an Antal ring on the other side of the sail, and connect them with a piece of sewn webbing (sail makers call that a "dog-bone") or soft shackle. The other advantage of using a block or low friction ring is that both sides of the reefing line run on one side of the sail, they won't crush and chafe the sail when reefed."

Can somone post a photo?

Could you simply not just put a teflon spray lubrication on the reefing line now and then at all the critical parts, for example: http://www.lowes.com/pd_213197-39963-D00110101_0__?productId=1059839
 

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That is an Antal ring dogboned to another stainless ring using a soft shackle (a too long for the job soft shackle, but it works).

The one part of this photo that I don't like is the load that is placed on the mast-mounted padeye.
 

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That is an Antal ring dogboned to another stainless ring using a soft shackle (a too long for the job soft shackle, but it works).

The one part of this photo that I don't like is the load that is placed on the mast-mounted padeye.
The block from Sparcraft in this picture is the lead for my tack reefing line (two line reefing setup). This block give little friction and good lead, the rope go down to a mast base block.

 

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I have to agree with two line the set up that Knuterikt is showing. I have never seen a single-line reefing system that really works properly. While the friction can be tamed some by the low friction devices that Alex suggests, the problem with a single line system in my mind is that the clew tension is controlled by the luff tension and so one is bound to be too tight or too loose. Plus there are times when you need a reef but you want to ease the outhaul slightly to power through waves. You cannot do that with a single line system without loosening the luff and allowing the tack to float upward.

Jeff
 

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Look at the drawing from Bartonmarine..

The setup shown is with the reefing line external to the boom.

Notice the lead of the "tack" end of the setup with the block on the mast well forward of the goose neck and then through the reef cringle and to the same point on the other side of the mast before going aft.
This is to avoid increasing friction when the luff gets pulled down first (as it will normally do since there is less rope to pull down at the tack).


I have sailed on a Hanse 470, on this boat the friction suddenly increased when the luff was pulled down to the boom - by examining the system at this point we discovered that the reef block sewn onto the luff of the sail interfered with the reefing line where it exited the boom making it extra hard to pull the leach down. The quick fix was to send a crew to the mast and push on the block, I newer bothered to find a permanent fix...
 

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On my boat you can get the best (or worst?) of both worlds by using single line reefing and moving the cunningham hook to the reef tack cringle.

This lets me reef from the cockpit with a single line. Once the boat is reefed I can go forward and move the cunningham hook up to the new tack. Now my reef line is controlling the clew and the cunningham line is controlling the tack.
 
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