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Beneteau F310 ~ APOTHIC
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm optimizing my boat's (1977 CS27) reefing system. The boat is rigged with a 2-line system with jam cleats on boom and mast. There is no reefing led back to cockpit, so I have to go on deck, which has never been an issue to date. The clew lines are pretty straight forward, but I'm looking for input on handling the tack. I see three scenarios:

  1. Put one of those "ram horn" reefing hooks onto the goose neck somehow. Seems like it might be awkward, and may snag things...
  2. Rig two tack lines. Straight-forward to do, and use, but entails an additional line, and I would need to add one more set of hardware on the mast.
  3. Rig a single Cunningham hook which stays in the Cunningham cringle until I need to reef, at which point I switch it to the next reef. Given the simplicity of this single line, I would be tempted to eventually grant it a position in the deck organizer and assign a clutch, as the Cunningham would be nice for trim. Is there a downside in having to migrate a Cunningham hook?

I think #2 and #3 are my most likely choices, and I'm interested in discussing pros and cons.

Thanks in advance,
Chris
 

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Freedom isn't free
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I migrated my cunningham to the cockpit as well... I find I use it very seldom (laminate sails) for luff adjustment, but for reefing it's VERY useful. I have a "reef" line run into the boom, that pulls the clew down (to the boom), and then I move the cunningham hook up to the reef point... and adjust... Takes a couple seconds to reef.

So it's
1) lower halyard most of the way... to the reef point
2) ease mainsheet/vang,
3) pull reef line...
4) move cunningham hook up adjust cunningham
5) If I am not lazy, tie reef lines to tidy the sail mess at the boom (most of the time I let it flap).

Sounds like a lot of steps, but I've been know to do it while close reaching with eased mainsheet, using the tiller pilot. Gets to be a PITA more off wind than that.
 

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Using the cunningham hook is what we do; saves wrestling the tack ring onto the tack hook, then having it fall out before you finish tensioning the halyard (though there are simple fixes for that problem too)

BUT... if you have to go on deck to reef, and your cunningham is led aft I'd put an intermediate cam cleat on the mast so you can secure it there too, without going back and forth.
 

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I vote for using the Cunningham for reefing, as well... Don't even think about going the 'Ram's horn' route, those things have to rate as one of the dumbest arrangements ever put on a sailboat :)

I have a 6:1 purchase, using spectra line, you can just make out the bottom part of the tackle and cam cleat behind the mast in the pic:



You could probably get away with far less purchase, 3:1 or even 2:1 would probably work just fine. I find this setup works very well, and is dead simple to use, and perhaps the easiest way to avoid 'crushing' the bunt of a double-reefed sail at the gooseneck...

Unfortunately, it is also likely to be the costliest solution :) But whatever you do, if you can create sufficient tension with your existing cunningham, I think the use of a simple cunningham hook for reefing is the way to go...
 

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Beneteau F310 ~ APOTHIC
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167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great! So it sounds like the Cunningham hook can serve many purposes, and save me installing a second line for a #2 reef tack. That's great news - one of those rare moments when the best path is both simple AND less costly.
 

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I also recently switched to using the cunningham to control the reef tack.

Jon's comment gave me a question though:

I find this setup works very well, and is dead simple to use, and perhaps the easiest way to avoid 'crushing' the bunt of a double-reefed sail at the gooseneck...
What is the best method to avoid crushing the 'bunt' at the leech end of the sail? I currently run my leech tack line up one side of the sail, through the cringle, and back down the other side. This does crush sail cloth tight against the boom, which isn't very good for the sail (if nothing else my blue dyneema reef line stains the sail blue).
 

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I also recently switched to using the cunningham to control the reef tack.

Jon's comment gave me a question though:

What is the best method to avoid crushing the 'bunt' at the leech end of the sail? I currently run my leech tack line up one side of the sail, through the cringle, and back down the other side. This does crush sail cloth tight against the boom, which isn't very good for the sail (if nothing else my blue dyneema reef line stains the sail blue).
There's a very simple solution to that, assuming you have a loose-footed main... And yet I have never, ever set foot on another boat that was rigged in this fashion, and remain mystified why more folks don't do it 'This Way"...

(Grin, bigtime)

Assuming the boom end of the reefing lines are fixed to the boom on the starboard side - mine start at the same fitting that holds the turning blocks on the starboard side:

The line passes underneath the boom, and back over the top thru the gap between the foot of the sail and the boom, now back on the starboard side... Then, up to the cringles, passing around behind the leech of the sail, and thru the cringle from port to starboard, then back down to the turning blocks, and forward...

Works like a charm, as long as you ensure the entire bunt of the sail falls freely off to port, you can snug the cringle right down to the boom without capturing any part of the sail at all... Well, at least it works like that on MY boat... :)

For those with reefing lines run internally, or from the end of the boom, one may have to make some modifications to make this work... But with some of those setups, it can be pretty hard to get the cringle right down to the boom, anyway - and the use of a strop is gonna wind up crushing sailcloth, in that case... One reason I don't care much for reefing lines led inside the boom, or run to the end of the boom, I'd rather be able to see what's going on, as well...
 

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I think I get it, but I'll have to try it on the boat to see. The goal is to run the reefing line up the same side of the sail going up and down.

You do this by passing it under the foot of the sail, then again around the leech of the sail. When the sail is reefed the cringle is pulled tight against the boom, and the unused sail is all squished out to the side (port on your boat, it will be starboard on my boat).

I has considered doing something similar by putting a dogbone in the clew cringles, but this is even simpler and keeps some weight off of the sail.
 

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On a smaller boat the hooks and cams in the boom work fine and are really fast

Way back when J24 booms were setup with TWO reefing lines and my original mainsail had two reef points

Now you have to pay extra to even gat ONE reef point :)
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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I vote for using the Cunningham for reefing, as well... Don't even think about going the 'Ram's horn' route, those things have to rate as one of the dumbest arrangements ever put on a sailboat :)
Jon, whilst I don't necessarily disagree...

I will say that the Ram's Horn route is really the only way to go if your gooseneck is mounted on a slider (like mine is) since the 'smart pig' is pulling the entire boom down, not just the tack end of the mainsail. You risk breaking something otherwise.
 
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