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Reefing

blueachilles 5:44pm, 4 May 2010
Hi all, just back from a great weekend sailing, albeit cold and windy. We had 6.8kts on the gps while under genoa alone.

But we are having problems reefing the main. We have fairly new sails, with two reefing points, and standard slab reefing. But when we put a reef in - and we generally do this before we set off, rather than at sea, if it looks too blowy for full sail - the boom always ends up too low, dangerously so in fact. We pull the reefing line as tight as it will go, so the reefing point is tight against the boom. The (loose) foot of the sail is not unduly baggy. And of course the reefing point is put on to the horn thingy at the front of the boom.

Any thoughts gratefully received.

Incidentally, the boat sails really well under just genoa, so this is what we use in f4+.
busy home [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 9 years ago
Is the luff tension sufficient,, most important ,, the sail needs to be flatter than normal ,,, and normally you do not have enough luff tension!!
Or maybee the sail is not made properly, ?
It was very gusty on Monday I was on board from 9 till 5.30 ..did you sail back Mon PM,
Told you they sail well on genny only ,,
Next time we meet on moorings call me to have a look.
I ve commented on your recent pics. (blue at loe etc)
Andrew Curry Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Andrew Curry (member) 9 years ago
When not reefed and the sail is nicely tensioned (plenty of tension when its windy) and the topping lift off is the boom height ok? If it is then it looks like the reefing point at the leach could have been fitted to low or the main halyard has not been tightened enough after the reef was put in. Do you have the same problem with the 2nd reef? If you measure from the foot of the sail the reefing point at the luff and leach should be around the same height. If you have an old main try measuring to see if reefing points are in the same place.
blueachilles 9 years ago
Ron, when the recent photos were taken we had a small problem with the topping lift fouling the main halliard when the sail was up. Basically, we replaced the topping lift before the boat went in and it was led down the wrong side of the mast. After the latest pic were taken, we have re-rigged it.

But we have had the problem with reefing for as long as we have had the boat.

We sailed a bit on Monday, but it was gusty all weekend. Monday was the best day for sailing over the weekend. We came back to the mooring lunchtime today.

Andrew, normally the boom is at a decent height, certainly not life threatening as it is when reefed! I haven't measured from the foot to the reefing points but it looks right, and we had the problem with the old mainsail as well.

We may have the boom lower on the mast than some, but when reefed it droops at the clew end.
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Was the new sail Cruisader or a copy of the old?
Andrew Curry 9 years ago
Just had a look at your pictures of Blue. I see that you have the early set up without the through mast roller boom. On most of the boats with early set up the gooseneck is on a track which allows the height of the boom to be adjusted does Blue have this set up? It does sound as if the sail is not cut properly. I would take pictures and call the sail maker to get there view. I will go down to Amaryllis later tonight and measure the distance from my gooseneck to the deck so you can easly compare.
blueachilles 9 years ago
The odd thing is that everything is fine when full sail is up, but not when reefed. But as you can see from the "Blue at Loe" photo, the luff cringle and clew cringles are both the same height above the boom. Also, the boom is in line with a black line on the mast which I assume is to indicate the correct position for the boom - and we have never changed the height of the boom. But it is adjustable.

I wonder whether the problem is something to do with the position of the reefing lines along the boom, but the reefing point was right down to the boom as tight as we could get it, and the clew was pulled out as far as we could get it.

The new sail is by Kemps, not a copy of the old one.
blueachilles 9 years ago
OK, have spoken to Kemps, who also commented on the luff tension.

Normally we get the main halliard bar tight, but it is fixed to the sail by a bowline with a fairly large loop. Maybe the bowline knot is tight against the sheave at the top of the mast, but the sail is 4-5" lower. I'll check this out next time. A smaller loop should mean a tighter luff.

Kemps said that the leach reefing cringle is generally 10cm or so higher than the luff cringle, to reduce boom droop. He also said that my reefing lines are straight up and down. If they were rigged so that they start nearer the end of the boom, through the cringle and then straight down to the boom and forward, this would help to raise the boom.

Watch this space!
Andrew Curry 9 years ago
All sounds like good advice.
Mike A1 9 years ago
I have quite a small gap between the top of the mainsail and the top of the mast and I've got a shackle and an eye splice on the end of the halliard. This would stop me getting enough tension in the luff. To get around this, I push a loop of the rope through the cringle at the top of the sail, put the end of the halliard through this and then pull the loop tight.

It's a bit of a struggle to push the rope through but apart from that it works fine and gives the extra few inches I need to tension the sail.
Amrum 9171Y 9 years ago
I've found that if I just tension the halyard to take creases out I get the best shape in the sail. I have not so far needed to winch it tight. The main problem is that there is nothing on the boom to fasten the tack to. I have played around with a lashing round the boom at various distances from the mast, and by adjusting the outhaul, and can get a good shape, but i was surprised there was no eye on the boom to shackle to.
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Put a S hook into the cringle pin hole on the boom,Use a lashing to the cuningham hole, (hope Blues not confusing that with the reefing cringle!) The aft one I mean)
We always use a winch on Chille but the halliard is led aft via turning blocks so more friction, (fully battened ) Goskar I tension by my weight on the boom sliding it down, after winching to max height and
Knot stop.
blueachilles 9 years ago
Ron, I wasn't confused until your last message!!

Snifter, we have a cringle in the bottom corner of the sail, ie the tack. We have a lashing from this tied round a small eye near the gooseneck on the boom which is obviously there for the purpose of fixing the tack to the boom. Chille's boom looks different to ours, but Chille's is much newer.

I understand the Cunningham hole to be a cringle between the tack and the first reefing cringle, used to add tension downwards on the luff of the sail. Our main does not have a Cunningham hole.

Our problem is not so much tensioning the sail downwards, as tensioning upwards. I need to have a look at the way the halliard is attached to the sail next time we are there, in a couple of week time.

We always use the winch to get the luff as tight as possible (particularly if Ron is around!!) but if the halliard has come up as far as it can because my bowline knot is hard up against the top of the mast, the luff will not get any tighter whatever we do. Pulling our boom down will only make the reefing problem worse.
blueachilles 9 years ago
OK, I reduced the size of the bowline loop attaching the halliard to the peak, and re-rigged the reefing line as Kemps recommended.

Although we haven't needed to reef "in anger", the adjusted set-up seems to work, and leaves the boom without any droop.

Thanks to all for your assistance.
Andrew Curry 9 years ago
Glad you got it sorted.
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Strong easterly ,, yesterday,, no reef in ? I came home mid day ..
after witnessing a very near miss to Sundown The white caravan
between us three left his mooring under tight main a nd half power
heading dead midships to sundown ,, the owner still on foredeck!
he scrambled over the roof (no side decks) and just managed to steer away! ??? (or not) I did not check sundown as it was too choppy in dinghy,,
Had a good weekend?
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