Reefing system changes

K2MSmith

Member III
There is only one reef line currently set up on my boat ( E-33). The line goes from the mast through the boom to the boom end over a pulley and through the first reef point hole grommet near the leech. It then goes back down through an adjustable block near the back end of the boom and then it is tied off. (see attached diagram - shows reef 1 and 2 - currently reef 1 is only installed on my boat). The forward reef point is simply placed over a "hook" on the forward end of the boom.

Now that I have installed a Tide's mast track, I don't think this simple system will continue to work. I am not going to be able to lower the reef point enough to go over the reef hook because the leading edge of the sail will now have the mast track guides on them - so it can't be pulled down all the way.. So, I need another line for the luff side of the sail (or maybe use the same reef line through both).

What is the simplest setup to fix this ? Also, I'd like to use the 2nd reef point as well..
 

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K2MSmith

Member III
PS I downloaded the 38-200 manual and it shows a sketch of the reefing system. So maybe this answers my own question...I need to add a block system or use cunningham if it fits.
 

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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Absolutely.

dog bones.jpg

They're easy to make. Take a length of line and tie a knot to make it a loop. Take a spare shackle and attach to one end with a luggage tie loop. Thread through cringle and put the other shackle on the free end.

Adjust temp dog bone to the size needed.

Now buy stainless rings and use a piece of sail tie for the finished product. If you have a sewing machine or sewing awl the loop can be stitched, but a knot also works.
 

K2MSmith

Member III
Thanks Christian, Not sure if I know what you mean in the first paragraph, but I think I get the idea. I create a temporary extension using some line from the reef point to the reef hook. Once I know that distance, I can create a permanent extension of the right length with two rings and a sail tie. Is this correct ?

I think this will work to make what I already have function. Ultimately, I am kind of wondering if there is any load on the sail at all if I will be able to pull down the ring to "hook" it just by grabbing the ring without any mechanical advantage. I didn't have any problem when I tried it before (and I didn't have a Tide's mast track system installed when I did ) but we were able to get pretty sheltered directly into the wind.

Is this the system you have on your boat (basically one reef line on clue and "hook and ring" on luff) ? I think remember seeing you demonstrate reefing on one of your videos under sail but when I went to look for it I couldn't find it.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Well, there's normal luff tension on the dog bones after the halyard is re-tensioned. Mainly dog bones exist, even without the issue of a high luff stack after reefing, simply because heavy sailcloth is hard to twist onto a reef hook.

I have dog bones for all three reefs, but they're attached to downhauls. The downhauls lead back to clutches. It permits reefing from the cockpit.

Here's that segment. I edited out out the downhaul/halyard raise part, which was done before cranking down the clew. Since the downhaul runs through a clutch that automatically holds it, it just means yanking the downhaul taut. The dog bones and downhauls are on the starboard side of the sail, so you can;t see them in the video.

 

K2MSmith

Member III
I'm learning quickly that it's going to be a many-step process to get my boat to where it can be easy to single-hand :) - but that's part of the fun. The reefing is an example. I think the PO sailed mostly with a crew so with two crew members at the mast and one at the clew, so it's not a problem. My boat has halyard clutches and reef clutches all at the mast. The halyard is starboard side, reefs are on port. I just got the autopilot working, so that will help :).

So if you have a down haul connected to "dog bone" ring. (I take it two rings are used not only one as a stopper through the reef point, but so you can "hook' on either side of the boom ?) and another line for the leach you must have two lines for each reef position going back to the cockpit ? If you have three reef positions, that would be six lines ? - or do you reuse the same downhaul and just thread it through ? . (that would reduce to 4 lines total if you have 3 reef positions).
 

goldenstate

Member III
Blogs Author
I asked very similar questions 6 months ago and got the same (generous, correct) answers.

I made 'temporary' dog-bones with 3-5' of narrow gauge dyneema (looped multiple times) and some stainless rings from West Marine. Ten minutes and ten bucks:


I say 'temporary' because I am supposed to replace the dyneema at some point with proper nautical sewn-nylon-webbing ones, like Christian's. (But psst - the dyneema ones keep working pretty well.)

Especially if your autopilot is working, it's not that hard to get to the mast to get the rings around the ram's horn.

I think the received wisdom is to re-use your first or second reefing lines for the third reef. The downside is climbing up on top of your cabin and fumbling with knots in a wind state that requires a third reef. Sounds sketchy.

I don't have a third reef in my main at this point, so no hay problemo, senor!
 

K2MSmith

Member III
thank you all for your comments. I had planned to setup/practice the reefing , test out my new mast rack and go sailing but it is blowing 25-30 out there and I opted to take out dinner and eat on the boat . ( see photo of boat heeling under bare poles . ) so maybe later this week .( Goldenstate if you want to come let me know ) .

I have only one reef line , so I was thinking I could reuse this for 2nd if needed but maybe I should just install a second . I brought my plumbers snake to feed another line .
 

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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Regarding the third reef--it's an eccentricity on our boats. Why not just drop the main entirely in 30 knots?

I have only two sets of reefs lines, No. 1 and No. 2. To use the third reef, I reroute the lines and the first reef becomes unavailable.

You gotta really want a third reef to bother rerouting the lines. It's too much work unless engaged in a long board in threatening weather.
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
Kevin,

My reefing system is as you diagrammed. My main has only two reefs but the second is very deep. I found, btw, that having both reef lines on the sail at all times was a PITA. The two lines would flap continuously when motoring and would snag and get in the way during hoists. It might grab you by the neck at the wrong time (wait, is there ever a right time for that?) as you pass through the cockpit from one side to the other! They were a problem when dousing, also. So I leave the second reef line off. If I anticipate that heavy weather is coming, I will add the second reef line in advance, if necessary. I know that in your waters the wind can get knarly quick, but I think you can generally anticipate when a big blow is coming and add that extra line.
 
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