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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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Could a solution be to slightly lengthen the fabric connector for each "dog bone" ?
 

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.
 

K2MSmith

Member III
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.
Keith, On your E-33 do you have a little pulley that you can adjust along a track on each side of your boom end ? I reefed my mainsail today but I couldn't figure out how to run the line through the little pulley. I just tied the reef line around the boom end with a bowline. The sailmaker said you can use that for "flattening" reef but I don't think my sail has holes for that.
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
No I don’t have sheaves mounted on tracks alongside the boom end. I only have two internal sheaves in the end of the boom (on either side of the sheave for the outhaul). So my reefing line(s) run internally through the boom and over the sheave, then up to the cringle on the leech at the appropriate reefing point, then down to the boom where it terminates in a bow line hitch, also. So this same line pulls the (new) clew downward as well as aftward.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
figure out how to run the line through the little pulley...

I never figured out those external reefing tracks and expensive sliding cheek blocks on the boom. They would be useful for external slab reefing, back when booms had a reefing winch up near the gooseneck. Why put them on a boom with built-in sheaves for reef lines?

I have a hunch I still don't really understand their intended function.
 

K2MSmith

Member III
figure out how to run the line through the little pulley...

I never figured out those external reefing tracks and expensive sliding cheek blocks on the boom. They would be useful for external slab reefing, back when booms had a reefing winch up near the gooseneck. Why put them on a boom with built-in sheaves for reef lines?

I have a hunch I still don't really understand their intended function.
The sailmaker who sewed the Tides guides onto my sail mentioned something about it being used for a "flattening reef" which have gone out of fashion on newer sails. From what I gather in the various blogs, the FR is a leach only operation and you need a special reef point in your sail for it which I don't have. I tried to use it for the normal reef # 1 but the sheave was not at an angle that would allow the line to stay on so I just tied a bowline around the boom. I will post a picture next time I'm down at the boat (after the weekend is over and everyone leaves :)

 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
That sounds right. You would need a cleat on the boom, and a purchase or a winch to get the flattening reef tight.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
The flattening reef came into fashion sometime in the early 80's (or maybe sooner) when the Shelf Foot became popular in main sails to produce a better "end plate" effect at the foot of the sail. To flatten out this extra curvature of the lower sail shape when the wind increased, the very short reef line in the leach was pulled tight. This flattened the bottom portion, and also would slightly raise the boom... and this was good because there was a trend to sloping the boom angle downward to gain a bit of extra leach distance (and to also whack the heads of taller crew persons). :)

Extras like that would confer possible added micro-knots of speed or pointing, and keen racers would spend $ to get the advantage. I recall that UK would caution buyers about the very limited potential ROI, but would give the customer what they wanted. (sigh)

I believe that the top 5% of racers could indeed get value out of little tweaks like that, but for the average duffer it was like ordering a wing for the trunk lid of his Accord for extra 'down force' when driving over 105 mph! :rolleyes:
 
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K2MSmith

Member III
I believe that the top 5% of racers could indeed get value out of little tweaks like that, but for the average duffer it was like ordering a wing for the truck lid of his Accord for extra 'down force' when driving over 105 mph! :rolleyes:
I agree. I tend to overthink some of these tweaks (my OCD nature :) but primary objective right now is to get the boat sailing in higher winds. I care little about micro-knots at this stage...
On that topic, I am learning more about some of the "tricky" upgrades that were made on this boat for racing. Honestly I didn't pay too much attention to some of them when I was buying the boat because I thought they were kind of "normal" accessories for a R/C and I don't think I paid any more for the boat because of them. For example, it has a Navtec hydraulic vang. I honestly have not experimented with the vang that much in the 3 boats I have sailed, but since the hand pump is right in the cockpit it is kind of fun to play with and you see the results pretty quickly. Would I have bought one ? I don't know how much they coast, but from the look of the cylinder prices for just a backstay adjuster, I think probably not. btw, I noticed it was leaking fluid yesterday so it goes on the list as another maintenance item I need to take care of...
 

K2MSmith

Member III
Lessons learned today on the Bay: Boat still a work-in-progress but yesterday was my birthday and I wanted to get out on the water. At the wind line it was about 18-20 knots (maybe gusts to 25) and we were overpowered with just the main up and one reef in. As you can see in the movie, that reef is also poorly set because you can see all the wrinkles in the luff (and bad sail trim). I have to sort that out on a calmer day. I added quite a bit if halyard tension, so I am guessing maybe the luff was over tight before I was able to get correct halyard tension.

I was pretty impressed on how balanced the boat is on main alone. We were regularly hitting 6 knots with no jib). I also learned that with the size of this main, I will definitely need a functioning 2nd reef if I want to comfortably single-hand the boat.

 
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