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Old 13-11-2009, 21:03   #1
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Adding Reef Points without Sewing

I just got a new mainsail and unfortunately it has only 1 reef point. I would like either 3 or 4 reef points so I looked into sewing them. Doing it by hand seems pretty tedious, and sewing machines are expensive, and take up space. I am wondering if it would be possible to to just use flexible adhesive to add dacron to the sail to reinforce it at the reef points. I heard 5200 works for this, any other suggestions?

I'm not sure how to punch the holes and mount the grommets either.
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Old 13-11-2009, 21:23   #2
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What about sewing on webbing straps with SS rings in/on them. Seen some sails with that type of arrangement lately. Looked not too bad of an idea and would certainly be easier to do than punching holes and so on.
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Old 13-11-2009, 21:30   #3
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I heard 5200 works for this, any other suggestions?

.
5200 is far too expensive product to use!!!!!!! Just grab a can of normal contact cement. Its about 1/4 price of 5200 and works a treat. Our whole mainsial is due to be replaced in a few weeks and its held up, out and fluttering with glue


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Old 14-11-2009, 01:36   #4
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Are you putting us on??? Can't believe anyone would even think about using 5200 for something as serious as a reef point.

As far as contact cement, it doesn't hold formica down all that well.
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Old 14-11-2009, 03:43   #5
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Are you putting us on??? Can't believe anyone would even think about using 5200 for something as serious as a reef point.

As far as contact cement, it doesn't hold formica down all that well.
I second that - reef points take some serious strain and your life may depend on them. Do them properly or get a sail maker to do them for you, the cost won't be much compared to the price of the sails.
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Old 14-11-2009, 06:55   #6
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I think using 5200 would be very difficult to make sure you got it right. Too little, too much, how do you know you got a good bond?

But someone at North sails thinks that 5200 would make a good choice for on the water sail repair as the bond is stronger than the sail cloth.

Report on testing materials to repair sails while at sea:
Magic Goo to the Rescue - Cruising World

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Old 14-11-2009, 07:28   #7
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I think you're being penny wise and pound foolish. An emergency repair is one thing as, presumably, it is only relied upon for a short while. A reef point (and remember, there are two at each reef) must endure and must transfer its loading into the sail which requires a fan of reinforcing. In the same circumstances, I'd see a good sailmaker. (If you've just purchased the sail, were the extra reef points simply over-looked?)

FWIW...
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Old 14-11-2009, 07:33   #8
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I spent some time in the marine canvas business, including the odd sail repair.
I never would have considered 5200 for that application. Live and learn.
Of course I've seen it used successfully for patching inflatables, so maybe it's just lack of imagination on my part.
By the way, what kind of boat is this where you want "3 or 4" reef points?
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Old 14-11-2009, 07:56   #9
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Another thought: A sewing machine need not be expensive. The Singer machine I use for canvas work of all kinds was actually free--many older sewing machines with metal gears and a zig-zag stitch will work.
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Old 14-11-2009, 16:44   #10
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5200 is far too expensive product to use!!!!!!! Just grab a can of normal contact cement.

Mark
After re-reading this thread, I agree with the other advice to have a sailmaker do it properly.

I use contact cement on an old, buggerd sail to cover UV damage holes and where the stitching is failing. They are tempory repairs till we get a new sail in a few weeks time.

Its not the right thing to use to make reefing points.

The reason why I jumped on the 5200 thing was a guy a few months ago did a big rip in his sail and in a rally walked around the dock and asked for 5200. He received about 20 small tubes of the stuff. The value of that about $200. $20 of contact cement would have done the same thing.... But that was an emergency repair, not reefing points


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Old 14-11-2009, 17:01   #11
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5200 (FC) is great for onboard sail repairs, just later cannot be re-done by mowing.

But it probably cannot be used for reef points. I would give it a try on an old 'testing' sail. Why not. We only learn how good or bad such ideas are by putting them to a test.

But on a new sail meant as the core drive in all conditions and thru a couple of years, it is probably best and only way to go back to the loft.

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Old 15-11-2009, 11:11   #12
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I am still considering 5200. Is there a good reason not to use it other than it is relatively unheard of? That is a bad reason.

5200 is flexible and stronger than sailcloth, so it is stronger than stitching with a sewing machine, it would actually be better, maybe in a few years it will be the norm.

I would try it on the old mainsail first, but it is falling apart lots of little tears.

I can just cut sailcloth the right shapes and glue it on, building up many layers as needed using the first reef as a guide.

The sailmaker wants $150 to put in a set of reefs, I need two. That will nearly double the cost of the new main sail (was $350). 5200 is about $15 for 10oz (the calk gun size) which is probably enough for a set of reefs. I am sailing south to Mexico in a week or two, I want more than 1 reef point. This is a bristol 27. I want to put reef points in jibs too. Sewing machine would be cool, but takes up space and costs a lot makes it seem impractical for me. Still looking for a cheap one though.

The new main sail has the dutchman system.. I read you dont need intermediate reef points, is that actually true?
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Old 15-11-2009, 11:32   #13
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I am still considering 5200. Is there a good reason not to use it other than it is relatively unheard of? That is a bad reason.
Yes, consider the value of you and your families Lives!
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The sailmaker wants $150 to put in a set of reefs, I need two. That will nearly double the cost of the new main sail (was $350).
Small, small, small, small price to pay. Consider the value of you and your families Lives!
DON'T DO IT! (the 5200 that is).
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The new main sail has the dutchman system.. I read you dont need intermediate reef points, is that actually true?
Don't know, sorry.

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Old 15-11-2009, 13:10   #14
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Doing it by hand seems pretty tedious, and sewing machines are expensive.. I heard 5200 works for this, any other suggestions...

I can’t imagine using “glue” as it will only adhere to two layers of cloth at a time, making for a potentially over-stressed mating… However, on your size boat, you might reconsider hand-stitching (the ditty-bag should be, maybe is, already on the boat). With a palm, needles and wax, as well as some spare cloth and a cringle or two, you should be able to make an inexpensive and serviceable, if not necessarily exquisite, set of reef points for your sail in an afternoon or so… I’ve got an old metal-geared “Dressmaker” sewing machine that I could use, but the truth is most times, needle and palm gets it; and all in all is an enjoyable way to send a few hours getting to know the sail – even though my ugly-duckling repairs/upgrades may not look all that elegant, they’ve never failed and cost peanuts… Get a copy of Marino's, Sailmaker's Apprentice (or similar) and enjoy yourself...
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Old 15-11-2009, 13:54   #15
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The intermediate reefing points, the ones between the clue and tack, are only there to capture the loose sail. They are not necessary but can be a big safety factor when you get the sail deeply reefed and have a whole bunch of sail cascading onto the deck. A Dutchman system may help in containing it though I haven't any experience with it.

You are one persistant fool. Take the sail to the sailmaker. See if you can negotiate to do any handwork, like the cringles if he has the old style sewn cringle dies and rings, or any other way to cut down on the cost. See if the sailmaker could use some grunt help even if it's just cleaning up. You will probably learn enough that it would be worthwhile to pay him to do it. If $300 is a problem, sell the outboard and get a sweep oar. You can live without an engine, you may die because your main is destroyed.

Is this a case of the old mule training adage about getting the animals attention. Give up on gluing the reef points.
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