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Old 25-03-2019, 07:45   #1
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Advice needed on my reefing points.

I've got a large fully-battened main sail on my 44' cat. I'm in the process of revamping the reefing points on the leach. The traditional set up is as below, with one line going to through the leach cringle and back to the boom...


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However, I am considering the following set-up and am seeking advice from those more knowledgeable than myself.


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I can see that the main advantage to the first set-up, is that the line pulling the sail down has a 2:1 advantage. However, my vague memory of physics classes tells me that once the line becomes static, that 2:1 advantage is no longer applicable.

As long as the 2nd set-up is designed to pull the leach evenly downwards and backwards, there seems to be a couple of advantages. There is a lot of line to get to the upper reefing points and back to the boom. This 2nd set-up uses half the amount of line and means less line hanging all over the place when I lower the sail. Secondly, as the line is attached to the leach cringle (via a SS ring), there is no rubbing on the line when the sail is reefed and moving around. I have batt cars on the mast and the sail drops easily under its own weight but I don't currently have any way to 'pull' the luff down. I know that the reef is designed to hold the cringle rather than to pull it down, so do I need the 2:1 purchase when 'pulling' the sail down with a bit of wind in it?

I'd appreciate all feedback.
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Old 25-03-2019, 10:00   #2
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

The 2:1 mechanical advantage is useful because you are not only pulling the sail down (and out), but also holding the boom up. (You don't put the boom on a gallows to reef, do you?) The down and out pull of the reefing line helps the sail set properly. In your proposed setup you will need to exert twice the effort to pull the line in, and there is no apparent "outhaul" vector. This would tend to make the sail baggy - not what you want when the breeze pipes up.

Our reefing arrangement is like your existing one. The doubled line does drape down when we lower the sail. We simply toss it into the folds under the sail cover: no fuss, no muss. To avoid the draping lines you could tighten the reefing line up by the mast and coil it there, but you'd need to loosen it again and work enough slack through the cringles each time you wanted to hoist the sail: a major hassle, even if you went to a 1:1 setup. Our reefing lines (we have two sets of them, for first and second reefs) have been in place for at least ten years and show little signs of wear or chafe. When they do, we'll reverse them for another 10 or more years of use. K.I.S.S.
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Old 25-03-2019, 10:35   #3
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

I donít see how your suggested setup will effectively pull the sail back towards the aft end of the boom which is important when reefing. In addition the amount of pressure on the reefing line can be considerable. Your attachment point on the boom better be robust enough to handle it, say in the event of an accidental gybe during a squall.

Iíve always made a slip line around the boom with a bowline. Simple, strong, effective and no hardware to break, no extra holes drilled in the boom.
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Old 25-03-2019, 10:50   #4
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

I'm with Suijin on both his points - direction of pull and stress point at your new boom block. You want the reefed foot to be TIGHT along the boom. When you reef you lose your outhaul completely, so the aft force is as important as the vertical vector. Do not set it up to pull vertically down. I'd feel better if you abandoned the new block and pulled down and aft directly from the existing boom block at the end. At least with that model, you could try your plan out without modifying any hardware. Just terminate the reefing line at the cringle, reef it down, and go out in 30 kts of breeze to try her out. If it doesn't work, you can just let out some more line and terminate at the boom like you have now.
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Old 25-03-2019, 11:10   #5
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

I'm not as experienced as others so take this advice at your peril :-)

I think option 2 looks good if when setting a reef you drop the main past the reef height, tighten the reef line then raise the main. If you tighten the reef line with the main set it may be to much load to tighten properly.

I'm not sure what you meant about not being able to pull the fluff down, you need a reefing point on the fluff as well otherwise the sail wont have the proper shape.

Hahaha fluff.... dam spell corrections luff
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:07   #6
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

Thanks for your input everyone. My diagram wasn't very clear about my proposed set-up. I do have a dyneema strop around the boom with a low friction eye on the end. The idea was to set it slightly back from where the leach cringle sits so that the force when pulled is equally down ad aft. If I'm reefing the main, I'm just going to leave the foot tight.
It seems though that the consensus is that the 2:1 pull is necessary and the chaff might not be the problem I think it is.
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:28   #7
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

The reef line must pull both down and out, as in the traditional diagram. While reefing there should not be much tension on the main except that coming from the sail flapping a bit. The main’s luff should not need much to bring it down when reefing. Is your main loose-footed?
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:34   #8
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

Yes - loose foot, and I don't have anything set up to pull the luff down as it seems to fall down by itself without assistance. Having said that, I've never tried to lower it in stronger winds.
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:58   #9
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

The main should come down on its own, as you say. The tension will be on the reef line when the leach is flapping. In the first reef this may not be much, but in conditions that demand the second and third (if you have it) reef, it can be a bit harder. Do your reef lines run through the boom and then run down and back to the cockpit? Keep in mind the clew does not have to be drawn down to a point in contact with the boom, in fact it wonít since sail is piling up there. And you may do this already, but the reefed main should not be lashed to the boom, only to itself. Many folks who have the reef lines run back to the cockpit have a winch available to tighten the reef line and then a clutch holds it.
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Old 25-03-2019, 13:00   #10
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

I don't use a padeye for attaching the bitter end of the reef line in the first illustration. Tie the reef line around boom with a bowline That way the downward pull location floats to the optimum location and get a better setting sail. If you use a padeye, it's positioning is critical. Too far forward and you don't pull the foot of the sail aft far enough and have a bag in the sail. Too far aft and you lose downward pull on reef cringe and multiply the pull aft which may work but may be needlessly stressing the foot trying to get the leach cringe down near the boom.

Have double line reefing so the tack is pulled down by dedicated lines that pull aft and down.
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Old 25-03-2019, 15:41   #11
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
The 2:1 mechanical advantage is useful because you are not only pulling the sail down (and out), but also holding the boom up. (You don't put the boom on a gallows to reef, do you?)

I use a topping lift for that.
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Old 25-03-2019, 15:42   #12
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

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Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
The down and out pull of the reefing line helps the sail set properly. In your proposed setup you will need to exert twice the effort to pull the line in, and there is no apparent "outhaul" vector. This would tend to make the sail baggy - not what you want when the breeze pipes up.

Exactly!, you need an outhaul component in your reefing line for good sail shape.
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Old 25-03-2019, 16:37   #13
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

If he has the reefing attachment to the boom aft of the cringle, this will give him outhaul. If he is not making adjustments while the main halyard is tight there is no loss.


I will rig my reefing lines like this.
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Old 25-03-2019, 16:54   #14
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

If both fittings are aft of the cringle on the boom it will still work but the clew will move up and down depending on tension on the sail, allowing a twist dumping air from the top of the sail.
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Old 25-03-2019, 17:30   #15
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Re: Advice needed on my reefing points.

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If both fittings are aft of the cringle on the boom it will still work but the clew will move up and down depending on tension on the sail, allowing a twist dumping air from the top of the sail.
It will depend on how far aft of the cringle it is attached to the boom, the closer it is the less the clew can move. I think you could match the 2:1 system.
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