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Old 05-03-2010, 10:50   #1
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Do the Mains'l Slugs Need a Mast Gate on My Contessa 26'?

Hello again my cruisers forum friends!

I was headed out the mouth of False Creek in English Bay in a nice brisk force 5. I had never put in a reef on this ship before, so thought this would be a good chance to try.

Before departure I tied in the clew for the first reef assuming that all I would have to do was hop up and move the first reef cringle onto the hook. Imagine my surprise when it wouldn't reach the hook without removing the 'stop' upon which 3 or 4 slugs came out..... needless to say it was not something I cared to figure out and so ended up testing Skibo's windward ability under jib only.

Sorry for the long description.....
The question:

How can I rig this so I don't have to fiddle about? There wasn't a "mast gate" when I got it, so presumeably there must have been a system of lacing the slugs so they could be a slacked off.

I have attached a picture of the sail up without any lacing yesterday. As you can see the cringles need a fair amount of slack from the slugs.

Any advise or ideas would be much appreciated!

All the best,

Mike
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:29   #2
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I found someone elses reefing system with a similar setup
Photo Album of Slug placement for reefing, Mastgates and Jacklines


some boats use a cunningham which can be placed above the sail stop
Another option would be some webbing or line with a second sail hook for reefing to keep the reefed cringle hooked above the sail stop would solve the issue.

Cheers
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Old 05-03-2010, 20:21   #3
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In my boat I have to feed the slugs when I ease the reef. Our gate is spring loaded, so no action required when taking in a reef. Once I feed a slug into the grove, it stays there.

But for the first reef I will often leave the first slug off the grove, so I can reef in/out from the cockpit.

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Old 05-03-2010, 21:16   #4
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Interesting... so a spring loaded gate. I can envision how that works. Thanks Barnakiel.

LuvToSail: So you mean like running a messenger or secondary tack hook up to connect? I wonder if that would affect sail-shape. Which brings to mind another "unknown" about this mains'l. It has what appears to be a second tack cringle about 8-10" above the main tack cringle. Hmmmm.
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Old 05-03-2010, 21:17   #5
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You need to rig up a jack line that laces the main slugs to the slug eyes in the sail. That will give you room to get your luff reef cringles on the hooks without the stack of slugs in the track preventing it.
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Old 06-03-2010, 13:45   #6
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Holly duck!

It all sounds way more complicated than how I have my stuff set up. Probably simplest thing to do is fit the gate and you are done. Making the gate will take you half an hour or so.

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Old 06-03-2010, 14:07   #7
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I have the same problem with my small boat. I have just put the slugs on a small piece of webbing, allowing just enough space to put the reef in. I think that is a better solution than taking them out.
In other words:
Leave the slug stop in.
Put enough slack in the slugs so you can reach the hook. In mine, I need under an inch or so.
See how it sails.
But my solution is currently untested- because the boat is still under snow.
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Old 06-03-2010, 20:15   #8
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Thanks for all your input! Barnakiel... I think I am going to do as you suggest and simply make myself a mast-gate. That way I can (semi)-permanently reeve the slugs to the sail.

After looking at the link posted by LuvToSail, I see it should be fairly easy to make. I had originally envisioned a trip to a chandlers and an expensive part.

Thanks again. This forum is the best!
I am now going to post my question about the extra cringle in the mains'l.

All the best,

Mike
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Old 06-03-2010, 20:24   #9
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Oh man! Don't let the slugs outta the mast. That's exactly what you don't need out on a rough sea. Use an extension strop on the Kringle or use a Cunningham kinda thing. Work it out st the dock. One more thing: don't let the outhaul load bear only on the bottom slug. Make sure the Kringle takes the load. If using a Cunningham you may need a strop around the mast. Overall it sounds like the sailmaker screwed up.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle View Post

Oh man! Don't let the slugs outta the mast. That's exactly what you don't need out on a rough sea.
Except if you have deep 2nd or also a 3rd. Then the amount of sail at the mast makes it virtually impossible to keep the slugs in, except you have one of the following:
- an Open60 type of rig,
- a sail cut to allow for this (extra high clew reef points)

Which is hardly likely.

A 50-50 solution is to spill just some slugs, so that the sail does not go all on deck (but it does not if you have lazy jacks or a bag).

A reef clew pennant is nice, and allows to compromise the slugs, but again - the sail has to be cut for this, which was not the case with many older sails.

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Old 07-03-2010, 17:09   #11
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That's why you rig a jack line, so you can get each reef cringle down to the attachment point and not have to deal with the stack of slides, or remove the slides from the mast track--which you should never do.
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Old 07-03-2010, 17:24   #12
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David - you are right.

BUT, if you leave the slugs in, then the slugs and the bunt of the sail will:

- offset the tack cringle (I understand with the jack line the cringle will no longer go all the way to be hooked on the reef-hook, and
- the only way to get some tension along the foot will be to rig another jack-line from the reef point, round the mast and back to the reef point.

Unless I do not get the picture, which might be.

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Old 07-03-2010, 17:44   #13
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The slugs have nothing to do with it, by the third reef, they sit there stacked in the track. I don't know what you mean by the slugs offsetting the tack cringle. With the jack line slacked as you lower the halyard, the slack gives you the adjustment necessary to pull each cringle down even--or close to--the tack fitting and the reef hooks. The position of the reef hooks, or the tack reef line (or whatever you use to secure the cringle) is what pulls the edge of the luff close to the mast. Removing the slugs from the track has nothing to do with either of these things. Or, I am not understanding what you are saying at all.
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Old 07-03-2010, 18:48   #14
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I bet so, so I just sign off not to add to the puzzle. But if you are around I will gladly look at your system.

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