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Old 17-03-2014, 01:28   #16
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

That's nothing, builder dan, the boat I mentioned only needed to do it once in 70,000 miles.

But you must have a technique when it's not safe to go beam on and the engine's not an option: what's your secret?
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Old 17-03-2014, 12:31   #17
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

this just caught my eye, in the thread about Boatie's adventures on the Atlantic delivery:

"what we were actually seeing was phil heaving too at night as the solar panels stopped supplying enough power to run the auto pilot,
and being basically single handed not hand steering overnight accounting for the drift rates of 1knot.

<<once the sun had been up for an hour or so the auto pilot would function and phil would resume sailing at 4+ knots or so,under genoa only,
as with out the aid of an engine to point up to windward, he was unable to get the mainsail up and sail faster.>>

So, addressing the problem of the sail bearing against the rig, in order able to take in a reef, is worthwhile in the context of getting the sail up as well.

It was actually in this context that I first started thinking about the issue on my first yacht: nobody could give me useful advice on how to raise the main without using the engine, and nobody seemed to think that was not satisfactory.

It struck me as very odd, even as a teenager, that people could be so blasé and dismissive about what seemed to me a self-evident and potentially crucial vulnerability.
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Old 17-03-2014, 13:08   #18
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

I'm curious how many folks are using fully battened mainsails with bearing batten car tracks are replying to this thread.

On my own monohulled boats I've only had bolt ropes and herreshoff style metal T-track.

I worked a charter cat with a plastic track and roller sail track cars that did not have any trouble pulling in a reef down wind.

We could drop sail while running just by letting the halyard free to around 20 knots. Lazy jacks, everything piled up nice as could be. I had never seen that as a possibility, so I'm asking the question never having had to pull in another reef in 40 knot slop if the modern marvels make any difference.

Cheers,


Zach
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Old 17-03-2014, 13:27   #19
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

I've got plastic slugs on the sail proper and metal slugs for the battens. Sail comes down easily but have never tried to reef off the wind in any kind of serious breeze.
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Old 19-03-2014, 11:04   #20
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

Very interesting discussion.

We very rarely carry the main down wind as we would rather have 2 headsails out on two poles. That is our trade wind configuration. The boat likes it. The wind vane likes it and we find we can carry this sail plan in a wider range of wind direction that a main with a preventer.

We have used this for most of the longer down wind trade routes and find it works very well. 1 sail on the furler and on the other yanked on the Solent stay. This prevents all the issues described in the previous discussion concerning the main.

Safe sailing

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Old 19-03-2014, 12:27   #21
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

For me, the ability to reef or get rid of the main while sailing downwind is a separate topic from what sails to wear when sailing downwind.

Because very occasionally a boat sailing upwind or reaching gets caught needing to get the main off (which in the early stages is effectively the same as reefing) in a squall which is so strong that the boat is forced to run off.

On a 'decent' sized boat I've personally only ever encountered this once in dead earnest (on a 52' fast cruiser, an occasion I've written about in detail here at least once), but there have been a handful of times on other reasonable sized vessels it would have been a lot less dangerous if we could have done so.

but it happened once to a 78' racing maxi I'm familiar with, sailing with 22 highly experienced crew (also written up on another thread - keyword "Milford"). Luckily the rig was designed with that contingency in mind.

Once is not very often, but (at least for me, and certainly for the skipper of that maxi) once is enough.
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Old 07-04-2014, 15:48   #22
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

There's a very good illustrated walk-through of slab reefing a mainsail while sailing downwind

It covers almost all the issues, it seems to me...

It can be found on the subscription website at morganscloud.com
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:17   #23
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
I'm curious how many folks are using fully battened mainsails with bearing batten car tracks are replying to this thread.
All plastic. Hate it. 2 full battens, 2 half. The slides at the head and where the full battens are wear out in no time from the compression. No chance of reefing downwind. Have to sheet in the genoa (and usually roll some up as well), head up and reef like that. Will install cars in place of the the headboard and full batten sliders as soon as i can afford it.

You might miss the first reef point when you're going upwind, when you really want to be reefing the headsail first and keepoing a fair bit of canvas on the main to be able to point effectively.

Sounds good though. let us know how it goes. It's simple enough that you can try it and if it doesn't work go back to what you have now.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:44   #24
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

Thanks for all your input on this. I appreciate it.

TROUP

The Morgan's Cloud down wind reefing system is the one I am trying to avoid.

I don't want to have to rely on
• powerful vangs & winches
• lazy jacks
• extra crew person forward
• the complexity and mess of multiple reef points

I want to simplify everything and exploit the advantages of a smaller boat (mainsail E=12' P= 45').

Hence, a boat with basically one deep reef point rigged for use downwind in building conditions. I have found that sailing downwind, if your thinking its time to reef the main, it is, and you should just go straight to the 2nd reef. If that proves too conservative unroll more of the 140% genoa. And when it lightens up more, you go right back to a full main.

So a simple single reef setup is my thinking.

CHOULIHA

I am doing multi day coastal Mexico passages, not trade wind passages. The idea of the complexity of rigged double headsail poles, at night, in building conditions, with a quartering sea yawing the boat wildly, while trying to avoid an oncoming fishing boat that is messing with you, has to be rejected as feasible or safe.

Also, multi day coastal sails will usually follow a pattern of morning no wind, stronger afternoon wind, light wind at dusk that increases at night. This means switching between motor sailing and sailing several times in 24 hrs depending on targeted boat speed.

We have found reaching downwind the least stressful in typical sailing conditions . Hence the desire for an easy, safe, double preventer system.

ZACH

We have a slippery Tides Marine Strong Track plastic track and SS slugs. I think the tack line being pulled down from its cockpit winch will work, especially if the boom is sheeted in a little to get some sail off the shrouds.

Thanks!
Journeyman
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Old 10-04-2014, 16:19   #25
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

Hydraulic furling in mast. Press button furl main. Downwind no problem.

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Old 11-04-2014, 05:50   #26
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

GOBOATINGNOW

I wish that was the magic solution I could have confidence in, but my experience is different.

A couple years ago, thinking to move up to a brand new 60 foot sloop with in-mast furling, we put a deposit down, and went for a sea trial. The broker was unable to get the sail out of the mast after 30 mins of trying. The sail was jammed. It was an electric system, not hydraulic, but more power was not the issue. Permanently jamming the sail partially out, or tearing it to pieces was.

I kept looking at my biceps and trying to imagine dealing with this situation offshore in the above mentioned conditions. It was at this point we decided to do a no expenses barred refit of our existing boat. Since then I have heard that really big boats with hydraulic in mast furlers, will often be delivered by their crews without sails up due to the chance of things going wrong in heavy conditions.

I would love to be convinced otherwise and add in-mast to my boat, since it seems to be potentially so convenient.

Thanks for the input thus far.

J
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Old 13-04-2014, 09:13   #27
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Re: Downwind Reefing & Gybing

GOBOATINGNOW,

We are believers in in-mast furling (ours is electric, though.)

1) We know many boats that believe in using no main and twin headsails and all say they love it. But when you ask if their passage was rolly, they almost always say yes. We believe in main and jib and gybing across the route to give a slightly longer run but really nice sailing conditions.

2) we use double preventers that allow us to gype and easily set the preventer without leaving the cockpit.

3) we love our in- mast furling. Not only can we reef easily without turning up into the wind, but will reef anytime we even think we should since it is so easy to let it out again. And maybe most importantly, since there are only 2 of us, either can reef or open up the sails by themselves (I love to be able to sleep through a sail change!). We have vertical battens so the overall shape is not bad. Maybe in-mast sails are not as efficient as standard sails, but more likely our issues in sail trim are more from being lazy on long passages.

We have used our in-mast furling for 45,000 miles now and have never had an issue. But we are careful.
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Old 13-04-2014, 09:21   #28
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Downwind Reefing & Gybing

+1 Jim, the key is " careful" but personally I think powered furling mains to be brilliant on larger boats with typically under crewed situations.

I did two trams ocean rules with poled out Jenny and prevented in mast , we rolled too , so I dont think anything stops that. ( there was a comment to me that a strapped centre line stay sail helps , but can't really see how.

We set up the pole with guys various lines to allow the headsail to be furled without adjusting the pole,

That coupled with ease of reeling the main, meant that the repeated 50 kts squalls we suffered were very easily handled. The crew reefed early and often and that made a whole lot of difference

But don't let on to the guys struggling with rams horns etc.

Ps just like the oatmeal ad, " nope in-mast bad for you go away "


Ps be very vigilant with vertical battons, especially the pocket ends. One dropping out of the sail in the mast causes a huge pita , for that reason I don't like them


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Old 18-05-2014, 13:30   #29
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GOBOATINGNOW,

We are believers in in-mast furling (ours is electric, though.)

1) We know many boats that believe in using no main and twin headsails and all say they love it. But when you ask if their passage was rolly, they almost always say yes. We believe in main and jib and gybing across the route to give a slightly longer run but really nice sailing conditions.

2) we use double preventers that allow us to gype and easily set the preventer without leaving the cockpit.

3) we love our in- mast furling. Not only can we reef easily without turning up into the wind, but will reef anytime we even think we should since it is so easy to let it out again. And maybe most importantly, since there are only 2 of us, either can reef or open up the sails by themselves (I love to be able to sleep through a sail change!). We have vertical battens so the overall shape is not bad. Maybe in-mast sails are not as efficient as standard sails, but more likely our issues in sail trim are more from being lazy on long passages.

We have used our in-mast furling for 45,000 miles now and have never had an issue. But we are careful.
When I moved up from 35 feet to 55 feet I was convinced that in mast furling was a dangerous idea.

However, an otherwise perfect for me vessel showed up with it. I built into my price the difference between rebuilding the rig as is and replacing the spar.

The rigging surveyor provided sage advice. Try it before you give up, if issues, replace the main. Only then consider refit.

His comments included the size and weight of the main on an essentially single handed vessel.

In the end I am very pleased with the compromise. The ability to adjust sail shape is not bad, just different than slab reefed sails. This is an old hood inmast system which is line drive.

I have sailed in boom and had more serious safety issues, clew let go, main is in a slot like a furling headsail. In heavy wind getting it down and stowed was almost impossible, lost 3 of the five full battens. This on a 43 footer. Mainsail shape on the inboom is almost impossible to adjust, especially reefed.
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Old 18-05-2014, 17:22   #30
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Re: Downwind Reefing & gybing

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Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
We have a slippery Tides Marine Strong Track plastic track and SS slugs. I think the tack line being pulled down from its cockpit winch will work, especially if the boom is sheeted in a little to get some sail off the shrouds.

Thanks!
Journeyman

We have the Tides Marine set up and the sails rigged with the tack lines to the cockpit. I always go to the second reef also. The trick for me is the auto pilot.. As to the reefing with this setup downwind, I can keep most of the sail out of the rigging, except for the one full batten at the top maybe, if I handle the lines correctly but it's not a slam dunk. Going back up is easier as you can do it in little steps.
It's a lot of stuff going on at once for just one person.

PS. How about those cracks in the track? They look like junk on the surface. I would never roll one up again it I had to take it out for some reason.
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