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Old 04-04-2014, 11:23   #1
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How do I rig this reef slab up?

Please teach me how to rig up my reefing lines on my sail. I've sailed a Catalina 25 before, but this Alberg 35 is different. When I reefed on the Catalina 25, I just pulled the sail down & tied some string through the reefing holes & wrapped it around the boom & tied it in a knot.

The guy at West Marine said that if I do that w/ this big boat I could damage the sails.

Kevin said that this sail has been converted to a slab reef. I've looked at pictures of slab reef diagrams on google, but my bandwidth is very limited & the pics I saw didn't explain how this rig works.

This is what I have:
1 empty pully hangs off the end of the boom.
2 feet from the end of the boom, a small pully-wheel is attached.
4 feet from the end of the boom, another small pully-wheel is attached.
There are 2 empty cleats on the boom, near the mast.
I don't see any pulleys anywhere near the bottom of the mast, or on the mast near the boom, except for what looks like a boom-vang, which I think is used to pull the boom towards the boat.

There are 2 sets of reefing holes in the sail. The holes nearer to the end of the boom are larger, and so are the holes near the mast.

Each hole in the sail has a rope hanging through it about 3 feet long. On the starboard side, the rope is tied in a knot and on the port side, the rope's 3 foot length just hangs down.

How do I rig this so I can reef the sail while underway? I really have no idea & it's keeping me from sailing. Help!

Attached is a picture of my cool sail.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:41   #2
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?



The hanging pulley on the aft end of the boom is for sheeting, ie, trimming the mainsail and not for the reefing setup.

There should be larger holes on the forward part of the sail (luff) that roughly match the bigger holes on the aft end of the sail. These hole should be secured near the boom usually on some "horns" that the grommet will slip over.

The aft end of the sail is where the reefing lines pass through the large grommet. They go through the small block (pulley-wheel) and to the cleat.

You use the many small holes and lines in the sail just to gather up and secure the baggy part of the sail when it is reefed. These small holes are NOT DESIGNED TO TAKE A LOAD.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:16   #3
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

"sheeting, ie, trimming the mainsail"

There is a double-pully block at the end of the boom that seems to be for sheeting. I'm not quite certain how it works, but I think it's function is similar to a traveler's, but this one's rope is configured in a triangle-shaped arrangement instead. Apart from that, there is a single-pully block also at the end of the boom that's empty. I don't know what it's for. If it's for sheeting, I still don't know how it works.

"There should be larger holes on the forward part of the sail (luff) that roughly match the bigger holes on the aft end of the sail. These hole should be secured near the boom usually on some "horns" that the grommet will slip over."

There are no horns or hooks for the grommets near the mast or boom.
I see 2 empty screw-holes on the mast under/near the gooseneck that might have once held a horn. The forward-most large grommets has a 3' long rope hanging from it. Its secured to the sail by 2 large rings on either side for the grommet. It looks like the rope just wraps around the boom at the gooseneck area and is tied in a knot to one of the metal rings.

Unfortunately, the large grommets on the aft-most section of the sail is not secured to the reefing line at all. It doesn't have rings on both sides of the grommets to connect a rope to it. It looks like I may have to just tie the reefing line directly to the aftmost grommet and let the pull pull it down. Maybe I need to purchase 2 rings like for the grommet on the other side to secure the reefing line to the aft-most grommet.


"The aft end of the sail is where the reefing lines pass through the large grommet. They go through the small block (pulley-wheel) and to the cleat."

Got it. So I can just pull the forward grommet down, because I'll be at the mast when I reef, and when I get that side secured around the boom, I can pull on the reefing line and cleat the aft-side grommet.

"You use the many small holes and lines in the sail just to gather up and secure the baggy part of the sail when it is reefed. These small holes are NOT DESIGNED TO TAKE A LOAD."

Would you suggest a quick & easy knot for this purpose? Bowlins seem to take too long for tying so many knots while single-handed & underway...

"Hope this helps."
A great deal!
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:27   #4
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

you have a lot to learn mate, don't go sailing alone. talk to some experienced sailor to get more sailing knowledge.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:59   #5
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveaboardL View Post
"sheeting, ie, trimming the mainsail"

There is a double-pully block at the end of the boom that seems to be for sheeting. I'm not quite certain how it works, but I think it's function is similar to a traveler's, but this one's rope is configured in a triangle-shaped arrangement instead. Apart from that, there is a single-pully block also at the end of the boom that's empty. I don't know what it's for. If it's for sheeting, I still don't know how it works.

"There should be larger holes on the forward part of the sail (luff) that roughly match the bigger holes on the aft end of the sail. These hole should be secured near the boom usually on some "horns" that the grommet will slip over."

There are no horns or hooks for the grommets near the mast or boom.
I see 2 empty screw-holes on the mast under/near the gooseneck that might have once held a horn. The forward-most large grommets has a 3' long rope hanging from it. Its secured to the sail by 2 large rings on either side for the grommet. It looks like the rope just wraps around the boom at the gooseneck area and is tied in a knot to one of the metal rings.

Unfortunately, the large grommets on the aft-most section of the sail is not secured to the reefing line at all. It doesn't have rings on both sides of the grommets to connect a rope to it. It looks like I may have to just tie the reefing line directly to the aftmost grommet and let the pull pull it down. Maybe I need to purchase 2 rings like for the grommet on the other side to secure the reefing line to the aft-most grommet.


"The aft end of the sail is where the reefing lines pass through the large grommet. They go through the small block (pulley-wheel) and to the cleat."

Got it. So I can just pull the forward grommet down, because I'll be at the mast when I reef, and when I get that side secured around the boom, I can pull on the reefing line and cleat the aft-side grommet.

"You use the many small holes and lines in the sail just to gather up and secure the baggy part of the sail when it is reefed. These small holes are NOT DESIGNED TO TAKE A LOAD."

Would you suggest a quick & easy knot for this purpose? Bowlins seem to take too long for tying so many knots while single-handed & underway...

"Hope this helps."
A great deal!
There's a knot called a reef knot, also known as a square knot. Google either on how to tie. You should at the very least get a beginning sail book. Annapolis Book of Seamanship comes to mind, and plus 1 on the get someone experienced to help.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:59   #6
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

I use a slab reefing system that begins at the aft end of the boom. The line runs up from a fixed point on the boom through the hole near the leach then down the other side to a block on the side of the boom.

From there it runs forward to another block, this one fixed below the hole in the luff It runs up around that, up through the hole, and back down to a turning block at the base of the mast.

From there the line runs back to a cleat in the cockpit.

Procedure is to lower the sail a bit, then tighten the reefing line, which pulls down both the luff and the leach. Cleat off the reefing line and re-tighten the main halyard.

This is slightly different from the diagram above, in that a single line reefs the sail, without the need to leave the cockpit and without the need for a cringle at the mast.

Naturally, if you have two sets of reef points each set needs its own hardware and reefing line.

Connemara
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Old 04-04-2014, 13:08   #7
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

Okay, a lot to say here. My biggest piece of advice is to find a sailor locally and ask them to go over your rig with you. Its very hard to educate someone online because I'm not there looking at the boat and sometimes miscommunications happen. But given that, I'll try to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveaboardL View Post
There is a double-pully block at the end of the boom that seems to be for sheeting. I'm not quite certain how it works, but I think it's function is similar to a traveler's, but this one's rope is configured in a triangle-shaped arrangement instead. Apart from that, there is a single-pully block also at the end of the boom that's empty. I don't know what it's for. If it's for sheeting, I still don't know how it works.
The single block on the end of the boom could possibly be for a topping lift but if it is a large block then its probably there for sheeting or possibly as part of a preventer setup. I just can't say without having a look. It could be a leftover block from when they switched to the higher purchase system or it could be a "backup" attachment. The "triangle" you're referring to is most likely a block and tackle. As a side note, a traveller is a part of the boat that allows the point at which the main sheet attaches to the boat to "travel" to port and starboard, but it is not part of the sheeting, it just attaches the sheeting. Just getting some terms straight.

Quote:
There are no horns or hooks for the grommets near the mast or boom.
I see 2 empty screw-holes on the mast under/near the gooseneck that might have once held a horn. The forward-most large grommets has a 3' long rope hanging from it. Its secured to the sail by 2 large rings on either side for the grommet. It looks like the rope just wraps around the boom at the gooseneck area and is tied in a knot to one of the metal rings.
The 3 foot rope might be part of the forward reefing arrangement, but very hard for me to say without seeing it in person. As I mentioned, might be good to find a seasoned sailor to take a look with you.

Quote:
Unfortunately, the large grommets on the aft-most section of the sail is not secured to the reefing line at all. It doesn't have rings on both sides of the grommets to connect a rope to it. It looks like I may have to just tie the reefing line directly to the aftmost grommet and let the pull pull it down. Maybe I need to purchase 2 rings like for the grommet on the other side to secure the reefing line to the aft-most grommet.
You shouldn't need rings. The aft reefs should each have their own line. The line should be arranged as follows. Attachment to the boom on one side, then up through the reef cringle of the sail, down the sail and through the block on the opposite side of the boom, then forward along the boom and it can be secured to a cleat.

Quote:
Got it. So I can just pull the forward grommet down, because I'll be at the mast when I reef, and when I get that side secured around the boom, I can pull on the reefing line and cleat the aft-side grommet.
Once the setup is complete, the reefing procedure should work about like this.

1) Slack the main sail halyard, allowing the sail to be lowered to the proper height for the reef.
2) Pull the sail down to the proper height.
3) Secure the forward reef point/cringle to the mast or boom (depends on your setup).
4) Pull the appropriate reef line to draw the aft end of the sail down to the boom. This may require a lot of power and you may have to luff the sail (head to wind) to accomplish this. Secure this line to the cleat.
5) Raise the main again by retightening the main halyard.
6) Gather the baggy loose part of the sail and use the little lines to hold this out of the way. Ideally you'd tie this lines ABOVE the boom (just around the sail). If you must tie them around the boom make sure they're not taking any load at all. Use square knots.
7) Return to the cockpit, etc

Good luck! Wish I could give more advice but somethings are hard to "imagine" through the internet.
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Old 04-04-2014, 13:14   #8
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
I use a slab reefing system that begins at the aft end of the boom. The line runs up from a fixed point on the boom through the hole near the leach then down the other side to a block on the side of the boom.

From there it runs forward to another block, this one fixed below the hole in the luff It runs up around that, up through the hole, and back down to a turning block at the base of the mast.

From there the line runs back to a cleat in the cockpit.

Procedure is to lower the sail a bit, then tighten the reefing line, which pulls down both the luff and the leach. Cleat off the reefing line and re-tighten the main halyard.

This is slightly different from the diagram above, in that a single line reefs the sail, without the need to leave the cockpit and without the need for a cringle at the mast.

Naturally, if you have two sets of reef points each set needs its own hardware and reefing line.

Connemara
I suspect his setup is not rigged for single line reefing because he pointed out that he as cleats on the forward end of the mast instead of blocks.
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Old 04-04-2014, 14:17   #9
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
There's a knot called a reef knot, also known as a square knot. Google either on how to tie. You should at the very least get a beginning sail book. Annapolis Book of Seamanship comes to mind, and plus 1 on the get someone experienced to help.
Learn to tie the slippery reef knot. It's easy to tie and easy to let loose.
Boating Knots | How to Tie Boating Knots | Animated Boating Knots

Once you get the hang of it reefing should be easy.
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Old 04-04-2014, 19:39   #10
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

Louie, I sent you a PM. Let me know if you want to get together next time I'm in town. I'd be more than happy telling you everything I can about the boat.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:15   #11
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

You guys rock! It makes much more sense now! Glad someone told me those little holes aren't load-bearing!
That triangular rope sail rig at at the end of the tiller looks easy to figure out, now that I've played w/ it.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:35   #12
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Re: How do I rig this reef slab up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
Once the setup is complete, the reefing procedure should work about like this.

1) Slack the main sail halyard, allowing the sail to be lowered to the proper height for the reef.
2) Pull the sail down to the proper height.
3) Secure the forward reef point/cringle to the mast or boom (depends on your setup).
4) Pull the appropriate reef line to draw the aft end of the sail down to the boom. This may require a lot of power and you may have to luff the sail (head to wind) to accomplish this. Secure this line to the cleat.
5) Raise the main again by retightening the main halyard.
6) Gather the baggy loose part of the sail and use the little lines to hold this out of the way. Ideally you'd tie this lines ABOVE the boom (just around the sail). If you must tie them around the boom make sure they're not taking any load at all. Use square knots.
7) Return to the cockpit, etc
I just want to add a step. #1) If you have a topping lift, take up on that first. Also slack the vang, main sheet, cunningham etc.

As others have said, you're best off making friends with a seasoned sailor :-)
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