Originally Posted by steve77
For those who use bowlines or other "floating" reefing lines, how do you keep proper tension on the outhaul
I use end of boom reefing with the lines tied around the boom. I can get any foot shape I need by cranking on the reef outhaul winch
. The bit tied around the boom can wander while not reefed. While this does not create any serious problem it is not quite ship-shape and sometimes there is creep and unwanted wear on the sail as it creeps back to under the cringle. Way way better than the old cheek block system.
My boom has cutouts along it's length. I lightly tie a bit of small line thru these cutouts to hold the reef line in position. Other methods could work as well.
Another tip: There can be quite a lot of wear on the reefing line during a long crossing. As a breakage is a major disaster - ruining the mainsail
- I have come to do two things.
First, I tie the new reef clew down to the boom if I will be reefed for a while. If something breaks the sail won't go far and the reef points won't tear thru the sail.
Second, I use very low stretch (expensive) reefing lines to prevent motion at the cringle and noise
in general. But I don't want any wear on these lines. So the lines end in an eye splice thru which is looped a sacrificial spectra line. This spectra is tied around the boom so it takes the wear at the cringle. Also spectra does not make noise
on the boom or damage the sail cloth as the sail works. The line goes around the boom in a sort of one-turn prussic slip knot
, the ends tied together with a doubled figure-eight knot
. At the boom end. The loop of the outhaul line and spectra strop run thru the cringe (and even the sheaves sometimes) without issues. It is not a high strength way to attach two lines but the loads are not high - it is the stretch and wear that must be controlled.
I didn't figure this out all on my own. Credit goes to friends along the way that actually know what they are doing.