Admittedly, I have never been fond of internal boom reefing since it is not subject to immediate inspection
and has the potential for numerous problems that jiffy reefing does not. However, after years of taking/easing a reef with much effort, I have finally found the culprit. The internal shuttle blocks are heavy cast aluminum
. The sheaves are polycarbonate. There is little/no tolerance between the face of the sheeve and the inner wall of the block creating excessive friction. It has always been difficult shaking out a reef and required pulling the reefing lines at the mast
and booms end. When I disassembled my boom, I removed the sheaves from the shuttle blocks and sanded each face until the sheaves spun freely in the block. Now, taking/shaking a reef is very easy and can be done from the cockpit
. I also found that one of the reefing lines was intertwined with another(from the factory?) and remedied that situation. In order to work on the boom, the pop rivets that hold the boom ends on must be drilled out for removal
. To reassemble, simply tap new threads and secure with stainless steel
bolts. Good luck and good sailing.