I was taught (by an English race
crew) that Mainsail
controls are always green, jib sails
blue and spinnakers red. Halyards are solid colors and sheets
, outhauls etc. flecked or with tracers. (By following this convention, crews are able to move from boat-to-boat without having to be re-educated.)
Our main halyard
has whippings at the set points for reefs
so they can be felt in the dark--one for the first reef, two side-by-side for the second and three for the third. The vang release has a spiral whipping running the length of the grip which makes it easy to identify in the dark and improves ones ability to grasp it when it's wet and all heck is breaking loose.
At the mast
, on the underside of the boom, our main outhaul
is first or starboard most, with a spiral whipping and the reefing lines proceed from starboard to port--1st, 2nd, 3rd--also color coded red, white and blue--but also with whippings about every foot, one for the 1st reef, two side-by-side for the second, and three side-by-side-by-side for the third so one can feel which line one has in hand in the dark.
The handles of our line brakes are similarly color coded and whipped with twine. While we do have labels as well, I find it much easier to say to someone, "Ease (or tighten) the <color> line please". I can attest to the benefit of having the set-points for the reefs
pre-marked on the halyards as we are able to reduce sail very quickly and efficiently even though we are an older couple (mid-60's, late-50's) sailing a reasonably large and powerful racing