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Old 03-08-2015, 20:16   #1
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Outhaul and reefing line length

Hi, why do the guidelines say to make the outhaul 2 x length of the boom, reefing lines 2 or 3 times the length, etc?

We have lines that long and it just leaves a lot of line out on the deck. Seems to be both a waste of space and waste of money.

But... I am sure there is a logical reason.

Rope Length, how long should my line be?
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Old 03-08-2015, 20:31   #2
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Re: Outhaul and reefing line length

They are "guidelines" based on an assumed configuration.

Depending on how your outhaul, reefing lines etc are configured, they may or may not be appropriate. They certainly ain't gospel!
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Old 03-08-2015, 20:42   #3
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Re: Outhaul and reefing line length

Hoist the sail and measure up to each reef point from the block or whatever turns it on the boom and double that. Measure to the winch or cleat where it will be fastened from the boom turning block and add those two together plus 5' or so for knot on the boom and a little bit to tail at the winch. If you reef at the boom, line should only be the length of the boom and double the length up to the sail reef point. With a 5' reef that would be 10' plus length of the boom, say 10' for a total length or around 20' or double the length of the boom. A deeper reef would take more line. My reef lines lead back to the cockpit so can get a bit long though the tail isn't all that long except the for the third reef line. IIRC, the third reef point clew line is 65' or so with a reefed tail for the 17' high reef of about 34'. 1st and 2nd reefs are only 5' and 10' deep.

The outhaul moves over a short distance even if the main is loose footed. If there is a tackle for additional mechanical advantage, that needs to be added in. Basically it will be the length from the end of the boom to the sail at a loose setting plus any line in the tackle and then back to where ever it is cleated.
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Old 07-08-2015, 17:18   #4
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Re: Outhaul and reefing line length

Yes, we reef at the gooseneck... the boom has cam cleats built in so we just pull them in and engage the cleat.

We do have a reefing winch right below but even when there are no reefs in and a line is going around the winch, there is maybe another 15 feet beyond that. Once the sail is down or a reef is in, its another (maybe) 10-12 feet, so I've got what appears to be an extra 15 feet I don't need just creating a mess.

Maybe I'll keep the line lengths as they are and add bags for the reefing lines instead. That way I can maybe flip the lines every other year.
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Old 13-08-2015, 12:25   #5
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Re: Outhaul and reefing line length

That IS an interesting link. Our lengths are nothing like those--but it would so much depend on where you're leading your lines to. Even though ours are mostly shorter than those listed, we do have some obnoxiously large bundles of lines hanging off the booms and stored on the pins. Such is the sailing life.
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