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Old 09-02-2016, 19:32   #1
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Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

I am replacing my reefing lines and thought I would have a small eye spliced into one end. Then I would use a soft shackle thru the eye, around the boom, and back to the line to secure as opposed to a bowline. This would make it easy to undo after it had been loaded up.

Has anyone done this?

Your thoughts?
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Old 09-02-2016, 19:52   #2
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

I would just make the soft shackle integral to the line, that way you cannot lose it overboard. Such as:
Integral Halyard Soft Shackle
or Hybrid Soft Halyard Shackle
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Old 09-02-2016, 19:54   #3
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

Your idea would work, but it seems an unnecesary complication. A correctly tied bowline should not be difficult to undo, regardless of how loaded. If you have a spliced loop, you can't easily end-for-end the line, which is nice to do halfway through it's life.
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Old 09-02-2016, 20:31   #4
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

I've tested many bowlines to breaking and never had one jam (obviously the broken ones were not jammed!).

Over complication and wasted weight.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:50   #5
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

One not so small nit. Please don't tie to the boom. Nice way to rip sail. Tie the sail to itself- line under the sail (over the boom) and the bunt thus ties up.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:58   #6
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

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Originally Posted by Sailorlady323 View Post
One not so small nit. Please don't tie to the boom. Nice way to rip sail. Tie the sail to itself- line under the sail (over the boom) and the bunt thus ties up.
I think the query was about reefing lines not reefing points. The main reefing line does go around the boom but the reefing points are tied around the sail (if tied in at all).

Personally I use a timber hitch with a light lashing on the tail end.
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Old 10-02-2016, 13:45   #7
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

I don't understand why you are using a bowline to reef. Am I missing something? Usually when we reef it's blowing like stink and we're being tossed about, and it's not easy just holding on. A reef knot is the simplest knot in the world under these conditions. At least IMHO.
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Old 10-02-2016, 13:57   #8
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
I am replacing my reefing lines and thought I would have a small eye spliced into one end. Then I would use a soft shackle thru the eye, around the boom, and back to the line to secure as opposed to a bowline. This would make it easy to undo after it had been loaded up.



Has anyone done this?



Your thoughts?

I've been thinking of doing the same thing. Easier to undo when I need to switch my #1 reef line to my #3 reef. Also stronger than a bowline.
Also thinking of using a long soft shackle around the boom, eliminating the choke, as that is the week point. Or, choking a dyneema loop around the boom, with a soft shackle to the reef line.

The only time I've had a reefing line fail was at the choke point around the boom.


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Old 10-02-2016, 14:59   #9
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

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Originally Posted by scaredycat View Post
I don't understand why you are using a bowline to reef. Am I missing something? Usually when we reef it's blowing like stink and we're being tossed about, and it's not easy just holding on. A reef knot is the simplest knot in the world under these conditions. At least IMHO.
The bowline is used to attached the end of the long reefing line to the boom, not to secure the small "reefing lines" or "pennants" around the bunt after reefing.
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Old 10-02-2016, 16:14   #10
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

Thanks Stu,
My misinterpretation.
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Old 10-02-2016, 16:19   #11
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

a soft shackle wouldn't work as it would be too loose, leaving all the strain on the sail at the clue and tac. reef knotting is the fastest way I know to secure the reef points at the boom and maintain sufficient sail shape and distribute the strain

it would be too difficult to get the knot through the eye whilst keeping the ling taught.
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Old 10-02-2016, 16:33   #12
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

I don't understand the negativity in this thread. The idea is perfectly fine. It will work. The bowline and timber hitch also work fine. We used a halyard bend. The soft shackle will be a bit more effort up front for a small amount less effort later compared to the knots. It also will wear slightly better. All are fine alternatives.
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Old 10-02-2016, 16:35   #13
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkrman69 View Post
a soft shackle wouldn't work as it would be too loose, leaving all the strain on the sail at the clue and tac. reef knotting is the fastest way I know to secure the reef points at the boom and maintain sufficient sail shape and distribute the strain

it would be too difficult to get the knot through the eye whilst keeping the ling taught.
As noted above, the OP is talking about the clew (not clue) reefing lines used in modern slab reefing systems, not the nettles (or reef point lines or whatever you choose to call them).

And while on the subject, in modern usage, meaning Dacron or other strong fabric sail construction, the nettles are not involved in maintaining sail shape in any way. The sail shape is determined by the tack and the clew outhaul tension, just as in a loose footed mainsail. The sole task of the nettles is to contain the bunt of cloth at the foot of the reefed sail. If a boat is fitted with a boom bag type of sail cover with lazy jacks, they have no purpose at all IMO, and can be omitted from the sail design, saving a few hours of labour in the sail construction.

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Old 10-02-2016, 18:57   #14
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Re: Reef Lines with Soft Shackles

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I don't understand the negativity in this thread. The idea is perfectly fine. It will work. The bowline and timber hitch also work fine. We used a halyard bend. The soft shackle will be a bit more effort up front for a small amount less effort later compared to the knots. It also will wear slightly better. All are fine alternatives.
Well said.
I should have said that I love it when I hear good ideas that I haven't thought of and this seems like a great one.
I've followed the links for tying a soft shackle into the end of the line and I think I'll try it.
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