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Old 01-08-2012, 16:33   #1
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Reefing lines?

My mainsail has three sets of reefing points on it. I've made lines to go through the grommets(3 at each reef) so that I can tie down the main bulk of the sail when I reef it.
Does anyone leave these lines in place on the sail with a simple knot on each side of the grommet so that it's faster to bundle the sail in rotten weather? I've set up the ends of the line with a simple double whipping on the ends and not fused the nylon tips as they could make arcing cuts in the sail as they swing back and forth as we sail.
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Old 01-08-2012, 16:44   #2
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Re: Reefing lines?

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Originally Posted by mestrezat View Post
My mainsail has three sets of reefing points on it. I've made lines to go through the grommets(3 at each reef) so that I can tie down the main bulk of the sail when I reef it.
Does anyone leave these lines in place on the sail with a simple knot on each side of the grommet so that it's faster to bundle the sail in rotten weather? I've set up the ends of the line with a simple double whipping on the ends and not fused the nylon tips as they could make arcing cuts in the sail as they swing back and forth as we sail.
Yep, that's they way I've done it. Whipping on the end in lieu of butane splice a very good move.
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Old 01-08-2012, 17:11   #3
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Re: Reefing lines?

Ive always used nylon safety cord, the same thing ya use for teather lines at sea ! they don't wear anything and are easier on the hands (if ya have any newbes or ladys aboard) they tie tight and easy, and untie the same way ! just a thought, Im sure yours will work! but my style work well for tell-tails
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Old 01-08-2012, 20:36   #4
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I have lines for my stern reefing points in the sail at all times, looped to the appropriate point on the boom, and a knot in them to stop them from flapping around. I've thought about putting what I'll call reefing telltales at the other points... not sure yet if it's a good idea.

I'm glad I have the rear lines in though as I blew the clew out of the sail last time I went out (actually because I didn't reef soon enough). The reefing lines saved me from having the whole sail go flapping around ruining it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 21:35   #5
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Re: Reefing lines?

FWIW,

With slab reefing, many folks don't bother with tying in the points. With modern sailcloth's high strength the support that was required in the days of cotton sails has become less important. Especially if you have lazy jacks or a boom bag the sail will lie happily with just the tack and clew tension. May look untidy, but no harm, no foul IMO, and even with the lashings permanently in place on the sail it is a somewhat hazardous job tying them all in. We haven't used them in decades...

Cheers,

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Old 01-08-2012, 22:49   #6
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Re: Reefing lines?

On my last boat, tied on the lines with a figure eight knot on either side. Left them on for the 10 years and over 10,000 miles of sailing. Never a problem though I'm sure that they weren't the best for laminar flow over the sail.

On my current boat, haven't needed these lines. Sail doesn't hang down or get in the way when I reef, don't know why, it just doesn't.

BTW, these lines have a name, anyone know what it is??
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Old 01-08-2012, 23:10   #7
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Re: Reefing lines?

"Chunks of line that are two small to do anything else"?
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:07   #8
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Re: Reefing lines?

They're called reefing pennants, and you should only tie them in if you have a loose footed main; never tie them around the boom. If you do tie these reefing pennants in, remember to release them before shaking the reef out or you'll have a ripped sail to repair. But they're largely redundant on a modern jiffy reefing system. I wouldn't bother with them at all.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:28   #9
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Re: Reefing lines?

IMO, Jim Cate has it right. We only use the reefing ties to gather up the sail along the boom. Our boom has slides on the boltrope, so we just secure under the boltrope.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:59   #10
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Re: Reefing lines?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
.........

BTW, these lines have a name, anyone know what it is??
Reef Pennants.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:17   #11
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I don't use them. As mentioned forget to until them or have a reef line break and the sail will rip. Also the weather isn't so good when you put in the last reef. Do you want to tie three more lines?
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:27   #12
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Re: Reefing lines?

In the good old days (last month) a guy needed something to gather the large slabs of sail flopping about when in a 3rd reef situation. Too dangerous to let those slabs bang about. I didn't have a 'stack pack', 'lazy jack bag' or whatever they're called. I do now and we'll see if I still need the dingleberries. I use that term because every sailor I've asked could never come up with a name for those pieces of line that hang down from grommets on the sail. So, now I know--pennants. Thanks and hope I don't need them. Have new mainsail and insisted the pennants be added. The sailmaker did not know what they were called but knew what I wanted.
We shall see.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:38   #13
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Re: Reefing lines?

A poster eariler in the thread said not to tie the pennants (they used to be called 'gaskets' or some called them 'reef points') under the boom - good advice...

but contrary to what he suggested the ability to tie them is not restricted to loose footed sails: if you have slugs along the foot, rather than a boltrope (as any cruising sail should, unless loosefooted which makes more sense still) you can tie the pennagaskents through the gaps between slugs, under the foot of the sail but above the boom, because you can and should ease the outhaul on the 0th reef clew.

(On smaller boats, say 10m or less, I reckon it's a good idea to fit an S-hook to the outhaul, so you can swap it to whichever reef you're currently using: this means the outhaul tension is automatically eased for the foot of the sail.)
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Old 06-08-2012, 23:48   #14
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Re: Reefing lines?

I believe the traditional nomenclature is reef pendants. That's not a typo.
Many people don't tie reefs in. In fact many of our customers ask us to not even bother with putting reef eyelets across the sail so we just do the luff and leech cringles.
Gasket refers to something like a sail tie, not line permanently attached to the eyelets.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:30   #15
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Re: Reefing lines?

Here’s an excellent article on Reefs and Reefing, including nomenclature:
Sailmakers - Dabbler Sails - Sail Lofts - Sails for small boats - Sail Makers
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