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Old 31-12-2010, 06:24   #16
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Hawaii Dave.

Do you know what make & model roller reefing boom you have?

Gord May
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Old 17-01-2011, 21:03   #17
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I have been coastal cruising since I was a Lad, I'm now 68. Single handed sailing most of my life started getting a little tougher as health issues appeared. So about 20 years back on my 26' Spencer I went for roller reefing, a year later I put roller reefing on the main as well. In 2007 the Spencer was replaced (no headroom and narrow although a wonderfull sailer) with a 26' Westerly Centaur. I rebuilt her stem to stern every thing is new. I sailed Sea Gamin for one season and really missed the roller reefing. So in the spring of 2010 a harken system was installed along with a new UK-Halsey Passagmaker 145%. Climing in and out of the copit and working the main was causing me grief so over this winter another Harken system has been installed for a new mainsail wich I am now waiting for delivery. I have found that there is a loss of about 1/2 knot of speed. The averag speed of Sea Gamin is 5 knots (max is 6.2) on a beam reach, but I learned many years ago to keep the wind about 15 degrees off my stern and relax. Since my sailing is done in the Straight of Georgia, it is never too long before the wind blows the other way.

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Old 17-01-2011, 22:37   #18
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Don't cut your main so you can tie a bowline around the boom, bad for the sail, you will be cutting across a major load area, also it will start the sail fraying there.
Also don't set your main loose footed unless the sail was designed that way or a sailmaker says it's fine, don't have a specific reason except I'm conservative that way.

Here's what I would do for the clew of each reef point:

1 Install a cleat near the foreward end of the boom.
2 Install a cheek block with bail on the same side of the boom as the cleat and just aft of where you want the reef cringle to be when reefed. The bail should be aft of the sheeve.
3 Reefing line and cheek block should be sized together so you get the minimum line size you want and so that the space between the sheeve and the bail has enough room for 3 or more runs of that size line.
4 Tie a bowline to the bail, run the line under the boom and up to the reef cringle on the back side, back down to the sheeve on the near side then foreward to the cleat.

See attached photo/drawing.

Going under the boom and tying back to the cheek block relieves a fair amount of load on the mounting screws, all of the up load to the cringle is counteracted by the download from the line the comes under the boom. The load that is left is the line pull towards the cleat, plus a little torque because the up and down lines are not quite in line with each other.
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Old 17-01-2011, 22:41   #19
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We had a Westsail 32 which is the plastic equivalent of your boat. Your boat is an Eric if it has a trunk cabin or Thistle with a flush deck.

You do have a roller reefing boom. I'd forget about ever using it as they result in a really crappy setting sail and are much more labor intensive to use. Almost everybody has converted their roller reefing boom to slab reefing because it's so much faster, easier, and results in a well set sail.

As many people have said, go with slab reefing. Put a cheek block on one side of the boom and a padeye on the other so that the when the sail clew is pulled down to the boom, the reefing line makes at least a 45 degree angle with the boom. Schaeffer makes a cheek block with a curved base that should be ideal for your boat. The 5 series block should be adequate. Doing it with a the block on one side and a padeye on the other will work with a bolt rope set up like yours. Tieing off the other side of the reefing line back to the cheek block willl aslo work as described above. You will probably need to put a winch on the boom. We couldn't get enough tension on the clew reefing line without a winch. Put blocks and padeyes for each reef point and at least two cleats at the fore part of the boom to secure the reefing line. You will also need a way to hold the tack of the sail at the mast. A line running from one side of the mast through the tack reefing cringle and back to a cleat will do just fine. Just rereave the tack reefing line as you pull each reef down. You may be able to get by without a winch if you use the topping lift to take all strain off the sail via the lift when you're pulling in the clew reef.

If you want to take the time and expense, running the reefing lines and main halyard back to the cabin top, it will make reefing way easier. I've done that with separate lines for the clew and tack with my current boat. It's really nice to reef without having to leave the cockpit. Harken has illustrations on what you'll need to do that. Using line clutches, you can get by with one winch for both the halyard and the clew reefing lines.
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
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Old 18-01-2011, 10:13   #20
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Perhaps I did not explain properly, my new arrangement. Let me try again.
The roller reefing boom has been removed, along with the goose neck. There will no longer be a boom on Sea Gamin. New sail is being manufactured by UK-Halsey specifically for my new system, it will be 105% with no battens and no roach. The foot has been lengthened 12" to maximize the effort and angles of the main sheet. In the Clew Eye, there will be spliced in place the outside layer of 12 feet of 3/4" double braided nylon (The Inner Core removed). This allows for attachment of the sheet at any location to accommodate various amounts of reef, it also gives lots of dead wraps when the sail is completely stowed.
In short; rather than replace the mast with internal mast reefing, a Harken roller system is mounted behind the mast from the mast step to the mast head. The new inner cable is 3 inches from the mast, both top and bottom. This will be the second time that I have built this same arrangement. The last time was on SV Tirik (26" Spencer) I sailed it that way for eight years and the present owner has not changed anything and continues to sail her.

Tom Cook

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