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Old 16-09-2010, 06:32   #1
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Reefing the Main

This sailboat has not been sailed for many years;

I'm setting up the running rigging from scratch.

The main has three reefs :

3 rows of reefing lines, with a large reinforced cringle at each end.

I can get the luff eye down but take a look at the leech cringle:

sad huh?

the red line is my outhaul (static_at_this_stage)

the blue line is what I'm trying to pull the luff down to the boom with.

(One obviuos problem = I'm doing this at the boom end...
Seems like I ought take the blue line to the mast - to make for safer handling).

Either way ... problem I see is the leach has not come all the way down to the boom, no matter how hard I pull.

Suggestions?


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Old 16-09-2010, 06:55   #2
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First, a lesson in terminology--the rear bottom corner of the sail is the clew, and the forward bottom corner is the tack.

The blue line needs to go from the pulley in the end of the boom, through the cringle in the sail, and then back down to the boom. However, the free end needs to be attached further forward than you have it, otherwise you will never get the sail pulled down, as you have noted.

There are two ways of dealing with the free end of the reefing line. The first is to mount a series of eyes on the boom, one for each reef. The placement of the eye should be such that when the reefing line is tight, the line goes down and back at a 45 degree angle to the eye. Look for the eyes on the boom.

The second method is to take the free end of the reefing line through the cringle and then tie a bowline around the boom. It is self adjusting, but if you cannot get the line between the boom and the sail, you will have to make a slit for each reef and reinforce it. A loose footed main is no problem at all, and sometimes you can get enough room for the line if there are sail slides or lugs along the boom.
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Old 16-09-2010, 06:58   #3
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Reading your post again, I would add that the blue line should come around a block in the back of the boom, then go forward (usually inside the boom) to a jammer, cleat, or second block up near the mast. This allows you to tension the reefing line without loosing your teeth.
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Old 16-09-2010, 07:16   #4
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I have never seen one :-), but I think that is an old "roller reefing" boom. Where the sail would roll around the boom to reef.

You are going to have to add some hardware to use slab reefing with it. Check this link: Harken Mainsail Reefing Systems

Otherwise, do line donradcliffe said.
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Old 16-09-2010, 07:39   #5
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Originally Posted by zydecotoad View Post
I have never seen one :-), but I think that is an old "roller reefing" boom. Where the sail would roll around the boom to reef.

You are going to have to add some hardware to use slab reefing with it. Check this link: Harken Mainsail Reefing Systems

Otherwise, do line donradcliffe said.
If it's an old roller reefing boom it should have a fitting at the back end of the boom for a winch handle. Also the gooseneck will be such that it allows for the rotation of the boom.
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Old 16-09-2010, 07:47   #6
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Originally Posted by amytom View Post
If it's an old roller reefing boom it should have a fitting at the back end of the boom for a winch handle. Also the gooseneck will be such that it allows for the rotation of the boom.
Roller reefing booms have the winch mechanism at the tack, not the clew. The boom end fitting rotates on the boom so that your topping lift and mainsheet can still align.
The winch handle type fitting at the end of the boom is for the outhaul screw.
At least, thats how Bluestocking is built.
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Old 16-09-2010, 07:59   #7
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I agree it looks like a roller reefer. The one I sailed on had a worm gear at the gooseneck with a square head nut that stuck out to accept the reefing handle. The handle looked like an old bit and brace handle.

If you want to slab reef, then a third way to keep the clew against the boom is by using a long double-sided velcro strap thru the reef clew grommet and around the boom to hold the clew down, and the line to pull it back. We kept the strap along with the small stuff we used to tie down the reefed sail folds. Strap went around the boom twice and had velcro the entire way, I was surprised how strongly it held.

Not sure how you will get enough tension on the reefing line to flatten the sail without any mechanical advantage. I would at least run the line from the eye to the sail and back to get 2:1. Reef early!
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Old 16-09-2010, 16:51   #8
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The reef line should go from the boom, via the grommet at the reef point and then back to the boom - very often - towards the end of the boom. Looks like your reef line is not attached to the boom but rather to the reef point only.

Lifting the boom with the topping lift helps to get the reef point closer to the boom.

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Old 16-09-2010, 17:25   #9
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Release tension on the boom vang if you have one before tightening the reefing line. Same with main sheet (obviously). If you still cant get the clew down to the boom you can use a sail tie to pull the boom up to the reefing cringle. This makes it a little more difficult to shake out the reef but hopefully by the time you're taking out the reef it wont matter.
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Old 16-09-2010, 18:13   #10
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What I would do: screw a cheek block into the mast underneath where the reef cringles come down (like this one, size it properly). So you'll have one per reef cringle:

Ball Bearing Cheek Block

If the boom is big enough (vertically thick), stagger the blocks vertically a bit, with matching cleats farther forward on the boom. You could also run a cleat aft of each block. Basically when you reef further down, you don't want to have to undo the one you put in already.

The line for each reef cringle should be fastened to an eyelet on the port side of the boom, run through the cringle, through the block on the starboard side, then run through it's cleat with a figure eight keeping it from popping loose.

I don't know anything about roller reefing. The setup I'm describing is low cost, simple, and should work for nearly anything. The only thing that can get tricky is if you need a winch to haul down the cringle. That doesn't really change anything except now you need a winch between each cheek block and its matching cleat.

I suppose if you need a winch you could just use self tailing winches in place of the cheek blocks, but two or three self tailing winches (for two or three reef cringles) will set you back a hell of a lot more than two or three blocks.
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Old 18-09-2010, 06:35   #11
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obvious now - was originlly set-up with roller reefing

thanks All

It's obvious now: the boat was originlly set-up with roller reefing:

That main sail is long gone; as is the handle at the mast that operated the "roller mechanism".

The boom retains the "turning/swivelling/rolling" fitting on the aft end.

There are now no fittings whatever along the boom, and no 'roller handle' at the mast/boom junction.

The Mainsail has a bolt rope sewn along its' foot.
The boom has a slot just for such.

Yet seems simpler to 'jiify/slab' reef a loose-footed main.

Any problems if I just attach the main at Clew and tack...leaving loose-footed?

This new main has 3 x rows of reef points - with large strong cringles at both ends - tack & clew.

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Reckon I've got enough to be going on with to make the slab/jiffy reefing work more betterer.

Thnx
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Old 18-09-2010, 07:08   #12
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I also have a roller furling boom with my furling and outhull controlled with a handle crank inserted at the forward end of the boom near the gooseneck. Despite being functional, I still elect to use slab reefing because my roller system does not produce a good sail shape. When you ask if you could slab reef and leave your foot loose, I assume that you mean that your foot would still have the bolt rope within the slot, but all the slack would be left free. It doesn't seem wise to have all this sail loose. I would have reef points with lines to gather the loose sail, but with the bolt rope, instead of slugs or cars on a track, you will only be able to tie the reefing lines around the boom which can risk sail chafing. Your options would be to either have a double set of gromets along the new foot of each reef so the slabs can be tied back to the sail at the new foot or be very carefull that the lines around the boom do not hold folds of the sail pinched against the boom where they will chafe with movement.

I reread your post and thought that you may have been suggesting sailing with the boltrope out of it's boom slot when not reefed so that you could tie the reef points when reefing. This could be a very practical and simple solution without harm, but you would have to evaluate your satisfaction with your main's shape and performance while not reefed.
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Old 19-09-2010, 02:00   #13
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a view of front of mast - roller reefing handle absent

Indeed - I was suggesting sailing with the boltrope out of it's boom slot when not reefed
so that I could tie the reef points around the sail when reefed and tie the clew "reefing line" around the boom:

This could be a very practical and simple solution
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Old 19-09-2010, 05:05   #14
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Indeed - I was suggesting sailing with the boltrope out of it's boom slot when not reefed
so that I could tie the reef points around the sail when reefed and tie the clew "reefing line" around the boom:

This could be a very practical and simple solution
That's a good solution. Should work fine. The reefing lines are best loosely tied around the boom below the cringle. There were padeyes on this boat but they are all bent and tortured. The PO didn't understand the loads involved.

Tip: Run the reefing lines while moored. Hoist the main to check things. I can't be the only fool who gets it inside out half the time.
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Old 31-12-2010, 00:49   #15
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Need help on roller reefing boom gear

I am trying to salvage an old roller reefing boom that has a worm drive bronze fitting at the tack/gooseneck and an internal winch for the outhaul. The latter is frozen. (I am going to slab reef so I don't care about the worm gear, which is functional.) My problem is removing the forward end of the boom to access the outhaul winch. Has anyone ever opened one of these old booms up? I had the same frozen insert problem at the aft end, but I was able to remove the end plate and fabricate a slide hammer that caught the inside of the coupling and allowed me to extract the insert using heat and shock. I could probably do the same for the forward end insert if I could figure out how to get the bronze worm gear assembly off. There is a center bolt, which I have removed. Behind the retaining washer is a 3/4 inch hexagonal hole in the pinion gear. I have made a 3/4 inch allen wrench out of the shaft of a cold chisel, but I can't get anything to turn. Help!
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