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Old 21-09-2009, 10:25   #1
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Reefing with a Zipper

So I have another little system challenge. The mainsail reefs with a zipper it appears. Is this common? Anyone else have a set up like this? Any advice for how to loosen the plastic zip that's stuck reefed and can't be opened?
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Old 21-09-2009, 10:30   #2
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pictures. Never seen or heard of a reef with a zipper does not sound like it would be strong enough. Soak the zipper with water and/or WD40. That will help you move the zipper. There is salt corosion in the zipper and it binds the zipper. Have a similar problem with my wetsuit if I don't give it a freshwater rinse.
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Old 21-09-2009, 10:43   #3
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man, as I was writing I was thinking *PICTURES* but I have none of it. I'll snap some next time I am down at the boat but I am home with a sick kid right now so it may be a few days. I'll see if Himself is going down tonight and can get me one.
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Old 21-09-2009, 11:08   #4
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Out of curiosity - Is does the zipper just gather the loose material with the weight being born by grommets at the new tack and clew or is it the entire system bearing the stress?
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Old 21-09-2009, 11:16   #5
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Zipper>>>> salt water>>>> mess
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Old 21-09-2009, 11:33   #6
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No, it can be a plastic zipper - like the one used in top shelf Mustos.

The zipper can be used to keep the slab in, the points still have to be built strong the normal way. Have a look at Minis - they have zipped assyms too.

A stuck zipper can be boiled to boil out the deposits. But do not try it with very light nor a nylon sail. Avoid '2-in-ones, wd-40 etc - they leave greasy stains). Sometimes you can remove the deposits with a fine needle.

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Old 21-09-2009, 11:46   #7
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I have heard of using a zipper to reef a jib: Cost conscious cruiser: champagne ... - Google Books
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Old 21-09-2009, 11:52   #8
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Ok, not a photo, but this is pretty much it, The loop of fabric has been exaggerated for clarity. In actuality it tapers to almost nothing being taken up at the ends of the zipper;

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Old 21-09-2009, 12:38   #9
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and Nautical 62.. I don't know exactly. the zipper seems to be the only thing holding the reef.
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Old 21-09-2009, 14:14   #10
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assuming it is a plastic zipper, boiling water should get it going again ,

if it is metal, it is probably toast anyway as the crystals jamming it will include metal oxides from the zipper body, and will have weakened it significantly.

it is a stupid idea anyway!

I would be looking for a second hand replacement slab reefed sail, or get hold of a secondhand sailrite machine and buy the bits from their website to make your own.
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Old 21-09-2009, 14:19   #11
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I cant imagine trying to use a salty zipper in the middle of reefing while the boat is thrashing around. Hell most the time you reef you can just leave the extra material loose as you will be unreefing soon anyway! (usually about the time you it all tied in right?) if you keep it, lubricat e it weekly.
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Old 21-09-2009, 15:35   #12
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A zipper was somtimes used to flatten the bottom of the sail along the foot. Not a reef point as the clew and tack remain as original. It just contains the baggy foot of the sail which is optimized for light air but not wanted when the wind builds. Haven't heard of these things being used for 30 years or so. Were big in the way back for hard core racers. Got a feeling they dropped out of favor because of the obstreperousness of zippers. If you are sailing on the bay, zip it up till winter, sail the light winter winds with it unzipped then zip it up again in the spring.
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Old 21-09-2009, 15:43   #13
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ok, I bet roverhi got it in one.

It is down low and could be seen to just take up loose fabric at the bottom. tsunami was built in 67 and raced HARD thru the 80's. She is rigged for hardcore racing... more blocks and tackle and cleats and winches and stuff than we will ever use.

So in light air let her out and in stronger winds zip her up (assuming I can get the heavy duty plastic zip unstuck...), have I got that right? I am going to try pouring boiling water over the zip[ and see if that helps at all.

What would I lube it with once it was unstuck?
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Old 21-09-2009, 16:47   #14
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If it is only the zipper holding the reef (???? ;-))) then have the sailmaker convert it to the real thing before you venture out!

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Old 21-09-2009, 17:03   #15
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chap-stick works great on plastic zippers......really ...try it....i have also seen something called zip-ease at the boat shows.... looks like chap stick too ....Ed
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