Originally Posted by Steve Pope
One of the advantages of the Reef-Rite system is the ability to lock / release the drum from the cockpit
and also to be able to load the sail onto the foil using the "loader". The sail uses foil slugs rather than a luff rope
, this allows the sail to fold up rather like they used to when using sail hanks. Much much easier to fit / remove the sail from the foil.
We had one of these on our previous boat. A really great bit of kit IMO! BEsides the ratcheting lock for the drum, the thing is truly massively strong with bulletproof joiners between foil sections (no grub screws involved, either). Bob Graham (the vendor/engineer) chose to use standard automotive ball bearings and seals
in both upper and lower units. They have more unloaded friction than the open torlon ball races used by many manufacturers, but once loaded the differences diminish... and one can replace the bearings and seals
in any country with auto parts
stores, and for less than a hundred bucks for the lot. Try that with Harken!!!
when we were dismasted, and by the time we got around to reordering the Reef Rite had become very expensive (in USD), so couldn't afford to replace it in kind. The Schaffer unit we replaced it with was OK, but didn't have the feeling of indestructibility that we had become used to, nor the drum locking rachet and we missed both features.