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Old 20-08-2014, 23:23   #1
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Slab Reefing , Ready to Go?

bought a nearly finished 33' yacht. Had never been sailed. Main-sail reefing had never been sorted. A rigger just brought my boom back, see photo attached.
Cost alot of money to have that winch attached, those line-stoppers attached, those slots cut and those cleats attached.
Looks ready to reeve the 3x reefing lines though.
One thing, the rigger suggested a " reverse-about " reefing.
1. lower main halyard to approx position 2. Haul leech line and bring reefing cringle down to boom BEFORE 3. tensioning halyard.
He says it always easier to do this way.
Any people here do this?
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Old 20-08-2014, 23:44   #2
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

That's the way I always do it.

But I'd take the slack out of the topping lift before lowering the halyard
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Old 21-08-2014, 00:19   #3
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

How else would you do it?

Tightening the reef lines before lowering the halyard is going to move the boom way up in the air?

I don't know how many times I have reefed in the last 30+ years, but I have done it that way every time.

Guy
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Old 21-08-2014, 00:42   #4
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

I was taught to always tighten the halyard first then tighten the leech reef cringle. Here's a reason why from a sailmaker.

reefing

When reefing, the order in which lines are tensioned or eased needs to follow a fairly rigorous procedure. Most importantly: you must not pull on the reef outhaul until you have established vertical tension on the luff between the halyard and the reef tack. Once luff tension is established, the luff sliders are protected from the large load imposed by the reef clew line. The penalty for improper reefing is usually a torn sail.
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Old 21-08-2014, 01:02   #5
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

Oh wait, you would always tighten the halyard first.

How to reef:
1> Depower the mainsail, this either involves heading up, or slacking the sheet.
2> Lower the halyard, slip the ring on the webbing sewn through the clew cringle over the rams horn. In a great reefing system there is a rope clutch here, and the halyard is marked just right for slipping the ring over the rams horn, and again for approximately tight enough.
3> Tighten the halyard
4> Tighten the reefing line.

How else would you do it?

Confused as to what reverse reefing would be? If you don't have a tight tack then how are you going to tighten the reefing line? cal40john is right not tightening the halyard is going to tear the sail, and or break your sail slides. The rams horns are meant to take the load, the sail slides are not.

Guy
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Old 21-08-2014, 01:41   #6
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

We do it a bit differently since we do not normally change course during reefing. That means that while I lower the halyard I gradually take in the reefing line without a lot of pull to keep the sail from twisting too much. Then after fixing the sail at the front the halyard gets tightened and I put some tension on the reefing line.

Oliver
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Old 21-08-2014, 02:45   #7
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
I was taught to always tighten the halyard first then tighten the leech reef cringle. Here's a reason why from a sailmaker.

reefing

When reefing, the order in which lines are tensioned or eased needs to follow a fairly rigorous procedure. Most importantly: you must not pull on the reef outhaul until you have established vertical tension on the luff between the halyard and the reef tack. Once luff tension is established, the luff sliders are protected from the large load imposed by the reef clew line. The penalty for improper reefing is usually a torn sail.
If you've taken up the topping lift and hooked the reef tack on the horn, tightening the leech cringle won't be putting any load on the luff sliders. The load only comes on them once the topping lift is eased.

I also dislike the comment in that article "used for tying the reefed portion of the sail around the boom" - if it is a loose footed main, you should not tie around the boom.
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Old 21-08-2014, 09:00   #8
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
If you've taken up the topping lift and hooked the reef tack on the horn, tightening the leech cringle won't be putting any load on the luff sliders. The load only comes on them once the topping lift is eased.

I also dislike the comment in that article "used for tying the reefed portion of the sail around the boom" - if it is a loose footed main, you should not tie around the boom.
If the topping lift determines this, then your leech reef line is pulling down and not out which will result in a deep draft sail. The leech reef line should have a significant part of the pull toward the end of the boom which will load the slides regardless of the topping lift.

Yeah if loose footed better to not tie around the boom, but how many times have you had your reef lines come loose and would have torn the sail?
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:24   #9
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Re: Slab Reefing , Ready to Go?

In no case should the bunt lines, the lines in the interior of the sail that gather the bunt, be tied around the boom whether loose footed or with sliders. The bunt lines are only there to gather in the loose sail. If they are tied around the boom. there is the risk of tearing them out and/or permanently distorting the shape of the sail.

Not sure about your order of doing things. #2. should be secure the tack in the goose neck horn before pulling on the clew reef lines. #3 pull in the clew reef ine. That will ensure that tightening the clew lines will pull tension along the foot of the sail and not on the mast sail slides. Have never tried it this way so not sure how it would work. Will definitely make it easier to pull in the clew lines but not sure about tension against the mast slides as you tighten the halyard.

Too late for you but have found self tailing winch for reefing on the boom a great benefit. One hand for me and one for the winch when reefing when it's nasty. Have always dreaded reefing when conditions are windy and lumpy to crank the winch with one hand and tail with the other without a third hand to hold on. Oh! we're talking reefing which is always windy and lumpy.
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:39   #10
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Re: Slab Reefing , Ready to Go?

Don't forget to slack the main sheet and the Vang!
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Old 21-08-2014, 16:58   #11
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Re: Slab Reefing , Ready to Go?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
In no case should the bunt lines, the lines in the interior of the sail that gather the bunt, be tied around the boom whether loose footed or with sliders. The bunt lines are only there to gather in the loose sail. If they are tied around the boom. there is the risk of tearing them out and/or permanently distorting the shape of the sail.
Unless the main is bolt roped to the boom. (But does anyone still do that?)
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:10   #12
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Re: slab reefing , ready to go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
If the topping lift determines this, then your leech reef line is pulling down and not out which will result in a deep draft sail. The leech reef line should have a significant part of the pull toward the end of the boom which will load the slides regardless of the topping lift.
The point of tightening the topping lift is to take the weight of the boom off the system when hauling in the clew line. That allows you to get a horizontal pull from the tack hook to the end of the boom on the clew line, ensuring that there is no load on the slides. If the boom is hanging free, it's weight on the clew reef line will result in both a downward pull on the clew and tension on the luff slides as you tighten the clew line.
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:11   #13
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Re: Slab Reefing , Ready to Go?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Unless the main is bolt roped to the boom. (But does anyone still do that?)

I can think of 6 boats at our club with bolt ropes in the boom that have reefable sails.
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:36   #14
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Re: Slab Reefing , Ready to Go?

Quote:
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I can think of 6 boats at our club with bolt ropes in the boom that have reefable sails.
Yes, but it is still less and less common these days.

But FWIW, in all my years of sailing, and of reefing, I have yet to tie in the nettles (little lines dangling from the reef points across the sail). This has meant that I didn't have to decide where to tie them! I don't even have the grommets set in the sails anymore... makes them a bit lighter and a bit less expensive.

Especially if you have lazy jacks or a boom bag, tying them in just isn't needed. Looks untidy perhaps, but reduces the time required for reefing by a big margin, and means that you don't have to access the after parts of the boom... something that is always a bit hazardous in a seaway.

Cheers,

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Old 21-08-2014, 17:48   #15
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Re: Slab Reefing , Ready to Go?

The winch is fine to operate on one tack but how do you do it on the opposite tack?

Anyways. We do like this:

(we use both luff and leech reef lines)
(we mark the halyard)

UPWIND:
- point high(er),
- get her sailing by the jib,
- tension the lift,
- ease the sheet,

- ease the halyard (2 inches beyond the mark),
- either tighten the luff reef line (when rough),
- or else put the grommet right onto the hook,
- now tighten the clew line,
- now tighten the halyard some 2 inches,

- ease the lift,
- trim the new config, etc.
- return to intended course,

DOWNWIND:
- take in the sheet somewhat,

- ease the halyard some,
- tighten luff reef line some,
- tighten clew reef line some,
- repeat the above three steps till reefed,

- trim the new config,

Have fun.

Cheers,
b.
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