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Old 09-02-2016, 14:25   #16
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

The only reason for not having a third reef is if you have trisail. May never need it but you'll be thankful if you ever do. As someone else said, it's also great to stop the main from slating and slow the role of the boat when motoring or becalmed with rolly seas.
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:15   #17
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Way I figure it... rather have a 3rd reef I never use than wish I had one when needed..
Its not like its sitting mouldering in a locker taking up space.. or kilo's of useless weight..
+1.

Rare to use one, but I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:19   #18
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Only two reasons not to have a third reef (or an extremely deep 2nd) .
1) you're a cheapskate and sail only in shelterd waters.

2) you race inshore, and the extra weight is going to kill your performance to much.

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Old 09-02-2016, 15:29   #19
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Yup, better to have it and not use it, than to wish you had it when you really needed it. I want a 3rd reef, or a tri-sail (and I have a 3rd reef).

In my years on the Great Lakes I've never gone to a 3rd reef -- yet, although routinely use 2nd (or sailed jib & jigger with our ketch). I too am headed out the St. Lawrence this year. I'm happy to have the 3rd reef there.
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:37   #20
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Had 3 reefs on my main and 2 reefs on my jib.
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:47   #21
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Is the third reef necessary???

Little extra cost when building the sail, perhaps some extra cost if your boom isn't set up for the third reef lines, and the clew reefing line for the third reef is quite long (135 feet on our boat!), so there is some extra expense there.

But, as most others have already said, when you need it, well, you NEED it!

For me, it is a no-brainer... there are lots of better places on your boat to economize.

Jim
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:48   #22
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Its the same as with any other safety feature & equipment (epirb, liferaft, flares, plb, dsc vhf, satphone).
Given limited funds you can't have it all so do your own due diligence based on your cruising grounds & seasons, boat, etc
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:53   #23
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I had four reefs on my first yacht. Used the fourth a few times, but I had no trysail, and no engine, so absolutely had to be able to sail in near anything. If I did it again I'd have had just three deeper reefs instead of four shallow ones, but I had to make do with what I had. I find the trend for having just two deep reefs doesn't work for me.
Unless the boat is a ketch or gaff rigged the steps between the reefs start getting too big for my liking, or the second isn't deep enough.

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Old 09-02-2016, 16:04   #24
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Personally, I see a lot of boats struggling with too much canvas when it blows. Unless you are going to weather, you don't need the power. Additionally, off the wind many boats balance better with more jib and very little main; the auto pilot will thank you.

As others have said, don't thread the line unless wind is in the forecast. Then just reef it old-school.

I've only used it once, didn't really need it then, but it was comfortable. Some like to sail jib-only, but it can be a bugger to furl in a blow if you don't have a main to block the wind.
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:15   #25
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I agree with the other poster than the 1st reef is the waste in many cases. A deep mainsail reef let's you carry the genoa longer without furling and destroying it's shape.

An Alberg 34 is a relatively tender boat, easily driven, and sails poorly with her rail in the water. I'd go with very deep first reef and then an equally deep 2nd.
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:37   #26
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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I'm still quite new to CF
I am considering whether or not to install a third reef. I have only used the first reef in 30-35kn going up Lake Erie. I am planning to sail on the ocean via the St Lawrence this spring. Looking for advice on if, a third reef is required boat is an Alberg 34 sloop.
Unless you mean cross an ocean when you say "planning to sail on the ocean" I don't think you need the third reef. If you are just going down the coast you aren't going to be leaving port in conditions that warrant it.
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Old 09-02-2016, 17:44   #27
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Sailorboy1,

Sorry to disagree, but given the OP's location, once he has headed out the St. Laurence Seaway, headed north, he could need the third reef just from a catabatic wind, not part of the synoptic flow, a local geographic effect.

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Old 09-02-2016, 21:20   #28
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Just wondering if the main size matters at all. For example, our boom is about 12' on a 38' boat, barely goes to the edge of the dodger, makes little sense to even put the second reef in there's so little sail left (it's mostly the fore sail that drives the boat). Does this factor in the equation if at all?


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Old 09-02-2016, 22:20   #29
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I've learnt less sail is often better than more, the couple of times I've put the third reef in changed my comfort level considerably although I was probably fine with the second. I reef alot earlier than I used to.....slow learner.

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Old 09-02-2016, 23:44   #30
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

OK so I have a question since I have not used my trysail yet. If you already have 2 reefs and you are contemplating a third or another track on the mast for a trysail, which would you choose? By the time it is blowing hard enough for me to need more than the second reef in my boat, I have been either staying put or running/reaching for a safe place with the reefed jib or storm jib. However I know that is not the way I want it. I had been planning a track for a trysail, but now this thread has me rethinking that... I like the jib only way since it helps prevent weather helm and broaching though, when running/broadreaching... but for reaching I'd like have some main ready less than the second reef...
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