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Old 10-02-2016, 09:48   #46
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Naw, you do not need any reef points. Just sail until you sink. Unless your going to be in a storm, you really do not need to reef. Might destroy the sails and flood the boat, but what the heck. Otoh, if you want to live, then make your boat redundant with options. The more reef points, the safer you will be. Outside of hurricane conditions, the goal is to keep the boat moving so you have stability and steerage. At around 50 knots, you really need to keep your main sail small but big enough to keep the boat pointed up. At 60 knots the tiny scrap of main sail is about the only thing keeping the boat under some control. At 70 knots, just give up and lay ahull; go down below and have a drink. So if you are only sailing in 40 knots ore less of wind all the time, then skip the third reef.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:56   #47
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I would love to see how you rigged that.
I have zspars SLR. This is the standard setup for the first two reefs on their booms. The third reef is exactly the same on the other side
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:18   #48
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
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.

Ann
I agree. In the northeastern part of St-Lawrence estuary, where I sail, and futher down, you can be surprised by those winds ( Catabatic, channeled winds by river valley, on famoust being the Saguenay Bull :-) ). Adding strong tidal current and recurrent chaotic sea state, I think kepping a balanced boat is a must. I don't have a lot of experience, but I'm looking to get a third reef on my next mainsail. :-)
Just my two cents.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:09   #49
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I sailed a Douglas 32 out of Kingston for 25 years. I had a mainsail made with 3 reef points and I always had all 3 reef lines installed. I our area, as you know, we often tack up somewhat narrow areas such as the 40 Acres, Adolphus Reach, Big Bay etc and at times against a significant wind and short nasty chop. While some use jib only, I have always used the mainsail with the 3rd reef to assist in tacking. As you sheet in the jib, having some mainsail keeps the bow from falling off the wind too far and loosing much hard gained 'ground'. Cheers
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:29   #50
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I agree totally with you Alain, with my boat I loose a lot of way with only the small Genoa (110)deployed. Last Christmas I crossed from Bonaire to St Croix and only with a double reefed main below the 15' parallel did I make some NW progress. I now think that with a 3 reef (it was blowing 30-35kt steady) I would have been close to the bearing of 56' that was optimal. The way it ended up I was making only 10-15' at best progress and I ended up using at the last 24 hours 40 gal of diesel easting south of Puerto Rico.
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:08   #51
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

3rd reef!? Yes/No
In a cutter, with a staysail, i do not think it really necessary.

And most times, it is advisable to get rid of main, if 2 reefs is still too much, unless racing offshore...

The point is not about its usefulness, but...:
Will keeping a 3-reefed main destroy your x000 US$ main , if in F9+ wind for long !?

The rest is speculation.... or... academy..

1) If you intend to ride in F9 winds, for long, get a trysail and/or a staysail (storm jib).

2) Destroying a full batten on the upper part would be MISERABLE

3) A good boat should have a performance main (2reefs), and a rugged one for deliveries and/or winter-time (3reefs)

4) in case, my new main will be 1/2, 1 1/2, and 2 1/2 reefs, (say 8% 18% 30%) all more usable...
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:19   #52
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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Thanks! My boat came with a 40 year old trysail, which is still in good shape! No track though.. and I'd really prefer not moving another sail around in rougher stuff too. Third reef it is! And I'll use the trysail for a pillow.
FWIW, since you already have the trysail, go ahead and install the track for it.. Then, what you do, is store it on deck in its bag, ready to go, when you are going on passage. Dry it and re-store it after you arrive. Do not wait till the wx has got too much, have it ready to go from the get-go. Zee says there are lots for sale in MX, but really, if you're heading out across the Pacific, you might find yourself in conditions where you want it. Having it will save wear and tear on the main, and the investment in the track is small. It probably isn't worth much to sell, an "x" yr. old trysail for a 29 foot boat. But it does give you another arrow in your quiver, so to speak. And, go ahead with the 3rd reef, like Snow Petrel says, the two sails rigged that way, give you more options. More options is good.

As to the storm jib, it should be one heavy, small puppy, easy to store.

Ann
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:41   #53
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

OK, since we're onto trysail, and have expertise like Ann and Jim here (edit: and Phil/Boatman), let me ask about rigging and using one.

My Rafiki came with a trysail track, but I have no sail (yet). I've got a big, heavy boom: 18' long, and g-d knows how heavy -- I can't lift it myself. It overhangs most of the cockpit. I'd have to lash it to one side if I rigged a trysail, and this would make access to that side of the boat awkward, to put it mildly.

I've shied away from a trysail in favour of a 3rd reef. I know they're not identical, but since I can't really get my head around how to manage our large boom, I've considered the 3rd reef a better, more practical option.

... but perhaps I'm wrong (like I am on so many things ).

Would you recommend I consider a trysail, given that we are headed out the St. Lawrence this year. I don't know about bigger blue water at this point. It's possible, but who knows... I do know NFLD is the plan right now, and likely we'll linger there, maybe heading up the Labrador coast some way.
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:52   #54
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pirate Re: Third reef is it really needed

I've looked at the tri-sail and for me it looks great for one tack but pretty crap for the other.. big bundle of mainsail in the way for any serious use.. and to be honest if it was that bad I'd be hove to on 3rd reef drinking coffee and reading a book..
Leave the macho types to it..
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:06   #55
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Quote:
OK, since we're onto trysail, and have expertise like Ann and Jim here, let me ask about rigging and using one.
Expertise??? Well, not really, Mike. The truth is that while we have done lots of miles under a third reef in the main, neither one of us has ever used a trysail!

Our previous boat was an old IOR one tonner, and had the typical tiny mainsail. By the time it was down to the third reef, it was smaller than a typical trysail, and worked quite well on all points of sail... and we used it a lot.

Insatiable II is a fractional rig with a relatively large mainsail. The third reef is very deep, and we've had both mains that we've designed heavily reinforced in way of it, and feel no concerns about using it in lieu of a trysail. Have only needed it a couple of times, neither of which were anywhere near survival conditions, and it worked well for us.

My general feeling is that setting a trysail, even if bagged and on deck, is far harder than putting in the reef. Further, none of us will likely have much experience in trimming a trysail for good performance, whereas the deeply reefed main will be pretty intuitive. IMO, the one big advantage with a trysail is in heaving to, where the low and further aft center of effort may help keep the bow up into the wind. I know that I-two, with two furlers and a fair amount of windage forward and not much forefoot in the water, is hard to get stably hove to. Your Rafiki will be far better at this convenient maneuver with either storm sail configuration!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:13   #56
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

As others have said...
You don't need it until you need it.
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:28   #57
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Yippeee, we agree on something! Cheers Boatman.


Quote:
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..
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:43   #58
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
OK, since we're onto trysail, and have expertise like Ann and Jim here (edit: and Phil/Boatman), let me ask about rigging and using one.

My Rafiki came with a trysail track, but I have no sail (yet). I've got a big, heavy boom: 18' long, and g-d knows how heavy -- I can't lift it myself. It overhangs most of the cockpit. I'd have to lash it to one side if I rigged a trysail, and this would make access to that side of the boat awkward, to put it mildly.

I've shied away from a trysail in favour of a 3rd reef. I know they're not identical, but since I can't really get my head around how to manage our large boom, I've considered the 3rd reef a better, more practical option.

... but perhaps I'm wrong (like I am on so many things ).

Would you recommend I consider a trysail, given that we are headed out the St. Lawrence this year. I don't know about bigger blue water at this point. It's possible, but who knows... I do know NFLD is the plan right now, and likely we'll linger there, maybe heading up the Labrador coast some way.
Have you considered boom gallows? I think that they would look really good on a Rafiki.
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:50   #59
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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Have you considered boom gallows? I think that they would look really good on a Rafiki.
Agreed. Most Rafikis have them. It looks like ours did at one point, but I'm guessing it was removed when the decks were updated (the teak deck can't be original).
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:51   #60
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
OK, since we're onto trysail, and have expertise like Ann and Jim here (edit: and Phil/Boatman), let me ask about rigging and using one.

I've only used them a couple of times in anger, once on a 28 footer approaching Cook strait as a westerly front came through. The silly main only had two reef points, so we ditched it and set the trysail. Probably could have managed under storm jib alone but with land to leeward I preferred the ability a bit of canvas aft of the mast gave us to claw to windward or heave to if needed.

The only other time that comes to mind was on our way south to Antarctica, when the forecast looked like it was going to blow like stink for a few days of westerly. We decided to set the trysail and snug down the main. Partly just for a change, and for practice, but also to save wear and tear and have a smaller sail. In the end the blow didn't come to much, we slipped under the low, but the trysail balanced well even with a full genoa unrolled down to about 20 knots. handy to know.


My Rafiki came with a trysail track, but I have no sail (yet). I've got a big, heavy boom: 18' long, and g-d knows how heavy -- I can't lift it myself. It overhangs most of the cockpit. I'd have to lash it to one side if I rigged a trysail, and this would make access to that side of the boat awkward, to put it mildly.

I've always preferred to lash the trysail clew to the end of the boom, after putting a really tight stow on the mainsail. That way I control it the same way as my main, and I can keep it flat. I think on a modern boat with wider beam, higher freeboard and shorter booms than the days of old, this works well, and there is no issue with dragging the boom in the water. This means the sail is controlled exactly like the mainsail. Its good to have the option of using it without the boom, in case of boom or gooseneck failure.

I like the way the racing boys can drop the boom to the deck and set a trysail above it, its much harder for us due to dodgers and stuff getting in the way.

Yours is a marginal case, that is an awfully big boom. if you have gallows you could lash it there and then set the trysail with its own sheets.

For me the biggest advantage of a trysail is as a spare main, but a mate used an old staysail as a main for a while successfully, so if you have other options its not so critical. Your call, I'd be happy enough without a trysail as long as the main is strong, and I have a suitable storm jib set up.



I've shied away from a trysail in favour of a 3rd reef. I know they're not identical, but since I can't really get my head around how to manage our large boom, I've considered the 3rd reef a better, more practical option.

I actually much prefer the deep third reef (Trysail reef) option over a trysail especially in coastal waters where speed of setting can be critical. Ie engine failure near a lee shore in 40 knots. Do you dig around in a locker and spend 20 minutes rigging a trysail that you are probably not that familiar with (and didn't prerig because you were coastal) while you struggle to make ground to windward with just a storm jib, or a storm jib and flogging main that is far to big. Or just whack in the trysail reef in a minute or two and keep sailing? I'd go the trysail reef in the main any day in this case, and most others.

... but perhaps I'm wrong (like I am on so many things ).

Would you recommend I consider a trysail, given that we are headed out the St. Lawrence this year. I don't know about bigger blue water at this point. It's possible, but who knows... I do know NFLD is the plan right now, and likely we'll linger there, maybe heading up the Labrador coast some way.
..........
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