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Old 09-02-2016, 09:40   #1
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Third reef is it really needed

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.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:49   #2
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pirate Re: Third reef is it really needed

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 09-02-2016, 09:55   #3
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Sailing in the Caribbean for almost 5 years now there have been numerous times that I wish a had a 3rd reefing point on my main. It is amazing but the stronger the wind the bigger the main on my boat gets, go figure LOL
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:58   #4
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I have a third reef, but don't put the reefing line in unless I'm expecting heavy weather.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:59   #5
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

If you are Great Lake, costal sailing you are unlikely to be out beyond reasonable weather forecasting. You probably don't need a third reef. Some people choose two deeper reefs rather than three. Talk it over with your sail maker.

On my boat (bigger, wider and heavier than yours) I have three reefs. I've never used the third reef. I've sailed in winds up to 45 knots with two reefs and staysail. I don't have the reef lines set up for the third reef because the length of the reef line is an unnecessary complication. However, if I was planning on an ocean crossing (being out beyond reasonable weather forecasting) I'd rig the third reef for a possible storm situation.


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Old 09-02-2016, 10:07   #6
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Thanks
I think I'll take Boatman 61 advice and have the third reef put in ,if not needed great but if it is,it's there.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:32   #7
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I would say that the 3rd reef is a must, the first is debatable... I have never used it.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:39   #8
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

I wish I had a third reef... every time I got out in the "slot" in high summer. And maybe a 4th...
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:42   #9
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

If not a third reef, a storm trysail would be advisable.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:42   #10
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberg 34 View Post
Thanks
I think I'll take Boatman 61 advice and have the third reef put in ,if not needed great but if it is,it's there.
Good idea. Another is to not use your 2nd reef lines and move them to the third reef tack & clew positions.


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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
I wish I had a third reef... every time I got out in the "slot" in high summer. And maybe a 4th...
I hear you. I just sail on the jib when coming from, say, Pt. Blount to Treasure Island. Much more comfortable ride.
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:02   #11
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

The only time I've used the 3rd reef has been becalmed offshore, really cuts down on the main slating. Worth it for that alone. And I might really need it one day...
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:27   #12
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Depends on how much sail is still up at your 2nd reef. Our 2nd reef is deep enough that I am OK with it.
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:02   #13
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

Many many years ago when i had all ne sails for my then Half ton cupper my sailmaker persuaded me saying one day I would thank him. That day came the next year when returning from a Cross English Channel fun run ( duty free gathering) We got caught by a bad gale that became known as 'The Channel Race Gale' when lots of race boats hit problems with dismastings and knockdowns. We passed close by one of their race markers NE of Cap Barfleur and had the same conditions ( westerly F8)even though we were not actuall racing that day. I put the 3rd reef in for the very first time and was very grateful for it. Whilst putting it in and standing on the coach roof by the mast a wave broke right over the boat and me, filling the cockpit in the process.My then wife and 2 kids were sat in the cockpit ( harnessed on) laughing their socks off. Shortly afterwards at Southampton International Boat Show I stopped by my sailmaker's stand and said 'you were right about that 3rd reef, thank you! All my subsequent boats after that had 3 reefs fitted and my last one in the UK had them all rigged to be put in from the cockpit. Now I'm an old wrinklie and after a stroke 3 years ago, when we lived on a motor yacht, we have in-mast reefing, not my preference but it keeps me afloat under sail and in positive nookie points territory with the boss lady.


SO Yes have a thrird row and don't complain it was never needed, be thankful.

The idea of swapping a regular mainsail, let alone a big one with full length battens,like we had on our last sailboat in the UK, for a trysail in heavy weather does not appeal even though for offshore race rule purposes we had a separate trysail track in place on the mast.

On our early 3 reef boats, only 2 reefs had lines reeved(rove?) that were permanently rigged ready to go, the 3rd reef points had messenger lines from 2nd to 3rd reef cringles and after putting in reef #1 if more wind still was expected, the #2 reef lines were pulled into the 3rd reef place position via the light messenger lines. This arrangement worked well enough but it was better when on a later and bigger boat all 3 were permanently threaded and operable from the comfort and safety of the cockpit.
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Old 09-02-2016, 13:57   #14
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

We rarely use our third reef, but do keep it rove all the time. Especially in the Alberg, if the sea is horrible, you don't want to have to struggle to reave it, way better to just be able to go down to it right away. Yes, it's windage, but, to us, a good deal.
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Old 09-02-2016, 14:24   #15
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Re: Third reef is it really needed

The cost of putting in 3rd reefing point is very little money for the sailmaker to do. It is worth the peace of mind to have it. That area where you are intending to sail is well known for blustery weather. Option #2 is don't get the third reefing point and instead buy lots of adult depends (underwear for incontinence). Because when you get really scared...um um...you will be wishing you had one or the other....he he
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