I agree with everything everyone has mentioned. You need to figure out a way to reef your boat as quickly and safely as possible. In most circumstances, on a small boat, this would be from the cockpit
. I strongly suggest you have a separate down haul and separate out haul. One item I will disagree with is to bring the boat into the wind to reef. I had a most serious knockdown when I first started cruising by doing this.
Let me explain: When you bring the boat close enough into the wind to reef your sails
, the boom is nearly amidships. There is the possibility that a wave, a tap of the helm
, a bad helmsman, etc could push the bow that few degrees into the eye of the wind and she may tack. If this happens, the jib sail is backwinded, the main comes across which could knock the person reefing overboard
. I suggest you look into something like lazy jacks or something that will support the sail on the boom while reefing. The lazy jack can act as a topping lift
and support the boom. If you have something like this, the boom can be left out even on a run and reefed. The sails can be lowered by using the down haul. Then the out-haul can be used to take in the foot to give the sail shape and firmness. The stronger the winds, the flatter you want the sail. The problem with most lazy jack is that the headboard gets caught under them when raising the sails. The can be prevented by tying the top of the lazy jacks on an upper or intermediate shoud far enough away from the sail so the head
will not catch on it. The other method is to eliminate the sail headboard altogether. This may not be possible on some sails without totally modifying the sail. Another issue is battens. Anyway, if you can find an issue of my book titled "Plot Your Course To Adventure", "How to be a Successful Cruiser", I have a chapter devoted to storm stratagy and reefing is covered extensively.