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Old 02-09-2015, 10:07   #1
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reducing the tangle of reefing line

I have been told of a mainsail reefing setup where the reefing line, instead of going up and through the leech cringle and back down to the boom, only goes up to the cringle where it is attached.

I've not seen this, but for me, with three reefs and rather heavy reefing line, it might clean things up nicely.

If you use or are familiar with this setup can you share how the line is connected to the cringle. I have considered several methods, but all seem to pose possible chafing problems.

Cheers
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:16   #2
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

With it looped back to the boom you get a 2:1 purchase . Also it pulls down from both sides more evenly. If you want to try it I suppose you can just tie a big double figure 8 knot in the end of the line, or attach something that wont pull thru the cringle. Are you using too big a line for reefing maybe?
I often didn't have my 3rd reef run. I would only install it if making a longer passage offshore. A compromise I know, but as you say , all those lines are a mess.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:47   #3
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

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Originally Posted by foojin View Post
mainsail reefing setup where the reefing line, ....only goes up to the cringle where it is attached.


If you use or are familiar with this setup can you share how the line is connected to the cringle.
You are talking about the 'clew reef line'/on the leach right?

You just tie a bowline thru the grommet. The 'trick' is to get the sheave on the boom in the exact right place to both pull down and back. Just using sheaves on the end of boom will usually not tension it correctly You also usually need a decent size winch because you have lost the 2:1 purchase.
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Old 02-09-2015, 16:14   #4
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

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You are talking about the 'clew reef line'/on the leach right?
I am, Evans.

Will admit I hadn't really considered the loss of the 2:1 advantage. The winch I use is pretty robust. Will have to test it.

Considered some sort of monkey fist or figure 8 in the line, as Cheechako suggested, but a bowline with a short bow might work better.

I just had the third reef installed in the sail and am playing with options. Perhaps will change the reefing line.

Thanks
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:27   #5
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

G'day,

All good advice. Have you thought about using these extra strong lightweight lines, spectra etc?

I personally don't like third reefs. Better to have two deep ones. As you pointed out 'too much to tangle.' You don't necessarily have to rig the third reef to save on lines aloft, but that means you will have to drop the main to put it in. Still; easier than setting a try-sail and a whole lot cheaper!

James
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:01   #6
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

If you plan on using the third reef I would rig it ahead of time. When it gets that nasty the last thing you want to fight with is a flailing mainsail and boom.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:09   #7
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

Consider tying a messenger line from the third reef outhaul grommet to the second reef outhaul grommet. Leave the third reef line in the boom and tied off at the boom end. When you put in the second reef you can pull the reef line for the third reef up through its grommet using the messenger line and then tie it down to the boom fitting. Mine is set up this way based on advice from my rigger but I have never had to use the third reef in anger.


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Old 03-09-2015, 09:29   #8
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

Consider not rigging the first reefing point until needed. Better to rig the first one when conditions are not so bad than to try rigging the second or third when needed.
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Old 03-09-2015, 18:39   #9
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

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Originally Posted by foojin View Post
I have been told of a mainsail reefing setup where the reefing line, instead of going up and through the leech cringle and back down to the boom, only goes up to the cringle where it is attached.

I've not seen this, but for me, with three reefs and rather heavy reefing line, it might clean things up nicely.

If you use or are familiar with this setup can you share how the line is connected to the cringle. I have considered several methods, but all seem to pose possible chafing problems.

Cheers
As Cheechako says, having the reefing line up to the cringle and down to the boom gives 2 to 1 purchase that I personally would not do without. I take the line down from the leech cringle under the boom then back up around the boom and tie it around itself with a bowline loop so it tightens on the boom when tensioned.


For the separate luff line I use a single line with a bowline around the cringle passing between the sail luff and the mast.


To reef I free the main sheet and kicker, then free the main halyard to an indelible mark on the rope tail. At the same time I pull down on the luff line then re tension the main halyard. Then I haul in the aforementioned leech line as hard as I can. Then tension the kicker and mainsheet and sail away.


Then I usually take the slack out of the second reef line so it doesn't blow out behind in a big loop.


All my lines come back to the cabin top at the cockpit with jammers. My halyard winch is a converted horizontally mounted small electric anchor windlass with a foot switch on the cockpit floor. That whole operation takes me 1 or 2 minutes.


There will be more leech line with the second reef but you are more likely to need the double purchase with it.


My main is 320sq' and I use 8 mm spectra for the lines. I've never had a chafe problem. When reefed I coil the surplus line under the dodger on the cabin top.
If your first reef is say 3' ; with a doubled line there will be about 6' to coil.
If the second reef is perhaps 8' up there will be about 16' to coil up.


Like Cheechacko my third reef is not threaded up. I have made 1 and 2 each fairly deep. If I need no. 3 I usually drop the main and use the headsail only and don't tell anyone I might start the motor.


I did once try a single reefing line as you see in those pretty diagrams. It would reef with a bit of effort but it was almost impossible to pull out again.
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Old 03-09-2015, 18:45   #10
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

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Then I usually take the slack out of the second reef line so it doesn't blow out behind in a big loop.
That's what I do, except I pull bpoth clew lines at the same time, since the second reef clew line has to come down the same amount. My sheetstoppers are right next to each other for the clew reefing lines. I have double line reefing for both reefs.
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Old 03-09-2015, 19:09   #11
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

I have all that line to the cockpit.. For the second reef I switched to a single braid that is kind of fuzzy. It pulls through the grommets easily and it's easy to coil. It seems less of a mess and smaller than your double braid tangle.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:09   #12
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Re: reducing the tangle of reefing line

G'day,

I find it best when taking a reef to ease the halyard out slowly rather than just let it go to the mark and let the sail thrash. As the sail begins to come down. I start cranking the leach cord in, keeping an even tension on both the halyard and leach cord respectively. This keeps sail flap to a minimum, reduces chafe and risk entanglement. It's more seamanship like, and a less stressful way of going about it. Of course it's easier with two people, but I'm a singlehander. I still have two hands though, and manage OK on my own. Like most things...Practice makes perfect!

James
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