A frightening number of years ago I was heavily involved with single
handed ocean racing
out of San Francisco
. On my Yankee-30 I experimented with a reefing 130 % gennie. For me it was not a good solution at all. While you could indeed reduce the sail area, one was then left with a huge bundle of sailcloth (the old foot of the sail) flogging about. Tying it up with the reef points was NOT easy, nor did it seem to be a long term solution... eventually they came adrift. Doing all of this on a wildly pitching foredeck on the Potato Patch was NOT fun, and I soon abandoned the idea.
The solution then (this was early 80's and furling gear
had not evolved very far yet) was a thing called a "K-Z" foil, made by Bob Graham in the Bay of Islands, NZ. It was a foil with two male "t-tracks" along it, and a gap at the bottom where a magazine (a short length of the foil track with a spring loaded bayonet and socket arrangement) plugged in. One had a magazine for each headsail, with alternate sizes loaded on the alternate sides of the magazine ie, #1 on the port, #2 on the starboard, #3 on port and so on.
So, say it was a light air start -- you plugged in the #1 and hoisted it with the port halyard
and sailed away. When the wind
got up a bit tacked to starboard, unplugged the magazine (now empty) and plugged in the #2, hooked up the starboard halyard and hoisted it inside the #1. One then could either drop the outside sail, or tack back to port and drop the #1 inside the #2, which neatly contained the big genoa
, ready to be lashed on deck
. This process could be repeated as required. Sounds complicated, but in fact was so successful that some years later when we bought Insatiable I (a retired IOR one-tonner) I fitted her with a K-Z to go cruising.
For those unwilling to go the furling genoa route
this might be a good compromise. Bob is (I think) still in business in NZ, marketing
a great bullet-proof furler
called a "Reef-Rite".
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly, Qld, Oz