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Old 17-09-2012, 17:18   #76
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Re: Mainsail - Two Reefs or Three ?

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Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
Why is it that when someone says THOSE ARE THE FACTS my B.S. alarm starts ringing. Im not being blunt, Im being highly opinionated. Some people dont know the differance between B.S. , facts and opinions.____Grant.
You are right, I should not have use the words "fact" when it is only my opinion. I also agree that I am assuming the second reef is deep and not just the second of three. After 50K of deliveries, my opinion that a third reef not really something generally needed by most sailors and can tempt them to take unnecessary risks and ignore weather forecasts and prudent seamanship off lee shore situations. If you were going to the coast of Chile and think you could find yourself clawing off a long lee shore, you would be much better off with a trysail. No boom, no excess sail flailing about, center of effort moved aft, no risk to crew of effecting a third reef in the deck conditions that would indicate it, etc. In my opinion, simply demanding that your sailmaker put a third set of reef points in for such situations can create a false sense of security. I apologize for overstating my point as fact. It is, indeed, only my opinion.
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Old 17-09-2012, 17:49   #77
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Re: Mainsail - Two Reefs or Three ?

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Originally Posted by Pete the Cat View Post
You are right, I should not have use the words "fact" when it is only my opinion. I also agree that I am assuming the second reef is deep and not just the second of three. After 50K of deliveries, my opinion that a third reef not really something generally needed by most sailors and can tempt them to take unnecessary risks and ignore weather forecasts and prudent seamanship off lee shore situations. If you were going to the coast of Chile and think you could find yourself clawing off a long lee shore, you would be much better off with a trysail. No boom, no excess sail flailing about, center of effort moved aft, no risk to crew of effecting a third reef in the deck conditions that would indicate it, etc. In my opinion, simply demanding that your sailmaker put a third set of reef points in for such situations can create a false sense of security. I apologize for overstating my point as fact. It is, indeed, only my opinion.
G'Day Ray,

Point taken and apology accepted.

Comment: we have never had a trysail so this is a biased opinion: I can't believe that striking the remnants of the mainsail and then hoisting and setting the trysail could be easier and less hazardous than going from the second to the third reef. At least on our boats this has been the same process as any other reef and reasonably trivial to perform. The boombag contains the bunt of the sail and our vang/preventers helps control the boom itself, as does the mainsheet. We have done lots of miles with the third reef in use over the years, both in this boat and her predecessor (old IOR one-tonner with a small main and still three reef points).

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 17-09-2012, 18:43   #78
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Re: Mainsail - Two Reefs or Three ?

After a quick read through this thread I have come to this.

We have two reefs, but I would like a deeper reef without adding rigging. I like the idea of three reefs and rigging for two lower for weekend work but two upper for off shore high latitude.

We have the staysail on a boom, but can see having a smaller hank on stay sail for heavy work. Leave the boom alone and hoist the smaller one.

This summer ( sailing around Newfoundland) I never used the first reef, and sometimes wanted a deeper reef.

This was in the 44 with 6 foot of sprit. Our staysail is, I think, quite large as staysails go, with the tack nearly at the stem.

Also, I felt the high cut Yankee never worked well. I think sheet leads were partly to blame. Too heavy in light wind, but when wind came on it would be too much. Being solo I am pretty conservative, too easy to get overwhelmed.

I just ordered a lighter, larger used genoa for local cruising (Chesapeake) where wife is likely to be with me. Will see how that works. Will likely have a third reef put into main.
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Old 17-09-2012, 20:46   #79
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Basically, two reefs if you actually have been out there in a blow and three reefs if you just read books about it. If you have been in a blow you realize that the difference between three reefs and two is not something you are going to be able to discern when you get into the situation. With most boats, the hull and rigging is going to provide more than enough sail area when you are in those situations. Sorry to be so blunt, but those are the facts.
So anyone who wants three reef points hasn't "been out there in a blow?" That's ridiculous, and incorrect.
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Old 17-09-2012, 23:17   #80
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Re: Mainsail - Two Reefs or Three ?

Pete the Cat, I must also apologise for being too blunt, but I must take exception to saying that a trysail is better for clawing off of a lee shore, than a deeply reefed ( 2nd or 3rd) main. From my own experiance with a trysail and talking to many sailors that have used them, they just dont set well enough to make progress to windward in a blow. A deeply reefed main will have (or should have) a much better shape than a trysail. I have spent too many days pounding against the trades with a double reefed main and storm jib, wishing for another reef but knowing if I went to the trysail I would lose 15 or 20 degrees of pointing ability. Off the wind a main of any kind isnt really needed in a blow. Another reason I dont like trysails is that unless the boat has a good boom gallows or maybe a rigid vang, I dont want to be under a boom that is held up by a topping lift that could let go in bad weather. A helmsmans head could end up looking like a dropped watermelon. Of course this is my opinion and subject to much debate, but it has come from 30k+ miles and deliveries on many differant boats. My next boat will have 3 reefs or maybe I will take Island Planets advice and just go with 2 that are deep enough to equal a trysail. I wont spend any more money on trysails.____Just another highly opinionated opinion!______Grant.
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Old 18-09-2012, 01:58   #81
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Re: Mainsail - Two Reefs or Three ?

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Originally Posted by Pete the Cat View Post
Basically, two reefs if you actually have been out there in a blow and three reefs if you just read books about it. If you have been in a blow you realize that the difference between three reefs and two is not something you are going to be able to discern when you get into the situation. With most boats, the hull and rigging is going to provide more than enough sail area when you are in those situations. Sorry to be so blunt, but those are the facts.
Sound like you have been reading a few to many books. Fact, I have three reef points, the third balances the boat well with the small stay sail/storm sail, I have been out of control under bare poles when three reefs are just not enough. I do have the ocean miles and given the choice I would always go with 3 reef points and all would be deep.
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Old 18-09-2012, 04:06   #82
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Re: Mainsail - Two Reefs or Three ?

I have an IOR boat with big fore triangle..relatively small mian with only two reefs.
The "rules" require me to have a trysail, but I have never used it.
IOR boats are heads'l driven and when it gets right down to it....the genoa is firstly completely rolled up...if the wind is forward of the beam, #1 reef in the main and staysail on the inner forestay.
If its still increasing and we can't(or don't want to)reach off, then the main is competely down and the storm jib is up on the inner forestay...after that its bare poles and a drogue, and we've not had to to do that to date.


I never partially furl the genoa roller furller at sea with wind fwd of the beam. I do when reaching running...there's not so much stress on the rig

But every boat is different. You have to work out what suits what you have...go out and try it before you have to !
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Old 18-09-2012, 05:11   #83
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Re: Mainsail - Two Reefs or Three ?

I like to have three reefs in the main, with the third being a very deep trysail reef, though I tend to reef and unreef often to keep the boat at the comfortable 90% hull speed mark and nicely balanced.

I guess roller reefing headsails have made it easier to get by with just two deep reefs, you can play the headsail to adjust the speed rather than reef the main. Also full length battens help because you can spill the wind from the main for long periods without to much flogging, so I think it comes down to how you like to sail.

I find it incredibly frustrating to have the wrong sized main, and that is always what seems to happen to me on boats with only two reefs.

My prevous boat had four reefs in the main (long story). It was 1 reef two many. I delivered a boat across the Tasman with only 2 reefs, had to use the damned trysail EEK.. really wished I had had that third reef.
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