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Old 02-10-2011, 17:54   #16
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

typically 10 to 15 minutes after i should have
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Old 02-10-2011, 17:55   #17
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

Here in squall-ville the rule is to reef 5 minutes before you first think of it

Otherwise, if squalls are around, visible or not, "rain before wind take the topsails in."

On a beat to weather I reef at 10 knots true. Believe it or not. Downwind I'll do the same if there's any chance maneuvering will be required.

I don't have anybody on the rail. The boat was designed to sail well in both very light air and heavy air by controlling sail area and shape. So that's what I do.

To lazy to reef and trim sails? Stay on your sofa.
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Old 02-10-2011, 17:59   #18
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

The old school rule of thumb was to always put in one more reef than you think youre going to need.

A boat sailing with its stauntions underwater is inefficiant and uncomfortable. The added leeway and lack of control over the boat will simply slow you down. So its a false ecomomy to just hang in there and not put the reef in.

I would suggest that you stop being lazy for the sake of your boat and crew and consider reefing an important part of your stong wind strategy. Get a price on a new mast and rigging and you may get motivated much much easier

Reefing is something that should be rehearsed and not done the first time the wind comes up. If your crew dont know how to do it, its going to be a mess when they "need" to do it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 17:59   #19
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

I generally reef at about 15 to 20kts sustained wind since in my area of the world you can generally add another 8-10kts of wind gusts; I also reef at dusk since wind often kicks up overnight and it's a pain to have to reef in the dark.
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Old 02-10-2011, 18:01   #20
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

I used to reef at about 30 degrees of heel. Since my better half arrived I reef at about 15.
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Old 02-10-2011, 18:07   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostrodamus
I am a lazy sailor.
.

I know we are all different but what boat do you have and what would be the wind speed before you would put a reef in?
Depends on several factors

- at what wind speed is the boat fully powered up - for most boats this is 8-12 knots. Power after that is excess to needs
- what do you expect the wind to build to and sustain
- what is the sea state and point of sail. Beating into chop and current you may have no choice but to keep excess sail up to accelerate the boat through swells and chop especially on a lee shore or other danger downwind. I am more concerned about power running or broad reaching due to increased potential to broach
- how experienced and how many crew on board. I will sometimes furl the genny at >10 knots with newbies on board during pleasure cruise. Why heel the boat and spill the wine?
- what other controls do you have to depower the rig. traveler, main sheet, cunningham, jib cars, backstay - generally you can manage power to 25 knots with sail controls alone but if sustained 25 knots I would reef
- am I racing or cruising?

No one size fits all in sailing.

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Old 02-10-2011, 21:33   #22
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
when we have +20 degrees of heel or +8 degrees of rudder angle.
You could do worse than to follow that advice. I follow the "how come I'm hearing stuff falling over below when I stowed everything?" rule. It usually happens during the "exciting" part of the journey and has to drown out the "woo-hoo" from the helm.

When I hear it, I luff the main and head to windward to get a reef in.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:16   #23
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Re: When do you reef?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
There is no sin in reefing early...
I reef when the thought, that it might be a good idea (soon), first occurs to me.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:34   #24
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

Depends on who is onboard.

If single handed (or all on board are sailors) - normally at about 20-25 kts or when it looks to be building fast (bad looking clouds etc).

If with wife or visitors - when people get uncomfortable - logic is that if they don’t feel safe they wont like sailing ... their comfort level builds as they get more accustomed to sailing - as it has with my wife who now happily beats into 15-20Kts where a few years ago we would be significantly reefed..

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Old 03-10-2011, 07:16   #25
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

We reef the first time we think of it. We also put on our harnesses at the same time. Our boat is happy with reef, and so are we.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:36   #26
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Re: When do you reef?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I reef when I get nervous! ...
I reef when I get uncomfortable (either physically or emotionally).
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:01   #27
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

We have a 40ī light cat. 1st reef goes in the main at 12 - 15 knots. Sounds crazy but the main is fully battened and huge. 2nd reef at 18 - 20. 3rd reef at 30. Havenīt used the 4th reef yet but it will probably be around 40 knots. Often I just jump straight to the 2nd or 3rd reef before we even weigh anchor.

When the wind goes behind the beam, we usually drop the main completely.

Every boat is different and all sailors have different criteria wrt comfort, speed and risk. What does the OP really want to know?
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:05   #28
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
I am a lazy sailor.

I don't like all this running around and pulling of lines unless I have to.

One of the reasons we chose our boat (Oyster 45) is because she will take gusts and up to about 25 knts of wind (close hauled) before I really need to reef.

I have been on boats that when someone sneezes the skipper is thinking of putting reefs in.

I know we are all different but what boat do you have and what would be the wind speed before you would put a reef in?

Ohh I gotta say I just don't agree with you about it being a bother to reef. With a good reefing system, it only takes a few seconds -- and then the boat is so much easier to handle. I would think that "lazy" sailors would be the first to reef, not the last.

Not disagreeing with your choice of boats. I think it makes sense to have a boat that performs as you want it to. But if you reef when you need to, everything is easier afterwards.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:41   #29
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

Mostly good advise,but your boat,your ability and confifance level,and the wind conditions determine when to reef. There is an old saying that "If you think it's time to reef, it's too late".As soon as you have an uncomfortable amount of weather helm(assuming you're trimmed correctly)that's the time to reef.
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Old 03-10-2011, 13:44   #30
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Re: When do you reef?

Quote:
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I reef when the thought, that it might be a good idea (soon), first occurs to me.
+1 Me too.
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