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Old 25-06-2008, 08:54   #1
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DOWNWIND REEFING

When the wind speed increases quickly and the seas/swells are large there is sometimes an advantage to reef going downwind on a cruising cat. Can those that have mastered the technique of downwind reefing tell us how you do it and do it well?

To be clear, I am not seeking opinions on when to do it, or why you should reef in advance of a blow, etc. etc,. I am asking people to discuss the actual techniques for successful downwind reefing at high wind speeds greater than 25knots.
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Old 25-06-2008, 09:06   #2
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Why have a main up at all if you are going downwind.
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Old 25-06-2008, 09:27   #3
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This topic was discussed a few days ago.

Then I said the answer was to have a mainsail downhaul attached to the headboard. That makes it is easy to pull the sail down when sailing downwind.

I write more about catamaran sailing techniques on my website, go to the Articles page

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Old 25-06-2008, 10:14   #4
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This topic was discussed a few days ago.

Then I said the answer was to have a mainsail downhaul attached to the headboard. That makes it is easy to pull the sail down when sailing downwind.

I write more about catamaran sailing techniques on my website, go to the Articles page

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Nice website, exactly which article were you referring to since none of them have a title related to reefing.
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Old 25-06-2008, 10:59   #5
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Why have a main up at all if you are going downwind.
In a word - balance.

The main and foresail work togther to help maintain a balanced helm.

If you are using a spinnaker or gennaker, the main is essential if you wish to get either down in a sudden blow. You need to be able to blanket them.

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Old 25-06-2008, 11:21   #6
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One of the blue bars on the left says ARTICLES. I was just in there looking at running a spinnaker.
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Old 25-06-2008, 12:32   #7
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It is under Sailing a Catamaran Techniques.

You will see that I recommend cruising downwind under spinnaker alone (but I agree that unless you have a spinnaker sock getting the sail down unless you rehoist the mainsail first can be tricky.)

This article, and the one on spinnakers, was published in the excellent UK based Multihull Review magazine and also in the equally good Australian Multihulls World.

I recommend subscribing to both to learn more about multihull sailing.

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Old 25-06-2008, 12:53   #8
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This thread was about reefing the MAINSAIL going downwind in heavy wind and seas. Dealing with a spinnaker is a totally different subject.

If you have expereince with the topic of the thread please let us know how you make it work smoothly.
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Old 25-06-2008, 15:25   #9
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I apologise for being too brief in my previous posting. I know this thread is about mainsail reefing, which I thought I amswered with my first post, see above.

But then someone wrote "If you are using a spinnaker or gennaker, the main is essential if you wish to get either down in a sudden blow. You need to be able to blanket them."

So I answered that as well in this thread, sorry.

What I say on my website, in part, is the following:

"...I don't call any boat a proper cruising boat unless it is possible for one person to reef or lower sails, even downwind or in a gale at night. Eclipse has a big full battened mainsail and swept back shrouds. Most people consider such rigs a recipe for disaster, but it's not necessarily true. To help tame it, I use Bainbridge Sailman 2000 slides, which are excellent, strong, low friction plastic slides.

However the real key to easy mainsail lowering is to have a mainsail downhaul. This is an 8mm rope tied to the headboard. I lead it through alternate sail slides so that it doesn't catch in the rigging. It's tied off slackly to the gooseneck when the sail is fully hoisted. On releasing the halyard, I pull on the downhaul and the top part of the sail drops. Works every time. And if you have a fully battened sail don't go to sea without the absolutely essential lazy jacks!

I have single line reefing on my first two reefs. By using large ball bearing blocks attached to the clew and tack rings, I have reduced friction and chafe. Once the reef is pulled in, I snapshackle the clew ring directly to the boom. I have Cunningham holes above each tack point so that I can still use my 6:1 purchase to tension the luff. This is MUCH easier than using the tack hooks. When that's set up I release the reefing pendant, so there is no chance of chafe. Incidentally, I use spectra reefing pendants, as they don't chafe.

After beating to windward in a gale across the Bay of Biscay, I decided that..."

I hoe that clarifies everything

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Old 25-06-2008, 15:34   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keegan View Post
When the wind speed increases quickly and the seas/swells are large there is sometimes an advantage to reef going downwind on a cruising cat. Can those that have mastered the technique of downwind reefing tell us how you do it and do it well?

To be clear, I am not seeking opinions on when to do it, or why you should reef in advance of a blow, etc. etc,. I am asking people to discuss the actual techniques for successful downwind reefing at high wind speeds greater than 25knots.
We've been talking about this here: Reefing
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Old 25-06-2008, 21:06   #11
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Thanks Woods, and Cruisingcat, for the posts.
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