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Old 22-06-2008, 10:15   #1
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Reefing

Hi, I am new to this forum and have a question regarding reefing catamarans. My wife and I sailed our 40' monohull from Mexico to Australia. The boat had full length battens with slab reefing and we were able to put and take out reefs on all points of sail which was very nice in downwind tradewind conditions. I have been told by catamaran owners and builders that you cannot do this on catamarans. Is this really true? If it is true, what do you do when sailing downwind with everything up and the time comes to put in a reef? Please don't tell me you have to turn into the wind to put in a reef.
We are thinking of buying a catamaran and this is an area of concern for me.
Raymond
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Old 22-06-2008, 11:34   #2
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Those same people would have said the same thing about reefing a monohull, for the same reasons, except: if the boat has no backstay (as on a three stay cat) the sail will bend around the shroud and be difficult to lower without heading up enough to get it off the shroud.

Batt cars are fantastic at making it easier to raise and lower mainsails, on tris, cats and monomarans! Single line reefing is the icing on the cake.

HOWEVER: if its too hard to reef, YOU WAITED TOO LONG!
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Old 22-06-2008, 12:45   #3
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Not having experience on large cats..............Can't one sheet in and then reef?
Or is this asking for a broach-like situation.
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Old 22-06-2008, 15:30   #4
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when you loosen the halyard off the wind, the main billows to the lea, making it hard to drop, and things like lazy jacks and flag pennants and reefing lines slap around violently. heading into the wind to reef is the simple way to go*, then the main can just fall into lazyjacks or a stackpack, and you can take the time to be careful about taking in your reef lines. Some people think its less confusing to reef without LJs or a SP. Another one of those religious debates, like anchors.

* Heavy boats have enough momentum that a practiced crew can throw a reef in without starting the engine and without going into irons. I will always start at least the windward engine on a cat.
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Old 22-06-2008, 16:05   #5
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Someone needs to take me for a ride and show me.
I always thought I would want my lazyjacks capable of being pulled to the mast.

Then there is the idea that if cruising, what is the hurry to prevent rounding up for a reef?
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:01   #6
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The point of being able to reef while sailing downwind in the middle of the night is not having the wake your spouse while you turn the boat into the wind and waves especially when it is blowing 25 knots with 10-12' seas.
Raymond
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:34   #7
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Not having experience on large cats..............Can't one sheet in and then reef?
Or is this asking for a broach-like situation.
I haven't seen this done myself, but friends of mine say they do this with their cat, even in strong winds. They used to live in Hobart and raced their boat all around Tasmania constantly. They said it was a real advantage to be able to reef while running.

They DO have good quality battcars.

Cats don't broach.
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:39   #8
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Jabulani,

How did you reef your mono with full battens? It doesn't really matter, you can set your cat up the same way (but I would still like to hear the answer). The only difference (as I see it), is you will have a bit more sail area to reef since you will likely have more mainsail roach.

FWIW, you will also want to reef earlier in a cat - you will maintain comfort and control that way.
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:43   #9
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I haven't seen this done myself, but friends of mine say they do this with their cat, even in strong winds. They used to live in Hobart and raced their boat all around Tasmania constantly. They said it was a real advantage to be able to reef while running.

They DO have good quality battcars.

Cats don't broach.
I said "Broach-like". That means turning to windward without really wanting to. If it is really bad, then it can tip over, right?
This does not happen?
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:46   #10
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Therapy,

It really depends on how you set up the lazy jack system and if you want to go to the trouble to pull them to the mast. Ours are not set up that way and while it would be nice to reduce chafing on the sail, we would then find ourselves with lines that could slap against the mast (read NOISE!#@*$!(*) and then we would have to pull them back in place when time to drop the main, so we haven't made that mod yet.
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Someone needs to take me for a ride and show me.
I always thought I would want my lazyjacks capable of being pulled to the mast.

Then there is the idea that if cruising, what is the hurry to prevent rounding up for a reef?
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:50   #11
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Therapy,

It really depends on how you set up the lazy jack system and if you want to go to the trouble to pull them to the mast. Ours are not set up that way and while it would be nice to reduce chafing on the sail, we would then find ourselves with lines that could slap against the mast (read NOISE!#@*$!(*) and then we would have to pull them back in place when time to drop the main, so we haven't made that mod yet.
Another of those compromises I know.

Most do not do that mod.

I do not know if it is because it is not as good overall or because it is extra work and expense that has not been tried.
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:57   #12
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We had intermediate backstays as well as a double backstay. Also had a battcar system from Tidesmarine. We could not reef going downwind before we put the battcar system is. There was too much pressure on the battens at the mast. To reef we would loosen the boomvang and the main sheet but try to keep the battens from curling around the backstays and then gradually drop the main. The main did not come down by itself because of the pressure. However it always worked. I guess with a cat the sail and battens are bigger so they would be more likely to wrap around the stay.
Raymond
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Old 22-06-2008, 17:58   #13
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For us it has to do with the extra work and the engineering to set it up, We would have to drill holes in the mast for cleats and a block. Even though I know the small holes would have NO EFFECT on the integrity of the mast, the thought of doing it creates inertia, so it hasn't moved beyond the talking stage.

Mike

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Another of those compromises I know.

Most do not do that mod.

I do not know if it is because it is not as good overall or because it is extra work and expense that has not been tried.
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Old 22-06-2008, 18:00   #14
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For us it has to do with the extra work and the engineering to set it up, We would have to drill holes in the mast for cleats and a block. Even though I know the small holes would have NO EFFECT on the integrity of the mast, the thought of doing it creates inertia, so it hasn't moved beyond the talking stage.

Mike
I hear that!!!
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Old 22-06-2008, 18:02   #15
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I said "Broach-like". That means turning to windward without really wanting to. If it is really bad, then it can tip over, right?
This does not happen?
It's extremely unlikely that the turning force on the sail could overpower both rudders. In a mono the boat heels over, which puts the driving effort of the sail well outboard from the rudder, while at the same time making the rudder less effective. This doesn't happen with a cat.

Also with cruising mono's you are usually limited to hullspeed, which can allow for much higher apparent wind when running.
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