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Old 26-08-2011, 11:03   #31
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

I prefer the 2 Juffy reef pairs (Luff and Tack clews) led aft to an electric winch. Third reef single line to clew and hook for luff tack. I can the re reeve the first reef line to #4., but in practice just fire up the motors.

NOTE: we have found that its always much calmer to reef when broad off the wind. far less flapping and thrashing, it dos require considerable winching and ALWAYS look aloft.

NOTE II never trust a jiffy reef, always come back and lash the reefs to the boom and mast with a 6' section of old line, then ease your jiffy lines slightly.

mike
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Old 27-08-2011, 04:16   #32
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

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Originally Posted by spiritcat View Post
I have checked the cringles and no sharp edges. I have never had this happen before and cannot work out why I continue to have problems.

Peter
Maybe the jacket is going? Try to reverse the line or (if you have enough slack) cut of the part that was always exposed to the sun.

We had similar problems with the first reef, then I noticed the damage was not by the cringle but at the ingoing sheave - the sun ate out its edges and the line was chafing against the alloy tunnel.

b.
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Old 27-08-2011, 07:17   #33
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

We have always used good old fashioned three strand for reefing lines (in fact for all lines). Never had any fail. But, we use 1/2 inch reefing lines on Taleisins mainsail (320 square feet). When we know we will be in for a long stretch with a triple reef set, we often add an extra clew line, tied around the boom for security. Remember, if your clew line lets go and you have tied in all the reef points, it could be - tear along the dotted line.

Even on the little trailer sailor we use for quick fun afternoon jaunts in New Zealand, we have 3/8 inch reefing lines. (braid as that's what she came with.) So I suspect the line that is giving problems is either too small or to high tech.
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Old 28-08-2011, 11:51   #34
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Peter...I feel your pain! I have nearly the same problem with the line fraying and breaking about 1 foot out of the boom, about midway to the cringle. There is absolutely nothing rubbing on it but it still frays and breaks, often quite soon after replacement. I have tried heavier lines, turning blocks and a thousand other things to no avail. A reef line lasts just a few days on passage (I reef every night), this over a period of 6 years.

On a cat you can't get to the boom end easily, most of the posts here are for mono-hulls and don't apply, the posters failing to realize that the clew reef line has to pass through the boom. Many don't understand the forces involved at the clew...this line is what is pushing the boat through the water, especially on a cat which is mainsail driven.
I use a stack pack and lazy jacks but still require pointing into the wind to reef, not always an ideal situation in rough seas.
An in mast furler hurts performance but a boom furler has really good advantages for a cat in sail handling....problem here is cost. Boom furlers now have much better feed systems which reduce furling problems at the junction of the mast and boom. JMO
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Old 28-08-2011, 15:19   #35
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

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Peter...I feel your pain! I have nearly the same problem with the line fraying and breaking about 1 foot out of the boom, about midway to the cringle. There is absolutely nothing rubbing on it but it still frays and breaks, often quite soon after replacement. I have tried heavier lines, turning blocks and a thousand other things to no avail. A reef line lasts just a few days on passage (I reef every night), this over a period of 6 years.

... most of the posts here are for mono-hulls and don't apply, the posters failing to realize that the clew reef line has to pass through the boom. Many don't understand the forces involved at the clew...
Interesting. I hear you about catamaran main loads -- the mains are generally very big and roachy and the boats have a huge (really, really, really huge -- no, trust me, thats REALLY huge) amount of initial stability. Peak loads can be impressive. We use hardware that would be appropriate on a 60' monohull on our 40' cat and we've still had a few explosions. I have broken reef lines, blown a clew out of the main and blown up over-sized name brand hardware on the main tackle. And we certainly get chafe in our reef lines on long passages.

Nevertheless, the very quick chaffing failures you guys are seeing are not typical of my experience. Is it the cover of the line that is failing? I wonder if there may be some kind of loading issue where one side of the relatively weak cover is taking the load from the cringle to the boom? Maybe as a result of pinching at the cringle? I would expect a properly sized roller bearing block would solve that kind of issue. Harder, slicker covers might help too. Maybe spray a bit of sail cote or similar on the line? If the chafe is just normal wear I suppose one could sew on a bit of chafing gear on the end of the line tied to the boom...

Tom.
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Old 28-08-2011, 17:33   #36
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Mine frays completely through then snaps. I went to a rigid boom vang so I don't even have a topping lift. Absolutely nothing for it to chafe on. This is a strange mystery to me but always it fails and relatively quickly. I've used all kinds of different lines including goretex. One sail maker suggested that the point it fails is the highest load point and the sail clew fluttering might be enough to generate heat at that point....he had no idea what to do about it either. I have used turning blocks to reduce the load and that improves it somewhat but still fails. If you have a suggestion I haven't tried I'd be willing to give it a shot.
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Old 28-08-2011, 17:50   #37
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

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Mine frays completely through then snaps. I went to a rigid boom vang so I don't even have a topping lift. Absolutely nothing for it to chafe on. This is a strange mystery to me but always it fails and relatively quickly. I've used all kinds of different lines including goretex. ...
Well, I'm stumped. Not that I really know but Goretex (tm) seems a little unlikely for this application to me.

FWIW, I use spectra cored reef lines with pretty hard/tight covers with pretty good results on my Atlantic 42. Bigger is probably better.

Tom.
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Old 28-08-2011, 19:30   #38
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

For the mainsail, my boat has a behind-the-mast roller furling system by CDC. A previous owner installed it. I was prejudiced against them, as I'm a bit of a traditionalist, I guess, and I wouldn't have owned one except that I got a great deal on this boat.

Nevertheless, after two years and about 4000 miles, I think the thing is brilliant. I only use the boat for cruising, but I would STRONGLY recommend a roller-furling system to anyone considering a cruising sail arrangement. It's very easy to use and, thus, considerably safer than the jiffy reefing or slab reefing systems I've used on previous boats. Single-handed reefing in a stiff breeze is not much more difficult than turning the engine on. And deploying the main is so easy you just do it any time the breeze blows. Upwind sailing suffers some, but when cruising, I try my best to avoid beating to windward anyway.

Roller furling systems get a lot of bad mouthing, but how do other people feel who've used them for cruising?
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Old 28-08-2011, 20:25   #39
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

I am pro rolling boom furl despite the opposition and doom profits it seems a simple way to reef. I am told one loose 20% wind power but i believe that is debateable, sure there will be a loss but i do not believe 20%. I suspect after-mast roller furl system will loose less wind, wonder which is more effective?
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Old 30-08-2011, 08:29   #40
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

I met a fellow in the Bahamas last winter with a Discovery 50 Catamaran. His rig was an in-mast furling system which gave him an infinite number of reefing options. He claimed he could reef on any point of sail and could pull in or let out more mainsail as warranted.

This was the first multi-hull I've seen with type of rig which is very popular in most production single hulled boats. Does anyone have a theory on why we do not see in-mast furling on multi-hulls?

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Old 30-08-2011, 09:54   #41
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Most multihulls rely on a really large roach/mainsail, which requires battens. A furling main has no roach or battens, less power etc. I did like the infinite reefing thing with my in-mast main. However, you are kind of starting out with a reef to begin with... no roach, low drive! Be a great option on a boat with too much weather helm maybe, or an older IOR design with the huge headsails and small main to start with.
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Old 30-08-2011, 12:00   #42
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Interesting points on in mast furl configurations amd yes it has limitations but what about in boom furl?
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:06   #43
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Another consideration is the amount of dead weight up high as you reef.
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:34   #44
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

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Originally Posted by Multitalent View Post
I prefer the 2 Juffy reef pairs (Luff and Tack clews) led aft to an electric winch. Third reef single line to clew and hook for luff tack. I can the re reeve the first reef line to #4., but in practice just fire up the motors.

NOTE: we have found that its always much calmer to reef when broad off the wind. far less flapping and thrashing, it dos require considerable winching and ALWAYS look aloft.

NOTE II never trust a jiffy reef, always come back and lash the reefs to the boom and mast with a 6' section of old line, then ease your jiffy lines slightly.

mike
and dont forget to release the vang or you'll get a broken boom with that winch!
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Old 31-08-2011, 05:40   #45
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I had my single line reefing (2 reef points) run back to the cockpit, but needed reroute the lines similar to what Harken recommends. However, that involves adding blocks and fairleads to the mast.

It looks like it would work well, but I also want to mount a trysail track, and after thinking about it, don't see how I could do it without the two systems interfering with each other -- I'd like to be able to leave the trysail bent on the track and bagged at the base of the mast.

Bases on this, and several helpful comments on this and other threads, I'm going to give up the single line idea, and go with the simpler double line system secured directly to the mast.
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