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Old 21-08-2011, 18:22   #1
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What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Reefing ones mainsail while under load can be a nightmare.
There is the sticky car travelar system. Then there is a in mast furl system that some reckon could cost you 20% sail suface then there is a boom furl system and then some of these furls are are fitted to an electrical motor. Then there are all the diffrent manufacturers each one with his own version claiming superiority. there are times when one want to or need to reef your main sail real fast, What reefing system is the best?
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Old 21-08-2011, 20:10   #2
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Lazyjacks and double line jiffy (1 line each for clew and tack) reefing with both lines and main halyard led to the cockpit.

No need to get out of the cockpit unless there is a failure
Simple
Cheap
Easy to inspect
Hard to jam

On the downside, more lines leading into the cockpit and needing to be kept sorted.
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Old 21-08-2011, 20:22   #3
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

"What reefing system is the best?"

Subjective question, but I will put my oar in: I have a Dutchman reefing system and a Tides Marine Strong Track in the mast:

Doyle Sailmakers: Dutchman
Tides Marine - Manufacturer of the SureSeal Shaft Seal

Release the halyard, the sail comes down and flakes itself. Reefing ties not needed until the third reef. Don't know how it could be simpler...

Michael
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Old 21-08-2011, 21:10   #4
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Tides track and bat cars and single line reefing. (Doyle stack pack as well)
Pre-mark the main halyard. Drop it to the mark, put the reefing line on the winch and crank.
Done deal.
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Old 21-08-2011, 21:48   #5
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel12 View Post
Reefing ones mainsail while under load can be a nightmare.
There is the sticky car travelar system. Then there is a in mast furl system that some reckon could cost you 20% sail suface then there is a boom furl system and then some of these furls are are fitted to an electrical motor. Then there are all the diffrent manufacturers each one with his own version claiming superiority. there are times when one want to or need to reef your main sail real fast, What reefing system is the best?
My reefing system is one line for each reefing point (at the leech), led to a block, pad eyes and a cleat near the boom. The other reefing point has a similar system. Then, at the luff cringles, there's a ring on each side, and hooks on the mast. I can reef the boat by myself in 20 seconds or less.

"Reef early" is really good advice, but if it takes two or three minutes and a lot of frustration, you'll be unlikely to do it.

While you're doing that 10 - 20 second reef, take a look at the hatches and make sure they're closed.
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Old 22-08-2011, 06:44   #6
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

In addition to all the other good advice above, I'd say... Add a Downhaul! Sometimes you'll get caught out and really do not want to turn into the wind to drop the main. It happened to me when the wind went from 25-30 knots to 52 knots without any visible warning. Had to run downwind with a double reefed main for about 5 minutes then, fortunately, the wind dropped to 30 knots and I was able to turn and drop the rest of the sail.

I then added a downhaul and while I've never again experienced such high winds, I'm now comforted to know that I can get the main down, whatever the wind direction, without having to turn to windward.
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:47   #7
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Double line slab/jiffy reefing with all lines led to the cabin top at the cockpit. Takes about a minute to tie in a reef while staying dry and comfy in the cockpit.
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:59   #8
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Double line jiffy (1 line each for clew and tack) reefing with both lines at the mast. Simple and more importantly lowest friction. A winch on the mast for the luff reef and one either side of the boom at the mast for the two Clew reefs. Once you've got the procedure down its very fast and easy. One line Slab reefing with everything brought back to the cockpit is nice in theory, but my experience is the friction makes things a real bummer with the wind blowing 30.... as well as a mess of confusion with lines , stoppers and winches on the cabin top!
JMHO, your results may vary, not available in all states or locations, mail order only etc etc...
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Old 22-08-2011, 11:21   #9
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I'd love to see photos of double line slab/jiffy reefing run back to the cockpit. It's on my list...
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Old 22-08-2011, 11:40   #10
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

There is no one best system. All depends on what size the boat is, how she is sailed and what the skills / abilities of the crew are.

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Old 22-08-2011, 12:14   #11
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

The one that works when you've left it too late.
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Old 22-08-2011, 13:15   #12
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

I think it all depends on the boat size, conditions sailed in as well as one's own philosophy.

I like Jiffy reefing on smaller boats.

What I don't really like is having a reefing line at the clew lead to the cockpit, but having the tac be manual at the most. If you have to leave the cockpit and go the mast anyways, why lead the other reef back to the cockpit?

I think my favorite system would be a battenless sail used with a sail bag and lazy jack with both front and back reefing lines leading to the cockpit.
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Old 22-08-2011, 13:17   #13
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

I have one double line slab "jiffy" reef and three single line reefs -- I just can't have enough gears . I started with three double line slab reefs, and then added a down haul and then rigged the single line reefs and one more set of reef points. Upwind anything will work. Off the wind putting in a reef we need to haul the sail down the mast and shaking out a reef we need to control the twist so the battens don't foul the stays. I can do that by myself with a two line system but I need three winches and it's fiddly. The single line system helps a lot. Friction is an issue and I'm still working on that.

Tom.
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Old 22-08-2011, 14:08   #14
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Yes Banakiel, indeed the boat, the crew and the sail configurations play a role but that is not the question, the question is about a reefing configuration that will
reef a sail quickly and effortlessly in winds in access of 30-40 knots!
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Old 22-08-2011, 14:27   #15
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Re: What Mainsail Reefing Equipment Is the Best ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
I think it all depends on the boat size, conditions sailed in as well as one's own philosophy.

I like Jiffy reefing on smaller boats.

What I don't really like is having a reefing line at the clew lead to the cockpit, but having the tac be manual at the most. If you have to leave the cockpit and go the mast anyways, why lead the other reef back to the cockpit?

I think my favorite system would be a battenless sail used with a sail bag and lazy jack with both front and back reefing lines leading to the cockpit.
One reason that works is because you go up and set the luff prior to tightening the clew. When you return to the cockpit, then you can control mainsheet and clew etc.
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