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Old 16-10-2008, 19:52   #1
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reefing hardware

im looking at putting in a reefing horn and reefing lines on my mainsail.
confused on one thing though is where the best place to put the horn. ive been told that it must go on the boom beside the gooseneck and others have said that it must go on the mast. can someone please clarify this for me. thanks
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Old 16-10-2008, 21:47   #2
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Generally reefing horns are installed on the boom, on either side of the position where the tack of the sail attaches. Anyone who says they must ALWAYS go on the mast does not know of which they speak, and you can safely discount their knowledge of the issue..

I would suggest the best bet is to look at other boats like yours and see how and where they attach. The position of the tack reef cringle on the sail will have an influence on the exact position, since it was manufactured with a specific geometry in mind. There are lots of Catalina 27's around, and they might even have an owners group you can contact for assistance.
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Old 17-10-2008, 00:06   #3
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With respect to GreatKetch, may I mention that some horns are on the 'mast side' of the gooseneck fitting itself, so maybe that was what they were talking about. Maybe just a wording issue.

Putting them on the mast itself isn't usual and not something I'd do, so I agree with GK.

On the gooseneck itself or the boom, not the mast.
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Old 17-10-2008, 02:50   #4
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As GreatKetch & Gmac have opined, and according to Rigg-Rite:
Reef Hooks

“Reef Hooks are used to hold down the "new" Tack (at the reef point) when jiffy reefing the Mainsail. Simple and Rams' Horn Reef Hooks are attached to the Boom, as near the Tack attachment as possible, and are either screwed to the Boom or are attached to the horizontal Gooseneck Pin...”
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Old 17-10-2008, 08:20   #5
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Or you could consider changing to a single line reefing system and doing away with the need for reefing horns.
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Old 17-10-2008, 08:25   #6
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not sure about the single line reefing systems have heard lots of negativity about them including jamming up friction issues etc... anyone using a single line reefing system pros cons ???
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Old 17-10-2008, 10:02   #7
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not sure about the single line reefing systems have heard lots of negativity about them including jamming up friction issues etc... anyone using a single line reefing system pros cons ???
That makes 2 of us curious about single line reefing. On my mono I had my first reef from the cockpit, and I loved it. The second reef was from the mast though.

Any experience outthere?
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Old 17-10-2008, 10:36   #8
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I hooked up single line reefing on my last 2 boats and have decided to forego it on my current boat as:

1. The number of blocks required creates a total mess for anything more than a single reef. If your reefing line exit box is on the bottom of the boom you will need, for each reef:
- a pivoting block near the base of the mast to redirect the reefing line up to the tack for the reef;
- another pivoting block, again near the base of the mast, to redirect the reefing line that is coming back down from the reefing clew;
- in all likelihood, a turning block to then redirect the line again towards the winch;
- a line clutch between the turning block and the winch.

If you have 3 reefs you will need 6 additional blocks at the base of the mast and 3 open turning blocks and 3 clutches. This creates a mess, as aforeaid (and a great deal of friction), but it also creates the following two additional problems:

1. The two blocks at the base of the mast for any reef that is not in use will, of necessity, have a loose reefing line - this will result in the blocks fall downing out of position, creating additional tangles.
2. Further, it is extremely difficult to keep the blocks at the base of the mast in perfect allignment with the exit box from the boom as it arcs. Unless they are in perfect alignment, the reefing line will alternately tighten and loosen to some degree as the boom is let out and pulled in. This is less than ideal for sail shape. Lets face it, the reefing line should be tight at the tack and clew to ensure that the sail is kept relatively flat for effectiveness in heavier winds.

In my opinion, single line reefing is wonderful in theory (and in practice if you have only one reef); beyond that it generally creates more problems than it solves.

One solution that I am pondering is installing a single line for the first (and most commonly used) reef, and then keeping the traditional horn for the remaining two reefs. On the other hand, since my 'Prout' type cutter rig steps the mast at the aft coachouse bulkhead (the front of the cockpit), I need not travel very far on deck to put in, or shake out a reef by traditional means.

Brad
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Old 17-10-2008, 18:28   #9
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I've set-up single line reefing for all my boats (except for my current, i've been lazy ) and love it. I single handed a lot so it's real easy and all done from the cockpit.

Not to sure what quite what way Sth Star did but it sounds a little different than mine. I must add I've only had the 1st reef set-up as single line, the others use the horns but then it's rear I put more then one reef in. If I need to add reefs the weather is real crap and someone is awake or if I'm by myself the already less sail area makes it easy peasy.

Below is (courtesy of Harken) is pretty much the system I use. The differences are the line from the boom end runs inside my boom to a block on the gooseneck itself so the line length stays the same no matter where the boom is. The line out from the luff end leads down behind the horns and down to the block at the mast base that was the reefing one anyway. So I only have one extra block over what would be used in a manual system. I can see some boats needing another block to lead down where I used the horns instead though.

I have a mark on my halyard so I know how much to drop out. Wind comes up, I drop the main halyard to said mark, drop off the vang by a handfull, pull like a loony on the reef line until all is fine and then tweak the main back up. I can do it usually inside a minute comfortably unless I've left it a bit late and then I've sometimes had to winch a bit harder so it takes a few seconds longer.

It's all about clean lines. The straighter and cleaner (less things the line touches or goes around) the better it'll work. I also make a point of using good blocks as I've been on more than a few boats with not so good blocks which have heaps of drag and so on, that doesn't help.

I also use a special rope for my reefing lines themselves. Dyneema core with a polyester/vectran cover. No stretch, which can make the main look like a spinnaker after an hour or so. And the cover is highly heat and chafe resistant so no breaking at 4am. Over the years I've had a few reef lines break when in use, mostly from chafe (and never on my own boat) and all have happened in the early hours, I'm well over that so made the special line for me, just because I can and as guessed, it works incredibly well.

I'm a serious believer in being able to reef quickly and easily. You don't always get a big warning reefing time is due. On my current beast with 2 aboard I can get a reef in inside 30 seconds, if only one up, maybe 2 minutes tops. I have marks so know exactly how much to let out, pull in or whatever, it does make it a lot easier and quicker. Then again my current beast isn't a monster heavy cruiser so that helps but when I do remember one day she will go single line reefing as well.
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Old 21-10-2008, 01:20   #10
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Our syste,m is kind of dumb. We have a Selden mast and there is a triple sheave at the base of the mast. The outhaul and two reefing lines come from the boom to the base to the coach roof. That part is cool.

The dumb part is the reef lines only reef the clew end. The tack end still has to be put over the horn (which is on the boom - BTW). This means you still have to go to the foredeck to reef. I am definitely looking at making at least our first reef a single reef system. We have provision for a third reef (hence the third sheave) but it's not rigged.
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Old 21-10-2008, 05:42   #11
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Excal, same system on mine, which is why the reefing line must be led down from the boom to a block at the base of the mast, then up to the reefing clew and back down to another block at the base of the mast for each reef. The system displayed by GMac (courtesy Harken) eliminates the internal reefing lines and would work for only 2 reefs (one for each side of the boom); further, it would still be subject to differences in tension as the boom swings.

Brad
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Old 21-10-2008, 12:12   #12
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S Star, you can tweak that Harken system a fair bit just like I have. My lines run through the end fitting of the boom (not a block on the side as shown) so are internal. I also have the block fitted to the boom just by the gooseneck (not on the mast as shown) which stops that differences in tension depending on which tack you are on.

Works well but as I mentioned I only have the 1st reef set-up like that. It's unusual if I use 2 reefs but I could set up the 2nd just the same if I wanted, on my current beast at least.
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Old 21-10-2008, 13:13   #13
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GMac, exit sheaves/blocks at the top of the gooeseneck end of the boom would indeed eliminate the differences in reefing line tension, so long as the blocks at the base of the mast pivot in line with the boom (after the reefing line is led up through the reefing cringle, it must of course be led back down to a block at the base of the mast and therefrom off to your line clutches/cleat and winch). So too with a system with external blocks mounted towards the end of the boom.

I have seen some booms factory fitted with internal single line reefing, as you describe, but think it would be very difficult to retrofit most booms with exit sheaves/blocks at the top of the gooseneck end of the boom. Otherwise, surely you will be complelled to mount both sets of blocks (for the tack and clew) on the exterior of the boom itself.

One of the difficulties associated with mounting blocks towards the front (gooseneck) end of the boom is that the reefing line will typcially have to be led both up and forward to the reefing cringle - this will provide no forward pull on the tack, which will then tend to fall back further than it does on a fixed horn when the reefing line is tensioned. This is less than ideal for the shape of the sail.

Yes, the attachment at the clew will pull back as the single reefing line is tensioned (flattening the sail), but unfortunately it will also tend to pull the tack away from the mast, distorting sail shape. The only way that I can see to compensate would be by having the tacks for the reefs installed further back from the luff of the sail.

In any case, it strikes me that you are effectively limited to 2 reefs (my new main has 3 and eliminates the need for a storm trysail); further, you will suffer some significant chafe as the reefing line comes back down from the clew for the reef, over the boom and to the pivoting block beneath the boom at the base of the mast.

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Old 21-10-2008, 22:15   #14
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so long as the blocks at the base of the mast pivot in line with the boom
I don't know about that really. It would if you have a short distance between the gooseneck and the blocks but otherwise the difference in tension would be minimal to the point of almost irrelevant I'd think. I do know what you mean but don't think it's a biggie in the big scheme of things especially as when you are reefed it's windy so a mm or 3 either way on your reeflines isn't going to matter.

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I have seen some booms factory fitted with internal single line reefing, as you describe, but think it would be very difficult to retrofit most booms with exit sheaves/blocks at the top of the gooseneck end of the boom. Otherwise, surely you will be complelled to mount both sets of blocks (for the tack and clew) on the exterior of the boom itself.
Yes some of the newer booms would be tricky but many, almost 'most' could be retro fitted. On my latest boat the exit block has been incorporated into the gooseneck fitting itself so that's good. It is a retro fitted thing by the looks of it, certianly not ex-factory or production at least.

Quote:
One of the difficulties associated with mounting blocks towards the front (gooseneck) end of the boom is that the reefing line will typcially have to be led both up and forward to the reefing cringle - this will provide no forward pull on the tack, which will then tend to fall back further than it does on a fixed horn when the reefing line is tensioned. This is less than ideal for the shape of the sail.
Yes it is all about angles and pressure. I position the blocks as far forward as I can and have been lucky so far it has been enough. On some this wouldn't be far enough, I agree.

Quote:
Yes, the attachment at the clew will pull back as the single reefing line is tensioned (flattening the sail), but unfortunately it will also tend to pull the tack away from the mast, distorting sail shape. The only way that I can see to compensate would be by having the tacks for the reefs installed further back from the luff of the sail.
Or use a stretch free rope like a dyneema/specta as I do.

Quote:
In any case, it strikes me that you are effectively limited to 2 reefs (my new main has 3 and eliminates the need for a storm trysail); further, you will suffer some significant chafe as the reefing line comes back down from the clew for the reef, over the boom and to the pivoting block beneath the boom at the base of the mast.
Correct on the 2 reefs. If you did customise you could go 3 but it would be tricky otherwise. I only use it for my 1st reef and the rest if required use the horns.

Chafe shouldn't be an issue if you have them leading real well or use a chafe proof rope, as I do. See my post above where I describe it. It works very very well and after 48 hours (guessing a bit) of use on my new boat the current line looks brand new, zero signs of any wear at all.
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Old 22-10-2008, 01:34   #15
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So how strong does this stuff need to be for a 26 foot boat? I am think I can terminate at the luff end cringle, take the line to a turning block at the boom. Aft to a turning block up through the leech end cringle and then down through the normal boom end sheave forward.

I would have to add 2 turning blocks. There will be some resistance at the leech end cringle but I have a small winch on the coach roof that would overcome anything like that.

The forward end block I might mount on the starboard side horn fitting. The aft end will need to be drilled and mounted on the boom cheek.

I am most interested in the size of the hardware to hold the turning block to the boom.
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