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Old 23-01-2010, 06:16   #1
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Unhappy Mainsail Reefing

As a novice, I find myself confused concerning the subject of reefing the main. Is there a method, when lowering the main for reefing, to prevent the slugs from spilling out of the gate? I hope this question makes sense.
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Old 23-01-2010, 06:52   #2
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Maybe practice reefing while at the dock on a calm day. Regarding the slugs falling out when reefing, the gate needs to be closed. If the gate is missing you'll need to buy or fabricate one.

It is better to practice this on a windlass day in the dock then on the water when the dogs are getting blown off the chain.
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Old 23-01-2010, 08:52   #3
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Some rigs are set up with a gate closure fabricated to screw or swing over and stop the slugs coming out.
If you've not got one an easy solution is to drill a small hole from one side of the mast extrusion into the side of the track just above you gate.
You can then push in one of those large R shaped spring pins and you'll prevent the slugs from dropping down the track.
You can even run a light loose cord from the spring clip to the gooseneck to stop you dropping it over the side when taking it out.
Cheers
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Old 23-01-2010, 09:52   #4
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Quote:
It is better to practice this on a windlass day in the dock then on the water when the dogs are getting blown off the chain.
If you do that you can also mark the halyard and lines. Sew a whip at the reef point so you know where it goes. Practice when you don't have to and know when to do it well before you have to. Adding reefs when you have none in a gale will teach you to do it early. Reefing late is almost always exceptionally dangerous.

If you use jiffy reefing. One trick to jiffy reefing it don't use stiff line. The really soft (cheaper) Dacron braid flows smoother even if it does not last as long. Running Staset-X would be a bad idea. Best stuff is the braid out of Canada. One brand is NovaTech. It really is super soft and usually cheap. Not halyard quality but great for jiffy reefing lines. It took about 140 feet for my boat run to clutches on the cabin top.
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Old 13-02-2010, 21:09   #5
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Another tip. learn to hove- too I find that reefing the main is much easier that way less motion etc. if hove too with the auto-pilot set even better. If you have pre marked your lines as suggested you merely drop halyard to that point and haul in your continuous jiffy reef line (tack and clew) all this from cockpit often under dogger. once that is good and tight I tie in mid reef lines (not around boom) I also add a light high tec. line at clew around boom and any end fitings I can find to unload jiffy reef line. The main danger is moving around to tie these last lines and that is why I do it in hove to state and on the up or windward side of things (boom). once you get this down it can even be done in a blow since hove too will realy steady things down. I single hand and found it easy to reef a J/44 this way I am now on a very tender and squrrely J/100 and it works almost as well. If you have a roller furling jib you may also want to pull some of it in before the hove too if wind is already up(do this down wind ) then flip into hove too. I would also suggest that you practice jibing your boat and learn to do it well without fear(you may need to tickle your gear a bit to get this right) a moderate breeze should not stop one from jibing. The faster your boat is going the easier the jib.I sometimes go to hove too from a down wind position after reefing some jib and hauling it in tight and throwing a snap jibe. The boat will round into wind somewhat slowed by backed jib and when it gets too where I want it haul in main and I hold to wind until speed drops to good hove too state then set helm or autopilot.
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Old 23-02-2010, 21:09   #6
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One of the reasons I spend time reading this forum is for the simple little tips like Paul's note about marking the reef point on the halyard. We don't have jiffy reefing but it still makes perfect sense.
Thanks.
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Old 23-02-2010, 23:24   #7
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chucktro

you need one of these!

West Marine: Sail Track Stops Product Display
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Old 25-02-2010, 10:39   #8
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Paul's tip is one I will take home today. Haven't done that yet on my beast. I knew those moderators were good for something!
BTW : Paul you have been a mod for a long time- are you going to the grey havens anytime soon? (see thread "welcome new moderators")
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Old 25-02-2010, 11:39   #9
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Paul you have been a mod for a long time- are you going to the grey havens anytime soon?
I've been doing on line Moderation since 1988. It's changed a bit.
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Old 26-02-2010, 09:53   #10
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Small grammar correction: Present tense, "heave-to", past tense, "hove-to".

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaving_to

Also, a video: http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-heave-sailing-243493/
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