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Old 20-08-2014, 02:54   #1
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Quick, Stupid Question on Traditional Reefing

Hi there,

I was talking to one of the guys in the marina the other day about the setup at my mast/boom base. It's high on my list of things to tackle next, as I'm keen to get back out on the water. In my case everything is done at the mast, reefing/halyards/... I only have a winch on each side of the mast, none on the boom, so I was telling the guy I'd have to get some rope clutches on the boom for the reefing lines. He laughed and asked why, saying he just pulls the reefing lines taut and cleats them off on the boom.

So... Is it just me or does that sound overly simple and way too little tension for a reef...? The winches on the mast are in line with the boom, so I can use them to tension the reefing lines, but as mentioned, I'd need rope clutches to hold the reefing lines and the halyards so I can free up the winches for the different purposes.

Thoughts?
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Old 20-08-2014, 03:01   #2
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Re: Quick, stupid question on traditional reefing

Its going to be way cheaper and easier to put a small winch on the boom. A 6,8 or 10 would be fine. For your size bottom handle winches are best. Ideally one on each side is nice. Its hard to get the main flat enough by hand. It can be done, by topping up the boom and hauling the halyard tight last with the winch, but its slower.

The mast ones only line up when head to wind. You need to be able to reef downwind with the main eased as well.
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:21   #3
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Re: Quick, stupid question on traditional reefing

On a small boat a winch is a luxury. A cleat in the forward portion of the boom should do.

Drop, hook, pull the new claw in, cleat, tighten halyard, done.

It is easy to pull in the last inch, even in high winds, if you run the clew reefing line round the cleat once then pull it 90 degs to the boom then take up resulting slack.

b.
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:45   #4
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Re: Quick, Stupid Question on Traditional Reefing

i have found on my 41 with a 18 ft boom that reefing is just so easy with simpler stuff.. pull lines and secure to a cleat on boom. keep it simple.
doesnt have to have a lot of tension on the lines reeefing the sail. just tie it.
i havenever used a winch to reef a sail. never. isnt necessary
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:54   #5
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Re: Quick, Stupid Question on Traditional Reefing

^^ True, you can B and Zee, I did this on my 26 footer for years and on another 33 footer (and on my folks 45 footer before we got a few winches). But it is so much easier with a little winch for $150. You don't need to get your position just right, with the dinghy just where you want to be, and when reaching or running with a bellyful of wind it makes it very nice and easy. But try it without first before you go spending any money.
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Old 20-08-2014, 09:58   #6
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Re: Quick, Stupid Question on Traditional Reefing

That's what I hoped to hear!

We're doing a complete refit of the boat and all its systems and have been refitting away for a year and a half now. Keen to get on the water asa with what we have and figure out specifics like that as we figure uot we need them. If it can be done without an additional winch or ropeclutch, I'll try that before investing money (but more importantly, time) in extra gear .


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Old 12-09-2014, 03:22   #7
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Re: Quick, Stupid Question on Traditional Reefing

I've been getting used to the traditional slab reefing on my 45 Roberts ketch. I thought the horned cleat approach with a single speed small winch near the goosneck would have been too difficult to handle but it's not. I had a spare clutch that I was going to fit on the boom for the first reef but now won't bother.
For my wife and I the only think I'd like to do is take the main halyard back to inside the dodger because having someone pull down on the main while reefing down makes it a lot easier.
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