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Old 02-09-2013, 20:27   #16
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

I'm on a roll. Scope this one out too.
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Old 02-09-2013, 21:36   #17
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I've been considering putting a winch on the mast to help in hauling down the main for reefing. Getting the luff cringle down in even moderate wind can be a super pain in the ass. And the idea of luffing is insane: you're already in a ton of wind, no doubt with a preventer rigged, racing along. Great time to pinch a little and have the boom get wobbly.

I ran across a thread on sailinganarchy with a guy talking about running a 4:1 block arrangement to downhaul the luff. I can visualize it and it makes sense, but how exactly is something like that rigged?

Seems weird to imagine two (or even three) reef cringles with 4:1 hardware just dangling from them. Also seems absurd that you'd manually thread that whole arrangement prior to reefing. Climbing up with mast steps? Seems insane.

Anyone seen this done that can describe it? I'd rather use some blocks and line than spend the cash on a self tailing winch if I can avoid it.
A four to one tackle with a hook on the sail end would work to haul the sail down one reef point at a time. You'd have to climb the mast far enough to reach each successive reef point as you reef. You could also rig permanent tack reef lines like in a double line reefing system, just stop them at the mast rather than running them back to the cockpit. That would give you a 2-1 purchase and has been all I've needed on my double line reefing system.

Think there may be a problem with your technique. I don't head up, just luff the main a little. The main comes down with little effort on the tack reefing lines. Trying to haul down the main with the sail filled will put a ton of side pressure on the sail slides and take a lot of force to pull them down. Ease the sheet, think you'll find you've cured your problem.

Nice thing about running a double line reefing system back to the cockpit is I can reef in a minute and then retrim the main all from the safety and comfort of the cockpit. The sail slatting and banging is cut to a minimum. You can do the same thing from the mast but it's a bit more exciting.

I wouldn't even think of trying to do a single line reefing system on a main the size of yours. The length of line you'd need to tail would be excessive and the frinction with all the bends and cringles would have you cranking on a winch forever. Took two of us to reef a 27' boat with single line reefing. One hauling on the reefing in the cockpit and the other shaking the sail to free up the reefing line and helping to tail it. Can't imagine the drill on a boat with 16' plus boom. Go double line, works a charm on my 16' boom main though does require more hardware.
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Old 02-09-2013, 21:48   #18
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Hey Eric, I have a piece of heavy duty sail tie material doubled over and stitched. There are heavy duty D rings (No dude not that kind of D ring) stitched into the sail tie material on either end. This whole rig lives in the tack reef point and is about 9 inched total, 4.5" on either side of the sail. The D rings hook into the reef hook that comes off of the boom. This allows us to not totally pull the mainsail down all the way, the cars just won't allow it. It also allows the load to be distributed to the two reef hooks on either side of the boom instead of unevenly on one side or the other.

I hope that all makes sense. Just think of the sail tie rig as an extender for your tack reef point. Hell I will draw you a little picture. Stay cool buddy.

I have the same setup, but I don't think you have to use both D rings if you're using the higher reef point. You don't have to take the first one off to put the second one in, but a good reefing system does not overstress the sail. Keep it simple. just use the D ring for the deepest reef you're going to use.

I have had to do it i a storm yet, but I was taught to depower the mainsail by angling it into the wind, not try to point the boat into the wind -- esp. if the wind is shifty. I do have to go to the mast to hook on the D ring, but I stand forward of the mast so shifty winds can't try to use the boom to chop me off at my knees. I don't use a preventer in high winds, but then, with swept-back spreaders, I don't ever run directly down wind, which is fine with me -- I hate that point of sail.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:07   #19
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

I find it easy to reef by sailing hard on the wind under the main and headsail and once the self steering is set ease main sheet out then reef the main the boat will keep sailing slowly forward and will be much steader.Also put a winch on your boom for the reefing line it will make the job a lot easier.If its hard work something is wrong.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:28   #20
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'll try it with a 2:1 and see where it goes then.

When you say "up thru reef tack and back down" do you:

a) run it through the starboard and exit down to port (or vice versa)
b) run it up starboard to clips on the cringles and back down
c) ? something else?

I'm imagining, starting at the horn:

stopperd at the horn -> up to the cringle -> back down -> block below the horn -> start pulling
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North told me to run the tack line up and down the same side of the sail, that way you can pull the tack lower. If you run it up one side of the sail and down the other side you are limited pulling it down by the cars/slugs. You can see in this photo, its pulled below the top of the mast car stack. North said that normally people put the reef lines alternating port and stb, but I have mine all on stb.

So, the line (spectra single braid here by the way to minimize friction) cow hitched around the reefing horn, runs up stb side of sail, thru a "D" shackle at the reef tack. [The D shackle is used rather than a ring because you can then easily disconnect the tack line from the sail (by unscrewing the shackle) when you want to take the sail off the boom. With a ring you have to pull the line out.] and then down to the cheek block on the mast - this is important because you need a 'forward pull' on the tack line - the line should be about 45 degree angle when all loaded up.

If you need/have more than 2:1, it would make me a little nervous about breaking something by accident. If you can't pull the 2:1, better to figure out how to unload the sail more and/or see if something is snagged.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:49   #21
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

It may also depend on what type of sail slides/track you have.I have external track with stainless slides.Full batten sail drops easily (almost like a junk sail does)once main sheet is eased,especially with a drop of Teflon lube on each one.Others with internal track/slides have a heck of a time getting sail to lower,with slides jamming easily.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:10   #22
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Originally Posted by highseas View Post
It may also depend on what type of sail slides/track you have.I have external track with stainless slides.Full batten sail drops easily (almost like a junk sail does)once main sheet is eased,especially with a drop of Teflon lube on each one.Others with internal track/slides have a heck of a time getting sail to lower,with slides jamming easily.

Maybe that's why I was surprised by the question. My sail drops like a stone. External slides and full battons. I did have trouble with it when I first got the boat, but that was because the halyard was too big for the internal blocks etc. Went down one size and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:31   #23
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

KISS , keep it simple Sam , Manual always works ! Lead the reef line to the end of the boom , luff and then cleat .
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:04   #24
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Maybe that's why I was surprised by the question. My sail drops like a stone. External slides and full battons. I did have trouble with it when I first got the boat, but that was because the halyard was too big for the internal blocks etc. Went down one size and haven't had a problem since.
No, I understand the question . . . . he's trying to reef on a deep reach/run (notice he mentions preventer's in the OP). The minute you let the halyard ease a little the whole sail plasters against the spreaders and stays (and yes that is true for full batten sails). And before you say he should turn up, realize a lot of us will have a prevented main and a poled out jib and we prefer to not have to undo all that to turn up. Also, the waves may be big by the time its to reef and he is doing it at the mast, which is easier reaching/downwind. And finally the apparent will obviously be stronger if you turn up.

I have ball bearing cars and full battens and if I luff the sail off the spreaders it will come down like a stone - unless I have been at sea for more than 5 days in which case the ball bearings may have filled up with dried salt and can sometimes hang up.

Our answer is a sequence: (1) give the 2:1 tack line a hard pull. That will usually get it down up to about 40kts (true). (2) Pull the boom a bit more toward the centerline and tighten up the clew reef lines as the halyard is eased (to pull the sail off the spreaders a bit more) - note that's a bit counter intuitive on a deep reach/run but it often does work, (3) let the boom back out and progressively/slowly turn up until just enough load is off the spreaders for it to come down.

As an aside . . . . if you did want to use/try a 4:1 (or more) purchase . . . . the way it is rigged on the superyachts is a single 4:1 attached to a mast base deck padeye, with about a 4' whip of the top block that it rolling hitched (or any of the other gripping hitches, or on some superyachts they use climbing ascender like hardware)) to the tack line (which will usually be 2:1 as I described above) coming down from the reef tack. That actually gives you 8:1. Depending on the 'throw' of the 4:1 tackle you have to move the rolling hitch every 6' or so. That one tackle can be used on any of the reefs (that have a tack line led). Using tackles like this was common on traditional boats (eg before winches) but is now a bit of a lost art.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:12   #25
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

Eric, in your post you mentioned the preventor. I hope you are easing it because it can create friction on your slides. I also go to the mast to reef. I built boom gallows on all three of my cruising boats and almost always dropped the boom into the gallows to reef. If reefing DDW, pulling the main in and then easing the halyard enough to drop the boom into the gallows was always easy, and it kept the battens further away from the spreaders. You mentioned that you are having a new main made. Ask your sailmaker about the type of slide you have now, and if that can be adding to your excess friction. I guess I am a bit anal about reefing, since if I thought I was going to reefed for more than an hour or 2, I always tied in the points and put a sail tie through the clew cringle. I dont like loose sail flopping around under the boom. Even on my 44 footer I never felt the need for a tackle to bring the main down. I did have a small winch on the boom for the clew lines. Another thought ! have you gone up and down your track to check for galling or general roughness? And do you have stainless slides on a stainless track. That would make them more likely to gall. On another note, a traditional boat like yours looks great with a boom gallows, and they are a real plus for cruising. I hope it all works out well for you._______Grant.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:27   #26
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

When going downwind, if the man is brought nearly to admidship, I am able to reef down by keeping the leech taught with the reef lines while pulling the luff down with lines run through organizers and swivel blocks to cringles at each reef point on the luff. The objective is to minimize wind filling the sail without causing the sail to fall onto the opposite side. A balancing act, but it works. May be tough on larger boats than mine though.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:48   #27
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

another possibility is to rig a long cunningham.

check this out: Harken
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