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Old 02-09-2013, 19:43   #1
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Reefing - Getting The Tack Down

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.
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Old 02-09-2013, 19:50   #2
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

I'm typing to myself but ..

I think I found something that makes sense: Reef Lines and Downhaul

So for a 4:1 you dangle a small double block from the port side of the lower reef, and the starboard side of the upper reef (this works for two I suppose, not three). Have a matching double check block on the boom or double on the deck, and pull.
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Old 02-09-2013, 19:54   #3
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

Some of my boats had a line run thru the first two cringles to pull down. Others just a cringle and hook at the gooseneck. Too much pressure and you'll just damage something. Head up! and make sure your slides slide easy.... You dont really have to head up until things are totally flogging, take the pressure off gradually , then release the main sheet some.
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:02   #4
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

Maybe this will help. If done right, you will not have to leave the cockpit

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Old 02-09-2013, 20:04   #5
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

You have to let the sail luff to reef, it is nearly impossible otherwise. After the tack is hooked, try using your topping lift to lift the boom up to the clew, then pull the reefing line in tight. Then let the boom back down and sheet in the main. This is much easier than pulling the sail down to the boom.
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:04   #6
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Some of my boats had a line run thru the first two cringles to pull down. Others just a cringle and hook at the gooseneck. Too much pressure and you'll just damage something. Head up! and make sure your slides slide easy.... You dont really have to head up until things are totally flogging, take the pressure off gradually , then release the main sheet some.
I'm just remembering the one time I've been in a gale. It can get super hairy in stuff like that and the idea of increasing the apparent wind speed on the boat just seems murderous, let a lone intentionally loosening the preventer. I know plenty of guys with >400 square foot mains who use winches.
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:07   #7
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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.
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:10   #8
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Maybe this will help. If done right, you will not have to leave the cockpit

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The only lines back to the cockpit aside from jib sheets are the main and staysail sheets, everything else is at the mast which I'm fine with. I'm looking for a 4:1 purchase just on the luff cringle, I don't think there's any purchase on that diagram?
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:12   #9
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

I have 2:1 purchase on my reef tacks, which is very easy to accomplish (tack line dead ended on horns, up thru reef tack, and then back down), and gives me plenty of purchase. It's a large main (750sq ft) with swept back spreaders, so about the 'worst case' in terms of rig friction, and the 2:1 does the job. I have a winch I could use on these lines, but never had to (I do winch on the clew lines).
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:13   #10
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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 think that makes sense; I'm actually getting a new mainsail made up right now so I can tweak with it by adding stuff like that. The cars let me get the cringle around the horn, but it's just the friction that's a pain in the ass. Maybe I'm the only pussy on here that's afraid of going beam-on in a big wind.

I guess at that point rounding up starts to make sense because you're entering heave-to land, but downhauling that main can be a bastard.
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:13   #11
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'm typing to myself but ..

I think I found something that makes sense: Reef Lines and Downhaul

So for a 4:1 you dangle a small double block from the port side of the lower reef, and the starboard side of the upper reef (this works for two I suppose, not three). Have a matching double check block on the boom or double on the deck, and pull.
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Maybe this will help. If done right, you will not have to leave the cockpit

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Yeah I mean both of these are just examples of single line or jiffy reefing, which totally rules. We had it on "Little Gull" there are tons of examples online. It sure feels nice to know you can reduce sail from the cockpit. I think the main this is keeping the blocks off of the sail and on the boom, goosneck, and deck.
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:15   #12
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Originally Posted by Sailormantx View Post
You have to let the sail luff to reef, it is nearly impossible otherwise. After the tack is hooked, try using your topping lift to lift the boom up to the clew, then pull the reefing line in tight. Then let the boom back down and sheet in the main. This is much easier than pulling the sail down to the boom.

Totally true and easy to overlook. And all of this from a guys sailing a junk!
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:19   #13
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I have 2:1 purchase on my reef tacks, which is very easy to accomplish (tack line dead ended on horns, up thru reef tack, and then back down), and gives me plenty of purchase. It's a large main (750sq ft) with swept back spreaders, so about the 'worst case' in terms of rig friction, and the 2:1 does the job. I have a winch I could use on these lines, but never had to (I do winch on the clew lines).
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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Old 02-09-2013, 20:21   #14
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

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Yeah I mean both of these are just examples of single line or jiffy reefing, which totally rules. We had it on "Little Gull" there are tons of examples online. It sure feels nice to know you can reduce sail from the cockpit. I think the main this is keeping the blocks off of the sail and on the boom, goosneck, and deck.
Damn man I go on deck just to take a leak holding onto the spreaders, you know I'm going up there to reef!
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Old 02-09-2013, 20:22   #15
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Re: Reefing, Getting The Tack Down

This was the exact setup we had on "Little Gull." It ruled.

There were actually two reef points though, both single line.
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