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Old 09-09-2008, 10:05   #1
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Reefing tie downs

I am not sure what they are called, the lines that hang about 18'" long on either side of the sail, used to tie up a sail after a reef is put on. There are 4-5 of these on each of our reefs in a line.

In practice I find these difficult to tie up effectively in a blow. The length I think is too short, and it is hard to get them tight enough when any air is getting into the sailcloth being tied up.

I was going to just replace them with longer lines, but then I started to think there may be a better way. Perhaps a bit longer with an eye on one end for each?

So are there better ways to deal with this, so I can get the reefed portionof the sail tied up nicely, and still get the reefs shaken out easily if needed?

Chris
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:53   #2
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My sail has grommets at the reefing points, about 4 or 5 from luff to clew rather than sewn on lines. I just thread my sail ties through them, take it around the boom and cinch the bunt tight.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:03   #3
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I don't use reef ties. If the outhaul blows you loose not only the reefline but also tear the main. With lazy cradles you have already captured the main.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:38   #4
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Those lines are only to keep the sail from billowing out and becoming a nuisance. The lines should not take any strain, other than to contain the loose sail area, and the lines should not be around the boom but just around sail itself. Depending on the sail material and the boat, those lines could be totally superfluous. In any case they have nothing to do with the set of the unreefed portion of the sail.

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:47   #5
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I agree they are to keep the sail from billowing out, which is what I am trying to accomplish. But I am at a loss as to how you could use these and not wrap around the boom?? The lines all lead through the sail at a small grommet, so there are 18" or so on either side of the sail. How in the world would you tie them, unless I had some sort of cleat on the boom that lines up with each tie? I did not think that they had anything to do with sail shape of the still standing sail area.

The sail material is Dacron, standard cruising sail. It is a Westerly Fulmar, 32ft fractionally-rigged offshore-capable boat.


Chris

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Those lines are only to keep the sail from billowing out and becoming a nuisance. The lines should not take any strain, other than to contain the loose sail area, and the lines should not be around the boom but just around sail itself. Depending on the sail material and the boat, those lines could be totally superfluous. In any case they have nothing to do with the set of the unreefed portion of the sail.

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:55   #6
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If your sail has a boltrope run in an extruded track in the boom, you won't be able to do anything but run the lines around the boom. If the lines are not long enough to do that comfortably, you'll have to make up longer lines.

Most boats have slugs with the bolt rope proud of the boom. That type is no problem to run the reef lines between the bolt rope and the boom.

FWIW, those ropes have a specific name. Can't remember it but seem to recall it sounded kind of silly.

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Old 09-09-2008, 12:13   #7
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Yep, the sail is not loose-footed. So has anyone ever put a splice in the end of each to make it easier to tie these up? OR another idea which I am not thinnking of?

Chris
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:35   #8
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They're called reef points and you tie them together with a reef knot!

Don't use them. If the clew pennant breaks you'll end up with a shredded mainsail. If you're that fussed about the loose sailcloth flapping about, use elastic instead to keep it under control.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:03   #9
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FWIW, those ropes have a specific name. Can't remember it but seem to recall it sounded kind of silly.
Earing ??

earing - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:01   #10
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FWIW, those ropes have a specific name. Can't remember it but seem to recall it sounded kind of silly.

They are called reefing nettles.

Mine do not go around the boom, but I have a loose footed main.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:36   #11
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Nettles/Bunt Lines

Use bunt lines to secure the bunt of the sail while reefed. A good alternative is to sew a short lend of Velcro to the ends of a length of shock-cord. Thread them through the nettles and make a knot in the shock cord on either side to hold the lines in place. Once you've reefed, roll up the loose bunt of the sail and press the Velcro tabs together. This can be done under the boom or on a loose footed sail under the foot of the sail itself.

When you want to release the reef, simply loosen the boom end reef line and the tack reef and re-hoist the sail. It reall only takes a little strain on the Velcro tabs for them to release so you're not in danger of damaging, ripping the sail as you might be with tied bunt lines. It helps to apply a little 303 to the shock cord/velcro from tinme to time to prevent UV damage.

Cheers,

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Old 11-09-2008, 06:56   #12
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I have not sailed myself so maybe i should not offer advice but as i read this post velcro came to mind.

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Old 11-09-2008, 08:09   #13
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When we have a single or double reef in, there is quite alot of billowing in the reefed sailcloth. I wonder if part of it is that we don't have enough outhaul tension, and also because the mainsail shape is a bit blown out.

Am I correct about outhaul tension? What things can be done to make the reef better "Set". We have slab reefing.

Chris


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They're called reef points and you tie them together with a reef knot!

Don't use them. If the clew pennant breaks you'll end up with a shredded mainsail. If you're that fussed about the loose sailcloth flapping about, use elastic instead to keep it under control.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:12   #14
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A reef knot - wow, I was using a square knot, becuase that was the only knot in my limited repetoire that would work on such a short line.

Concerning the clew, I see how this could be a problem with a loose footed main, But ours is not. I know anything can break, but is this an issue on a non loose-footed main?

Chris

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Originally Posted by sestina View Post
They're called reef points and you tie them together with a reef knot!

Don't use them. If the clew pennant breaks you'll end up with a shredded mainsail. If you're that fussed about the loose sailcloth flapping about, use elastic instead to keep it under control.
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Old 11-09-2008, 14:12   #15
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On my last boat I did this: Us only one line tied near the aft (reefed) Clew position on the boom. Then rove up through the first reef cringle, down under the foot of the sail (or under the boom), up through next cringle etc. until it ends up at the gooseneck. After you have reefed you can secure all that extra sail to the boom without having to stand unsafely along the boom and tie separate ones. Just go up to the gooseneck and pull hard! Then tie it off. It was really handy. I dont usually worry about it on a short term reef, but if it's going to be reefed for a while it's much more tidy with less flapping and better visibility... Use slippery line for when you unreef. I think mine was 1/4 black nylon.
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