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Old 11-04-2016, 09:40   #16
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

Never used the one, go straight to two and it's a big two- leaving very little main. Hank on fore sails.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:09   #17
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

We have a relatively tender boat(Pearson 34-II/11,800 disp.)and use the third reef most often--usually over 18-20knots. This allows us to carry more headsail for better pointing and drive when on the wind. When sailing off the wind, we'll use a double reef and perhaps 100% of our 135% genoa. On our boat, the ability to carry more headsail gives better boat control. We've never used the first reef. It is, in my opinion, a racer's reef. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:16   #18
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

Coastal sailing 1 & 2.

Offshore 2 & 3.

Offshore we rarely single reef. When it comes time to reef, especially if it is getting dark, we double reef.

We had a third mainsail reef on a previous boat and loved it. Our plan is to put in a third reef on our current boat, and then will be in the same boat as you.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:18   #19
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

I use the first set of reef points only. (on my 8 oz main)

It's a pretty easy decision since I only have one set of reef points at this time.....

I have done this in winds up to 30 knots coastal cruising where the waves are close and steep

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Old 11-04-2016, 10:28   #20
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
It would help a lot if you would describe your sailing conditions and area. Are you just sailing in SF bay? Coastal cruising down the Calif coast? Offshore?

Big differences in the conditions that you might encounter...

Jim
Important point.

We have our April to September first reef in for SF Bay. I've used the second reef twice in eighteen years. I run a 110 jib in the winter, an 85 in the summer. Mostly Bay sailing, with ocean, too.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:33   #21
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

I would observe that most of the times that I've wanted another reef when the second is already in, it's because the jib was too large. That's why I like my 82% so much. Like Stu's, it's installed all summer.

Why 82%? The sailmaker aimed for 83, but it came out closer to 82.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:35   #22
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Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

Thanks for sharing. I understand it all depends on the boat, the person, and the conditions. But I enjoy the reasoning behind everyone's choice.

I usually have the main all the way up or all the way down, because as four winds stated the Genoa does most of the pulling on the 323. And when the Genoa is properly furled and hove to without the main the boat will creep forward comfortably at a knot or less without attention (I understand in best practice the boat should drift down wind for a slick)

The main does help point higher and makes tacking easier but for a long downwind passage that won't matter much. But if/when fore reaching, I'd like to be more comfortable reefing the main.

I will be making my second attempt at a California to Hawaii crossing in May so I'm expecting many different conditions and so I'm looking at my setup.

Yesterday I removed the reef lines and tested a new setup. I've run a 3/8th line to the cockpit which is attached to the 2nd reef tack (a down haul of sorts). At the aft boom I have attached a line that will attach to the reef clews. So to put in the second reef I don't have to leave the cockpit, I just ease the main, attach clew line, tighten the halyard and the reef down haul. If I need another reef I go to the mast and shackle the down haul to a different reef tack and repeat the process from the cockpit.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:52   #23
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

One and two for most areas I would think. For most people the usage would be the most for #1 and the least for #3 .
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:47   #24
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

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theway, if you reef with jiffy reefing led aft, won't you still have to go to the mast to hook in the luff cringle?

My jiffy reeling is not led aft so is all done at the mast.
Have a double line reefing system led aft. The tack reefing lines are led to Stbd and easily pull down the tack and secure it to the mast. The clew reefing lines are led to port with a winch on the cabin top for snubbing the last few feet of the reef line and pulling the clew aft to flatten the sail. Reef in about a minute under the protection and comfort of the dodger while securely wedged in place. It's made reefing so easy that I'll reef at the earliest indication and shake it out immediately when it's not needed. Sometimes even reef just for the fun of it.

I don't think it's fun to have to go forward to handle a reef. Hanging on for dear life while pulling down the tack and securing it, cranking the luff tight and hauling in the clew reef line while the sail slats madly and the boom does its imitation of a grand mal seizure, the boat plunges and tries to throw me through the sail, while being doused with spray just doesn't seem to be excitement I need.

Have almost always reefed when it's necessary. Occasionally would reef when I knew it was snotty outside the marina and would most assuredly reef when actually under sail. Other than that, reef when the conditions dictate. Almost always go for the fastest sail combination which translates into faster passage times. Have never reduced sail at night or hoisted less sail than the conditions merit. Roller furling headsail and in cockpit reefing have made life a lot easier.
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:49   #25
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

Roverhi, your comments seem reasonable and should be taken to heart by the OP considering his plan to sail your area.

Here sailing in the Gulf with a good weather window the conditions and dynamics at the mast are not at all as you decribe. I'm usually offshore in 2-3 foot seas and almost never even taken water over the bow. Don't even have a dodger.

Not sure about the OP, but the reefing on mine pulls down the clew and a mid-foot cringle. The tack cringle has a short strap with two rings that get looped on a double hook at the gooseneck. The reef lines cleat to the boom near the mast end.

Maybe the OP should consider a setup such as your for his use.

For what it's worth, and despite my procedures, my passage times average within less than a knot of hull speed now that I have a new bottom. Last time out bumping hull speed on the plotter for hours with wind and swell on the beam. At one point in the early AM I went below to sit down and rest for a minute. Closed my eyes and dropped my chin down, and a moment later was almost startled at the lack of motion in the boat. Driving well, near seven knots with no roll and almost no pitching running parallel to the swell. Amazing feeling, I made a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
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Old 11-04-2016, 13:04   #26
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

I normally leave the main on reef position one. The boat sails flatter guests are happier etc. If the wind is light I'll take out the reef on the way back to marina. If the wind gets heavy its easier to get the second reef in and the staysail up for 20 knots or better.
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Old 11-04-2016, 13:18   #27
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pirate Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

Long legs 2nd and 3rd..
coastal playday.. whatever suits the weather..
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Old 11-04-2016, 15:19   #28
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

Main is critical to a balanced sails plan, and upwind, but adds little to speed, yet much to heeling.

After reefing, motion is better, stress lower, speed equal.

I spoke to people from Elvstrom and Banks:
Modern boats have flatter/faster sails than in the past, so the need for a mild 1st reef, to flatten the sail, is not in need.

Now 1st reef is important (>11% reduction) and 2nd reef must be good up to say 40kn (my guess) or whatever you set as a sailing scenario.

Beyond that, sailing is questionable, and downwind a staysail is enough!
Any 3rd reef would mean more costs, more weight, more stress on the upper sail portion (the one most efficient in light airs)...

All in all, 2 is enough, 3 is (almost) too much.

Btw, true racers hardly reef, they release the traveller to deflate the push.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:53   #29
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

Four Winds, I am not sure what you mean by "runs through a mid point cringle". Reefing lines should run through the tack cringle and the clew cringle, but definitly not through the small grommets that are for tying in the loose sail when reefed. The points between the tack and clew are not designed to take any load, only for neatness. Many people dont tie them in at all. Maybe this is just semantics that I didnt understand. ____Grant.
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:00   #30
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Re: Which mainsail reef do you use most often?

I wonder if someone could post a photo of their cockpit with all three reefs pulled in? The thought gives me nightmares about pouring tomato sauce in the cockpit and having a spaghetti dinner. ____Grant.
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