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Old 05-06-2024, 22:35   #16
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Re: Blocks at reef points

Looks like you got your answer but I agree with Foswick here, if there is enough tension to require blocks there's too much tension. In my own case, when I have been running before a sea and wind I don't want to round up into, I drop the main completely and run with the jib. I come around to a reach to take some strain off the main to get it down, and do it quick in case I might be getting broadsided by a wave. In my foolish youth I tried a block on a jib clew once, though I can't recall why. It nearly killed me. I was glad no one was around to see what a dumb idea that was. That said, a block out on the leech cringle probably won't hit anyone.
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Old 06-06-2024, 00:45   #17
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Re: Blocks at reef points

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Looks like you got your answer but I agree with Foswick here, if there is enough tension to require blocks there's too much tension. In my own case, when I have been running before a sea and wind I don't want to round up into, I drop the main completely and run with the jib. I come around to a reach to take some strain off the main to get it down, and do it quick in case I might be getting broadsided by a wave. In my foolish youth I tried a block on a jib clew once, though I can't recall why. It nearly killed me. I was glad no one was around to see what a dumb idea that was. That said, a block out on the leech cringle probably won't hit anyone.

You can't do this on a multi without increasing the loadings as the boat accelerates and it also puts you in the capsize danger zone.

Operating a fully battened mainsail with a large roach or square top is a far cry from a flexible triangular mainsail on a mono that can spill wind.

Reefing downwind from the leech is a safe and legitimate method that if done correctly does not put excess load on the sail but does require free running of reef lines. Reef blocks are small and light and as you say are not in a position to cause injury. At the same time they must be very strong, my own reef blocks are rated for SWL of 2500kg.


Yes, a block on the clew of a jib even a metal snap shackle is a bad idea.
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Old 06-06-2024, 07:15   #18
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Re: Blocks at reef points

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
In my foolish youth I tried a block on a jib clew once, though I can't recall why. It nearly killed me. I was glad no one was around to see what a dumb idea that was.

The usual reason is to create a self-tacking setup for the jib for sailing up a narrow channel with the wind on your nose. I put away the jib and sail on main only for that, but everyone has their methods.
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Old 06-06-2024, 07:52   #19
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Re: Blocks at reef points

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The usual reason is to create a self-tacking setup for the jib for sailing up a narrow channel with the wind on your nose. I put away the jib and sail on main only for that, but everyone has their methods.
Self tacking doesn't inherently require a block on the jib clew though. Particularly if it's not self tacking with a boom.
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Old 06-06-2024, 10:24   #20
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Re: Blocks at reef points

I have single line reefing and have a small block on the leach. Never had a problem. I installed the block because when you get down to the final turns on your winch, the reef line suffers a lot of friction going through the cringle. So much easier with a block and no downside, IMO.
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Old 10-06-2024, 07:08   #21
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Re: Blocks at reef points

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My reef lines go through a grommet on the sail them back to tie on the boom.

It seems a lot of friction when reefing with a lot of load.

Iím considering tying a small block attached to the grommets. Then the reef line would pull on the block instead of just the grommets.

Anyone here that has experience with this?
Not really.
You have more friction from the lines running through the boom sheeves.

If you have excessive fritcion it may be time for newer, less stiff reef lines.
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Old 10-06-2024, 08:13   #22
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Re: Blocks at reef points

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Originally Posted by Curtwpk View Post
My reef lines go through a grommet on the sail them back to tie on the boom.

It seems a lot of friction when reefing with a lot of load.

Iím considering tying a small block attached to the grommets. Then the reef line would pull on the block instead of just the grommets.

Anyone here that has experience with this?
Yes, I've done this with the single line reefing on a Catalina 36. The single line running through grommets worked, but it would bind making reefing difficult. I attached the fare leads to a round stainless ring through the reef points. It reduced friction and made single line reefing easier although not perfect. That said reefing could be completely done from the cockpit and it was a substantial improvement. You need to give some though on they size and type of block or fare leads used in each position. I worked with my sailmaker. Lighter is better, but need enough strength to do the job. I think low friction rings would be a good fit but the block fairleads I installed worked well with no visible chafe. Note that I still see the boat occasionally and after 2 owners they are still using the same system.
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Old 10-06-2024, 16:40   #23
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Re: Blocks at reef points

When slab reefing turn into the wind. Lower the sail to the reef poi t. Tighten the reef line . Tie off the loose sail below the reef point. Then tighten the halyard.

Dont reef the main while the sail is powered up.
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Old 10-06-2024, 17:52   #24
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Our boat has blocks at reef points

Our catamaran has Antal blocks for the 1-line reefing lines from new. For reef 1 and 2. For the 3rd reef there is a strap at the luff, and a kind of solid sheave at the leech.
The Antal reefing blocks at the leech have special flanges that integrate elegantly into the sail.

I like the blocks; we often sail reefed, and there is reduced wear on the reefing lines. It may be essential for a one-line reefing system.
I do not prefer the one-line reefing system, I prefer 2-line with 3 reefing lines (like the Catanas have) or straps at the front like our 3rd reef.
Reefing lines are 16 mm polyester, cheaper than 12mm dyneema and less wear due to greater diameter
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Old 10-06-2024, 19:29   #25
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Re: Blocks at reef points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtwpk View Post
My reef lines go through a grommet on the sail them back to tie on the boom.

It seems a lot of friction when reefing with a lot of load.

Iím considering tying a small block attached to the grommets. Then the reef line would pull on the block instead of just the grommets.

Anyone here that has experience with this?
Sounds like youíre describing the tail of your reefing line - does each reef line go to gooseneck & get winched there, or do they run all the way back to the cockpit? If itís the latter, Iíd look at everything in that run first.
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Old 10-06-2024, 23:32   #26
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Re: Blocks at reef points

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Originally Posted by jerryf609 View Post
When slab reefing turn into the wind. Lower the sail to the reef poi t. Tighten the reef line . Tie off the loose sail below the reef point. Then tighten the halyard.

Dont reef the main while the sail is powered up.

Now try reefing downwind. The OP has a cat and it is not always a good idea or even possible to turn into the wind to reef. In circumstances like this you can use a technique that involves reefing from the leech, that de-powers the main but relies on frictionless running of reefing lines through reef points hence the use of blocks..
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Old Yesterday, 01:39   #27
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Re: Blocks at reef points

Reefing downwind doesn’t need blocks - we have large low friction rings (Rutgerson QRS 45 https://www.rutgerson.se/product/quick-reef-solution/) at each leech reef clew. We have 10mm UHMWPE lines (original were 14mm double braid polyester) and they slide through no problems with chafe nor friction. If you have single line reefing you may need locks at the 180* turn at the luff though. We have 2-line reefing (separate luff and leech lines).

Reefing downwind requires special technique (two main methods that work equally well) and is necessary for catamarans and useful for monohulls, but I’m not sure that it can be done with single line reefing. Turning upwind from a reach or run to reef is a recipe for disaster and has caused deaths. Why risk you, your crew, or your boat when you can do it calmly running with the wind?
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Old Yesterday, 06:43   #28
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Re: Blocks at reef points

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It's really not advisable to turn upwind in a building breeze, with a sea state that's running maybe 10~12' to reef. For us this always seems to happen at O dark thirty when we're 1,000 miles offshore.

It can be difficult to do with boats that have heavily swept spreaders or multi's that have shrouds well aft but still it's a technique that should be developed.

Motoring upwind to reef is fraught with danger

So what's your solution?
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Old Yesterday, 07:18   #29
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Re: Blocks at reef points

I know a boat where special cheek blocks are built into the sail leech. Ugly, but little flogging and wear...
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