Im a skiff sailor, I like to have my boat
doing jumps off waves. I like to fly so much sail the Cutter
Sark would be embarrassed.
Then I took my wife sailing....
It was a pleasant trip the first time out at sea, we discussed things like "are you trying to kill us" and "this is our last trip as you cant be trusted".
We are still married and my wife loves sailing, reefing allowed the transformation!!!!!!!!!
I had not reefed until that point, as reefing is for girls and men
or so I thought.....
It was blowing 20 gusting 22-25. I had full main and tried like a silly person to put the No. 1 up, now in hindsight that was stupid. I admit that now.
A conversation ensued, involving one party saying if this is what sailing is like we are selling the boat
. With this I removed the jib
. we wallowed around a bit with the main up until i said "honey i will reduce the sail to the smallest set we have and we can see if your happy with that, if not then we can sell the boat [read my BABY].
I promptly put two reefs
in and the number three jib
up. Within nano seconds the boat was standing up straight, a breeze to handle and best of all was actually hitting hull speed
rather effortlessly. We were punching into 2.5m seas off the entrance to Sydney
harbour and my wife started to enjoy herself, she even had a small go at steering
, she did get concerned when we needed to turn 180 and head
back in as this would involve going side on to these waves (some had a good bit of wash breaking on them) in our little 28 footer. But, when she saw the boat take them in her stride she was hooked! she was talking about it for weeks with all our boat friends!
Reefing help turn a STUPID STUPID RACER
into a much safer cruiser, it has allowed my wife to have her dream of cruising on our yacht as I dropped my selfish ways (im not saying the original poster is selfish, im saying I was), reefing also showed me that my boat is actually faster from A to B when I don't over power
it as it has less leeway and better wind
lead in angles.
So after all this I would ask, what is the benefit of holding that much sail up until the last minute (there could be a very valid reason)?
I hope you love your sailing as much as me and Jess do, and if there are ways that help enhance that enjoyment, (yours, your partners, crew etc) then I hope you find them all. Reefing may be one of them (might not also).
Fair winds (10-15kts)