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Old 02-10-2011, 12:07   #1
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When Do You Reef ?

I am a lazy sailor.

I don't like all this running around and pulling of lines unless I have to.

One of the reasons we chose our boat (Oyster 45) is because she will take gusts and up to about 25 knts of wind (close hauled) before I really need to reef.

I have been on boats that when someone sneezes the skipper is thinking of putting reefs in.

I know we are all different but what boat do you have and what would be the wind speed before you would put a reef in?
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:10   #2
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Re: When do you reef?

There is no sin in reefing early. When reefing I take both wind and sea conditions into account.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:15   #3
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Re: When do you reef?

I usually reef when the winds exceed 20 kts or if the winds are greater than 15 kts near dark. The last thing I want to do is start reefing sails when the wind pipes up in the dark.
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Old 02-10-2011, 13:08   #4
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Re: When do you reef?

I reef when I get nervous! Sometines this comes and goes every 15 minutes and I may have reefed and taken it back out 4 times in an hour.

I don't currently have a wind instrument so if the boat starts hiting 7 knots or the rudder starts being 10 degrees that reef is going it.

And these are pretty coservative as I find that at either of those the reef doesn't slow me down, just makes us sit up and we are happier.
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Old 02-10-2011, 13:13   #5
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Re: When do you reef?

15 to 20 kts. I'll usually drop the main and do hull speed under jib and jtgger.
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Old 02-10-2011, 13:32   #6
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Re: When do you reef?

EARLY
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Old 02-10-2011, 13:34   #7
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Re: When do you reef?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jentine View Post
I usually reef when the winds exceed 20 kts or if the winds are greater than 15 kts near dark. The last thing I want to do is start reefing sails when the wind pipes up in the dark.
Same here. Especially on a multihull. I now sail 'by the numbers' as one of the few rigidly self enforced rules. Reefing after I'm scared is not my preference.
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Old 02-10-2011, 14:24   #8
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Re: When do you reef?

As a part of my job, I am sailing with different boats, both mono and multis. To me , it's senseless to say "you have to reef at this wind speed, or this". Every boat behaves differently. For monos, most of the cruising boats have 130-135% genoa, rather short and light keels and tend to heel excessively as the apparent wind reaches around 20 kts. Not only the ride becomes uncomfortable, because of the heel angle, half of the rudder came out of water and you start loosing the control of the boat. I start by furling the genoa and ease a bit the main traveller. Next step is to reef the main; this goes on until you can fully control the boat. Typically fo a cruising mono, up to 30-32 kts, half furled genoa + 1 reef on the main is OK.
For a catamaran, again for a heavy charter boats with conservative sail area, you can usually go up to 22-25 kts apparent easily. The cats have a genoa much smaller than the main, so I start with a main. If a second reef is needed on the main, then, I start furling the genoa as well. This is around 30 kts.
All this, is of course subject to change according to sea state, the crew on board, visibility, etc..
I assume everyone with some experience, knows more or less how their boats behaves in rough conditions. So, if you feel comfortable with yr Oyster up to 25 kts, you don't reef.. For less experienced people or someone on the boat that he/she doesn't know well, I'd put the reef even at 15-17 kts.

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Old 02-10-2011, 14:34   #9
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Re: When do you reef?

On my mono I would reef when the boat was consistantly staying above 15* in her heel. On my cat it is a matter of intuition from learning to read the water on my mono, and the feel of the boat......i2f
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:24   #10
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Re: When do you reef?

Reef early reef often, I have never had a knockdown using this philosophy.
You might have a heavy stiff boat and think waiting until over 25 is ok, but the strain on your standing rigging and wear and tear is never worth the attitude. If I were looked at a boat and someone said oh, so and so never reefs early I would want compensation to replace the standing rigging in the deal.
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:36   #11
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Re: When do you reef?

a easy remedy......buy a stingk boat,no more reeftng just rolling
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Old 02-10-2011, 15:53   #12
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We put a reef in when I am on watch. We lose a little speed, but I feel more comfortable if conditions change suddenly. My husband seems to get better rest. It is all about what is comfortable for u.
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Old 02-10-2011, 16:19   #13
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

Not reefing until you have to is hard work, harder than you need. It's also much more dangerous for you and for your crew and for your boat than reefing early. As many of the above note, the right conditions for reefing vary from boat to boat. And one other point of note: many, perhaps most, boats sail faster, are easier to steer and are much more comfortable for all with a reef in in a blow than with too much sail up.
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Old 02-10-2011, 16:44   #14
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

when we have +20 degrees of heel or +8 degrees of rudder angle.
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Old 02-10-2011, 16:53   #15
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Re: When Do You Reef ?

i reef jib when it smells right. i reef mizzen at dock prior to leaving and i leave main down unless i have really ballsy crew with muscles. there is no reason to try to kill boat....
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