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Reefing Single handed

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Created by Trek 4 months ago, 19 Jun 2017
Trek
NSW, 567 posts
19 Jun 2017 7:49AM
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Ive found reefing single handed really awkward. Trying to lower main at same time as pulling on the reefs - difficult. Does anyone have a good technique, tricks or setup to make it easier?

Jethrow
NSW, 578 posts
19 Jun 2017 8:03AM
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I guess it depends on your system. Can you pull in the clew reef line letting the boom go up in the air then lock it off and look after the front end?

EC31
NSW, 233 posts
19 Jun 2017 8:31AM
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Yep, depends on the system. I use a single line for each reef.
I pull the boom topping lift up to the reef cringle, release the mainsail till the front drops to near the horn's, then pull in the reef line and release the topping lift. If we are racing, we pull the pin on the mast slugs and drop them out and attach the front cringle to the horn, but don't if we are cruising.
All our lines run to the coach top in front of the hatch.

Ramona
NSW, 3818 posts
19 Jun 2017 8:50AM
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It pays to have your boat set up correctly with all lines to the cockpit.

With the boat close hauled or close reaching and being steered with the windvane or my butt I ease out the mainsheet, tighten the topping lift. Let the main halyard down to a preset mark on the halyard [whipping]. Haul in the tack reefing line then the clew reefing line. Haul the mainsheet back in and adjust the halyard tension or the tack reefing line to set the correct luff tension. The yachts heading falls away slightly while the main is eased but returns when the main is hauled back in. If your in a confined space like Sydney harbour try to reef on a starboard tack.
It takes about half the time to do as this took to type. Second and third reefs are just the same.

Ringle
NSW, 91 posts
19 Jun 2017 1:18PM
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Select to expand quote
Ramona said..
It pays to have your boat set up correctly with all lines to the cockpit.

With the boat close hauled or close reaching and being steered with the windvane or my butt I ease out the mainsheet, tighten the topping lift. Let the main halyard down to a preset mark on the halyard [whipping]. Haul in the tack reefing line then the clew reefing line. Haul the mainsheet back in and adjust the halyard tension or the tack reefing line to set the correct luff tension. The yachts heading falls away slightly while the main is eased but returns when the main is hauled back in. If your in a confined space like Sydney harbour try to reef on a starboard tack.
It takes about half the time to do as this took to type. Second and third reefs are just the same.


I decided to set up mine quite differently.

ie I've put all halyard winches on the mast and reef lines go to winch on boom near the gooseneck obliging me to reef at the mast. The positives are: Less friction with halyard and aft reef lines., clear deck (I have no lines going aft and no turning blocks at base of mast.) and I can do it by myself. I figure that I have to jump up to tie gussets on excess reefed sail anyway.

Ramona's setup may well end up being my next step but I've always liked having winches on the mast and a clear cabintop.

Sectorsteve
NSW, 1930 posts
19 Jun 2017 1:38PM
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ive only ever reefed single handed except once in a race. I set my reefing up similar to the race boat.
bull horn on the mains tack. a line going through the first reef cringle only.
My methos is : head up a bit, topping lift on, release main halyard, secure the clew, go forward pull the tack onto the bull horn. back to cockpit, tighten halyard. Done. Takes no time.

Ramona
NSW, 3818 posts
19 Jun 2017 6:06PM
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Ringle said..

Ramona said..
It pays to have your boat set up correctly with all lines to the cockpit.

With the boat close hauled or close reaching and being steered with the windvane or my butt I ease out the mainsheet, tighten the topping lift. Let the main halyard down to a preset mark on the halyard [whipping]. Haul in the tack reefing line then the clew reefing line. Haul the mainsheet back in and adjust the halyard tension or the tack reefing line to set the correct luff tension. The yachts heading falls away slightly while the main is eased but returns when the main is hauled back in. If your in a confined space like Sydney harbour try to reef on a starboard tack.
It takes about half the time to do as this took to type. Second and third reefs are just the same.



I decided to set up mine quite differently.

ie I've put all halyard winches on the mast and reef lines go to winch on boom near the gooseneck obliging me to reef at the mast. The positives are: Less friction with halyard and aft reef lines., clear deck (I have no lines going aft and no turning blocks at base of mast.) and I can do it by myself. I figure that I have to jump up to tie gussets on excess reefed sail anyway.

Ramona's setup may well end up being my next step but I've always liked having winches on the mast and a clear cabintop.


Mount the mainsail halyard winch and the reefing winch on the starboard side and reef when your on a starboard tack. Your standing at the mast and will have a reasonable view but it's best to have right of way while your a long way from the steering.

woko
116 posts
19 Jun 2017 6:15PM
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Trek said..
Ive found reefing single handed really awkward. Trying to lower main at same time as pulling on the reefs - difficult. Does anyone have a good technique, tricks or setup to make it easier?

Think I just gave my blab on the other reefing topic. Whoops. Anyway marking the halyards at the appropriate place for the reef saves a lot of guess work

Chris 249
ACT, 1194 posts
19 Jun 2017 10:26PM
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I do what Ramona does, but we have a solid vang with spring loading to support the boom so no topping lift is needed. Reefing a 36'er takes probably less than a minute from whoa to go, single handed, and that's a 47 foot luff if I recall correctly.

Trek
NSW, 567 posts
20 Jun 2017 6:42AM
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Thanks all. Sailing day later this week I will give it a shot. Pulling the boom up with topping lift is something I didn't try.

Ramona
NSW, 3818 posts
20 Jun 2017 8:43AM
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Select to expand quote
Chris 249 said..
I do what Ramona does, but we have a solid vang with spring loading to support the boom so no topping lift is needed. Reefing a 36'er takes probably less than a minute from whoa to go, single handed, and that's a 47 foot luff if I recall correctly.


I have a solid vang under construction at the moment using a section of a snow ski. I will keep the topping lift as it's a spare halyard. I have to admit to dropping in a reef with out hauling in the topping lift and that creates an awkward moment. The solid vang would help in that situation.

Bruski068
VIC, 433 posts
20 Jun 2017 1:29PM
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You might check out the youtube video on single line reefing systems,:


Trek
NSW, 567 posts
20 Jun 2017 3:51PM
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Hmmm, looks like putting in a bit of effort to make up single line reefing system would be worthwhile. That looks much easier for single handed.



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"Reefing Single handed" started by Trek