Mainsail single line reefing.

Rigging components, external fittings and Sails
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Finally
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:24 am
Location: Cairns

Mainsail single line reefing.

Post by Finally » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:41 pm

Most of my sailing experience has been with "slab" type reefing. Very effective when you have a crew to coordinate the process of mainsheet, halyard (at the mast) and reefing line (boom gooseneck end). With the right crew we could put a reef in in about 30 seconds.

I went for a sail on a monohull about a year ago (40' Hanse) and they had single line reefing. I hadn't experienced that setup before and thought it was very effective, especially for shorthanded sailing. But that was with a relatively small main compared to a full roach, full battened multihull main.

If you have halyard and reefing lines (and maybe the topping lift) directed to your cockpit area then a reef can be put in (and shaken out) without leaving the cockpit. If you still have to go to the mast to adjust your halyard, then the "traditional" slab type system would still be the way to go (IMO). There is the additional expense (compared to slab reefing) of setting up a single line system with more spaghetti in the cockpit, turning/foot blocks (or low friction rings), deck organisers etc but the biggest plus I see is safety in being able to control a reef from the relative safety of the cockpit.

As most of my intended sailing will be shorthanded, I am considering the use of the single line reefing ssytem. Anyone have this setup on thier cat? If so do you like / dislike the system? Pros or cons?

David

44c
Posts: 1146
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Re: Mainsail single line reefing.

Post by 44c » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:28 pm

Hi David. You're possibly better to talk to owners of production cat's. Quite a lot of them have single line reefing. Our friends have on a Seawind 1250. AFAIK it works well for them. They did break a block in the system on the trip to Vanuatu though. I think because they cranked it down too far.

FWIW, I have no real difficulties with slab reefing at the mast, single handed. You need an autopilot you can trust, but then it's easy.

teamROAM
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:03 pm
Location: Beaumaris, Tasmania

Re: Mainsail single line reefing.

Post by teamROAM » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:42 am

Hi David

What did you end up deciding?

I agree with 44C re the comment on the pilot. Thats the kicker to being able to do almost any maneuver with these boats single handed.

I vote standard slab reefing but I think single line at the mast would work well as a compromise and then once its down put static strops in at both the tack and clue as poor mans locks. We always use clue strops offshore now and its such a solid no wear set up. Removes another compression element from the boom too.

Working at the mast feels safe and you are right there if you have to duck out to the boom to sort out anything (which you nearly always have something to do). The flat mast step area our designs have is a great place to work from right near the center of pitch.

Getting to and from the cockpit in some conditions you have to be careful so by having everything at the mast you are minimizing this.

The dual cockpit that I see some boats doing and Bob Oram mentions on his re opened website has alot of merit I think. Next time....haha

Yet to meet a cruiser that is a fan of their in boom furling.

Regards
Mick

Finally
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:24 am
Location: Cairns

Re: Mainsail single line reefing.

Post by Finally » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:41 pm

teamROAM wrote: What did you end up deciding?
I haven't decided yet but I have made the exit boxes at the mast end of the boom to take either option. Having said that, I am leaning to the tried and trusted slab.

One thing I did bite the bullet on was to convert one of the primary winches to electric and will use this to hoist the main. If I do go the slab reef way, I will drop the halyard in the cockpit to pre-determined markings for each reef, go to the mast for the remaining operation (tack / clew / outhaul and attend to any problems), then back to the cockpit to retension the halyard. I like your idea of static strops - easy to do with the boom arrangements we have.

I have also already sprung for remote control of the autopilot (B&G Chartplotter with Simrad autopilot). So I can steer (while on autopilot) from anywhere on the boat. Particularly helpful when tacking as a press of a button on the remote tacks the boat through a user defined preset angle over a preset time - eg tack through 110 degrees over a period of 15 seconds. So I don't have to be at the helm to initiate the tack sequence. Well - that's the plan anyway.

David

teamROAM
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:03 pm
Location: Beaumaris, Tasmania

Re: Mainsail single line reefing.

Post by teamROAM » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:14 am

David

The Remote sounds awesome. Being able to tweak the pilot once you are mid reef from your work station will be really handy. I haven't go a remote yet but do wish for one now and then.

We sail in wind vane mode 90% of the time and auto tack and gybe. Works a treat.

Reefing wise I would really recommend having all the lines in one place. That was what I was hinting at re the side decks. You want to really minimize having to go back and forth. I think at the mast is good. Everything in one place and can see everything clearly. Short simple line runs.

We also have jack lines on the boom so we can clip off for any work on the cabin top.

Mick

44c
Posts: 1146
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Re: Mainsail single line reefing.

Post by 44c » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:01 pm

I agree with Mick about having all the lines in one place. Reefing downwind, I take up on the reefing line, then ease the halyard, take up on the reefing line, ease the halyard, etc etc. Just letting the halyard go to a predetermined point would be messy, with battens wrapped around shrouds etc.

Being able to reef downwind is a major safety benefit IMO.

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