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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:46 pm 
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I read with interest in a post by JaimeZx regarding reefing his main

http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=1479

"Since I didn't have an extra line, I used some bungees to hold the boom up to the reefing grommets."

and I promised to get back with some tips and reasons to reef the main. Then I began to wonder which boats have cringles and which don't. Does the 16 still have them? Then I looked for a primer or something on reefing in the sailing manuals and I couldn't find anything there either. The only information I have on reefing is from my monohull sailing manuals.

So, looking for any corrections and tips from guys like Brad or the Matts I present : REEFING FOR SPEED- how to and why.

Reefing is obviously a way to de-power your boat. "Why would crazy people like Hobie sailors want to de-power their personal pocket rockets?" you may ask.
The answer is simple. Read Jaime's post. When you are simply over-powered by the wind, you need less sail area. My better half and I often placed well or even won races in extremely windy conditions just because we either:
a) didn't dump the boat or
b) kept the boat flatter, longer or a combination of these two things.

It is also a good thing to do if you have someone like, say your mom or dad or little kids on board who really just want to have fun without pitchpoling, flipping, or hull flying. :wink:

The proper way to reef is to lower the head of the sail down the mast and flake the foot of the sail onto the boom where you can neatly tie the sail onto the boom using line laced through the grommets (called "cringles" on a sail I believe). It does not affect your performance to "permanently" tie in pieces of rope that are long enough to tie together with a square knot under the boom and held in place at the cringle with a knot on each side of the sail. On the old wire halyard there used to be a bead on the halyard for a fully raised sail and one further down for a reefed main. I suppose that you would have to just drop the head of the sail down an appropriate distance and secure the halyard tightly. I don't know. But my point is that you don't bring the boom UP to the grommets, you bring the grommets down to the boom.

This is is where the experts come in.... you're on guys and girls 8) what say you?

At the first sign of storm, we sail, reefed.... :lol:

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 Post subject: Reefing?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:21 pm 
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Reefing?

Very seldom have I even reefed a 16, but on big boats it is a very common practice. At certain wind levels a full sail is actually slower. It spends a lot of time flogging and luffing to avoid capsizing and that is not powerful. Past a certain heeling angle, you would "put in another reef". On a monohull that can be 2-3 or more reefing points in a main. A reefed sail can make a high wind day a pleasure! I used to do a ton of windsurfing and you HAD to have a quiver of sails for all the different wind levels. Same thing. A big sail is near impossible as the wind increases. Of course, a small sail is a bummer if the wind decreases, so you have to make a decision. On a 16, if it is over 20, a reef would be nice.

But, we don't have reef points in the sails any longer. Due to the Comptip mostly... and the lack of real need. You couldn't really do it on the water very easily anyway.

Those reef points were large grommets reinforced with sail patches at the luff and clew. Another 3 between were smaller and less reinforced. You would lower the halyard to the second ball stop setting. This placed the forward reefing grommet at about a normal boom level. You would tie off to the boom and gooseneck with some 3/16 or 1/4 inch line tight. Then tie off the aft one around the boom. Re run the outhaul to the reefing point and tension. The other three grommets were just to hold the sail along the boom "flaked". You had to tie these loosely as they were not intended to take load.

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Last edited by mmiller on Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:39 pm 
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Location: West Texas
Yup! That's pretty much what I did. Except for I used bungees for want of rope. :oops:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:06 am 
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You put it so much more clearly. That is why they pay you the big bucks 8) I nominate you for King of the Forum :)

To make one thing about reefing clear, I should add that reefing a sail under load, even on a big monohull, is typically NOT an option- at least not a good option. I had a method on my Catalina 25 , BUT is was VERY intense- usually because you were doing it under the worst of conditions- and it exacted a huge loss of time if you were racing. The proper way to reef for any situation - cruise or race- is to make the decision to reef BEFORE you head out. If you then decide that you don't need the reef you can shake it out. It is easy to shake out the reef under load and takes little time.

Now: would it be out of class to ADD reefing grommets to a sail and then could you use them while racing as we used to in the bad old days ? Also, how could this apply, not just to the 16 but other classes? I could see this as a viable thing on my 17 but I am not sure that the radial cut of the sail would be conducive to flaking or that the stress points would hold up.

Sail on sailors!

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The fact that this windy world is largely covered in water obviously means that man was meant to sail.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:14 am 
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I second that motion. :lol:
Todd


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 Post subject: Reefing legal?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:52 am 
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Reefing legal?

I can't imagine why reefing would be against any rules, but with the CompTips there is no strength to hold the head of the sail into the plastic track, when not held by the halyard lock. That is why we added metal track halfway down, on the 21 Sport cruiser (at the reef point where the head would be). Otherwise when sheeted, the head would just pull out of the track. If you tied the head in (around the mast)... that could work, but you would have to do that by flipping the boat over on its side.

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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