Re: Reefing procedure


I'll add a couple of my own thoughts to Ian's excellent comments.  Some might be obvious, but it never hurts to be explicit...

Roll and unroll the sail while it is luffing.

Whenever possible (I really want to say "always") roll and unroll the sail while you are headed far enough up into the wind that the sail is not being dragged tightly across the edge of the gap in the mast.

On any in-mast furler, if the boom rises too high when unfurling, the top of the sail might not unroll properly.  If you don't have a vang, ease the sheet enough to let the sail luff, but not enough for the boom to rise too high. This is another reason for not unfurling too far off the wind.  On a close reach you can put the traveler under the boom and have some control of its height will still leaving it free to move side to side.

Always, always, always WATCH what's happening.  You do not get the tactile feedback you get with a manual system that lets you know when something has gone pear-shaped. If you keep pulling with the motors when something is wrong, something has to give, and it is usually the most expensive part!

Our usual sail setting goes like this... stop the engine, and while off the wind a bit, unfurl the jib.  Sheet in the jib, and sail as close to the wind as it easily allows-a comfortable close reach.  Then at that point of sail, set the boomed sails, then trim to desired course, and off you go.

When it is time to put the sails away, we furl the mizzen and main while on a close reach.  Once we are sailing under jib alone, we start the engine, and furl the jib.

Something to remember:  Unlike the jib, the main does not really care which way you roll it up.  Sometimes on a starboard tack, if you are a bit more off the wind than ideal, you can more easily furl the sail if you roll it "backwards" (i.e., rotating clockwise looking down the mast) avoiding a tight rub across the edge of the mast.  Just be sure you unroll it the right way the next time you use it!

Bill Kinney
SM160  Harmonie
Culebra, P.R.

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