Reefing procedure



 This is a more procedural than technical inquiry.  We'll be getting to know our new/old Santorin sloop Liesse SN6 next month and the deal did not provide any seller tutelage on the boat systems unfortunately.  My familiarity with reefing is primarily full battened slab.  I am anxious to avoid either jamming the sail in mast slot or over stressing the motors.  Are there any Amel specific precepts/techniques one should know about, particularly when reefing in building wind conditions to avoid these unpleasant/dangerous potential events. Thanks to everyone for so generously sharing your expertise. 

 (Also congratulations James on your purchase of the Maramu, ex Bon Edda, you will just love how quiet that engine is!)

 Best regards,   Dave  s/v Liesse   SN6

Ian Park

We had little knowledge when we got our Santorin 3 years ago. First of all it would be very hard to jam the sails in the masts, they are a very well designed unit.
We just ease the main sheet and operate the out haul and furler just keeping sufficient tension for a neat furl. You will be able to tell if the motors are under duress as they will work both more slowly and a little louder! The mizzen you will find is straight forward using the same slackening of the sheet.
The Santorin shares many systems of the Super Maramu, but being a bit smaller the Santorin is nicely over engineered!
Just beware the Genoa furling motor. It is very powerful. Keep an eye on your ballooner halliards. If you don't ensure they are routed properly away from the forestay when not in use they can snarl things up and bend one or both the stainless bars that stick out on the top furler drum. I learnt the hard way!
I have managed to furl the main on a dead run in a strong wind in an emergency.
Not having sailed a ketch before I had to experiment with different ways of reefing. It's worth trying reeling the main first - the boat sails fine on genny and mizzen in a blow on a reach.
I look forward to other folks advice here.
Great boats, wouldn't swap!


Ocean Hobo SN96


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.



"... nicely over engineered..."

What do you mean?


SN 64, Heureka

Ian Park

Just a comparative phrase. Many of the parts and systems on the Santorin are the same as the SM, which is bigger and heavier. In comparison to many production boats Amel made things to last, so they were well engineered. As an example the gearbox on the Genoa is furling a smaller headsail than the SM, so less generally less strain on the working parts. Similarly the C Drive being pushed by a 50 HP non turbo Perkins compared to a much more powerful turbo Volvo on the SM.
So 'over engineered' was definitely not a criticism, more of a bonus for Santorin owners.


Ocean Hobo SN96


thx for the clarifications. I got the message from the beginning, but was interested in Your Details.

Best - Daniel