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Thread: Reefing A Boomless Sail

  1. #1
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    Default Reefing A Boomless Sail

    I went with a boomless sail on my 9-1/2 ft pram for all the reasons people choose them, plus this one has a 2 piece mast so easily fits in the boat, out of the way, for rowing.

    The sail has full length battens and a single row of reef points but my problem is that I can't figure out how to reef while on the underway, when the foot & clew is swung out downwind over the water, out of reach. Adding a boom so jiffy reefing can be used is a possibility but a last resort, as I really like the sail otherwise. Sheetlets like a junk rig occurred to me but I have zero experience.

    I hope to do some longish sails in semi-open water (Puget Sound) so really want a way to safely reef while underway.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Photo of sail rig below.

    IMG_3020.jpg

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Swing her into the wind to start. Leave reef pendants on tack and leech permanently bent on. You may be able to use a hook at the tack and a caribiner on your clew to speed stuff. You are going to have to drop the sail some and rehoist.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Will she stay pointed into the wind while you get the reefs in? Yes to permanently rigging everything. maybe toggle/eye robands for the foot? Speed and consistency. Might even be easier to drop the whole sail, will it slide down the mast easily with "a cap full o' wind" in it?

    Nifty little boat.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Thanks to both Ben and Steve. I was hoping for some magic elixir but lowering the sail is good advice. It could be tugged down okay, and for raising, the glide ring at the masthead could be replaced with a small becket block.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Will she stay pointed into the wind while you get the reefs in?
    Nifty little boat.
    The boat wants to lie roughly sideways with the foot swinging downwind over the water, so dicey (for me) to pull the clew inboard when it's blowing. I haven't sailed a small unballasted boat in a long while so on a steep learning curve right now Dropping the sail does seem like the most reasonable solution, short of adding a boom.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Yes you want your reefing lines permanently in the reef points and dropping it will be easiest. Less force on the boat and less chance for things to go amiss while you give your attention to tying in the reef.
    Not a big deal to drop sail in a boat that tiny, especially without a boom. I have a 11'3" shellback with a boomed standing lug and the easiest way for me to reef is to drop the sail into the boat, tie it off and re hoist.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Point of order:
    While this rig does not have a conventional boom, it is far from being "boomless". The lowest batten, and when reefed the second batten, are basically the working booms. Without them the end-boom sheeting would not be possible, and the sail shape would be terrible. What is the "fitting" surrounding the mast at the tack corner? Webbing and velcro or something similar? Be aware when installing the nettles to bundle up the reef that you will probably need an additional one right up at the luff. When bundled, the reefed portion of the sail will most likely be sticking forward, ahead of the mast a bit, and being able to tie it up neatly will help keep it under control.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    A 15 or 20 pound sandbag is a good safety measure in a dink like this.
    In the bottom of the boat behind the cb trunk it will give you another second or two to react to a gust before dipping the rail.
    For reefing, one can THROW it forward,(safer than a nog of lead that way), the new bow heavy trim making going aft ,grabbing the reef clew safer.
    Can you just leave a small line clew to reef clew that makes a loop? Safer to fish up the reef clew.
    That's a sporty rig for a wee pram!
    Personally, I swore off ever taking an open sail boat into the Puget Sound again.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Point of order:
    While this rig does not have a conventional boom, it is far from being "boomless". The lowest batten, and when reefed the second batten, are basically the working booms. Without them the end-boom sheeting would not be possible, and the sail shape would be terrible. What is the "fitting" surrounding the mast at the tack corner? Webbing and velcro or something similar? Be aware when installing the nettles to bundle up the reef that you will probably need an additional one right up at the luff. When bundled, the reefed portion of the sail will most likely be sticking forward, ahead of the mast a bit, and being able to tie it up neatly will help keep it under control.
    Thanks Todd. Yes the tack corner is attached to the mast with 1" webbing and buckle shown in photo below. In addition to the grommets at tack & clew, there are two others located about 15" from each end, which leaves about 4 ft of unsupported sail in the middle when reefed. I will make sure to secure the forward end of the sail with a sail tie or something.

    Photo below, showing webbing at tack corner and also my trial this morning at using a parrel bead and loop for reef tie at tack & clew. They would stay permanently attached to the grommets. They were something I had on hand, though not sure if they will be secure enough at the clew end, when the sail is flapping wildly.

    IMG_3032.jpg

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    A 15 or 20 pound sandbag is a good safety measure in a dink like this.
    In the bottom of the boat behind the cb trunk it will give you another second or two to react to a gust before dipping the rail.
    For reefing, one can THROW it forward,(safer than a nog of lead that way), the new bow heavy trim making going aft ,grabbing the reef clew safer.
    Can you just leave a small line clew to reef clew that makes a loop? Safer to fish up the reef clew.
    That's a sporty rig for a wee pram!
    Personally, I swore off ever taking an open sail boat into the Puget Sound again.

    Wiz, I will think about the sandbag, as the boat has quite a lot of built in flotation. And a loop to the reef clew makes a lot of sense, even if I drop the whole rig in the boat. On the bigger boats I'm more accustomed to, it can get 'busy' when reefing so I'm all for keeping the drama in a small unstable boat to minimum.

    The rig is 58 sf, not huge for the boat but figuring out safe & quick reefing is critical to me. The last time I sailed small boats was 40+ years ago and nobody reefed but we were young & immortal. I'm now old and feeling very mortal, and don't reckon drowning or hypothermia is a pleasant way to die.

    The boat has been done for about a week and I've been across Elliott Bay twice, but the winds were light for the most part. The ferries and tugboats were a bigger concern. And that's a far cry from open Puget Sound with the big rolling wind waves and freighters going 20-30 knots. There is a boarding stirrup on the transom and I've been wearing a shorty wetsuit, just in case.

    Thanks to you and the other responders. I have a lot to learn.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Reefing A Boomless Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    Yes you want your reefing lines permanently in the reef points and dropping it will be easiest. Less force on the boat and less chance for things to go amiss while you give your attention to tying in the reef.
    Not a big deal to drop sail in a boat that tiny, especially without a boom. I have a 11'3" shellback with a boomed standing lug and the easiest way for me to reef is to drop the sail into the boat, tie it off and re hoist.
    Thank you Toxophilite; not sure why I thought dropping the rig was such a big deal, as it already needs to be dropped partway for the reef. At least the foot is short enough that the clew end is inboard and not hanging over the transom.

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