Sailboat renovation,  Sailing

Our solution to reef the main sail

We have mentioned earlier that we hadn’t a good way to reef the main sail and that was something we wanted to fix. Our boom can be rolled, so it can be used to reef the mainsail using a rolling reefing, it is an old way of reefing and what we have read it doesn’t seem to be very good since it changes the shape of the sails. With a rolling reef system we can’t have a kick for the boom either.

We choose to go with a reef line solution, and for that we needed some improvements. For our reefing solution we will have a hook at the gooseneck, at the mast. In the opposite end of the boom we will have a traveler with blocks and ropes to the reefing points in the sail.

First  up was to attach the reefing hook to the gooseneck, and for that we needed to do some welding. That is because boom is mounted on a slide and need something that pulls it down, like a cunningham. We had to remove the existing mounting for the cunningham to mount a reef hook to the gooseneck.

Preparing for welding a shackle onto the sprint with the reefing hooks.
Welding started and shackle soon attached to the reef hook.
The shackle welded onto the nut on the reef hook.
A better look on the reef hook.
The old cunningham hook had to be removed.
gooseneck reefhook
The gooseneck and the reef hook together.

When we were finished with the preparations it was time to go to the boat and attach and test the reef solution.

reef solution main sail
The gooseneck and reef hook in position. The shackle we welded onto the reef hook can be seen here holding the cunningham. The black cable tie is the to prevent the nut and the shackle to unthread itself. The will be replace by a sprint instead. 
A second look on the gooseneck/reef hook.
Attaching a traveler on the boom for the second part of reef solution.
reef the main sail
We hoisted the sail at anchor to test the reefing. The rope goes through the sail and the traveler, holding the sail down. The rope is attached close to the mast and therefore the entire reefing can be done at the mast.

reef the main sail

At the mast, the reef hook hold the sail down in the reefing point.
reef the main sail
The reefed main sail seen from the bow.

When we were finished with attaching everything we could test sail with reefed mainsail for the first time. It was pretty strong winds so prefect opportunity for testing.

reef the main sail
Testing out our solution to reef the main sail in the strong winds.

So finally we have a solution to reef the mainsail, which feels good. Also very nice to spend some time out sailing in the archipelago at what feels like will be the last summer days for this year. We won’t take the boat up until spring, so we will have time for some autumn sailing as well, and a whole lot of boatwork of course 🙂

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