Reefing by a smaller sail

Many times I do not go out if the winds are high . I would be able to fit a Prindle 18 sail on my 19 ,but would this make enough of a difference with 2 feet shorter in luff and about 4 inch in foot ? I also have an old 19 sail that I can remove the bottom panel of 3 feet ..

Anyone have any experience on this ?
txs
Yes, I have a smaller mainsail I use in wind forecast to be over 20 mph.

But...

I also had my local sailmaker put reefing points on my primary mainsail and have used them several times in unexpectedly strong wind conditions. It is not very expensive to add reefing points and I have found it to be a nice "insurance policy". The more variable the conditions are where you sail the more I would consider adding reefing points.

Hope this helps,

Brad in Jacksonville, FL
Stiletto 27 x2 (one for sale soon)
great info .. on your primary mainsail , do you attach the downhaul and rear of boom to the reefing point holes ?
emmettvgreat info .. on your primary mainsail , do you attach the downhaul and rear of boom to the reefing point holes ?

you have grommets added and material (patches) added to reinforce the sail area

You can put smaller sails on a boat - good idea in heavier air but you may find some handling changes as a result as your CE has changed.


I have a 5.5 and a 6.0 (mystere)
i swap bigger and smaller jibs all the time depending on wind (on both cats)
i also use f18 sails in higher wind (they are significantly smaller than my 5.5 sail)
this makes a big difference
I also can put my 5.5 main on my 6.0 without any reefing needed to reduce power

I also have a reefing setup for my 6.0
sail is set up with reefing downhaul and leach grommets
there are "hoops" sewn into the sail so the bottom can be rolled up and secured with just a little line

I also have a oversized spinlock in my mast track to secure the halyard once it's reefed
I also use dyneema line with a jacket as my halyard to avoid any stretch once it's off the hook and running up and back down my mast

ONE BIG CAVEAT (ok 2)
1. when you take the sail off the hook and lower it - then secure the halyard on the base of the mast (or anywhere on the lower part) - you have changed your system from a 1:1 (hook : downhauil) to a 2:1 (halyard running up the mast, around a turning block : secured at the base on some cleat) - thus doubling the compression on your mast when you downhaul it. Add a couple human's on the wire, and a big gust - and you will be testing the tolerances of your hardware

best to make sure your mast can take this. my system has a 2:1 on the top of the mast that a marine engineer said would help distribute the loads above the spreaders. this is a semi common solution used for the added loads



2. sailing in heavy air with reduced sail area is a great way to handle the wind BUT your boat will still be a bear to hold on to while in the water/anchoring/parking, etc.. you still get all the spray in the face, water in the eyes and if you capsize you will have to deal with all this weather while righting - best to carry an anchor (ALWAYS unless racing WITH a chase boat) or you will be pushed without any steering until righted (and cat's sail away very well on their side)
I don't think changing the way the halyard is rigged will have an effect on mast load. The downhaul is pulling with a given force. Shouldn't matter if it is pulling against the hook or a 10:1 setup, unless you also crank down on the halyard.
i remember we discussed it a while ago. If you assume that friction is not significant, then the halyard tension would be the same as the downhaul tension, either one that you crank would have the same effect. So both equal forces pointing down would be the double compared to the downhaul forcé pulling against the hook. In practice there is friction, so the effect is something in between at the top of the mast.
QuoteI don't think changing the way the halyard is rigged will have an effect on mast load. The downhaul is pulling with a given force. Shouldn't matter if it is pulling against the hook or a 10:1 setup, unless you also crank down on the halyard.

Bingo - by removing it from the hook you are also cranking down on the halyard (now unlocked)
thus the x amount of force your cunningham/downhaul are pulling is x times 2 (up the halyard and back down)

"Visualize a halyard lock at the top of the mast. With halyard locked it's 1:1 compression on mast to down force on halyard from Main.

Now with a 1:1 halyard, the halyard sheeve is a block and this creates a 2:1 purchase, so you actually have twice the compression force on the stick as halyard tension. "

http://forums.sailinganar…es-the-load-on-the-mast/

furthermore, adding a second block into the mix (say at the top of the mast like my 6.0 has) makes this 2x down to 1.5x

http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/photos/forum/Peaky/2009-03-18_123015_mast_compression.JPG
Ignoring friction losses... Mast compression is least with a halyard lock (1000N in this example), most with a 1:1 halyard (2000N) and 1500N with a 2:1 halyard.
It's been a long time since my school days but I'm fairly certain that in a static load the sum of the external forces must be 0. So if the downhaul is pulling 60lbs the mast is resisting with equal force regardless of how the sail is rigged. Any mechanical advantage in the halyard should reduce the tension where the halyard is tied off.
I agree that more advantage on the halyard could increase the load on the mast a bit if the halyard stretches but it can't exceed the force applied by the downhaul.
Forgot to mention a single block simply redirects the pull. Don't think it affects purchase.
Right, no purchase if you compare the halyard side vs the downhaul side, the force is the same at both sides of the pulley. The double force is the resistance of the mast to hold the pulley, standing those two forces. Take the pulley as the system and those 3 are the external forces.
Now what is arguable is whether you really need to apply the same downhaul force in both cases. On strong wind it's about bending the mast, not about stretching the sail or removing the wrinkles, which already happened under the forces applied. If the halyard is coming down through the mast track, then I think it's also helping to bend the mast in the same way as the downhaul, so probably you would need half the force on the downhaul (+ half the force on the halyard) for the same effect on the mast, compared to hooking the main at the top.
From an earlier discussion
https://www.catsailor.com/bb_files/11514.gif

QuoteI disagree with those calculations... The sail gets a tension of T on all three cases. The 2T and 1.5T apply not to the sail but perhaps to the mast head, wich is of little interest. The most relevant is that you need half the tension on the halyard (and double the lenght and time to raise) in picture 2. Also interesting is that in picture 2 the mast head pulley gets half of the load compared to picture one. If you want to apply constant tension with the full halyard that is relevant too.


Picture 1 compared to picture 3 is interesting if the halyard goes down through the mast track. Imagine that it's a dyneema halyard attached at the base of the mast instead of a hook at the top, and you have a 10:1 (or less perhaps) downhaul. Then you double the effect of the dowhaul: 1T on the sail and 1T on the halyard, except that now T may be amplified with the downhaul. With other kind of line all this theory is defeated with the stretching of the line, of course. Which I bet it's the original reason why there is a hook, even on old boats without a powerful downhaul. But as said, it may sound good but you don't want to apply all that tension on the mast head pulley, you will likely break something there.
On the other hand, if the halyard goes down at the front of the mast, as hannes-neo explains, the effect of the downhaul is canceleed by the tension of the halyard in front of the mast. Unless the fork is installed near the mast head, in front of the mast, as it is meant to.

Edit: hope you didn't read in between my edits...


yes the forces on the sail / luff are the same, but on the mast (head) they are increased
QuoteNow what is arguable is whether you really need to apply the same downhaul force in both cases. On strong wind it's about bending the mast, not about stretching the sail or removing the wrinkles, which already happened under the forces applied. If the halyard is coming down through the mast track, then I think it's also helping to bend the mast in the same way as the downhaul, so probably you would need half the force on the downhaul (+ half the force on the halyard) for the same effect on the mast, compared to hooking the main at the top.

YES!

so 1/2 the downhaul = 100% downhaul with the sail on the hook

what happens when crew doesn't know this and applies 100% downhaul
MN3
QuoteNow what is arguable is whether you really need to apply the same downhaul force in both cases. On strong wind it's about bending the mast, not about stretching the sail or removing the wrinkles, which already happened under the forces applied. If the halyard is coming down through the mast track, then I think it's also helping to bend the mast in the same way as the downhaul, so probably you would need half the force on the downhaul (+ half the force on the halyard) for the same effect on the mast, compared to hooking the main at the top.

YES!

so 1/2 the downhaul = 100% downhaul with the sail on the hook

what happens when crew doesn't know this and applies 100% downhaul


If there are marks they would be off, but it's another sail, the crew should not be expecting the same adjustments. And in my book its the captain's responsibility anyway...
But the risk could be mitigated by threading the downhaul with less purchase.
agreed - many ways to handle the double compression on the mast

but at least we seem to agree now that there is more load on the mast by taking the ring off the hook
prost
emmettvMany times I do not go out if the winds are high . I would be able to fit a Prindle 18 sail on my 19 ,but would this make enough of a difference with 2 feet shorter in luff and about 4 inch in foot ? I also have an old 19 sail that I can remove the bottom panel of 3 feet ..

Anyone have any experience on this ?
txs



Yes. I had a P-19 with a cut down Tornado main about 20 years ago. I cut 2' off the top to make a square top main. I made a short pennate on the head and just shackled the ring onto it. The head of the sail was about a foot down or so. But, it made a great sail for higher winds where I didn't want to use my race sails. Getting the ring to hook and unhook took a bit of a challenge, but it was doable. The sail ended up fitting on my 18-2 perfectly. There is no set rule.

The short answer is it will work if that's what takes to make it easy and get you on the water more. Some modification may look funny, but if it works... go with it.

--
Scott

Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
Nacra 5.0
Nacra 5.8
Tornadoes (Reg White)
--
Quotepennate

what is that?
according to the dictionary it's a muscle?
i will assume you meant pigtail or something similar?

also how did you get the ring off the hook?
from what i have heard, extending the head ring via a pigtail will fight you all the way trying to get it off the hook since when you rotate the mast the ring will also rotate - and almost always require putting the boat on her side to get it off the hook
MN3
Quotepennate

what is that?

I was about to ask the same thing and expose my lack of knowledge.

--
Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year
Hobie 16, 1977
--
I have a Nacra 5.2 with reefing points on my mainsail and with covid I sailed much more solo than ever but on the windier days I still wanted to go out.I even did it on some race days at my club so I reefed the main and sailed in 10 to 15 knot winds and found it very manageable still a challenge to sail in those winds but I went out had a blast but under control I would highly recommend reefing points on your sails for those days you just have to get out there but your pushing the limits icon_wink
So, to the earlier question - How the heck do you get the sail back off the hook to lower it? Unless you don't hook it, but that sure would put a bunch of extra stress on the sheave and then you tie off the halyard at the bottom... That would make sense. I have reefing points in my main, but really never tried to figure this part out. Seems like, if reefed this way, it'd be problematic (maybe???) to bend the mast with downhaul. Plus, now your round in your luff is lower on the mast. Does that matter?

I'm liking the idea of a higher aspect ratio sail more and more for high wind conditions/solo sailing.

Edit - I re-read and the securing the halyard, what I see is the thing done.



Edited by charlescarlis on Jan 05, 2021 - 12:21 PM.

--
Chuck C.
H21SE 408
--
Quote Seems like, if reefed this way, it'd be problematic (maybe???) to bend the mast with downhaul

yea, probably but with less sail area you need to flatten the sail has also diminished (ps i never though nor noticed this when i sailed reefed)

Quote Plus, now your round in your luff is lower on the mast. Does that matter?

you mean the curve in your luff no longer matches the curve in your mast since it is lower?

hmmmmm - i am not certain but i ASSUME the curve of the luff (and mast) is pretty consistent above the bottom diamond wire attachment so there shouldn't be a noticeable difference in the sail to mast curve

QuoteI'm liking the idea of a higher aspect ratio sail more and more for high wind conditions/solo sailing.

Yea, i prefer to reduce sail area via a smaller sail than reefing. I am happy to have the system on my 6.0 for sure - it was put there encase of pup up summer storms and that risk never goes away here in fl

While being able to manage my cat in 20-25 is good, and i have gone out in that weather planning to reef - all the other things still suck (mast stepping, sail raising, anchoring, holding onto the boat in the water, etc.) Also you are putting stresses on your "reefed" clew and tack and often they are not as reinforced as your actual clew and tack. I blew out my reefing clew in 30knots... that sucked - i was fortunate to be upwind of the beach and able to downwind home jib only
By the way, sailing jib only as a contingency plan for a sudden wind increase might not be a bad idea. I often take the main down to land when wind is above 15 kts or so, because there is no much room for mistakes around the ramp, and the entrance is typically downwind or on a broad reach. In those occasions I’ve been able to point high enough to move upwind, not ideal but it feels safe. Not sure with 30 kts and bigger waves though. But for a boomless boat (n5.5) I can’t figure out how to reef the main anyway.
MN3
Quotepennate

what is that?
according to the dictionary it's a muscle?
i will assume you meant pigtail or something similar?

also how did you get the ring off the hook?
from what i have heard, extending the head ring via a pigtail will fight you all the way trying to get it off the hook since when you rotate the mast the ring will also rotate - and almost always require putting the boat on her side to get it off the hook


damn autocorrect.. basically a pigtail on top of the head. As I said, it was a bit of a pain to unhook, but after a while, I was able to unhook on first attempt.

--
Scott

Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
Nacra 5.0
Nacra 5.8
Tornadoes (Reg White)
--
Quotedamn autocorrect.. basically a pigtail on top of the head. As I said, it was a bit of a pain to unhook, but after a while, I was able to unhook on first attempt.

If the smaller sail is a square top, maybe adding a cord from the right spot of the ring shackle to the first batten could help to keep the ring perpendicular to the sail.



Edited by Andinista on Jan 05, 2021 - 05:02 PM.
Hello,
Couple of questions to consider.

If you race, do you want to modify your race sail to reef and then if sailing the reefed sail in high winds, are you losing shape in your precious race sail? After answering these questions, if you do go with a smaller sail you probably don't need a real high end smaller sail (ala Smyth, Calvert, Whirlwind, etc.) and you can pick something up for much less. If you pursue this path, I recommend (with no affiliation to him) Martin of Somerset Sails. He made a smaller sail for my Bimare F18HT as I solo sail and the sail pictured in my signature. Note both were carbon and under $700. (note he also made sails for my previous F24-1 and both my F25Cs).
Hope this helps,
James
Quote He made a smaller sail for my Bimare F18HT as I solo sail and the sail pictured in my signature. Note both were carbon and under $700

i just checked out his site/ebay store - https://www.ebay.com/itm/…2c20d:g:9c0AAOSwK7tfRsE9
$1600 for a dacron hobie 20 tri radial doesn't seem like such a great deal to me -

it's more than Chip at whirlwind for a pentex one ($1,300.00 - $1,450.00)
http://www.whirlwindsails…9/H20_Standard_Main.html



Edited by MN3 on Jan 06, 2021 - 09:59 AM.
One more question to end off on this ..I am reading that the sail should reduce by 12% for each reef . I was thinking of going down from P19 sq top mainsail to the P18 which is only 2'(28.72 to 26.75) .Would i see a noticeable difference or look for a smaller sail ?
Thank you all
emmettvOne more question to end off on this ..I am reading that the sail should reduce by 12% for each reef . I was thinking of going down from P19 sq top mainsail to the P18 which is only 2'(28.72 to 26.75) .Would i see a noticeable difference or look for a smaller sail ?
Thank you all


i would think so
when i use my f18 sail vs my regular sail i can handle the puffs much better
I'm still trying to wrap my head around reefing. I understand the concept, and it sounds like I should have two levels of reefing - one at about 12%, and the next one at about 24%. That part I'm good on.

What do you do with the bolt rope that doesn't get fed up the mast? Does it just get wrapped up so it doesn't flap around, and does the forward reef point need a good connection to the downhaul attach point?

Is it ok just to wrap the reefing line around the boom batten? As you go from the luff to the leech how many grommets should there be? Obviously has to be at least two but seems like you would need more to hold the bottom of the reef to the bottom of the sail. How big do those lines need to be?

Has anybody made a luff extender, i.e. if you reef at 12% have a 12% long boltrope sewed to a strap or something which attaches to the head of the sail on one side, and the halyard on the other side? I'm not sure if this is exactly what Scott/texastuma was saying.

Are there any good pictures of reefing setups in the albums here?

I'd like to add some reefing points to my sail while it is here in the basement.

--
Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year
Hobie 16, 1977
--
The lower (unused) portion of the sail gets wrapped up and tied as you described. The clew and tack fittings at the reef points definitely need to be reinforced to support the downhaul and mainsheet loads. The reef points in the body of the sail don’t need as much reinforcement since they are just holding the sail roll and not intended to support any load from the sail controls.

The main issue with reefing on a cat (and the reason why it’s rarely done) is dealing with the main halyard attachment. Most modern cats use some type of hook system to attach the head of the mainsail to the top of the mast. That system really doesn’t lend itself to reefing and relying on the main halyard to support the reefed sail is not a great approach since doing so can lead to the sail slipping down which messes up the downhaul/mainsheet tensions.

sm
Quoteounds like I should have two levels of reefing

are you planing on crossing an ocean? if so sure - otherwise 1 reef should be enough
a 12% reduction is going to make a big impact - but if you don't think it's enough - go for 15 or 18%
that should allow you to sail in pretty heavy air and reduce heeling enough to make it comfortable

multiple reef points make sense on big non rotating masts that will snap if you must sail but NEED to depower (i.e. MUST get back to port on a big cruiser)

QuoteWhat do you do with the bolt rope that doesn't get fed up the mast?

bolt rope is your luff - it is connected to your main - on my setup you roll up the bottom of the sail and use the reef points to secure it

Quotedoes the forward reef point need a good connection to the downhaul attach point?

the reef points are not for your downhaul - you need a new downhaul grommet or strope (that is reinforced) to be the new downhaul attachment and one for the clew
QuoteIs it ok just to wrap the reefing line around the boom batten?

my setup has 2 patches on the sail. on the patches are very small loops/stropes.
when i lower the sail to "reefed", attach the downhaul to the new location (tack/grommet) and attach the mainblocks to the new location (clew/grommet) i then roll up the 5' (est) of sail. i tie a micro line from one side of my sail, around the sail roll and tie to the other patch/strope. (2mm dynema? but could be any small line - there is NO force applied to this line, it is simply holding the bottom of my sail that is now rolled up)

QuoteAs you go from the luff to the leech how many grommets should there be? Obviously has to be at least two but seems like you would need more to hold the bottom of the reef to the bottom of the sail. How big do those lines need to be?

tack / reef point - reef point / downhaul
dental floss would work - your just holding the bottom of a rolled up sail


QuoteHas anybody made a luff extender, i.e. if you reef at 12% have a 12% long boltrope sewed to a strap or something which attaches to the head of the sail on one side, and the halyard on the other side? I'm not sure if this is exactly what Scott/texastuma was saying.

no offense but that sounds really wrong - if you sew a second bolt rope/ring at the head what stops it from flapping/slamming around when not in use (i guess you could velcro it but .... no)

pretty sure Scott was saying he adds a second halyard from the ring on the head of the sail via a shackel - cable - to a second ring that is attached to the hook. this is a good idea but you must perfect the art of getting this second ring off the hook - otherwise you are flipping your boat on it's side to get your main down - i can't imagine it works but i trust Scott when he says he did perfect this.

https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=134411&g2_serialNumber=3

https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=134405&g2_serialNumber=3

https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=134406&g2_serialNumber=3

https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=134407&g2_serialNumber=3



Edited by MN3 on Feb 04, 2021 - 03:46 PM.
Some good points in Joseph Bennett's recent video on a H16.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VizxguKv7XI&t=573s

--
Steve
Nacra Inter 20
Okemos Michigan
--
schoen.steveSome good points in Joseph Bennett's recent video on a H16.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VizxguKv7XI&t=573s

why is eating the camera? LOL
Thanks all for the responses!

--
Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year
Hobie 16, 1977
--
Great video. "I don't really do swimming."

What is still not clear to me is how reefing works with a boomless sail. I'll have to take some pictures to describe what I'm talking about.

--
Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year
Hobie 16, 1977
--
Quote What is still not clear to me is how reefing works with a boomless sail. I'll have to take some pictures to describe what I'm talking about.

You would need an extra heavy batten in the "new" bottom of your sail - just like what should be there now

Why are you so worried about reefing? 98% of beach cats don't

only cats with with reefing are people doing endurance races where it is required, old h16's that had it originally and custom setups like mine where the owner was paranoid about getting caught in a pop up storm with his very young child being on board (we all used to sail almost every weekend around here). I don' t think the original owner ever needed it -and i used it a few times cause i wanted to try it out. first time was fine, second time a tore out my clew and needed it repaired (was under reinforced)

i have sailed too much and too old for that crap now. I have sailed reefed -it was fun but beach and anchor handling still sucked, and if you capsize .... your in for a hell of a unfun time

i can't help but think you would just be better off sailing with a smaller sail plan on med-heavy air days, or stay home and wait for 5-15 knot days
I guess the original owner put the fear of going reefless in me. Plus I've seen one of the local cat sailors on my lake reef his main. So maybe I'll not worry about it. It will be a while before I have more than one sail. I'd still like to go on the heavy air days. That was a lot of fun on the little boats. I'd like to have that fun but at a faster speed.

--
Bryan in Poplar Grove, IL
Supercat 17, unknown year
Hobie 16, 1977
--