Reef points decision - time will tell

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Reef points decision - time will tell

Patrick Hay 3474
This post was updated on .
I got a new mainsail at the end of last year.  It's a lovely thing - pure pristine white and designed specifically for the boat, unlike the old scruffy tan sail that I bought second-hand several years ago and altered to fit.

The new sail has 3 rows of reef points, as befits a proper seagoing cruising dinghy.  The old sail had only one fairly deep reef, and, though I used it quite frequently, I never bothered with permanent reef points but just rove a couple of ties through the eyelets, as and when needed, to tidy up the bunt along the boom.

For my smart new sail I decided this casual approach would not be good enough, from points of view of neither appearance nor efficiency.  Anything that slows down or hinders the reefing process is a bad thing, particularly if you are singlehanded, and grabbing for elusive sail ties when you're trying to control an armful of flapping canvas must be considered an avoidable dodgy manoeuvre.  So, I decided to reeve permanent reef points through the eyelets in the first 2 rows, and make tying down a tidy slab a speedier and safer operation.

Found some nice soft line of the right calibre in the bosun's bag then pondered.  What would be the correct length to make them?  Without rigging the boat in the garden and conducting a dry run I couldn't be sure of the length that would, (a) look correct under full sail, (b) dangle enough once reefed to be easily found and tied, and yet, (c) not so long as to leave unruly ends flapping around annoyingly after reefing.

I consulted all my old sailing books - but none of the venerated experts - Francis B. Cooke, E. F. Knight, Peter Heaton, Geoffrey Nightingale, Maurice Griffiths, Des Sleightholme, etc, had a word to say on the subject.

In the end I decided on half the depth of the reef each side of the sail.  If I'm right this could become established as an important rule-of-thumb for future generations of sailors.  If not, not.

Time will tell.      
"Salvo" -  1963 Tricorn dinghy designed for coastal cruising
Conchil Le Temple
France
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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Tom Hart 2280
Patrick, I trust your nice soft line is non-stretch.
Tom. Wayfarer and Michalak Twixt. Solent.
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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Patrick Hay 3474
I don't think it matters much for the points, Tom.  They just tidy up the bag of loose sailcloth dangling under the boom.  They're not supposed to be under any heavy load otherwise they might rip the sail.  I chose some nice soft stuff hoping that it would minimise any potential chafe on the sailcloth.  

The clew and tack reef pennants, however, which do all the work, are 5mm low stretch line.  
"Salvo" -  1963 Tricorn dinghy designed for coastal cruising
Conchil Le Temple
France
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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Tom Hart 2280
Ah, yes. Apologies, absolutely right.
Tom. Wayfarer and Michalak Twixt. Solent.
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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Roger Barnes 936
The main thing for reef points is you need rope grippy enough to stay tied! A lot of sloppy modern yacht rope does not!

From Roger Barnes by mobile

On 15 Jun 2018, at 09:20, Tom Hart 2280 [via DCA Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Ah, yes. Apologies, absolutely right.
Tom. Wayfarer and Michalak Twixt. Solent.



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Roger Barnes
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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Roger Barnes 936
In reply to this post by Tom Hart 2280
... and slippy modern rope too!

From Roger Barnes by mobile

On 15 Jun 2018, at 09:35, Roger Barnes <[hidden email]> wrote:

The main thing for reef points is you need rope grippy enough to stay tied! A lot of sloppy modern yacht rope does not!

From Roger Barnes by mobile

On 15 Jun 2018, at 09:20, Tom Hart 2280 [via DCA Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Ah, yes. Apologies, absolutely right.
Tom. Wayfarer and Michalak Twixt. Solent.



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Roger Barnes
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Dinghy Cruising Association

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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

David Platten 2616
In reply to this post by Patrick Hay 3474
Just to complicate your putative rule of thumb,  Patrick: my late elder brother picked up a tip from an "old boy" smack sailor in Maldon - tie those over-long reef points with a shoelace-type bow, to eliminate the unruly flapping ends. Lateral, radical, or heretical thinking? Comments might be fun! Regards, David
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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Patrick Hay 3474
In view of Roger’s wise advice, and David’s recycled tip from the ancient Essex mariner, I’m starting to think I should have used those long laces from old-fashioned rugby boots!

I wonder if you can still get them?
"Salvo" -  1963 Tricorn dinghy designed for coastal cruising
Conchil Le Temple
France
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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Elizabeth Baker

You certainly can. Try any camping shop which sells walking boots.
Liz
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2018 7:27 PM
Subject: Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

In view of Roger’s wise advice, and David’s recycled tip from the ancient Essex mariner, I’m starting to think I should have used those long laces from old-fashioned rugby boots!

I wonder if you can still get them?
"Salvo" -  1963 Tricorn dinghy designed for coastal cruising
Conchil Le Temple
France



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Re: Reef points decision - time will tell

Paul Hadley 2898
Regarding boot laces, my daughter was very pleased with multi-coloured 3mm marine rope I gave her to replace broken laces in her New Rock boots.

"This rope is perfect and much stronger Dad".
Ha ha

Paul