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Reefing lines

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Reefing lines

Postby DaveC426913 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:09 pm

I wonder if I've got my reefing system set up wrong - or at least inefficiently.

I've got the hook on the gooseneck, three reef points in the main, and a small block lashed to the leech reefing clew, which runs down to the boom end cleat.

A line runs from the boom end up to the leech clew block, then back down to the big cleat near the boom end. To adjust the line, I uncleat the line from the book end and pull down, then recleat.
This works great, except it requires about 8 feet of line - 4 up, 4 back. This line is in the way when reefed as well as when the sail comes down. Either way, there's two 4-foot loops dangling in the pit.

It occurs to me that I should be running that line forward along the boom, down to the mast base, then back to the pit.

It also occurs to me that I've got my topping lift the same way. It's fixed at the masthead, and I raise and lower it at the boom end. (It too is on a block, so that, to raise the boom, I pull down on the topping lift.)

Maybe I've got some work to do...

Question: to run either reefing line or topping lift forward along the boom, do I / can I run it inside the boom, or along the outside?
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby sailboatmike » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:15 am

I just fitted my single line reefing kit, so here is how it works,

You should have a saddle on the starboard side of the boom just near the goose neck and directly across from that on the port side a cheek block, the line gets tied off on the saddle, then goes up through the reef cringe on the sail, then back down to the cheek block on the port side, from there it runs back along the boom, through another saddle *that just holds the line too the boom) and around a rear cheek block on the port side of the boom (about 9 inches from the very end) then up into the leech reefing cringe on the sail then down the starboard side of the sail into a cheek block on the starboard rear of the boom and into a jam cleat.

Not sure if that makes sense, but to me it does, but then again I just installed one so I have the picture in my head
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby Sumner » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:52 pm

Lots of different ways to run reef lines. You need to pick which is best for you.

Image

I have one reef line and will add a second now that I got a second reef point put in the sail. My line and the new one run to the mast, but they could go down to the deck and back to the cockpit. I still like to going to the mast to tend to the main.

Here is a link to what I did and the parts I used...

http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor2/rigging-22.html

Also here ....

Image

.... is a link to the info on our topping lift. It also goes to the mast....

http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor/rigging-3.html

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Re: Reefing lines

Postby DaveC426913 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:45 pm

Sumner wrote:Here is a link to what I did and the parts I used...

http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor2/rigging-22.html

Also here ....

Cool. A couple of questions:

Why did you put the cheek block on the mast (port side below gooseneck) rather than on the boom?

[ EDIT ] I think I see. You want the reefing line to stretch the sail foot outward (fore and back), not just straight downward.

How do you keep the sail tight to the mast when under full sail if you have the bottom lugs out? Do you have a cunnie as well? Or do you just keep the reef line taut?
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby Sumner » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:04 am

DaveC426913 wrote:Cool. A couple of questions:

Why did you put the cheek block on the mast (port side below gooseneck) rather than on the boom?

[ EDIT ] I think I see. You want the reefing line to stretch the sail foot outward (fore and back), not just straight downward.

How do you keep the sail tight to the mast when under full sail if you have the bottom lugs out? Do you have a cunnie as well? Or do you just keep the reef line taut?


You said "sail tight to the mast". Do you mean to the boom? The sail is a loose footed sail that only attaches at the ends of the boom. The cleat is down on the mast below the boom so that it is easier to pull the reef all the way down to the boom and into the sailpack,

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Re: Reefing lines

Postby DaveC426913 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:22 pm

Sumner wrote:You said "sail tight to the mast". Do you mean to the boom?

No. Mast.

In order to reef the mainsail down to the cringle, three lugs must be deslotted from the mast slot.
That's great when reefed, but when one shakes out the reef, there's no way to reslot those lugs without going forward to the mast (thus defeating the purpose of a single-line reef system).

So, even when under full sail, the bottom two feet of the mainsail (everything from foot to reefing cringle) is not attached to the mast at all. It is only held taut by halyard tension.
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby Sumner » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:18 pm

I have a slug gate to take care of that..

Image

Image

Here is a video of it in use ...

https://youtu.be/VFjyPjJZzdE

.... and how to make one here ....

http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor2/rigging-13.html

Image

Yes, lazy jack lines and the sail pack also really help. I still go to the mast to reef as I like that vs. more lines going back to the cockpit. That might change with age :( . Single line reefing doesn't mean that it takes place in the cockpit. It means that one line pulls down and secures the back of the main (leech) and the front of the main (luff) vs. two separate lines to do that,

Sumner
Last edited by Sumner on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby sailboatmike » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:59 pm

Yep I think a mast gate or jack lines on the main are the most elegant solutions to those pesky sail slugs, without either you will always be stuck with going up to the mast and refeeding the slugs when you want to shake out the reef, at least if your shaking out the reef the conditions would of improved
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby DaveC426913 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:13 am

I have lazy jacks to catch the main when it comes down. But I don't see what purpose they would serve when reefing. I have to leave them slack when under sail.


So, the slug gate essentially does nothing except to narrow the widened mast slot, is that the gist of it? i.e. if the slot were magically not wider at all, going between reefed an full sail would work perfectly fine (until you wanted to take the sail off the mast of course).

I just want to make sure I understand its function.

To be clear, I don't have a sailpack, so any functionallty that might be related to that would be wasted on SeaSaw.

Uh - how much do you charge? :) (Alas my gooseneck seems to be a different arrangement than yours, so I guess one size would not fit all.)
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby sailboatmike » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:16 am

Yes the mast gate or slug gate just narrows the sail slot on the mast that the slugs go into when you hank the main onto the mast
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby Sumner » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:57 am

DaveC426913 wrote:I have lazy jacks to catch the main when it comes down. But I don't see what purpose they would serve when reefing. I have to leave them slack when under sail.....


I've found a sweet spot where I can leave my lazy jacks set and not have to change them from sailing to on anchor. Since they and the sail pack do catch the sail while reefing, the bulk of the sail is not hanging below the boom as the reef lines only pull the main tight at the ends of the boom.

Yes the slug gate, also called mast gates, closes the slot so you won't loose the slugs when the sail comes down.

DaveC426913 wrote:........Uh - how much do you charge? :) ....


I'm retired :) . A machine shop could easily duplicate what I made but you can also buy mast gates that do the same thing. Google mast gates. Here is one that I found and they make models for the S, X and M and also custom make them ....

http://www.mastgates.com/home.html

Good luck,

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Re: Reefing lines

Postby Tomfoolery » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:04 am

DaveC426913 wrote:In order to reef the mainsail down to the cringle, three lugs must be deslotted from the mast slot.
That's great when reefed, but when one shakes out the reef, there's no way to reslot those lugs without going forward to the mast (thus defeating the purpose of a single-line reef system).

So, even when under full sail, the bottom two feet of the mainsail (everything from foot to reefing cringle) is not attached to the mast at all. It is only held taut by halyard tension.

This is the part I'm not following. I only have one reef in my OEM main sail, but it's pretty deep. I never remove the slugs from the slot unless and until I'm taking the boom off. They stay in the slot when reefed. And I have a flared slot for slug/bolt-rope feeding, with a long, thin pin through it, just above the flare, to keep the slugs in the slot when the sail is lowered or reefed.

Maybe yours is different.
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby DaveC426913 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:10 am

My config is OEM, like yours.

Tomfoolery wrote:They stay in the slot when reefed.

How?

Tomfoolery wrote:And I have a flared slot for slug/bolt-rope feeding, with a long, thin pin through it, just above the flare, to keep the slugs in the slot when the sail is lowered or reefed.

What is this long, thin pin?
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby Tomfoolery » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:21 pm

Dave

I'll take pics tomorrow, when I'm prepping for, or actually, sailing. Maybe put in a reef just so you can see what it looks like.

I might have pics on my work machine, and used to have them on Photobucket, but neither are available. P'bucket especially since I emptied it out and deleted my account in a fit of getting-back-at-them-itus. :x But I can take some more and post them using something else.
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Re: Reefing lines

Postby Tomfoolery » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:23 pm

I didn't get a chance to raise the main yesterday, but here are a couple of shots of the main fully deployed in my driveway.

This pic shows the pin across the top of the flared bolt rope/slug entry. It's something like 1/8" dia., and long enough to get a ringding on (far side). Just above it is the sail track stop with knurled nut (barely visible behind the halyard, and lost since the pic was taken, but not needed when the pin is in place anyway). The lower arrow is pointing to the reefing hook, also mostly hidden by the halyard. You can see the flare in the mast starting just below the pin.

Image

The other photo shows the reefing tack grommet (red arrow), which is about halfway between the two sail slugs (green arrows). When the first three slugs are stacked on top of the pin, the grommet will reach the hook, so nothing else need be done but send the outhaul through the fitting, take a turn around the boom (for the down), and go back to the end (for the out) and get cleated. The outhaul is just long enough to do this, with the excess stored on the cleat when the sail is fully deployed.

Image
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