Roller Reefing on a Mac 26

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Tiny Tim
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:29 am
Location: Oakville, Canada

Roller Reefing on a Mac 26

Post by Tiny Tim » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:10 pm

Deep reefing is sometimes necessary. When you have to sail away from a problem like a lee shore and the iron genny is ineffective because the prop keeps coming out of the water, it is comforting to know that you can reduce sail to whatever size is appropriate.

Those of you familiar with roller furling and the convenience associated with furling a jib or genoa, may appreciate how the same concept can be applied to the mainsail.

Roller reefing makes it possible to reduce the main to a beach towel size if necessary, rolling it around the already existing spar - the boom.

Roller reefing has gone out of fashion, but I liked the concept and wanted it on my Mac. I also like slab reefing (double line, not single). So I have combined the two approaches with their respective advantages.

After some experimentation and the associated setbacks , I have taken some pictures to explain for interested parties, one man's version of roller reefing on a Mac 26.

Mid-boom sheeting makes roller reefing a bit more complicated but it is still feasible. As the pictures illustrate, a carabiner or snap clip can be used to quickly move the mainsheet rigging to the end of the boom. [The other end of the rigging, also with a similar clip, can be attached to a makeshift traveller (just a line between the black plastic deck cleats) over top of the tiller].

The hardware in the pictures was in the local spar maker's junkpile. He charged me a hundred bucks (for the hardware and labour to affix it to my boom). Due to earlier experimentation, I had damaged my boom a little so the price seemed very reasonable to me.

My first reef is still a conventional slab reef. I like the first slab reef because the sail shape is perfect.

I have only used this roller reefing system once so it is still an experimental approach. There is a crank that fits in the 3/8" drive to turn the boom, but a socket wrench handle works also and is a one-handed operation. The spar-maker noted that an electric drill with a 3/8" drive attachment would also be possible and recommended a battery powered drill :D ... eefing.htm[/url]

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