I read with interest in a post by JaimeZx regarding reefing his main
"Since I didn't have an extra line, I used some bungees to hold the boom up to the reefing grommets."
and I promised to get back with some tips and reasons to reef the main. Then I began to wonder which boats have cringles and which don't. Does the 16 still have them? Then I looked for a primer or something on reefing in the sailing manuals and I couldn't find anything there either. The only information I have on reefing is from my monohull sailing manuals.
So, looking for any corrections and tips from guys like Brad or the Matts I present : REEFING FOR SPEED- how to and why.
Reefing is obviously a way to de-power your boat. "Why would crazy people like Hobie sailors want to de-power their personal pocket rockets?" you may ask.
The answer is simple. Read Jaime's post. When you are simply over-powered by the wind, you need less sail area. My better half and I often placed well or even won races in extremely windy conditions just because we either:
a) didn't dump the boat or
b) kept the boat flatter, longer or a combination of these two things.
It is also a good thing to do if you have someone like, say your mom or dad or little kids on board who really just want to have fun without pitchpoling, flipping, or hull flying.
The proper way to reef is to lower the head of the sail down the mast and flake the foot of the sail onto the boom where you can neatly tie the sail onto the boom using line laced through the grommets (called "cringles" on a sail I believe). It does not affect your performance to "permanently" tie in pieces of rope that are long enough to tie together with a square knot under the boom and held in place at the cringle with a knot on each side of the sail. On the old wire halyard there used to be a bead on the halyard for a fully raised sail and one further down for a reefed main. I suppose that you would have to just drop the head of the sail down an appropriate distance and secure the halyard tightly. I don't know. But my point is that you don't bring the boom UP to the grommets, you bring the grommets down to the boom.
This is is where the experts come in.... you're on guys and girls
what say you?
At the first sign of storm, we sail, reefed....