Author Topic: When do you reef??  (Read 610 times)

Valor

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When do you reef??
« on: July 19, 2018, 08:21:26 AM »
Just a quick question to all of you out there.  At what wind speeds do you typically reef and in what order?  The follow up question is above 20 knots of wind, what does your sail plan look like? 

Michael
Michael M

selene

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2018, 01:10:34 PM »
It's an interesting question...and like most things on a boat, "it depends". If I am racing, I tend to carry more canvas than if I am cruising...and please note I make no claim to be an expert - indeed, I will be interested to see what others say. Always learning.

In general, in winds roughly 10 knots and below I use my genoa - about 115% in my case.  15-20kn I use a 100% jib; but at the higher end, the main may be let out to depower, or be reefed.  20kn up I use a blade - 90%, flat-cut headsail; I also consider reefing, almost certainly if cruising.

Around 25kn I have been playing around with the blade alone.  As you know, the 323 is very headsail driven, so she performs surprisingly well with headsail alone, pointing as high as with the jib+main. If you have not tried this, I encourage you to do so. It has surprised more experienced sailors than I.

As we get to 30kn, I am normally double reefed, main alone.  There are often gusts 5kn-10kn above this, and with the main alone this feels maneagable, even though it may be difficult to let the main out during a gust (due to the pressure).

So in general: I try and align the jib with the anticipated wind conditions, and adjust the main (reef/luff) depending on that the conditions actually are. When overpowered for a short time, I let the main luff; if I think it will be a longer haul (or increasing wind) I reef.  If in doubt...I reef.  Easier to shake a reef out than put it in.

Hope this helps!

Rusty Pelican

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2018, 09:27:11 AM »
The general rule is "If you think it's time to reef,  it's too late"

Valor

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 08:40:34 AM »
@selene,- Great info, Thanks! Do you have a roller or do you hank on your head sails? Swapping out a large roller head sail in a blow seems like a 3 person job just to keep the sail on the deck. In regards to your blade, does it clear the forward shrouds? Looking for a used one for spring and fall use.
Michael M

selene

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 12:04:55 PM »
I have a furler - and so try and make sail choices based on the forecast and my own flawed judgement! Sometimes I get it right, sometimes not. But if the wind increases, I let the main luff - or I can sort of heave to (more like lying ahull) and reef (or take down) the main.  I think the shallow keel makes true heaving-to difficult - for me at least.

I try to avoid reefing the jib wherever possible; not only does the part-rolled jib have an awful shape with all that cloth up front, but watching the forestay flap around scares the heck out of me.

The shrouds are an issue - a big one.  All my headsails are outside the shrouds - which as you know means you can't get the jib in as tight as one would like. That (along with the skeg rudder and shallow keel) is why we can't point! I tried barber-haulers and other tricks, but the sail geometry always fouls the forward stay. I ordered a high-footed blade; it would be worth measuring is to see if a decksweeper could go inside the shrouds and still provide enough surface area. Of course, you would not be able to see anything....

Valor

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 11:38:38 PM »
I guess without hijacking my own thread, but i wonder if anyone has installed inner jib car tracks off the rail and onto the deck to get a higher angle? I was out this afternoon and regardless of what i tried  i cant get the boat higher than 60 degrees.  Tacking requires 120 degrees which is almost a u-turn!!
Michael M

selene

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2018, 11:23:47 AM »
I share your pain. With care I average 105-110 degrees.

Sucks when the race is a beat.  But put me on a beam reach or deeper, and I can sail at our rating....

Like I said: Shrouds to the toerail, short stubby keel, skeg = poor tacking angle. High freeboard = windage which doesn't help either. One of my crew keeps asking me to remove the dodger...and extra couple of degrees when tacking?

But in some races, I can go deeper into the shallows than any other boat, and get a better layline. People have learnt not to try and follow me :-)

p

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2018, 11:41:38 AM »
Before I drilled holes in the side decks for another jib track I'd experiment with a Barber Hauler to see if it is going to be worth it. I believe our ALMA sails better without the dodger, and last year I was thrilled when we were overtaking a neighbor in an Alerion Express-

Until I realized he was heading towards us!

If you want to race take the 911-

If a road trip with the family is on the agenda take the Volvo.

Trying to make a Volvo a 911 is a recipe for disappointment.
If you're sailing past Cape May give us a shout-out!

selene

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2018, 02:53:30 PM »
Alma - Very true...but I enjoy racing Selene, as it has taught me - and continues to teach me - a great deal.  Trying to get the best out of the boat is the objective.  I always tell my crew that there are three objectives when racing with me:

1) Stay Safe
2) Have fun
3) Win

In that order! I rarely win, but it gave me a kick to hear one of the competitive boat crew briefings - "Okay guys, let's *at least* beat Selene this week" :-)

And when I came in the other week from a race, and chatted to the crew of a J92 - they looked like drowned rats, I told them got splashed - once.

So yeah, the 323 is not a 911 - and the PHRF is sometimes not much help. But she is a dry, seaworthy boat, and for now I'll continue to race, continue to experiment - would a gently used (cheap) laminate sail help that much? How does a decksweeper benefit me? 'Cos the learning is half the fun!

Alma

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 08:51:17 AM »
Good for you! We used to race offshore out of Atlantic City with a very loose group. So loose a surgeon on a Cal 40 was fond of cheating... Can you imagine? We found him tacking a full 1/4 mile BEFORE the windward mark one day- LoL

I'm not the one to ask about laminate sails. I DO agree that the 323's jib handles more work than a modern boat- That said- it is also true that you'll point higher with a smaller Genoa. ALMA has a huge Genoa and we also have a Flasher we rarely use unless conditions are perfect and we expect to be on the same line for over an hour. Upwind downwind is torture for us-

It IS enjoyable to keep up with the best of them on a reach!

Stay Safe-

If you're sailing past Cape May give us a shout-out!

Valor

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 09:26:12 AM »
@Alma, I like your analogy! I have owned a 911 so I thought it was funny. I don't race but like the saying goes, if 2 boats are sailing, one of them is racing! I agree in what you are saying completely. I have also found that simple things make a big difference in the way the Volvo sails.

 An example of this is, at the end of the last season, I was convinced I needed a new main because it seemed like no matter what I did, it just looked baggy, the draft was in the wrong place and there was almost no drive. I know the headsail is everything on a 323 but the main should do something. I brought the sail to the Doyle loft in Huntington and Mark the owner looked at it and said the sail was in great condition and something didn't sound right. I will omit our conversation to cut a long story down and say he suggested NOT to buy a new main but to convert the sail from a fixed foot to a loose foot and to replace the original thin fiberglass battens with a stiffer modern fiberglass rod type batten. He promised me the sail would be a completely different animal and he was 100% right. Considering all things boat are expensive, it was a minimal and the end results noticeably made the boat perform better. I don't want to say the boat fly's now but compared to what it was last season to what it is now is a huge difference.
Michael M

Alma

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2018, 02:49:52 PM »
The 323's outhaul car is robust. Do you think I would see a difference by not attaching the foot mainsail slides?
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Rusty Pelican

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Re: When do you reef??
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2018, 08:16:19 AM »
I have a footless main, make a big difference.
Lots more efficient.
Get to play with the outhaul too. 

Chance

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Loose foot main
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2018, 10:03:12 PM »
  My last three mains on Chance have been loose footed .  I also put on a small ball bearing track  8 " on the boom for the clew.  Which is adjusted by and old harken magic box with ease.  Makes a huge difference  in sail shape and draft position. Usually sail with about 4 to 5"  draft when going to weather in light air up to 12 knots  less as wind picks up depending  on sea state.   Down wind easy off the halyard tension and the foot a little. Vang trim to get your ribbons coming off your battens to flow out.  When going on beat or close haul make sure you trim to get the ribbons to flow.  Set the traveler so the boom is no higher then center line.  If its blowing hard ease the traveler down to reduce helm.  To depower twist off the main by easing the main sheet and pulling your traveler to windward . When sailing up wind  set your jib cars so all three set of tell tails break  at the same time .  Move your cars  forward or aft to get this action, also if over powered move the card back to twist  off the genoa or jib to depower as needed . Your fall off on fore stay should be about 6 inches in the center .  This is the way most sails are cut , helps control the draft keeps from pulling the halyard to tight.  Down wind ease off the halyard a little and back stay if it easily adjustable.     If you can"t point sail fast and don't pinch , make it up in boat speed next best thing.  Every boat in phrf has its days .  Ours is on a beam reach and going downwind with  4'4" draft.  I have been sailing and racing  Chance for the past 41 years.
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