Topic: Reefing lines set up+pictures

Does anyone has any pictures and or instructions on how to set up the reefing lines on a Contessa 26? My boom has three lines. This is my first year doing this by myself.


Re: Reefing lines set up+pictures


Did you get your reefing lines worked out?  I rearranged mine this year and and I can give you some input as to what's working and what's not.


Re: Reefing lines set up+pictures

It has been five years since anyone posted to this topic, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me about their reefing setup.  I just got a Contessa 26 last year, and haven't set up satisfactory reefing.  Am about to buy hardware for the boom, and would love to have some advice from someone who has a good setup.

4 (edited by bertinol 2014-06-05 11:00:59)

Re: Reefing lines set up+pictures

There are many, many ways of reefing, and everybody has their favourite. I have a handy system that I like because you can do most of it while holding on to the mast, an important consideration in emergencies when you need to reef most.

I have a reefing hook attached to the gooseneck with one foot of line. It is set so I can drop the sail to the reefing points (the cringle), attach the hook and tighten the main halyard.

I have a second line that attaches to an eyelet on the stbd side of the boom near the far end. The line goes up, through the rearmost cringle and down to a cheek block on the port side of the boom opposite the eyelet on the stbd side. The line then goes forward through several eyelets to the gooseneck where I tie it off. The cheek block and stbd eyelet should be behind the rearmost cringle to keep the sail taught.

I have attached two-foot lines that run through the two middle cringles. They have figure of eight knots and a stainless washer at each end so they don't pull through.

To reef:
- I go to the base of the mast;
- I lower the sail two feet, attach the reefing hook and rehoist the main until taught;
- I pull the rear reefing line, the one that goes to the far end of the boom, until the rearmost cringle is on the boom;
- I tie the  middle two cringles with reef knots (natch) if the boat isn't bouncing too much. Careful of this one. Make sure you are heading into the wind and the boom is centred;
- The middle two reefing lines should go around the bottom of the sail on loose-footed sails, and around the boom otherwise.

No problem.

Any better ideas???? I'm all ears.

Re: Reefing lines set up+pictures

Thanks a lot, bertinol!  That's helpful.  It sounds like a good straightforward solution that doesn't require a lot of hardware or leave a lot of lines dangling around.  I'll give that a try.

Re: Reefing lines set up+pictures

The mainsail on a Contessa 26 is small enough to allow single line reefing that can be done without leaving the cockpit. There are lots of examples on the internet.

Re: Reefing lines set up+pictures

Its a tradeoff. 

Traditional reefing: Ramshorn hook or similar at gooseneck, reefing lines led to jammers on boom at gooseneck, reef points to tidy up the foot.  Its low friction, simple and cheap, but you need a competent helm and crew + the crew must be reasonably fit.  Can be <expletive> scary if you've left it a bit too late in worsening conditions. If any lines are led aft, its a PITA that may need extra cockpit crew. 

Single line reefing - needs *ALL* lines led aft, including topping lift, kicker and lasyjacks.   Needs a stackpack or similar to control the loose flap of sail.  High friction, complex and expensive, but if you are singlehanding inshore or your crew is less physically able, you may not be able to cope without it.