1 (edited by Virago Deb 2015-08-15 14:09:21)

Topic: reefing or dropping main while running

I singlehand my boat and I do not have any sort of autohelm or vane steering.  When Virago is steering herself I can reef the main with the wind abaft the beam, but when the wind get up and I have not reefed in time it can get hairy, or when I want to take the main down all together.  I don't like to head up into the wind to reef, drop or raise a bit of main if we're rollicking down wind because I find things can get even more hairy.  One strategy I've used to drop or reef is to sheet the main in to the centerline to take some of the pressure off it, but I'm open to other ideas. What I'm thinking about right now is when I'm running in heavy wind with just the headsail up and then decide I want to heave to - I need a bit of main up to heave to.  Getting that bit of main up can be a handful when alone. How do you other Co. sailors manage this?

Re: reefing or dropping main while running

Virago Deb wrote:

I singlehand my boat and I do not have any sort of autohelm or vane steering.  When Virago is steering herself I can reef the main with the wind abaft the beam, but when the wind get up and I have not reefed in time it can get hairy, or when I want to take the main down all together.  I don't like to head up into the wind to reef, drop or raise a bit of main if we're rollicking down wind because I find things can get even more hairy.  One strategy I've used to drop or reef is to sheet the main in to the centerline to take some of the pressure off it, but I'm open to other ideas. What I'm thinking about right now is when I'm running in heavy wind with just the headsail up and then decide I want to heave to - I need a bit of main up to heave to.  Getting that bit of main up can be a handful when alone. How do you other Co. sailors manage this?

I think sheeting the main to the centreline is a bit risky as you could find yourself with the wind abeam.  When I want to drop the main without coming right into the wind I let the main out until the sail is on the shrouds and then come up into the wind enough for the main to luff.  Then I can usually manage to get the main to come down fairly easily.  That said, I'm an early reefer because I don't like things to get hairy smile