Reefing system

Hello,
Does anyone have any pictures / diagrams and descriptions of a reefing system with lines to control and reef while sailing? I have ordered a new sail for cruising with a single row of reefing points and would like to also install a system of lines running along the boom so I can reef more easily while on the water. Any tips gratefully received,

Kind Regards,

Ellie

I have never reefed a boat, never mind a Mirror, but I have seen a variety of ways of doing it. Rolling the sail round the boom is perhaps easier than using ties while you're afloat, but it's easier to unreef the sail if it's tied, so you might want to do it both ways - use the ties if you reef before launching, and roller-reef if the wind gets too strong while sailing if you find it too difficult to use the ties (due to cold hands and urgency).

I don't know what a system of lines running along the boom would be used for, so I can't comment on that.

The main problem is what you do with the gaff (if you're using the gunter rig rather than the new Bermudan one), and there is no ideal solution for this. One approach is to have a second halyard running to the top of the gaff so that you can lower the sail while keeping the gaff fully up, but this leads to the luff of the sail below the gaff not being tied to the mast (unless you fit more eyelets higher than the normal ones, but even then it might be dangerous trying to tie them if you don't lower the gaff to do so, although a better solution could be designed by having an extended track below the gaff for the sail luff to run through, but no one has yet made such a thing). The sail does work though even with that stretch of luff not tied to the mast, so it is viable.

Another approach is to have a second halyard attachment point higher up the gaff so that it can be raised to a lower altitude (this is the simplest solution, but you need to use a shackle on the halyard so that you can switch it between the two attachment points, which isn't a problem, provided that you don't drop the pin).

A third approach is to use a topping lift to raise and lower a pulley for the gaff to be raised to, thereby allowing you to use a single halyard attachment point.

The first and third approaches both allow you to roller-reef to any sail height rather than being restricted to just two. Given that you only have one line of reefing points, I would recommend the second approach for now as it's simplest to implement, and making a few new screw holes near the top of the gaff won't be weakening it in any crucial place. (If the first approach is improved by the missing piece of kit (the track) being manufactured by someone, you can easily switch over to using that later on.)

curlew's picture

Hi Ellie
I have a very good and tried system on my Mirror and can send the drawings if I have an email address. You can see it in action on the water at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMKtOlK6WjM
Also other videos on my channel show the rig ashore, under the heading Mirror Mods.
Good sailing
david
Curlew

Hi David, and David!
Thank you for advice - I am converting to a Bermudan rig, so that should be easier, and thinking of a system as used on cruisers. My email address elliethomas01@yahoo.com,

Kind Regards,

Ellie

Hi David
I too wish to fit a reefing system to my Mirror. Could you send me drawings please? My email address is: lookinthru@yahoo.com. thanks. Ian

curlew's picture

Hi Ellie and Rizzo
I will send you details. It makes no difference if it is Bermudan or gaff really.
David

Thanks David. I look forward to receiving them. Cheers ian

Hi David,
spotted a typo in my email address - elliethomas01@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Ellie

curlew's picture

Hi Ellie
I sent the email to you and Ian. I cannot see a typo!
If anyone else wants my info please give me an email address.
Good sailing
David

Hi David,
many thanks for the links and diagrams - really helpful. I have ordered blocks, cleats and lines and aim to be on the water with it by the end of March,

Kind REgards,

Ellie

PuffinInTegel's picture

@Ellie: There was another discussion about reefing, with several photos:
See https://mirrordiscussforum.org/Drupal_02/node/475 .
Let us know how you progress!
Cheers,

Gernot H.

hi David
i`m sailing a mirror one handed [#13159] and was looking for a simple gunter reefing and saw your entry.
I would like to see your drawings also.
many thanks. [dennisbrown3@bigpond.com]
denn

PuffinInTegel's picture

@ Dennis: welcome to the forum.
You do not need to publish your e-mail address in a thread, clicking on the user name, selecting "view user profile" and then using the "contact" tab function allows you to send the user a personal message, making sure it is sent to her/him (unless that user has expressly deactivated the contacts function). The recipient can then choose whether to answer you directly or via the forum contact function.
Cheers,
Gernot H.