Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

As I'm getting more adventurous with the conditions I go sailing in, I thought it prudent to ask Sailrite (from whom I bought the kits for my sails) where the reef point(s) on the main should be located.  As usual, Jeff Frank replied quickly with a very informative answer, so I thought I'd share it here.  He also sent a pic which I've included below.

Hi Chris,

There is no exact rule on where you need to place a reef point.  The rule of thumb is reducing sail area by 12.5 to 20 percent. 

I attached a picture of where I think the reef should be positioned.  The reef in the pic is 2’6” up the luff and 2’9” up the leech, the intermediate reef positions can be added to suit I show 3 but you could go down to 2 points.  The key with the intermediate reef positions is that there centers should be 2.5 to 3 inches below the line between the two main (luff and leech edge) points.  This is done so that the intermediates are not taking the load of the sail when reefed they are only holding the excess cloth to the boom.

Intermediate points consist of 2 layers of 3”x3” square patches for each point. 

The luff and leech patches should be copies of the tack and clew patches, same size same number of layers.

Let me know if you have further questions.

 

Best Regards,

Jeff Frank

This info should be sufficient for me to add reef points to my main.  They even send extra cloth in the kit, so that's very cool.  There's even a Sailrite video on YouTube about adding reef points to sails.  Sailrite is definitely a phenomenal resource.


10 replies:

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RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

In reefing the Gunter, do you raise the boom or lower the yard?

Hooper

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

Good question.  I have a fixed gooseneck, so the yard will come down.  I also have a sliding gooseneck for the yard, which means I don't have to worry about a parrel as the yard moves farther away from the sheave.  This also in effect lowers the Center of Effort of the sail, which is what you want in conditions that require reefing.

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

I’ll just have to make sure I have a good strong parrel.

Hooper

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

The parrel on my EP is a piece of small Dyneem and some wooden craft beads.

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

Mine is paracord with wooden craft beads.  It works, but when the yard is not snugged up to the mast, the yard jaws disengage and there is nothing holding it but the parrel.  I think, for reefing, a very strong parrel is in order.  I have some 1/8" SS cable left over from another project.  I'll bet some wooden beads on a piece of that would make a nice, dependable parrel.   

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

Hey Hooper,

FYI:  Dyneema is as strong as your 1/8" SS cable, much easier to work with and won't mar your mast.

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

What Skully said. For that matter, 1/8" nylon has a breaking strength measured in the high hundreds of pounds and it stretches to absorb the shock of wind gusts.

Laszlo

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

Good point, Laszlo,

I actually used Dacron to attach my sail slided on the luff to the sail track.

On another point, I thought I'd dive a bit deeper into the logistics of adding reef point patches to the sail after it's built.  I'm envisioning having to use a seam ripper and undo a foot of stitches on the luff and the leach to install the reinforcement.  When building the sail, you wrap the edge over the patches to capture them and to get a better mechanical bond.  This means that I'll have to slide the patches into the slot I open up, then once restitched, It will be the same as if I'd put in the reef points originally.  I also use 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to get a good bond across the entire surface area, so that should be interesting.

The good news is that the intermediary patches for the bunt lines are easily applied on the surface.

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

You should post good pics of that process

Hooper

 

RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop - Mainsail Reefing Points

Hooper,

I actually film almost all of the stuff I build, but the pics and video of white layers of Dacron running through a white sewing machine never turn out to be very interesting at my currently pathetic skill level of cinematography.  

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