Reefing is Not a City in China
On numerous occasions our Pacific Yachting charter customers & students say: “Do you think the wind is even going to come up?”
The answer is yes! If it looks dead out there, please realize that Mother Nature is just taking a breather first thing in the morning. That gives you time to pull the mainsail up at the dock and put a single or double reef in. Practice this with your crew. It sometimes takes a bit of adjusting to get the new tack and clew right.
The most common mistake I see people doing is:
1. The main sheet is not released enough.
2. The main halyard is not released enough. Look at the leech of the sail. If it looks tight, let the halyard down more.
3. The boom vang is cleated or pulled too tight.
4. Head in to the wind
5. If you can’t head into the wind at the dock, release the main sheet. Physically push the boom out as far as it will go. There shouldn’t be pressure on the main sail while pulling it up. Never force anything.
6. Please don’t tie up the reef cringles unless you absolutely leave them very, very loose. That’s those little holes that are aligned from the reef tack to the reef clew. The mistake people make is that they tie the cringles too tight. The tack and clew are meant to carry the pressure and load, not the cringles.