Question on Reefing (Reducing Main Sail)

Thread starter #1
I'd like to rig the mainsail so that I can reduce the size when the wind gets too strong for comfortable sailing. I notice that my sail DOES NOT have this capacity. I would like to know if anyone has such a sail for the 14.2 with one or two reefing points? I can take the sail in to have it adapted, and would like to know if this is advisable? At how many inches should the first and/or second reefing point be placed? How many holes are necessary (I am guessing 2 (one to the frong and one to the back) plus some ties along the point line to tie around the vang? Am I getting this right? Someone help?


The diagrams on Sailrite's website for the Jiffy Reefing Kit are pretty small and hard to read. If you contact Matt at Sailrite he can send you full page diagrams that are very descriptive..... The instructions in the kit gives you suggested locations for your reef points. This is his email address
Thread starter #4
Excelent Solution to Easy Sailing on Very Windy Days - Mainsail Take up!!! (Reefing)

I love sailing on windy days, the adrenaline is Great, but sometimes, you want smooth no risk sailing, and its too windy, or, my wife wants to go out and cant handle the crazy winds. So the solution ...

I had the sail adapted by a sail repair shop and now have a great reefing option. Here is how it goes:

Install two larger eyelets to rig the sail, one near the mast and one to the end of the boom. And another three smaller eyelets distributed along the boom to tie the sail to the boom with three short lines.

I installed two omega shaped brackets on each end of the boom to rig a line (thru which you run the line and tie a simple knot so that it stops the line). Additionally, I added a pully at the end of the boom and about 12 inches from the end, a cleat. The rigging at the end of the boom, allows you to tighten the sail once it's fully taken in.

To hoist, lower the sail slightly to work comfortably to get all the rigging in place. Lifting the end of the boom while hoisting will help get the sail up, otherwise the tension on the sail will be too strong to hoist it properly. Once it is up, tighten the rigging near the mast and cleat on the mast, and then pull on the line rigged at the end of the boom with the pulley to straighten out the sail. Roll up the left over sail hanging off the boom, and use the short ties to tie the remaining sail to the boom with a double knot, and VOILA!

I tested the sail reefed the other day with strong winds. It worked like a charm!!!! Went out with just the mainsail, and sailed comfortably, almost as on a calm day!!! It brings down the capsize risk enormously (and also the adrenaline, so adrenaline seekers, bewayre!)

For my wife, who cannot go sailing when the wind picks up, or simply if you want to sail on a very windy day and not be so stressed about capsizing, this is a great solution. I was literally sailing laying back with the wind really blowing! I'll post some pictures along with this post. If you want more info, send me an email,



Thanks for your description and photos. I have one question, if you wouldn't mind.
At the aft end of the boom, are there two lnes running through a double pulley? One being the blue line from clew grommet and the other being a yellow line from the aft reefing grommet? I could not see how the 2 lines are handled at the aft end of the boom.

I believe your example will be very applicable and helpful for rigging a reefed sail on my 1982 Omega 14 by Capri.

Thank you for your help.
I am sailing a 2006 Catalina 14.2K (keel version) and ordered reefing points from the factory when I had the boat built. Added lazy jacks as well as jiffy reefing. The reefing system I installed is very similar to what is previously explained except that at the aft end of the boom I use one omega shaped bracket on the starboard side and a small Harken air block on the port side. Two air blocks forward on either side of the boom in a position just below but a little forward of the reefing cringle on the main. Finally, a small cleat on the starboard side of the boom and several feet aft of the block. Dead ended the reefing line on the bracket at the aft end of the boom, pass the line up and through the aft reefing cringle, down through the block, lead the line to the forward port block, up and through the forward reefing cringle, down through the starboard block and back to the small cleat. Line is loose enough to not inhibit fully raising the main and also not restrict the shape of the sail. So, pulling the line taught for reefing (and securing to the cleat) secures both the aft cringle and the forward cringle for sailing jiffy reefed. Catalina also installed several cringles for passing light line through to secure the extra sail when reefed. Simple, not too expensive, and a great way for me to single hand in higher wind conditions. Works best if secured before a final raising of the main.
The lazy jacks also help with single handing when lowering the main after sailing. Cat is kept at a dock during the summer and fall with a sail cover in place. Roller furling jib with the UV protection also simplified things.
With the 200 pound keel, the boat rides well at the dock, and handles as easily as my old Tanzer 22 and Cape Dory Typhoon, although a little more tender. Bigger boat features in a really great dingy sailboat. Much more stable than a previous Tanzer 16 (a long time ago).
We are situated on a 50,000 acre fresh water lake (man made impoundment of Roanoke River) on the NC/VA state line with about 20 miles of water in an east-west orientation and about 15 miles of water in a north-south orientation. Moderate to light winds most of the time except spring and fall. Sailboats on the lake range from the Cat 14.2 to about 29 feet class.
Enjoy your ride wherever you are!
I've got an '86 Mod 1 that was in pretty rough shape when I bought it for $1200. Did a lot of improvements, first was the sail setup. Found a good shop that installed reef points and slugs in the main. Slugs make the main far easier to hoist/lower compered to the stock bolt rope. Reef points make a huge difference in higher wind situations, although as a single hander I need to decide whether to reef or not before heading out. With an experianced crew member you could reef/unreef while underway. Now for the jib I stayed with the original rather than trashing it for a roller furl. The secret to hoist/lower while underway was to have some nice sized brass hanks installed which allowed room for a small tag line inside. Then you can work the sail up/down by playing the halyard against tag line, keeping tension on both. Tie it off on the deck (with a bit on tension on the sheet lines) and that's it! This is possible for a singlehander to do while underway.
My mode of operation is to have all sails ready to go (main flaked to the boom and jib tied off on foredeck). Then I drop her in the drink, power out (I have a nice lightweight Minkota trolling motor), hoist, and go! Now also key to this setup is the autoclutch tiller tender, discussed in other threads here.
As far as your having the fixed keel version I would love to have that also but the ease of launch/retrieval, trailer handling and storage make it better for me to have the swing board model. I'm a fairly strong (for a 66 year old fart) guy who can drag my boat to backyard storage area with a dolly, an extra 200 lb would not help. And lower profile sitting on trailer makes the boat invisible to the neighbors so I can keep it on my lot. This is my 3rd year with Capri and I have gotten the hang of keeping control under almost any conditions. Never dumped her yet. I have a portable 200 lb keel (my gut) which also helps the hiking out equation!
Ooops also forgot to mention the "boomkicker", that's the fiberglass rod setup that holds boom up when main is tied off. Can't be without that either!
Sounds like we are on similar "pages" regarding single handing. I mistyped the year model on my Mod 3; it is a 2016 so it is rigged with the furling jib. On my previous Cape Dory Typhoon I also rigged a downhaul on the jib hanks, led the downhaul to the cockpit, and was happy with that arrangement; using either a working jib or several other jibs up to a 170. On the Cat, I had a topping lift installed before taking delivery on the boat and also use a tiller tamer, along with a Honda 2.3 mounted on the Catalina o/board mounting bracket. We live about 2.5 miles down the lake from a really nice state park/campground/marina which provides a triple, a double, and a single boat ramp. Spring and fall we launch and retrieve the Cat by using basically a rope bridle to disconnect the trailer from the truck and sinking the trailer enough for the keel to clear the trailer supports. This would not be satisfactory if having to launch each time I was going sailing! The dealer I dealt with operates a sailboat yard in Oriental, NC and also tows and rigs boats up to about 50 feet. He prepared the hull of the Cat and applied the proper layers of barrier coat to the hull and then antifouling (multi season ablative) bottom paint. The advantage I have is home includes about 3.5 acres of land adjoining the lake which gives me plenty of room for storing and maintaining boats as well as a ton of privacy. So far, at 72 I am still agile enough to handle the launching and maintenance of the boat, just as I did for the previous Tanzer and Cape Dory. There are no marinas with lifts on the lake so trailering is really the only way to go, keel or not. Should get three good days on the water over Labor Day if the weather forecast holds! Good sailing to all!!
This attached photo of the reefing lines is a big help. I'm having new sails made for my Mod-2, and I'm having reef points installed. Until I saw this photo, I wasn't sure how to run/route the reefing lines to keep things "shipshape" and taught. Now I just need to contact the sailmaker to be sure they're going to include an eyelet at the leach for tensioning the foot/outhaul, like is seen the photo. :cool:

For some reason, and maybe this is normal on the Capri, my furling line didn't have any way to cleat it, to ensure the jib didn't just deploy itself after you rolled it up (perhaps the 14.2 didn't come with a furling jib in '92?). It didn't even have a fairlead to keep the furling line in place. I had to install both a fairlead and clam-cleat on the starboard spray guard to keep the line where I could reach it. I left myself a little extra length in the line so I wouldn't have to go too far to furl the jib when sailing singlehanded.

I'm curious if those of you with reef points are taking down/furling your jibs when the wind gets too high and you've reefed your main?
Have you ever tried furling the jib part way, reefing the jib? I've read that it's not as efficient that way, but I'm curious if it works to help de-power the rig.

- W


My Cat 14.2K included a fairlead close to the jib furling drum, one mounted on the spray "rail" (now molded as part of the deck on Mod 3's), and a cleat mounted on the deck beside the mast for securing the furling line. I added a small shackle below the furling drum and a loop in the end of the furling line attachment on the drum. This allows me to use a small diameter line to tie the furling drum to the shackle, locking down the furler, when leaving the boat at the dock with the jib furled. My previous boats which had roller furling installed used a foil around the forestay instead of having the forestay integral to the jib. The jibs were also lightly padded where they would wrap around the foil and were designed for reefing by furling. I don't think the integral forestay in the 14.2 jib furling system lends itself to reefing since it would wrap the sail so tightly, increasing wear on the jib fabric and possibly threatening the integrity of the system. However, in a "emergency" I would not hesitate to furl the jib about 50% or so. I haven't generally found a need to furl the jib when sailing with the main reefed but have at times sailed with the main not reefed and kept the jib furled when winds were more than moderate. I was just "lazy". But, I also have the advantage of a keel for stability.