racing with #2 REEF

Thread starter #1
Last w/e, I finally got a chance to race in 20-25 mph winds with a #2 reef in a racing sail. The reef is easy to rig on the water and the boat is very manageable in a blow. I run a long uphaul to the head of the sail down through the tack and tie off the bitter end (after a purchase) at the fwd. boom block bail. To reef: just blow off the up haul ; honker down the cunningham 2 grommets to the tack; haul on the clew outhaul and off you go. Performance wise; I was able to stay ahead of several good/younger/heavyweight sailors, not losing on screaming reaches or on runs. Bottom line: there is hope for old (72) semi-lightweight (165) and junior skippers. To facilitate this rig, we really need a 3rd cleat on the boom--more discussion needed by juniors/seniors/Advisory Council .
Hi Odie-
Great system. I know that there has been talk of this in the past, and not sure if it truly legal under class rules. I think that you can either have an adjustable cunningham or uphaul, but not both. If there is an interpretation that allows both, I am all for it!

I was at the same regatta as odegaard. My 22 inch Jens didn't help me as much as I would have liked, but I tried. I seemed to be slow on what I hoped would be screaming reaches, oh well. A big gust came in when I was at the jibe mark and I decided to jibe anyway. I ended up turtling the boat.... that's really slow :).

I have also heard that at one regatta up in the NY Long Island area people were using both a reef and a Jens at the same time with good results.

I am going to setup my rig for reefing because of how well odegaard did.
Hi All,

At the Worlds Advisory Council, we discussed the idea of a 3rd cleat for the reef, and it was well-received. Greg Gust is going to come up with a recommended position for it. Paul, interested in where you think it should go.

Andy, the reef has been considered acceptable, as it requires no extra lines - just a radically longer outhaul on the upper spar. Cindy is right, at the Pan Am qualifiers at Sayville a couple years back, Paul Foerster sailed with a reef and a jens in a couple races, won a few, and won the regatta.

First of all the reef system has been in use for years now and does NOT require another cleat.

I use this setup which consists of a 25’ line going to the top of the spar to adjust the sail vs the traditional cunningham setup. To lower the sail, you easy off the top ( with the cleat on the boom ) and take up the slack at the tack with a line attached with the existing S hook which also has loops. The loops are in different increments to lower the sail. The original setup was all or none with the S hook attached at the tack and hooking into the Cunningham grommet hole. This has been refined so it can be adjusted in increments as you setup with the loops. This line is lead thru the tack eyebolt on the bottom spar and the S hook up thru the cunningham grommet. The S hooks hangs loose when not in use. The tale end has the loops so when the sail is lowered the S hook can hook into the loops. Loops are not required if you want to hook it into the tack. Depends on your increments to lower the sail. The last adjustment loops under the bottom spar and back to the grommet hole on the other side of the sail which brings the sail down all the way to the bottom spar.

You’ll need at least 2 sail clips as line fairleads up the top spar. This will keep the line from bowing as the top spar bends.

I use two purchases. ( one at the tack going up the top spar and one at the cleat on the boom) As the top is lowered, the purchases at the cleat is removed. This is where the extra lines come from to lower sail and keeps the system clean of excess line.

I also replaced the end cap at the tack with one that has a fairlead which is offset so it doesn’t interfere with the nut on the eyebolt.

I also use 1/8” line …. Small but with the two purchases is easy to pull. Make sure you use thimbles in your purchased to keep the friction down. I found that larger lines has too much friction. I also use a thimble to turn at the tack. The thimble as a fairlead has been questioned and needs to be addressed. It can be construed as part of the purchase or as a fairlead. Either way, the thimble is there to prevent line from chafing. It is legal only as to the use of the thimble has been questioned.

If was ask for anything, it would be to include an end cap which has a fairlead at the tack. Easy cost effective system.

Tom Whitehurst
Thread starter #6
Tom, interesting rig, and I assume legal if you consider your "loops" are sail attachment lines allowed under 3.6.3. I now read that my proposed three line system is really not currently legal per 3.5.6 which states: "A total of two lines----" and "Only one adjustable outhaul/inhaul is allowed for each spar". Chris you agree?
I still would be in favor or changing 3.5.6 to allow three lines/cleats for the following reasons:
  1. Simplicity: 3rd cleat/lines vs multible loops at tack.
  2. Versatility: infinite reef adjustment.
  3. Easy adjust from the cockpit-vs going fwd to the tack in a blow/sea.
Whatever we decide, we somehow have to get the word out to juniors that reefing is a viable option (amoung several others) to de-power the Sunfish . The versatilty of the Sunfish lateen rig provides a HUGE advantage over the competition (read brand L).

Regarding placement of the proposed cleats-all three on the boom seems to make sense. I am, however, in favor of leaving this decision up to personal preference.
Thread starter #8
No, the boom is not drawn up to the sail like big boats with reef points--the sail is lowered and just hangs below the boom. There is not allot of flapping of the sail along the boom, since the sag is only ~1-2 grommets down.
It would be great if someone would post some pictures of this setup...hard to visualize without pictures. Also, if you do lower the sail to pull on the reef, what about the sail tie just above regular halyard position..that tie will catch on the halyard knot which will not allow the sail to be you just not use a sail tie at that location?
The presumption is that you've already put in a jens which lowers the halyard below the tie. Depends on your jens setup as the Gust Adjust would not work with the tie. Some sail without this sail tie at this location.

I took pics and I'll get them posted but I have to reduce the pic sizes first. Too big to post.

1) Jens first. The idea of the jens it opens up the leach.
2) Reef second. You need to also increase the jens to keep the distance to the top of the sail the same as this should not get shorter. ie.. most jens setup are one clip. The reef would require one clip plus the amount of reef in the jens line position. If you look the pics and interview of David Mendelblatt at the worlds. He was sailing with almost two clips with his jens setup and then put in a small reef.

ok, I took the sail off so both side of the sail can be seen. This is the sail before a reef. The hole in the ruler is where the cunningham grommet would be. Its about 1" above the thimble.


Re: racing with #2 REEF - Photo

The link below should take you to a picture of two SF on dollies at the worlds. The boat on the left, 3932, has a reef and a large jens. You can see it has the reef as the window is low, and there is extra top spar sticking up above the sail. This might be David Mendelblatt's boat. This is how he said he sailed the first day, and at less than 150 lbs he had a 5th and an 8th if I recall correctly. He is also in shape, but the big reduction in power certainly helped him do well.