Reefing a Lateen Sail for Voyaging

Thread starter #21
John.... I'm with you on this. On the coast where I'll be going, "waiting it out" is often not very appealing. A true reef is the only way to go.

I had a long conversation with my sailmaker, and we've decided that a pie-shaped reef (like shown in the first picture I attached) only moves the CE back about a foot, and down by 6"..... so there should be few adverse handling effects.

The other pic with the little jib would indeed be problematic like Beldar pointed out, since the CE is very high.
If you look at the Texas 200 web site and go to the photo sections for various years you will see the balanced lug sail that many of the home built boats use. These boats are all setup to put two reefs (min.) in the sails. The sail is similar to the Sunfish sail except the upper boom does not meet the lower boom forward. Could you not make a similar style sail setup for your Sunfish for cruising that would allow reefing and not cause handling problems. Mayfly Sail.JPG



Well-Known Member
"...While I do enjoy the lively performance of my boat in sheltered waters, I'd hate to get caught in a squall very far away from land (more than a mile or so) without some ability to shorten sail..."
With the right hitch near the masthead and a simple fitting mounted behind the bow handle, a staysail could keep your Sunfish moving forward should you need to drop the main in extreme conditions. (Like a microburst).

In googling "under-staysail-only", Google returned:

I might be a little too late, but here is another idea that might work for you. Get the super sunfish or laser radial rig and depower it the way laser guys do it by rapping the sail around the mast. You will not be able to use battens but you probably don't care to get 100% performance.