Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reefing a Sail


A sailing manoeuvre intended to reduce the area of a sail on a sailboat or sailing ship, which can improve the ship's stability and reduce the risk of capsizing, broaching, or damaging sails or boat hardware in a strong wind. Modern sailboats often combine reefing and furling of sails.

Three Basic Rules to Reef by:

1.Reef before you have to—in other words, as soon as it occurs to you.

2.When sailing downwind, reef as if you were going to windward in that same breeze.

3.When in doubt, take in a double reef instead of a single.

Note that dropping the main is still the best way of dealing with a sudden squall, when there isn't time to reef and when the winds may go above 40 knots, when reefed main, jib, and mizzen are too much canvas. Dropping the main is also great for maneuvering slowly under good control in a tight harbor or when picking up a mooring.

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