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The Manoeuvres


Generally a reef is taken in the mainsail, to adapt the surface to the strength of the wind as soon as white horses develop or when the boat heels excessively.

This operation is easiest if done in port before hoisting the sails:

  • Pull the ‘reefing pennant’ (a special rope) through the eyelet in the tack (forward corner of the foot) in the reef band and attach it to a hook fitted specially for this purpose on the boom.
  • Do likewise with a second reefing pennant and the clew (aft corner); pass it round the cleat at the end of the boom then around the boom making it fast so that the eyelet is fastened on top of the boom.
  • Tie the reef points around the boom by rolling up the sail, but be careful not to pull too tight.
  • Then, hoist normally.

This manoeuvre may be necessary when out on the lake because of an unexpected increase in the wind force. In that case, one must sail close hauled, then lower the main sail partly, keeping the boom inside the boat, and continue sailing on the same course with the jib only (the boat will now carry leehelm and will tend to bear away).
The sail is now reefed as previously described.

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