Reefing Hansa 303s and Liberty's (7 replies)
It seems to be quite difficult on 303s and Liberty's to keep the mainsail flat when reefed in a decent wind. Bringing the mainsail outhaul down to the console, and fitting an alloy clamcleat or (better but more expensive) a cam cleat is a big improvement over the plastic cleats on the boom. But stopping the mast unwinding is still a bit of a problem- either the mast clamp is not robust enough or the grip of the reefing line is not good enough. Any suggestions?
2.3s seem to be less of an issue, presumably because the sail area is small enough for the set-up.
It should be possible to introduce a peg/hole system to lock the mast completely as reefing is usually a whole/half number of wraps.
You wouldn't need too many holes in the mast. One 5mm hole may be enough?
I wrote the Swarkestone contribution about 10 years ago - it has never let us down.
Simon - Sadly I don't appear to be able to edit my post above - can this be activated?
Anyway I forgot to mention that we also use cam cleats with fairleads on the deck for the outhaul on our 303s.
If like us you use deck cam cleats for the outhaul it is important to remove the plastic cleat on the boom. This is because it is possible for the main sheet to catch in the boom cleat if not in use, preventing the main sheet from being eased.
Hi John Thanks for this- I hadn't seen that. Any chance of a photo sometime?
Like you we don't use the drum as a furling system- we wrap and use the cleats just to secure. But sailing this afternoon I noticed the reefing line kept popping out of the cleat. And there was a bit of play in the drum, and the sail slips around the mast. All very unsatisfactory.
My thoughts so far:
- Our boom cleats have been removed already- apparently they slipped anyway, and they must be hard to get tension on when you are in the boat, or standing alongside on the pontoon. Possibly a Pico-style outhaul with a decent cleat would work better. I do intend to fit cheek blocks at the boom end, and maybe increase the purchase.
- Currently the outhaul runs from the mainsheet turning block (about 18" back from the mast) diagonally down to a turning block on the console, then back to an ali clamcleat. The cleat is great- but the diagonal is unsatisfactory- when you sheet in hard, the boom comes down, lengthening the outhaul along the boom by about 1". Moving the outhaul forward to a block about 8" behind the mast is better, with only about 1/2" of movement. But it is still the opposite of what you want.
- If tightened properly, the furler does seem to grip the mast adequately on the 303s. Not sure about the Libertys. But it does depend on volunteers tightening it properly- easy to overlook.
- The bottom of the sail doesn't really grip the mast. If you have got tight wraps in, it is probably OK, but without that you can unwind the bottom of the sail by a half turn or so before the effect of the fixed head is transmitted down the mast and stops it unwrapping further. I am going to try some self adhesive velcro at the mainsail tack to see if that helps.
Good sailors with reasonable mobility will be able to sort this out on the water, but for our less experienced volunteers and less mobile sailors it is asking a lot to be able to sail comfortably in a breeze with a bulging mainsail foot. My radical thought is to rivet the gooseneck drum to the mast (similar to the jib) and lock the mast with a peg. And find a non-variable outhaul arrangement. But at the moment I am in incremental/ non-invasive mode.
All contributions welcome!
Some photos on how we set up our 303s. Using aluminium clam cleats is in my view critical- plastic just isn't good enough. So long as there is enough grip of the collar on the mast (if it gets very smooth, a bit of very light sanding of the mast should fix it), the reef seems to stay in. The 2:1 purchase on the outhaul means that most sailors can adjust the outhaul without assistance.
For the jib, there is enough friction that the plastic cleat is OK.
One photo at a time