Reefing systems on small Tri's

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by waynemarlow, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. waynemarlow
    Joined: Nov 2006
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    Just coming into setting the rig up on my TC601 build and I have to start thinking about the mainsail and how to reef it. Bare in mind the sail I have is effectively a racing laminate sail ( F18 17.5sqm ).

    My preferred choice would be to go boomless eventually, although the sail I have is set up for a boom, lots of downhaul tension and lots of mainsheet tension to get the best out of it.

    My No 1 choice would be roller reefing such as the Pulse 600 and Farrier uses. This would be my preferred set up as roller reefing is so easy, but I would need to modify the sail appreciably ( I think ) as most of the batten lines wouldn't be in the right position and I would need to start thinking about modifying masts with winding handles and introducing rolling booms and other hardware.

    Has anybody come up with other solutions ?
     
  2. Zilver
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Zilver Junior Member

    Normal slab reefing ? Is easy and works good - I think also faster than roller reefing (judging by the video's I saw of the f22 roller reefing).
    A drawback could be that you need to have batten cars instead of bolt rope. I don't know if that would hurt performance too much.

    On the F22 of my brother we use slab reefing, and have no boom nor a topping lift. The loose (but attached by the battencars to the mast) bundle of sail is just put aside on the cabin when the sail is lowered, or while tying in a reef. That works good in practice.

    Regards,
    Hans
     
  3. patzefran
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    patzefran patzefran

    Why slab reefing would need batten cars ? I got it on larger Tris with boltrope, no problem !
     
  4. Zilver
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    Zilver Junior Member

    I had thought that it would be too unpractical with the loose sail on deck, but apparently not so.

    I have to say that I was thinking from a cruise-sailing perspective, where (in the Netherlands) you sometimes have to hoist and lower the sails quite often during a daysail for navigating bridges/locks etc.

    Cheers, Hans
     
  5. patzefran
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    patzefran patzefran

    Battens car makes sense if you have to lower/hoist the sail several time during a sailing, it is much easier and safer ! The draw back are the added weight / cost and aerodynamic cleanliness.
    Cheers
     
  6. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    The mast and sail is just too small to really need batten cars, the sail whizz's up and down no problem. As long as the sail is well lubricated I think we would be OK but I think it would be a different story if the boat wasn't facing into wind ie trying to reef whilst sailing. The rotating mast will help get better sail mast alignment as well.

    I am not too worried about speed as we have a roller furler on the front foresail which we can dump pretty quick which means the boat would survive up to probably over 25 knots on the main alone, its more being able to controllably reduce main sail area over a period of time or when you can see a bit of horrible weather ahead, it would be nice to get the sail down to a more manageable size or completely put away.

    Has anybody got any pics of a good slab reefing system on a cat or tri ?
     
  7. Tom.151
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Tom.151 Senior Member

    Your's is the Tim Clissold design, I presume? Then that's the place to start - just ask him what he would recommend for this boat.

    It's all down to the particular boat: how it's rigged, sail areas, access to the tack and clew locations when reefing, how the boat sits the water when heaving to, etc.

    On top of that, you need to think about who you'll have on board all the time for experienced deck crew... for a lot of us that means planning the rigging and the reefing hardware for solo conditions :)

    There's a big difference between setting up for serious sailing when reefed compared to just slapping in a temporary reef to allow you to limp back a few miles to your mooring. Everything matters and you are the one to decide how far you need to take the rigging.

    My guess is that the 190 +/- sq ft mainsail will allow you to do lots without needing winch-power to achieve the line tensions needed for shape control.

    My mainsails were big roached with boltrope luffs and fully battened - which was my choice for good sailing performance - so I needed to rig for that, but you's be sorely misled by using my stuff as a guideline. With probably more than double the mainsail area of the TC610 for openers - which means perhaps 4X the line loads - I needed to have the ability to apply much more force to get the required luff and foot tension in higher wind conditions. I can't imagine going boomless :( or roller boom for reefing.

    For myself, as a solo sailor, and for 30'-32'ers, I found that I relied on booms rigged with reefing sheaves for a minimum of three internal outhauls lead to the gooseneck with line stoppers there -- as I always set up to do all my reefing tasks from the mast base, especially for the wingmast.

    Perhaps, if you have the opportunity to hitch a ride on a tri (or even a cat, heaven forbid) with something like the same mainsail area - to give you a firsthand experience with the line loads...

    As always, keep the build pictures coming, the TC602 looks very interesting. Please, post a link to your build site if you have one
    Cheers.
     
  8. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    Tim is a very much a boomless man, I think with the sail configuration we are using then we need to rethink the boomless a bit, just exploring options here and looking for alternatives that we haven't thought about.

    These TC601's are only 20ft ( although they look and feel more like a 22fter such is the room on board ) and thus will always be limited to coastal sailing in my view, which means when a real blow is forecast, the chances are you won't be leaving harbour or if you have already done so, will be heading back to the bar fairly pronto. At this stage we are only thinking about reefing down to the hounds as below that you can get into all sorts of mast inversion problems. If you are caught in beyond that then put the mainsail away and use only the jib to get you home.

    The other consideration is what I call the phaff factor, on small boats you just want to go sailing, if putting the sails up and down is a real phaff, then you won't go sailing. This boat needs to be a launch and sail in 30 minutes job, that means the mainsail has to be readily launched and easy handling.

    Build site is http://lwr600.co.uk/TC601/index.html

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    I haven't yet updated the website to include the beams but this where we have got up to [​IMG]
     
  10. cyclone
    Joined: Jun 2012
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    cyclone Junior Member

    I used a Hobie 18 mast and boom for my Constant Camber 23 trimaran. The rig was modified for roller reeling. Two reef points were added to the mainsail. I modified the mast to allow the main halyard to run inside the mast with a 2:1 system. Hardware was fabricated to move the mainsheet(s) to the boom end and allow the boom to roll. I had new sails made last year to replace the Hobie sails and I still need to remove the top batten to fully roll the sail. Requirements for roller reeling are a topping lift and a boom end mainsheet attachment.
     
  11. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    Many thanks for that Cyclone, we had that route as a plan B and its starting to look as though it might go to plan A. My only worries with that system ( which is pretty much the Farrier / Pulse system is that to roll the boom you need a winder at the rear end which I think maybe a tad uncomfortable in higher winds and rough seas. Also the F18 sails and masts need so much tension to operate correctly ( typically 12:1 sheet loads ) that if you cannot pull directly on the sail clew, you can get the boom being bent by the leverage. I had explored some way of moving the base of the boom up to a more perpendicular position to the sail ( like some of the older monohull booms ) when starting to reef to get a better roll angle and then have some sort of rope on a furling drum at the front of the boom to roll the boom.

    All very much in discussion at the moment and all ideas welcome guys and gals.
     
  12. cyclone
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    cyclone Junior Member

    My system is similar to and borrows heavily from the rigging used on Mike Leneman's L7 trimaran. The gooseneck forms an axle which passes through the mast and attaches to a pinned hand crank in front of the mast which in turn provides rolling and also locks the boom. I use a split or inverted V mainsheet with 7:1 on each leg. The topping lift adjusts the rolling angle. The Farrier Sailing Manual has a good description of the operation.
     
  13. waynemarlow
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    waynemarlow Senior Member

    Yes the Pulse 600 / Farrier / L7 all seem to have this foward winding handle, on a very flat sail which has all the battens aligned perfectly to the boom. Its a good well designed and practical system.

    But the TC601's whole design philosophy is to be able to take a standard F18, build a central hull, add crossbeams ( which I think we have now evolved a very simple and relatively low cost solution ) and then add the standard rig.

    But the F18 mains are set up for an angled boom and battens are placed for best sail shape which means the sail probably won't conform to a rolling boom without modification. Should that over rule the simple well proven system that works or is there another method of reefing out there which may suit better ?
     

  14. jamez
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    jamez Senior Member

    Cool design this. My 2c. Don't over think it. I'd suggest a single slab reef to bring the main down to hounds height. Jib on a furler. First step reef main, 2nd step roll the jib, 3rd step drop main, sail on jib. In the kind of weather you are likely to be out in you'll probably never need to go past 2.
     
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