Reefing lines

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March 12, 2013 at 10:12 #6421

Ollie Holden

Has anyone implemented a good slab reefing system? We have survived fine with external clew lines which we tie off on a horn cleat on the side if the boom, by ensuring we raise the boom with the topping lift and ease enough halyard, but it can be a bit of a struggle when on a broad reach. I was considering fitting a couple of side mounted clutches and a small self tailing winch to the underside of the boom ( which is original). Anyone done this and has it worked? Thank you for your help.

December 20, 2018 at 14:24 #26503

João de Almeida Farracho


does anyone have set a reefing system at the original boom?

Can you post some pics please?

How do you reef?

Thank you.

Best Regards,

João – Conche


December 24, 2018 at 22:55 #26506


G’day Joao,
Did just that some 20 years ago.
Assuming the gooseneck has a ‘staghorn’ fitting, part of the original roller reefing.


All fittings are on the starboard side (is that because I’m right handed!)
The boom is fitted from fwd to aft, firstly the staghorn top fitting on gooseneck, winch and jamming cleat.

Staghorn side view


Winch on boom

At the after end 2 turning blocks just 45˚ behind sail leach s/s cringles for first and second reef. (I also fitted 2 eyelets at midsection to hold reefing lines against the boom)

Mainsail: Sailmaker/you insert s/s ‘eye’ cringles at both the leach and luff of the sail where the first and second reef will ‘sit’ i. e. Tack/clew, on the boom. The sail should be strengthened in these ‘stress’ areas. Thread some ¾” webbing (about 4”) through the luff cringle (which now becomes the tack when reefed) and sew a s/s ring to each end. Each ring should be of a diameter greater that the cringle.

reef hooks


I have the 2 reefing lines secured to the port side of the boom, threaded through the appropriate clew cringle down to the turning blocks. (a 2:1 purchase), through the midship eyelets to either the winch or directly to the jamming cleat.

cheek blocks

Have also inserted small s/s cringles in the sail (I think 4) between each tack and clew so I can lace up surplus sail when reefed.

In offshore conditions have found reefing easy. Having the benefit of a sold boom vang just slack off the main sheet, slack off the main halyard until able to slide the webbing cringle on to the staghorn hook, tension up the main halyard, pull in the reefing line until clew cringle and  boom is ‘2 blocks’, then in with the main sheet and off you go!

Regret some of the terminology may be a little ‘wobbly’, advancing years and all that.


December 29, 2018 at 08:30 #26507
John Tyler
John Tyler

Hi Ollie

If I were you, I’d head into the wind to reef, every time. It means a change of direction, but saves time in the long run.



January 5, 2019 at 21:32 #26508

João de Almeida Farracho


thank you much for the patience and effort.

Wish all very good year with health,




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