Welcome to the UKWA Home Page Forums Technical Reefing Mainsail

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    I am trying to get my head around adding slab reefing to my wayfarer.

    I am new to all this….so i am reading a lot in the wayfarer book and in this forums, and u-tube videos.

    I dont suppose someone has a complete picture or drawing of the side of a main sail and boom showing the reefing points and lines? and which lines go where?



    Bob Harland

    Rob, not sure if you have seen this article;

    hope that helps


    ah yeah thanks Bob, i have seen that one.

    My problem is that I havent seen a reefing system on a real wayfarer, only pictures, but i cant find a full picture of the sail and mast. Hopefully it will help me understand how the lines and reefing points are in perspective of the whole sail.




    It is easier to look at a boat if you can find one near you. If it helps this is about the only picture I have that shows the general setup. I’m not sure if the forum will retain the resolution of this pic – email me if you want higher resolution.

    The leech pennants are tied to boom sliders (as wayfarer article) go up to the leech cringles on the port side, then come down the sail to run through blocks tied to the same sliders on starboard, they then run forward through eyes midway on the boom (to minimise sagging rope) to racing cleats just above the kicker.

    The luff is reefed via a Cunningham – you can see the setup if you zoom in – the hook is through the Cunningham eye in this photo..

    This was the first time out with this deep reefing setup – I usually pre-set the leech pennants, they are too tight here and were soon fixed, however I’d forgotten to lengthen the Cunningham which is why it is not hooked into the first reef, which is its usual home.

    Dave Bevan

    Hi Rob,
    This is a bit crude, but hopefully this will help to give you the overall idea in conjunction with Bob’s article.

    The red line is fixed to an eye on the boom just aft of the black band. It goes up through the aft reefing cringle on the sail, then back down to a turning block to route it to a sheeve on the aft end of the boom, where it goes inside the boom towards the gooseneck and exits near the front through a clamcleat + turning block where the crew can pull it down.

    The green line is fixed on the LH side of the mast just below the gooseneck, and goes up through the front reefing cringle, and back down to a clamcleat on the RH side of the mast, again just below the gooseneck, so that it pulls down and foreward. This is less ideal than the hooks described in Bob’s article.

    The blue line is bungee-cord looped through each of the reefing eyes, with a plastic hook in the middle of each loop. I recommend a contrasting colour for the bungee so you can find it against the white sail, and although you can get away with hooks on one side, they’re easier to find in a hurry if you fit them on both sides of the sail.

    When not in use, I have a loop of bungee around the boom and the mast to hold the red and green lines out of the way for racing etc.

    If you send me a PM, I can send the original-sized image which is a bit clearer.




    Fantasic. Thanks for all your help. We installed our reefing system, and tried it out today in F4 with one reef, and it worked a treat!.



    Hi, I’ve been reading this topic with interest as I have a spare sail that I would like to use for cruising. It’s an old racing sail, and I would like to know if it is possible to put reefing cringles in a racing sail?

    Regards Roger


    Hi Roger,

    Yes it is. I’ve had points added by Banks Sails about 5yrs ago. about 40 quid per line at that time.




    Hi Keith, that’s very good news.

    Many thanks Roger.


    I had mine put in last year by JKA Sails in Pwllheli, only charged £25 per row and did a top notch job. Obviously had to pay the postage each way on top of that.



    Please note that racing cloth is coated with a hard plastic coating. These coatings will break if the sail is not carefully rolled, like when it is reefed. IMHO a cruising sail is made from heavy duty plain cloth (Dacron) so that it will be able to take some abuse.

    Once the coating of a racing sail breaks it not only damages (tears) much easier then a plain Dacron sail but it also looses it shape. For efficient sailing buy new sails and enjoy being able to keep up with the rest of the fleet. Cruising sails aren’t that expensive with the Winter discounts that sail makers currently offer.

    Colin Parkstone

    Hark at the Money Bags !! 😉

    I pass my race sails on to the less fortunate and that helps with recycling and makes me a better person 😳 😉

    C P ” Stinking Rich Sailor “


    Hi everyone, Is it neccesary to have a toping lift when reefing the mainsail? I’m going to use sail ties to keep it simple, as I also race and don’t want to over comlicate my boom. When reefed I presume I shall also need a cleat for the reduced main and also for the toping lift.

    regards Roger.


    Hi Roger

    Hi everyone, Is it neccesary to have a toping lift when reefing the mainsail?

    No – when you pull the first reef in, it acts as a toppin lift through the mainsail leech. Just make sure you release the kicker to have enough movement on the boom to take the whole reef in…

    See this link…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uOwJQ_5X7M



    Thank you for your reply David, I shall only be using loose sail ties, so after I have slackened the kicker and released the main, the boom will drop unless I’m mistaken. Does anybody have experience of this system?

    Regards Roger.

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