Converting E24 Mainsail to Slab Reefing

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Nigel Vaughan
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Joined: Sat August 13th, 2011, 10:53 pm

Converting E24 Mainsail to Slab Reefing

Post by Nigel Vaughan »

I have sailed by Eventide 24, Niarbyl, with the original boom roller reefing for over 10 years. I sail single-handed mostly and reefing in high wind and sea is a nightmare; you have to be up at the mast with a handle and back in the cockpit pulling the sail tight at the same time! After a particularly dangerous such episode off Ilfracombe last year I decided to convert to slab reefing. "Very wise" said the man from Jeckells who have now put in two rows of reefing points in my lovely mainsail that they made for me 10 years ago. I think I want a single line system for the 1st reef and a single line for the second, probably led aft to the cockpit (though not necessarily). Has anyone done this conversion and any hints on how to configure the system in a wooden-boomed, ally masted E24?


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Fiddler's Green
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Joined: Wed March 1st, 2006, 12:58 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Converting E24 Mainsail to Slab Reefing

Post by Fiddler's Green »

Ths is not hard to do if you think about it logically. You have to have a 8mm line running from the cockpit to the mast, up the mast to the boom/gooseneck end, then running up to a block on the luff reefing point, (use blocks otherwise friction will defeat you), back down to the gooseneck then aft to a block on the boom, up to the leech reefing point again round a small block and back to the boom where it is made secure.

You will need a set of 3 jammers on the cabin top and a winch to help as even with blocks there is going to be friction somewhere.....

Repeat this for every reef! So the mast foot block can be a triple as can the gooseneck block! Split from there.....

With a wooden boom it is somewhat easier to fasten the appropriate blocks to the boom and the gooseneck.

What is more difficult is finding room the the yards of string you are going to end up with in the cockpit, an open topped bag hanging on the back of the cabin helps.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Converting E24 Mainsail to Slab Reefing

Post by helenrose »

I converted my main from roller reefing a while back and John has just about covered it all, i put double reefing lines in but as john has said the amount of string in the cockpit can be a problem when reefed,i have now taken the first reefing line out on the basis that if i am going to reef i might as well get the main as small as possible, she sails ok as most of my power is from the genoa.

With 4 rolls in the foresail and a fully reefed main above force 4/5 my boat is very balanced and sails fairly upright, which i like.

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