Classic Boat



Reefing the mainsail at sea ought to be routine for any sailor. The essential technique is the same whether you’re on a 2020 state-of-the-art yacht or an 1895 fishing smack. Leaving out luggers, roller reefing booms and, perish the thought, in-mast systems, the order of service goes like this:

Set up a topping lift

Ease the luff down with the halyard and secure the tack reef cringle

Harden the halyard again

Bring the corresponding clew cringle down to the boom and secure it

Tie in the reef points

Let the sail take the weight

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