Reefing lug rig

I'm going to ask what is probaby a dead simple question but I'd like to confirm:

When comparing an unreefed lug rig versus when reefed, is the boom (the lower spar to make sure I have the terminology correct) at the same height and the yard (the upper spar) lower or is the yard at the same height (thus the halyard is pulled all the way up to the top of the mast) and the boom is higher?

I guess what I'm asking is:  when I have the sail fully raised, the downhaul is cleated to have the boom at a certain height.  When I reef, do I lower the halyard leaving the downhaul the same length, tie the reefs, then raise the halyard again but to a lower point?

I'm used to reefing larger boats with fixed booms so it really is just about adjusting the halyard.  I'm assuming functionally this is the same thing where the boom is unchanged, only the peak of the sail is lower once reefed.  It seems odd to do it the other way with a smaller sail area but higher on the mast.  Just checking to be sure.

Does the question make sense?



4 replies:

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RE: Reefing lug rig

   I leave the boom at the same height. That keeps the sail lower so more inclined to drive the boat forward than heel her over. BTW reefing became much easier after adding lazyjacks.  Barry

RE: Reefing lug rig

I'm glad you asked, I was wondering the same thing. But I was going to wait until after I had built my Dory before asking.   

RE: Reefing lug rig

Reefing is to reduce sail area. Raising boom when reefing doesn't maximize the effect of reducing sail as the center of effort on the higher sail area won't reduce heeling force as much. Better to lower yard when reefing to a boom.   

RE: Reefing lug rig

   Thanks for the responses.  I launched my Skerry for the first time yesterday and the winds hung around 10 knots with some small gusts a few knots higher.  The sail handled this easily, and I imagine that I would not need to reef very often since I don't think I would go out much with predicted winds beyond 15 knots.  That being said, it is good to know the process.  I can definitely see that the lazy jacks would be nice since it is a paid to have to hold both the boom and the yard in place while trying to tie the reefs.

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