Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

As I'm gearing up for the Salish 100, one major thing I needed to do was to add a deep reef point to the mainsail.  I had already received a diagram from Sailrite as to where Jeff suggests the reef point should be located.  Upon laying the sail out on the living room floor, I quickly discovered that the suggested reef location would interfere with the previously existing grommets on the luff.  I moved the reef up just a few inches to avoid that issue and laid out the new points with a pencil.

I proceeded to make templates of my reinforcement patches, cut them out from the extra Dacron included with my sail kit and went to town on the sewing machine.  A few spurred grommets later and voila!  A reefable mainsail.

I would highly recommend that if anyone is interested in adding a reef point to their Sailrite mainsail kit, they do it during the initial construction.  I had to remove a bunch of stitching and work around a bunch of existing grommets.  It would've been much easier to do up front and I wouldn't have had the grommet interference issue, in fact, I could've incorporated it in the original layout.  Anyway, I'm pleased with the end result.

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RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

Hey CaptainSkully,

I'd really like to see the photos on your post but for whatever reason the photos are not showing up. 

My PM is about 95% complete and I am trying to do some research on the what it is going to take to rig this up once my sails arrive. I have ordered them and they are a few weeks out. I did not specify reef points on my order but I dont really plan on doing any foul weather or coastal sailing much.

My question to you is about how often to you end up sailing with a reefed main and around what wind speeds?



RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

FWIW, I can see the photos just fine.   Patrick, you might want to check your firewall, ad-blocker and anti-virus settings.


RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

Hey Patrick,

Thanks to Laszlo, I feel better that the pics are showing up as promised.  Let me know if you need me to email them to you.  I don't think this forum has private messages with attachments.

Anyway, I've been pretty picky about the days that I go out so far.  As a result, I haven't had to think about reefing.  I've been able to ease the mainsheet to depower the main as needed for puffs and if the evening breeze starts to pick up.

With that being said, I thought it would be irresponsible of me to even think about doing a week long sail without the ability to reef.  Also, since the process was considerably complicated by the fact that I had to install them after they were built, I thought I'd share that experience with fellow Passagemaker builders out there.

Come to find out, it's considerably more difficult to reef the sliding gunter rig that it appears at first glance.  Unreefed, the main halyard helps with the trim and sail shape.  Reefed, there's no tension on the throat, which requires a parrel.  In order for the parrel to be tight enough when the reefed main is set, it's too tight for when the yard is laced to the head.  I'm thinking about using an Antal ring to create a kind of slip knot actuated parrel that I can engage after the reefed main is set.  Of course, all of this has to be able to be done safely while sitting in the boat in the water.  So far, it's been complicated just trying to get it done in the driveway.

I hope that answers at least part of your question.  I'll post some follow up info when it becomes available.

RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

Thanks guys,

Turns out I'm not able to look at photos on my workstation...... oppressive's a guy supposed to get nothing done around here?

Thanks for the response, Skully. I feel a bit reassured on the the rig handling and that I'll be able to depower the sails by easing the main. 

I keep running a simulation in my mind of how this is supposed to rig up and one of the harder points to imagine is how this yard will stay upright altogether. I imagine the parrel tension is crucial as well as the tautness of the halyard. I keep thinking it would be crooked as a jackrabbit's ear unless the halyard is hauled all the way to the mast cap. (Wow, I just realized typing this that "halyard" probably is derived from "haul-yard")

Anyways, When you say the parrel loses tension when it's lowered down the mast is this the parrel on the yard jaws or about 20" up where the throat is tied-on to the halyard. I ask because I wondered if this would be redundant to have one on each.

I don't think I've seen or heard of an Antal Ring before but I just googled it and that would be really interesting to see how that would work. 

I'm also interested in doing a DIY roller furler on my forestay since I'm a little uncomfortable having my jib halyard be the thing holding my mast up. I can think of lots** of reasons why I wouldn't want my jib hauled at all times even if it was luffing. Do you use the optional forestay or do you just always have the jib halyard hoisted?


**when I am coming into the dock
**if I've dropped anchor
**if the jibsheets get badly fouled
**to depower in lieu of a reef point
**if I'm hungover and singlehanded

RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point



I took my PM on its maiden sailing voyage yesterday with the factory stock Gunter rig. 

I'll be the first to admit that I should have waited until I had more experience raising and dousing the sails on shore because I had issues get the parrel tension correct as well. I also could have waited for a better day because it was gusting to 20mph with a consistant 14mph breeze. I also could have picked a better put-in location because I was pinned against the NW lee shore by very unusal for Minnesota SE winds.  

I rigged pretty much to the T of the manual....(or so I thought). I used the CLC supplied aluminum mast, captured both shrouds and the jib halyard block in the eyestrap and used the mast cap for the main halyard. The shroud connections are attached to the forward bulkhead by a 1/4-20 through-bolt assembly that has conical washers that hold the eye of the turnbuckle. I think my rake of the mast worked out to be a bit more than the four or so inches perscribed in the manual. 

I really don't like that the boom and yard drape across the cockpit and rowing station as this interferes with the oars. As I was on the lee shore it was impossible for me to launch will the jib hoisted (but it was needed to hold up the mast).

After nearly giving up after several attempts and about an hour and a half I decided to take down the jib and use its halyard as a temporary forestay. My solution to get the yard and boom out of my way was to jury rig a boom-topping lift by pulling slack from the yard's halyard connection and make a loop that captured the end of the boom and tip of the yard. I put on a temporary sail tie and hauled the halyard up. This worked really well to keep the boom over my head. I then rowed out several hundred feet from shore and dropped in the dagger board which gave me heaps of weather helm and brought me into the wind so I could kick the rudder down and take down my temporary BTL and hoist the main. 

I was really unhappy with a HUGE wrinkle from the throat to the tack that was a combination of poorly tensioned outhaul, downhaul, and yard parrel. I also think my sailing lacing along the luff was too loose. I was still able to get a feel with just the main and was able to make more headway into the wind and get further from shore.

I was truly happy to just get sailing, but I knew I should have had a reef (which I didn't have addded on my main) if I was in my right mind. The leeward shrouds were sagging on either tack which probably gave me pause. I'm guessing I'm not supposed to see this on a well tuned rig.....

After a few tacks I decided to go forward and raise the jib which made me truly realize how much fun it was going to be to sail once the rig is actually tuned. I kicked around trying to get a feel of single-handing the boat and practiced hoving-to which was all successful. 

I came about one last time and started to head down wind for the first time. During fairly strong puff on the port tack I was over-trimmed and my windward shroud broke (turns out it just released from the nico sleeve) and my rig collapsed and hit the water. This caused the bolt-on mast step to splinter and break. To be honest I was only somewhat surprised something broke and threw the enitre rig on board and rowed back to the landing. 

I'm overjoyed the only damage is to the the shroud and to the mast step which is easily removable. I'm lucky the the forward seat didn't break which would have been a huge pain to repair.

Moral of the story is I would definitely not go out in those conditions without a way of reducing sail area, and that I need to learn out to fit out the rig properly. I also will not go out with out a forestay and need to add provisions on the mast for a boom topping lift. I respectly implore CLC to consider this as standard unless I am missing something major. I would like to understand how others are getting by without it. 




RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

Hi there

I have just come across this thread, after building my PM as a covid project.  I recently had the same experience as Patrick with a swage failure leading to rig collapse, and mast step splintering. (Made a bit more exciting by a hammerhead shark cruising around as I was getting the rig back in the boat!).  I am contemplating putting reef points in the sail, and would be interested to see something from anyone who has worked out the various challenges, particularly getting the yard to remain more or less vertical when reefed.  I suspect there are posts elsewhere on this, but the Forum search function doesn't seem to work for me.



Bendalong, Australia 

RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

   Hi Dixie509, I have a reefed gunter sloop rig on my Skerry. The solution that I use is to add a parrel a bit higher up than the usual placement on the yard. This keeps the yard almost vertical. It is not perfect, but the crease in the sail pretty much goes away.

RE: Passagemaker Gunter-Sloop Mainsail - Adding a Reef Point

Hi, Andrew,

Bendalong, NSW?  Goodness, what a lovely looking spot, if my virtual internet eyes are to be believed!  Do you sail off the beach there?


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