NE Dory lug reef how to ?

We've actually never put the reef in. Thought I might give it a shot before I might be obliged to do so out on the water.

I'd like to hear any comments or tips and tricks. This would be with two people in the boat.

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RE: NE Dory lug reef how to ?

The main thing is to make sure you tie the clew cringle snuggly out toward the aft end of the lower yard (boom, some call it) as well as down so that the foot of the sail remails stretched out to get good sail shape.  The nettles (the little ropes along the reef points) are mostly just to gather up the loose bunt so it doesn't flop around.  These, of course, are secured with "reef knots" either between sail and yard or around the yard--"different ships, different long splices."  I wouldn't set those up too snuggly; with modern sail cloth, it ain't really necessary and could put strain on the reef points, which are usually not as robust as the tack and clew reef cringles.

There'll be other points of view on some of this, no doubt, which is fine.  There's always more'n one way to shuck an oyster.  <;-)


RE: NE Dory lug reef how to ?

I might ought to have added that, with two people in a narrow boat, you might need to work together on this.  One good thing about a balanced lug like this is that you can perform the whole business with the sail down in the boat on your laps instead of flogging about overhead.  When I do this solo aboard my Passagemaker, I sit astride the midship thwart and sort of hand the lower yard back and forth across my knees to come at first the forard end and then the aft, with the upper yard and most of the sail between my knees and the gun'l.


RE: NE Dory lug reef how to ?

Thanks but you underestimated my ignorance. Do we loosen the halyard and pull the reef points down to the lower yard, or do it the other way 'round? Loosen the downhaul and raise the lower yard up to the reef points ?

RE: NE Dory lug reef how to ?

   As the other commenters note, with a boat and sail this small, best to reef with the sail completely lowered.  Once the reef is in (forming a new foot of the sail ablong the lower yard/boom, then hoist everything back up.  But now to specifically answer your question, the lower yard/boom should end up about where it is/was when the sail was not reefed. Same length of downhaul. The upper yard will be well down from the masthead.  Among many other reasons for this that there is no real need to get into, the most important is that the reason you are reefing is that the wind is strong, creating too much power and a higher heeling force.  You definitely want to keep that force as low to the boat as possible!  And another thing I won't cover in detail (there are many ways to rig this, some covered other places in the forum) is that you'll want some type of rig that keeps the upper yard firmly alongside the mast when reefed.  With the reef in and the upper yard down from the masthead, no amount of halyard/downhaul tension will keep the upper yard close to and properly positioned fore and aft on the mast (especailly on port tack, if you are rigging "normally.")

RE: NE Dory lug reef how to ?

Thanks. What other commenters? Guess I'd better search again the archives again.

The way the reef points are positioned, the upper yard would be 20 inches lower than normal, so maybe it's not that bad.

I was unaware that there was a "normal" side on which to position the yards. I've always done it randomly, except when I know I'll be sailing to wind more on one side, I'll set it up so that's the "good" side.

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