Subject: Reefer Madness????
From: Brandon McClintock (W7221)
To: Richard Harrington <>
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 3:36:22 AM
Subject: Reef points

Hi Dick,

I just came across a Youtube video of Matt Sharman (W773, England) giving a demonstration of reefing a W (on land) and he does it in 50 seconds!!  In the demo, after lowering the main and snugging in the tack & clew, he uses what look like straps or some kind of lines which can be cinched right up with a simple threading and pulling action- not tying the traditional reef knot.

I've never seen this appproach before but it looks really simple and obviously it's very fast.  Do you happen to know what he's using?

No hurry on this.  Just caught my attention.


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Harrington []
Sent: dinsdag 10 maart 2009 3:19
To: Brandon McClintock
Cc: Ton Jaspers
I misread your question first time.  I now realize that you are asking about the intermediate reefing points, the purpose of which is just to gather up loose sail.
I'm still using the shockcord, with hooks, that is woven though the sail.  This has become outmoded (the long loops tend to snag on to many things) and I need to change....just haven't gotten around to doing it so far.  When I sailed with Ton Jaspers' boat (my good friend and Netherlands cruising pro) he used short individual shockcord loops, with balls, reeved through the intermediate reefing points.  All one needs to do is grab the two balls, take them under the boom and hook them together.  It's neat, and very quick and easy.  I'm not sure what Matt's system is, but I suspect it is probably the same, or nearly so.
I'll add Ton to the 'cc' and maybe he can provide more details.

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayfarer (Ton Jaspers)
To: 'Richard Harrington' ; 'Brandon McClintock'
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:03 PM

Hi Brandon & Dick,
Matt Sharman is a good friend from the UK. As far as I can remember, Matt is using RWO tiger ties on his bungee (picture attached). They have the same advantage as my balls system - namely they don't hook on to things.

I used to have three big loops like on Dick's boat but big loops catch things they are not supposed to when they are not tight.  Using hooks worsens the problem. That is why I replaced the hooks with balls on my old boat. The long loops, once fixed, form a nice cross webbing with only three points to connect. But in addition to the problems already mentioned, they don't fix the loose part of the sail where it matters, where the wind catches first, close to the goose neck. BTW, for balls to work with this setup, you need to wrap some whipping twine around the bungee cord 1.5 inch from each ball. Balls won't hold unless the two bungees are close together.
When Dick came to Holland, I was just recovering from a stay in hospital and I haven't had a chance to rig my boat right yet.  Though it did have the all-important reefing set-up, it still lacked the bungee to store the loose end of the sail. I needed a quick solution so that Dick could go on his holiday. It was then I saw the short bungees with the balls on the ends, the type they sell for little money at every chandlery, and I thought: What if I take a ball off, push it through the sail and reconnect the ball. That worked so well that the same bungees are still in the sail today!  The only thing I changed was to add one extra bungee close to the mast. I didn't make a hole for it, I just cut it in half and sewed the two halves to the sail with some whipping twine. The others are held in place by two figure-eight knots, one on each side of the sail, close to the reefing cringle.      
The difference between tiger ties and balls is that balls are quicker in my opinion. Using tiger ties, you still need to thread one end of the bungee through the ties hole, usually with wet and cold fingers (Al's thought: not to mention waves and a flogging mainsail!). Balls just snap over one another. The advantage of tiger ties is that they are adjustable. With balls you need to set them up so that there is enough tension on the bungee when in use, but not so much that it becomes hard to get them around the sail. In real life, this means you may have to adjust the length of each bungee individually. Other than that, it is a matter of preference or as I wrote earlier: There is no best solution, only the solution that suits you best. In any case, bungees beat the old-fashioned rope and reefing knot any time as long as you don't use hooks. 
I think I should mention that a friend of mine refuses to use ball-bungees for any purpose because he got knocked in the head once when a ball slipped from his fingers....  That has never happened to me but we are not all blessed with two right hands, are we?
Best wishes,
Ton Jaspers (Swiebertje - W10445)
 PS. I suppose you are referring to this video: 

----- Original Message -----
To: Wayfarer ; Brandon McClintock
Cc: Al Schonborn ; Tom Graefe ; Jim Heffernan
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 10:15 PM

Greetings Ton,

What a pleasure to hear from you again!  It brings back so many found memories of a wonderful holiday in last sweet adventure enjoyed with my life's love, Margie.  Many times I've related to folks over here the In Dubio Odyssey: a small fleet of Wayfarers sailing the Friesland canals in pursuit of the mother ship In Dubio.  They are always amazed.  It seems almost a fantasy.  Thank you for creating such an outstanding experience. 

Ton (l) and Dick in Friesland at the 2006 International Rally

The mother ship In Dubio leads the way for the W's who will follow after lunch.

I'm definitely going to switch to your 'balls' system this year.  It know it works like a charm.  Thanks for responding to Brandon's inquiry...
Happy sailing...........DICK

----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Graefe (W9668)
To: Richard Harrington ; Wayfarer ; Brandon McClintock
Cc: Al Schonborn ; Jim Heffernan
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 11:00 AM

Hi all,

The only thing I can add is to describe a variant of the system for tidying up the sail after lowering to reefing point. I too, moved away from the long lengths of shock cord for all the reasons cited.  Instead,  I threaded a short (appropriately sized) length of shock cord through the reefing points; attached to one end is a ball and to the other end a nylon hook (style with flange across mouth).  I then bring the shock cord hook under boom and hook it inside the ball.   These small nylon hooks, being at the end of a short piece of shock cord in the reefing point, do not pose a hazard that I've ever found - they are out of the way. 
All in all I'd probably try the balls system if I was doing it now, as ease of releasing seems like it might be better.

Regards to all,

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayfarer
To: 'TM Graefe' ; 'Richard Harrington' ; 'Brandon McClintock'
Cc: 'Al Schonborn' ; 'Jim Heffernan'
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 6:57 PM
Subject: Reef points

Hi everyone,
Just in case our email exchange makes it to the Weekly Whiffle or worse, is stored for posterity on the WIT, I found two pictures to illustrate. One is a sail binder with balls, the other sail binder has a tiger tie. To fix them in your sail cringles, make sure they are long enough to allow for two figure eight knots.