Reefing the Jib Spar

It was not the best of days to test out my jib reefing system but in another way it was ideal. Heavy rain and gale force winds blew me and the jib all over the place, but these conditions I would have to reef while out at sea so I tried to do it while I was learning how to do it. In the end after trying different ways I settled on the hanks remaining in place (around the forestay) while I attached the last one to a shackle on the spar. I then furled the jib around the spar but I found it just as effective to slap reef it and tie the loose jib to the spar with reef knots. As the jib became smaller the end of the spar was sticking out with the jib not supporting it so it was dipping down onto the hull. I fixed a rope from the top of the jib down to where I wanted the spar to be and tied it off, this enabled the spar to be at the correct angle away from the hull and side stays as it swung (as the jib got smaller this rope had to be shortened to keep the spar at the right distance).
I had marked where the reef would be so it matched where the hanks were situated, when I had shackled the hank I could position the marking on the spar and bunji strap it, this gave me the correct distance between the two reef points. The rest of the loose jib I reefed with ties. As the jib was now shorter I had to make the rope shorter too to compensate and keep it off the deck and swinging freely. If I pre-mark the points where the rope needs to be shortened and using a quick release shackle I can complete the reef faster. In total there will be 3-4 reef points the last being so small as to make it a storm jib.


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