Members' Online Book: Sail Handling and Rigging Made Easy, Chapter 15 of 37

Making Life Easier—Roller Reefing/Furling

Reducing friction always makes life easier

The old saying that ‘if a job is easy, you’ll do it’, is a good one that we have tried to bring to bear at all times when improving our Ovni 435 Pèlerin. If the job’s difficult, you’ll delay it until it’s beyond inevitable and then it can become a hardship. And nowhere is that more true than when reefing, especially if you’re alone on watch.

As Delivered

When our boat was delivered some of the deck gear was less than perfect in our view; a simple case in point being the line controls for the roller reefing gear. This had small solid pulley blocks, and was led to the winch via a jammer to secure it (the original lasted a week before the lever broke off!). The friction in the system was such that the line had to be led to a winch every time we needed to reef the yankee (jib topsail), which meant that we lost the ‘feel’ that gives warning of a jam or snarl up at the drum end when the line is handled manually. And once you start cranking away on a big winch it’s easy to make things worse—multiply this x 4 with electric or hydraulic winches. So we shifted the blocks around a bit, replaced the jammer with a more robust model and then went sailing, fully intending to sort it properly when the right idea appeared.

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Meet the Author

Colin Speedie

Colin, European Correspondent here at AAC, is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a Yachtmaster licence, and a gifted photographer and talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from England and had their OVNI 435, Pèlerin built in France, they bring a European perspective to our site. You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their website.

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