I’m currently working on a chapter in this Online Book on how to specify the right number of reefs and how deep they should be. It’s a surprisingly complex subject.
As I was thinking about, and researching for, that chapter, it struck me that many sailors have de-emphasized their mainsails. In some cases to the point where the main is the first sail to come down when the going gets tough and often does not even get set in the first place.
I guess this trend is understandable because of the advent of reliable and easy to use roller furling on headsails, but it’s also a mistake and potentially dangerous.