Reefing is one of those areas where the devil really is in the details. Over the years we have answered dozens of questions about reefing. In this chapter we highlight a few of those and provide our answers.

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Okay, this is a big one and to fully understand it will take you a lot of reading. But, if you are contemplating a major custom project, such as a new mast or even a new boat, the time expended here may save you a lot of money and aggravation. We made a lot of [...]

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Navtec Hydraulics

Morgan’s Cloud was fitted with an hydraulic vang and with hydraulic backstays when we bought her. Initially we were skeptical, feeling that such complexity had no place on a cruising boat, especially one that sails to remote places. But over the years we have come to appreciate the convenience and ease of use of our [...]

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Maloney Marine Rigging

It’s not often that we run into someone that is as obsessive about making sure the details are right when working on Morgan’s Cloud as we are. Jay Maloney is one of very few people that we trust to do the job right without us having to look over his shoulder. We have called on [...]

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Harken Fittings

As it becomes necessary to replace blocks and other deck gear, we are replacing them with Harken equipment whenever possible. We have never had a failure to date, and they stand behind their products: When the bearings on our 16-year-old Harken jib roller furler system needed replacing, Harken found the parts and did it for [...]

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Question: I have an opportunity to sail from France to the Canaries to Tortola, leaving the end of September through October. What can I expect from a weather perspective based on your experience? My assumption is we will be in the area of hurricane formation (eastern Atlantic) for the first week then right in the [...]

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Question: I wondered if I could seek your advice on a trip that has been suggested to me but that I have serious reservations about: Sailing from the UK to Boston, leaving around the end of May, taking the North Atlantic route. The skipper seems to be under the impression that we will have easterly [...]

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The Problem When doing a scrupulous 50 hour check of our then brand new engine, I (John) found a bolt in the bilge. After much twisting of myself into awkward positions with a trouble light and a mirror, I finally found where it had come from: the oil pan. Things only got worse. When I [...]

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Question: Is slab-reefing (jiffy reefing) and lazy-jacks genuinely viable for a 667sqft sail, given we will be only two sailing our boat most of the time? Answer: Sure, perfectly viable: We have sailed over 80,000 miles with such a system on a mainsail that is only a little smaller than the one on the boat [...]

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Q&A: In-Boom Reefing

Question: Would you, if you had the chance to refit free of cost considerations, stay with your slab-reefing system, or would you yourself seriously consider in-boom reefing? If so, why? Answer: We looked at Leisurefurl some years ago. The system looks attractive but is a 25 to 30K refit for Morgan’s Cloud to do it [...]

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Question: We are looking at sonar options for use in areas with poor charts and low visibility. Our interest is primarily for checking anchorages and narrow passages, looking for obstructions. We have a small plotter/sounder in the dinghy, but nobody wants to go out in the dink when it is cold and rainy (and warm [...]

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The Problem In 2005, KVH abruptly stopped supporting the Quadra system, which had served us well for many years, albeit after its own set of teething problems. After considering most of the options and nearly settling on B&G, but finally being put off by a sudden and substantial increase to their already, in our opinion, [...]

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ICS Navtex, Problems

The Problem In 1999 our trusty old Furuno combination weather fax/navtex machine died after many years of faithful service. We decided to use our PC for weather fax and buy a dedicated navtex. We selected a unit from ICS. We installed it with an active antenna and grounded it well through capacitors to our aluminum [...]

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For the last few years we have been using TurboCAD for visualizing and designing projects on Morgan’s Cloud. TurboCAD is a great value, with much of the functionality of systems costing many times more, at just US$150, and you can often get it discounted to as little as US$80.00 by shopping around on the Internet. [...]

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