Monday, July 4, 2011

Jiffy Reefing X 2

It seemed like a good idea to have our sailmaker add reef 2 cringles and sail supports last year. We used that reef point multiple times. However, we could not go between reef 1 and reef 2 easily because there was only one line. Since I was at the end of my knowledge and tool kit, I asked a rigger to take the aft cap off of the boom, inspect, and replace parts. At the end of his work, I had more questions than answers. I didn't really know how the jiffy system worked. As I learned more about it, I learned that we had never had a viable jiffy system on Speakeasy.

Judging from how a friend had his jiffy reef rigged and what I coul gleaned from the Catalina 320 manual, I was missing blocks around the mast collar and was short a sheave in the forward end of the boom. I decided to move the outhaul out of the boom by creat a whole and adding an exit plate. An added turning block forward of the exit would turn the line aft to a cleat added to the aft exterior of the boom.

I was not going to make holes in my boom so I asked the rigger to do this too. He was interrupted by a storm that came through with at least 40 kt winds and lots of rain. He resumed on the aftxernoon we were to leave for a month. He was cutting this short. While testing his work he discovered that there was another turn block in the boom for the outhaul. We intended to change the line, but would leave the exiting line for now.

Then he turned to the jiffy lines. Reef 2 just needed to me moved over from one sheave to an adjacent one. We managed this by grabbing the end of the line near the forward end with forceps and moving it over. Reef 2 had not been installed yet--there was just a messenger line in place. We wove the reef 2 line through the boom by the messenger line, attached it to the blocks and sail ands began to pat ourselves on the back. However, a test of reef 2 made it clear that the new line did not follow the internal blocks correctly. We had no messenger line, we had no time. We were scheduled to depart for South Haven and our crew and companion boat, Whisper, were ready to go. So we left with half of what we wanted.

The rigger was taking some time off at a family place near South Haven and agreed to stop by on July 3 to tackle the problem. I had no idea what he had in mind. Soon he was pushing a snake down a path in the boom from aft forward. With patience and a good flashlight he got the fish where he wanted it. Then he pulled a messenger line back through followed by the reef 1 line. After a test, we had two jiffy reef lines and were ready for the weather to come.

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