Single Handed Reefing

I sail my boat primarily by myself. I would like to hear the best practice for reefing while out alone. I do have roller furling on the jib and I do have jiffy reefing for the main.

My question is the best way to set the boat while I am away from the tiller and reefing the main. On larger boats that I have owned, I have heaved-to, which worked ok. Should the jib be rolled or not.

If you put the tamer on the tiller and release the main sheet, will the boat stay head to wind while I am reefing?



Vero Beach FL

When I reef I probably do exactly what you did on larger boats and find it works well with the Scot. Heave-to on starboard tack with tiller lashed toward the boom, release main halyard slowly and support the boom with left hand while taking up on reefing line. It works fine, but I plan to install a reefing hook (had one on my previous boat) and thought it made single line reefing easier. After securing the reefing line I re-tension the halyard.

By the way, thanks for suggesting Sailcare's lazy jack kit to me. Installed it last year and have used it about four times. Really like it, although I had to modify it a bit from their specs to make it work well.

As for the Palm and Pole, I am very pleased with mid-boom sheeting to keep the mainsheet free of the outboard and I find that lowering the main slowly allows me to easily flake it over the boom single handed at the dock.

Lake Norman, NC

I usually depower the boat by taking the jib down first . If the main still needs to be reefed when sailing on the ocean , bay or in open water, I secure the tiller with a piece of bunge cord. Lower the main to its reefing grommet & secure the grommet to the boom reefing fitting .I then go to the back of the boat & untie the reefing outhaul that is secured to the reefing grommet. I run the outhaul line through the small block at the back of the boom (used only for reefing) & back to the reefing grommet, (pulling the foot of the sail back, up & tight). I then secure the outhaul line to the outhaul cleat on the bottom of the boom . I then go back to the mast & winch the main up to its new reefed position making sure the reefing grommet on the boom is secure . I then roll the extra sail on itself & fold it onto the boom & tie it off reefing lines with reefing knots . Remove the tiller & away you go ! Bill