Adding Reefing Points

My Gunter rigged Mainsail has no reefing points. The sail is in very good condition, so I would not want to have to go to the expense of a new one..!

So, I am looking for advice on a DIY job.

One or two rows of reefing points.?
Number of points per row.?
Height of rows above Foot.?
Size of eyelet?
Eyelet material - Stainless, Aluminium, Brass..?
Should I reinforce each eyelet by sewing around and through it..?
Sketch plan of the Downhaul system for reefing the sail..?

Should I add a row of reef points to the Jib also..?

curlew's picture

My system uses a second halliard so we can lower the yard. Cliff uses a system where we keep the yard up and pull the sail down, like a Bermudan rig.
You can see my arrangements in my video "Mirror Mods Part 2",
The cringles need to be very strong, with patches.
The reef points can be simple eyelets, and I have previously used squares of sail repair tape to add some strength.

Matt-LonghouseLife's picture

Thank you David.

I have watched the videos and found a few points here using the search. I shall have to re-watch and re-read a few times for the info to sink in with my learning style..!

Matt-LonghouseLife's picture

As an aside, I emailed Jeckyl's who made the original sails. They will add a set of reefing points for £65.40 if I wish. As an unwaged individual, this is a significant amount, especially as i have spent around £300 getting the boat back to a usable condition.

I'm all for the DIY route, but then sourcing the parts in small numbers, ensuring the change is done well enough not to compromise the original etc, etc...

I'm in a very similar situation to you, with little money at present, but practical and with a willingness to give it a try.
I found a cheap older mainsail and jib online. I'm going to add just one line of reefing, and only add a second line if that's not enough.

But if I find some money before summer I'll get a professional to do it.

I looked on facebook for examples of Mirror owners who have reefing. There are a lot of good photos on "People who love Mirror sailing dinghies" facebook page
On a desktop computer the photos are much clearer I've found.

And then of course on this website there are two excellent topics about it, I'm sure you've searched already here.

Best of luck and let us know how you get on. I'll report back whenever I do mine.

Matt-LonghouseLife's picture

My priority at the moment is to get the boat back on the water and check it over during its 'sea-trials'.

I already seem to have a long list of potential future upgrades and adjustments in order to cruise and camp. Getting the sail changed either DIY or professionally is on my list, only experience in home waters will testify to its necessity.

As I've said elsewhere I don't do Facebook, but found I can at least look at the group page and see the conversation/images etc. I look forward to seeing your progress also.