odd mast configuration on my Venture 21

Jul 29, 2014
73
Ranger R26 Muskegon, MI
When raising the sail for the first time this summer (I bought the boat this year) after attaching the boom to the mast, I attempted to thread the track slides of the mainsail into the mast track and found the spread in the track was actually BELOW the boom, rather than above it. I had to remove the boom to thread the mainsail slides into the mast track. Once that was done I was able to reattach the boom to the mast and slide the sail's foot slides into the track of the boom. Is this a common manufacturing mistake found on Venture 21's or is mine unique?
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
you are lucky to have it that way...

the way it was set up at the factory is the track/slug relief was above the boom.. about 12-16 inches...

this worked well for roller reefing, so the slugs could come free of the mast to roll around the boom....

but then as we advance to slab/jiffy reefing (much better in every respect) the slugs would fall free of the track and let the sail fall off the boom... and was a PITA to shake out the reef, especially if you were single handing....

so what some people did was close the relief above the boom, and open a new one below the boom.... this solves the problem with reefing..

it does slow down the rigging a bit when setting up the boat, but its worth it for the reefing issues if you sail much where the wind kicks up fairly strong...

I moved my relief down just above the gooseneck and used a slug stop, but when reefing, it just doesnt let the sail have the shape that it needs, like it does by letting the slugs all the way down to the gooseneck...

its all a trade off, but what you have is good....
 
Nov 19, 2011
1,489
MacGregor 26S Hampton, VA
Mine is that way too. I'm glad it is but I have slugs. If I had a bolt rope it would be a problem. This way, with slugs, I don't have to worry about a gate or dumping my sail out of the track.

I put one of those round slug locks under the boom, just above the opening then a hauldown on the boom.

If this is your only problem, convert your main to slugs.
 
Jul 29, 2014
73
Ranger R26 Muskegon, MI
Thank you for clearing that up. My terminology is wrong. I do have slugs rather than track slides, I just did not know the proper term for it. I sail small inland lakes in north-central Indiana so I have not yet had to reef the main and I don't expect to have to very often. The sail does not have reefing points so if I need to reef, I will have to roll-reef. I keep the boat on the trailer and step the mast every time I use the boat, so in my case it sounds like it would be better to have the slot above the boom. The foresail that came with the boat is an oversize genoa with roller furling, so that part is easy. Did the Venture ever come with a boom vang? Mine is set up with a traveler in front of the companionway but no vang so I don't know it the previous owner had it set up to attach the mainsheet midway down the boom or if they had a boom vang that they kept. The boat was bought from a charity on EBay and it looks like they stripped the boat of all extras, including a radio. It could be that either the charity or the previous owner kept the boom vang, if there ever was one.
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
The sail does not have reefing points so if I need to reef, I will have to roll-reef. I keep the boat on the trailer and step the mast every time I use the boat, so in my case it sounds like it would be better to have the slot above the boom. The foresail that came with the boat is an oversize genoa with roller furling, so that part is easy. Did the Venture ever come with a boom vang?
you are correct that you probably wont need to reef very often and that the slugs do need to come free of the slot if you want to roller reef. in your case that means unhinging the boom... this is not acceptable when you decide its time to reef.

its easy enough to open up the slot in the mast above the boom with a couple of prybars, but for a much better set up, it would be my opinion to search for someone who could install 1 row of reef points in the sail.... because slab reefing is so much better and faster, both when you need to tuck a reef in and when you want to shake it out.... its worth the cost...

the foresail, a Genoa.. probably a 135 which I think was stock, but was originally a hank on sail.... and is it set on furler unit or a reefing furler unit?... it makes a big difference, as if the sail cant get its shape, it wont sail well at all... some units are made only to store the sail on, and others are made to actually reef the sail and maintain some acceptable shape to it.

the vang did not come with the boat... its an add on.
its not a necessary thing and you can learn to sail without it, and then as you get to know the boat and learn about sail trim, then pick up a vang and use it with good results.

in my opinion, there are plenty of things (modifications) that you can do to make your experience of learning to sail more fun and easier, but a vang isnt one of them. once you get the boat set up to suit you, then the vang is a tool you can purchase to increase your speed a little.
 
Sep 3, 2012
195
Hunter 285 Grand Rivers Ky
I use a Davis Instruments Sail Track Stop. Hold sails and its slides in place on the mast and boom. Large knurled wheels are released with ease. Made of heavy-duty, Black anodized aluminum and marine grade nickel plated brass. Easy to remove when you want the main removed. I lower the sail but it won't fall out of the slot till I'm ready. See attached photo.
 

Attachments

Nov 19, 2011
1,489
MacGregor 26S Hampton, VA
That's what I use to hold my boom up above the opening that I mentioned earlier. I really should get a spare or two. If I loose the one I have I am screwed. Plus I could experiment with different boom positions. But if I go any higher with my boom, I won't be able to fully raise the main.

Really though, given I have a Franken-mast if I go below the slot the boom will be too low and dangerous and I couldn't open the pop top.
 
Jul 29, 2014
73
Ranger R26 Muskegon, MI
Roller furler type

Centerline, you raised the issue of furler types...one designed for storing and another designed for reefing. I did not know there was a difference. I suspect it is for storing. How can I tell? It is a Harken MK II, Unit 0, I believe. I can't locate a manual for the MK II but thee MK III says Jib Reefing & Furling on the title page of the manual. Is this hype or is it actually a reefing furler?

I know the ease of slab reefing, I also have a Ranger 25. Both the mainsail and 150% genoa have reefing points sewn in them. I have not sailed it much and need to practice reefing, but this boat is not set up for single handling where the Venture is. Isn't slab reefing more difficult while single handling than roll reefing?

Can anyone give me a ballpark figure on what it would cost to have reefing points sewn into my existing main?
 
Aug 22, 2011
1,106
MacGregor Venture V224 Cheeseland
In my opinion the old venture mainsail roller reefing systems are WORTHLESS.
You also can't use a vang while roller reefed.

ymmv
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
Centerline, you raised the issue of furler types...one designed for storing and another designed for reefing. I did not know there was a difference. I suspect it is for storing. How can I tell? It is a Harken MK II, Unit 0, I believe. I can't locate a manual for the MK II but thee MK III says Jib Reefing & Furling on the title page of the manual. Is this hype or is it actually a reefing furler?

I know the ease of slab reefing, I also have a Ranger 25. Both the mainsail and 150% genoa have reefing points sewn in them. I have not sailed it much and need to practice reefing, but this boat is not set up for single handling where the Venture is. Isn't slab reefing more difficult while single handling than roll reefing?

Can anyone give me a ballpark figure on what it would cost to have reefing points sewn into my existing main?

a furler is used to roll a sail for storage. a reefing furler is used to roll the sail evenly so it maintains the cut shape of the sail as best that it can, so when the sail is still pulling while is half rolled up, it is as efficient as it can be.
I cannot explain to you, how you can tell the difference. i can tell by looking at it, but i cant explain it... maybe someone else can.
you should be able to google the model number, or ask the question in your browser if that model can be used to reef, and see what you get...

some people use their basic furler as a reefing furler, and this only causes extreme stress on the sail and a total loss of efficient wind flow... but they get by with it:D

slab reefing is much quicker, easier, and gives a much better sail shape than roller reefing... no matter how many deck hands you have. it just has to be set up for it. some use a double line setup, one at the clew and one at the tack.... on smaller boat a single line running thru both the clew and the tack work well to pull it down.

how fast can you roller reef? less than 30 seconds?..... if not your slower than slab reefing.
how fast can you shake out the roller reef and feed the slugs back into the track and rehoist the main?... 15 seconds, if not your slow:D.
with slab reefing, set up for it, all you have to do is lift the reefing line(s) from the cam cleats, and hoist the main.

the ties for the excess sail is something that you get to when you have the time after you take the reef.... or when you get ready to shake out, remove the ties at your leisure....

i dont count gathering the excess sail as the important part of the reefing process, it has so little to do with getting back under control and is really more for aesthetics and good houskeeping than anything else. and it is only held passively, not reefed tight like the clew and tack

roller reefing does take care of all of that during the rolling process, but that, in and of itself is what causes the bad sail shape afterward.... the sail needs to be held at the three corners and not in the middle of the sail to allow the design of it to work properly.

roller reefing does work, but just not as well....


reef points in the jib is not as common on our small bay boats, but more common on coastal cruisers.
but they can be very helpful when there is no other sails to hank on... as for reef points in a jib on a furler, im not sure how that would work.

sewing in reef points.... ball park figure?... i couldnt give you one because the prices vary so much from one sailmaker to another.... by a wide margin.
so get quotes from 2 or 3 before you get the work done....
 
Aug 22, 2011
1,106
MacGregor Venture V224 Cheeseland
a furler is used to roll a sail for storage. a reefing furler is used to roll the sail evenly so it maintains the cut shape of the sail as best that it can, so when the sail is still pulling while is half rolled up, it is as efficient as it can be.
I cannot explain to you, how you can tell the difference. i can tell by looking at it, but i cant explain it... maybe someone else can.
you should be able to google the model number, or ask the question in your browser if that model can be used to reef, and see what you get...

some people use their basic furler as a reefing furler, and this only causes extreme stress on the sail and a total loss of efficient wind flow... but they get by with it:D

slab reefing is much quicker, easier, and gives a much better sail shape than roller reefing... no matter how many deck hands you have. it just has to be set up for it. some use a double line setup, one at the clew and one at the tack.... on smaller boat a single line running thru both the clew and the tack work well to pull it down.

how fast can you roller reef? less than 30 seconds?..... if not your slower than slab reefing.
how fast can you shake out the roller reef and feed the slugs back into the track and rehoist the main?... 15 seconds, if not your slow:D.
with slab reefing, set up for it, all you have to do is lift the reefing line(s) from the cam cleats, and hoist the main.

the ties for the excess sail is something that you get to when you have the time after you take the reef.... or when you get ready to shake out, remove the ties at your leisure....

i dont count gathering the excess sail as the important part of the reefing process, it has so little to do with getting back under control and is really more for aesthetics and good houskeeping than anything else. and it is only held passively, not reefed tight like the clew and tack

roller reefing does take care of all of that during the rolling process, but that, in and of itself is what causes the bad sail shape afterward.... the sail needs to be held at the three corners and not in the middle of the sail to allow the design of it to work properly.

roller reefing does work, but just not as well....


reef points in the jib is not as common on our small bay boats, but more common on coastal cruisers.
but they can be very helpful when there is no other sails to hank on... as for reef points in a jib on a furler, im not sure how that would work.

sewing in reef points.... ball park figure?... i couldnt give you one because the prices vary so much from one sailmaker to another.... by a wide margin.
so get quotes from 2 or 3 before you get the work done....

Ok you win. Next to worthless.

Nice write up BTW.
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
Next to worthless.
concerning the roller reefing method, i totally agree with you... but because there are some who dont know any better than the roller reefing they are using, i try not to be too harsh and one sided to the point of being disrespeful to them...
a thorough understanding of the differences in any system, and making an educated choice is much better than just denouncing a method because it doesnt work for someone else. it is an ignorant approach to solving an issue and bad information/advice to be handing out to new sailors.
and sometimes it just takes some people more time to see the light than it takes others....:D:D:D