Rigging the 2nd reef in a 310?

Oct 1, 2020
45
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
Our mainsail has grommets for a 2nd reef, and from what I've researched we are able to rig jiffy reefing for a 2nd reef on our 310s, but has anyone done it? I saw a post from Jesse that eluded to it. Our Catalina 310 manual (pg 28) shows the "optional 2nd reef" on the port side of the lines led aft to the cockpit; however, this diagram isn't how our 310 is rigged. I have block and stopper space(s) open on my starboard side.

I've got some line and a spool of fishing tape on the way. If anyone has any insights or hints I'm all ears.
 
Jul 12, 2011
984
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
Not a 310 owner, but some general questions that may help:
  • If you have any slugs between the second reef and the tack, you will need to rig a 'jack line' across them to allow the sail to move away from the mast when reefed (both aft and flaking). I'm not at the boat to show a photo, but perhaps others can provide. It does not have to carry much force, but only pull the sail forward to the slugs when not reefed, but allow it to move aft and to the side when reefed. No jack lines and you tear the slugs off the mast.
  • Rigging the single-line reefing is simple if you have the spare block in the boom, and also at the mast. You need to have enough line to go the length of the boom, plus four times the height of the reef from the boom, plus whatever it will take to get from the boom to where it terminates (mast cleat or cockpit clutch?).
  • Perhaps a photo of the questionable areas would help with specific guidance?
  • Have you inquired on the Catalina 30 owners forum? International Catalina 30 Association
  • Consider adding a light block (Carbo blocks work great) at the forward reef cringle, rather than running your line through the cringle or through a ring. That way friction is reduced (3/4 of your reef line runs through this point as opposed to only 1/4 for the rear cringle) and you want to make the tack before the clew to make a solid and neat reef.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,082
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Consider adding a light block… at the forward reef cringle,
Good info from Parsons. We differ in the need for a block.

When setting the reef the sail is slacked to the reef cringle. With the reef lines you are taking up slack not drawing down the sail. There should be minimal tension on the sail so minimal friction. If the reef lines are taut, then you need to slack the sail.
Definitely no winch is needed, it most likely will rip the sail.

Skill in reefing comes from practicing on a calm day. Use the Navy Seal recommendation. “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”.

Once you have the reef set, then you draw the sail up using the halyard.
 
Mar 6, 2008
316
Catalina 310 Scott Creek, VA
Here are some photos of my second reef. There is one photo of the tack with a line that is not red and white which came from a post from "For pete's sake"; you should be able to find that in the archives. I have to go forward and remove the slug stop to pull in the second reef, and then put the slugs back in when I shake it. My main has a jack line to eliminate this step for the first reef, but not for the second. There is a photo which shows several slugs above the "jack line" that Parsons mentions above for my first reef.
 

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Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
3,123
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
I don't have a 2nd reef set up on my C30 but I do agree with Valcour and Parsons that carbo blocks at the reef tack and reef clew are beneficial and needed to balance the pull on the sail when using a single line jiffy reefing system.

Another plus is by using the blocks you keep the reefing line on one side of the boom, making room for the 2nd reef line on the other side of the boom.

@Hayden Watson taught me about the reef blocks and his method of setting a reef. I lower the main until the reef tack is about a 1' from the boom (for 1st reef). I have my main halyard marked for this point so there is no guessing.
I then pull in the reef line until the luff and the clew tack are properly tensioned. The low friction of the blocks makes this possible. I don't have to go back to the main halyard to adjust the luff using this method.
 
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Jul 19, 2013
317
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Our mainsail has grommets for a 2nd reef, and from what I've researched we are able to rig jiffy reefing for a 2nd reef on our 310s, but has anyone done it? I saw a post from Jesse that eluded to it. Our Catalina 310 manual (pg 28) shows the "optional 2nd reef" on the port side of the lines led aft to the cockpit; however, this diagram isn't how our 310 is rigged. I have block and stopper space(s) open on my starboard side.

I've got some line and a spool of fishing tape on the way. If anyone has any insights or hints I'm all ears.
Unless I miss something, I would think you would rig the second reef in the same manner as the first is rigged? Which side of the boom shouldn't matter, use the open side.
As your model is a fairly new boat I trust you have single-line reefing, which would be configured and operate somewhat like the system on a Pearson 31-2
You will have to remove the endcaps on the boom if your system has a shuttle block inside the boom. In the Pearson system from the late'80s, there is no need for a jack line for the luff or to remove slides when reefing...I'd be puzzled that a late Catalina system should require a jackline, perhaps the slide gate is too high?
 
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Oct 1, 2020
45
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
Thanks to all of you for the excellent explanations. It's getting a lot clearer in my mind now. I checked today and I have an open clutch, block at the base of the mast, and the starboard side of the boom is open for what should work out to be a parallel version of reef #1. I also found a picture of the carbo blocks via a google search and can now visualize the benefits of that (easier to pull, AND it keeps the line on one side for each of the reefs).

I'm unclear how to run the new reefing line through the boom, but Sailfanatic's clue about removing the end caps of the boom should get me headed in the right direction. I'll try to figure that out more as I wait for the fish tape to arrive.

The slugs/jack lines discussion is still foggy, but I'll wait for a calm day, raise the main and see what I'm working with. I have only put reef #1 in once (and have left it there because it's been really windy lately) and we definitely had to winch it down to get the clew to come down. I'll play with it on the dock in the spirit of Jssailem's Navy Seal quote. With reef #1 in I don't see any tension on the slugs, but I'll take some pictures and see what ya'll have to say.

I also have the slug stop above the feed hole that Valor mentions, and had the same thing (slug stop) on my Catalina 22. On the 22 I found a mast gate for the feed hole that prevented the slugs from coming out, and loved it. Has anyone put a mast gate on a 310 and removed the slug stopper to let them run free without popping out?

I'll re-read your posts while at the boat and see if I can get some pics that help move this along.
 
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Jul 19, 2013
317
Pearson 31-2 Boston
You need to figure out if reef 1 has a shuttle block inside the boom, as if so, you will need to obtain one before beginning your install. If your reef one line terminates around the aft end of the boom, then I assume you must have a shuttle block. Now shuttle blocks are generally unavailable in the USA, but since you have a Catalina you may benefit from Catalina's famous parts department. If you obtain a shuttle block, post a picture and the source and I'll route the good news to the Pearson owners board.

A reefing line on any boat your size will have to be cranked on with the aid of a winch, if only due to the general friction and the need to stretch the sail.

If your mast luff groove is configured with a gate use the gate and not a "slug stop", or it may become the cause for reverting to a jack line. If there's a gate, I don't see why there's any purpose to prevent the slides from dropping down to the level of the gooseneck.
 
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Nov 16, 2012
1,001
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 31 Santa Cruz
A true single line reefing system, where the same line pulls down both the luff and the leach of the main, suffers from an inability to provide enough luff tension. Using a reefing hook, and a cringle in the luff of the sail let’s you use the main halyard to provide sufficient luff tension. But it does require someone going forward to the mast to engage the hook.

I replaced our slug stop with a mast gate when we added a lazy jack/sail stack combo. It took me several tries to get the screw holes in the right place, but it was worth the trouble. Bought it from http://mastgates.com/
1626321796998.jpeg
 
Jul 12, 2011
984
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
I'd be curious how the Mastgate works and your experience with it @marchem . I've got a traditional slug retainer that screws into the mast at the top of the feed slot. Removing slugs for a second reef requires a trip to the mast, removing an inch of threads with a thumbscrew-type nob (keeping the screw!) and pulling out slugs. I don't have a jack-line on the second reef, so it's a pain, especially considering that you'd go from one to two reefs in rougher weather. Does this Mastgate save you any of those steps, particularly the trip to the mast or the unscrewing?
 
Jul 19, 2013
317
Pearson 31-2 Boston
A true single line reefing system, where the same line pulls down both the luff and the leach of the main, suffers from an inability to provide enough luff tension. ...
This is not my experience. My P31-2 had a "true single line" reefing system, and I found no problem with creating adequate luff tension as a byproduct of trimming in the reefing line. Just properly mark the halyard so completing the reef adds the luff tension. If that were difficult to do, the situation would still be easy to remedy after the reef is in, by putting the halyard back onto the cockpit winch and giving it a turn or so. But I found no need to do that.
 
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Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,990
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Thanks to all of you for the excellent explanations. It's getting a lot clearer in my mind now. I checked today and I have an open clutch, block at the base of the mast, and the starboard side of the boom is open for what should work out to be a parallel version of reef #1. I also found a picture of the carbo blocks via a google search and can now visualize the benefits of that (easier to pull, AND it keeps the line on one side for each of the reefs).

I'm unclear how to run the new reefing line through the boom, but Sailfanatic's clue about removing the end caps of the boom should get me headed in the right direction. I'll try to figure that out more as I wait for the fish tape to arrive.

The slugs/jack lines discussion is still foggy, but I'll wait for a calm day, raise the main and see what I'm working with. I have only put reef #1 in once (and have left it there because it's been really windy lately) and we definitely had to winch it down to get the clew to come down. I'll play with it on the dock in the spirit of Jssailem's Navy Seal quote. With reef #1 in I don't see any tension on the slugs, but I'll take some pictures and see what ya'll have to say.

I also have the slug stop above the feed hole that Valor mentions, and had the same thing (slug stop) on my Catalina 22. On the 22 I found a mast gate for the feed hole that prevented the slugs from coming out, and loved it. Has anyone put a mast gate on a 310 and removed the slug stopper to let them run free without popping out?

I'll re-read your posts while at the boat and see if I can get some pics that help move this along.
I was able to push a fish tape through the boom after removing the end cap. Make sure the tape stays under the sheaves and exits aft of the aft sheave.
I have found it easier and quicker to leave the reef lines loose at the clew ends when lowering the main, rather than taking up the slack as the main lowers. Raising the main goes much quicker when you don't have to fight the tension of the reef lines inside the boom. I do take in the slack on the tack end of the reef lines as the main is lowered, to keep the lines off the deck.
 
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Oct 1, 2020
45
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
I was able to push a fish tape through the boom after removing the end cap. Make sure the tape stays under the sheaves and exits aft of the aft sheave.
I have found it easier and quicker to leave the reef lines loose at the clew ends when lowering the main, rather than taking up the slack as the main lowers. Raising the main goes much quicker when you don't have to fight the tension of the reef lines inside the boom. I do take in the slack on the tack end of the reef lines as the main is lowered, to keep the lines off the deck.
Awesome, that's what I was hoping for. Thank you Tom!

We had a couple of nice days sailing and figuring out the current reefing system, as well as adding the carbo blocks to reefing line 1 and playing with pulling the slug screw. The carbo blocks recommended by Parsons and others work great! And removing the slug blocking screw gives the tightest reef with the least fouling of the sail at the goose neck. I'm going to order a mast gate since I liked it on my C22 and I think going to the mast to fiddle with a screw (and not lose it) defeats the point of lines led aft... but I'll let you know how that works out. With my fish tape just delivered I'll see if I can have the same luck Tom had with running his reef line through the boom for our 2nd reef.

IMG_1047.PNG5D4A3E1A-1A9B-4C4E-9966-7DAC307B3A08.JPG
 
Oct 3, 2011
787
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
When we had our new main made this winter, our sailmaker made the reef, a little deeper, hence would be easier than a second reef and we don't INTENTIONALLY sail when we would be overpowered but we have been out in 30 knots, not by choice :biggrin:, But it all worked out.
If we are guilty of anything it would be NOT practicing reefing and Man overboard drills on a regular basis.
There I admit! :(
But We Will Do Better!
 
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Jul 12, 2011
984
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
There's one of the things I've learned over a lifetime of sailing - judicious reefing is a good idea. Simple? I can't tell you how many sailors I have seen in much larger, fancier, faster boats than mine with full sails, completely overpowered, healed over with complaining crews, and not going any faster than if they had just tucked a reef in the main. It's learned over a lifetime because it is contrary to emotion. Thus endeth the lesson.
 
Oct 1, 2020
45
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
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We got the second reef all sorted out and it works great! We used the carbo blocks for all the reef grommets. We each practiced numerous times and got our process down. Reefing and running with gusts nearing 30 today was easy.

Still planning on a mast gate to avoid messing with the slugs and thumb screw, but it turns out we only need to do that for reef 1. Reef 2 sits high enough at the tack so no further slug is affected.


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Jan 1, 2006
6,071
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Looks good!
If you look at the picture of your main with the no reef tied in you may notice that the bunt line and leech cringe(l) are not in a straight line. The leech cring(l) is at least 3 inches higher on the sail then the luff cringe(l). I believe that is why single line reefing is more challenging. You draw the sail down a different distance at each end.
Sorry about the parentheses. My spell check doesn't like that word.
 
Jul 19, 2013
317
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Very good, It looks like you run the reefing straight thru the boom without a shuttle block inside? This is the simplest single-line setup i;'ve seen.
You might change the termination of the second reefing line on the boom to a running bowline
That should allow reefing line to pull the clew right down to the boom, making the bottom half of the sail a little flatter than when the clew is allowed to rise.
 
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Oct 1, 2020
45
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
Very good, It looks like you run the reefing straight thru the boom without a shuttle block inside? This is the simplest single-line setup i;'ve seen.
You might change the termination of the second reefing line on the boom to a running bowline
That should allow reefing line to pull the clew right down to the boom, making the bottom half of the sail a little flatter than when the clew is allowed to rise.
Yes, the fish tape ran straight through from aft end of boom towards the mast and I couldn't see any internal block inside. That was actually the easiest part, and what I thought would be the most difficult.

I see what your saying on the better knot for the 2nd reefing line where it ties off at the boom. I'll give the running bowline a go. Thank you!

I'm also going to lower this not-so-fair lead on the mast for reef line #1. The angle causes a lot of friction, probably because of the carbo block, but I think the carbo blocks are a great improvement overall.
 

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