In keeping with the improved design of the yachts themselves, modern mainsail reefing systems have come a long way.
A halfway option for larger yachts that are keen to keep performance sails is to use lazy jacks or a Park Avenue boom to gather the big, slab-reefed versions of a mainsail. Smaller sailors may struggle to reach the boom on some 40 footers, and just handling the sail can be a challenge even in ideal conditions, whereas under power with pod-drive systems and bow thrusters, these same sailors can easily manage the yacht.
This is where modern mainsail reefing systems come into their own.
"A sailmaker may present a quote for a boom at the time of replacement mainsail as an up-sell," says Rick Hackett, Leisurefurl dealer and Managing Director of KZ Marine Group.
MODEL Dufour GL412 DESIGNER Feloi Yacht Design LOA 12.35 metres (40.5 feet) BEAM 4.2 metres DRAFT 2.10 metres ENGINE 40 hp sail drive FUEL 200 litres WATER 380 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 38[m.sup.2], Genoa 33[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 8,940 kg BALLAST 2,600 kg PRICE $327,000 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Reefing on the Euphoria 54 can be either slab or roller-furling reefing options for the mainsail, depending on your intended use for the boat.
MODEL Euphoria 54 DESIGNER German Frers LOA 16.46 metres BEAM 4.9 metres DRAFT 2.40/3.00 metres ENGINE 75 hp FUEL 450 litres WATER 550 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 95[m.sup.2], Jib 71[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 17,900 kg BALLAST 6,200 kg PRICE POA [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Notable sail controls also include barber haulers and jib tracks inboard on the coachroof to close the slot with the mainsail. The alloy keel stepped rig is held aloft with rod rigging (with tie rods into the carbon grid) and a hydraulic backstay for adjustment, while the furling genoa is controlled with an underdeck roller; nearby where the foot of the 140-square-metre gennaker is attached.
The standard rig is a 9/10 fractional sloop with light alloy spars fully battened mainsail
with twin backstays, which clears the open transom for swim access.
Her mainsail had blown out and her mast, a very lightweight carbon section with extremely swept spreaders, was twisting excessively without the sail's support.
Ninety Seven's crew spent the rest of the race setting the inshore mainsail in the lulls and the storm try-sail in the squalls but she finished an excellent fourth overall.
Both maxis also suffered mainsail damage when they were shaking their reefs out on the morning of the 28th.
TYCO suffered headboard trouble, forcing her to drop the mainsail. All the 60s had gone miles to the east, and in the upwind sailing they were no match for the maxis.
At a minimum, full-length battens should be used in the top sections of the mainsail.
Offshore, this creates a problem, when trying to reef or drop the mainsail completely when reaching and running.