The importance of the charter yacht which you rent in Greece having a correctly tuned rig and and sails cannot be overstated. If you are sailing in the Aegean sea it is not common but always possible to face a sudden Gale (Bourini).
When caught off guard, gales can prove a challenge and can spoil even the most experienced sailors sense of fun and can ruin future holidays for new crew and future sailors so bearing that in mind we should do our best to spot the changes and prepare everything so the gale can become a good experience for everyone,
Ofcourse the ideal move is to spot and avoid!! If you cannot avoid then be thankful that your boat is equipped to handle them. Gales in the Aegean are isolated features that are too short to forecast .
If we accept that, and we should, the next big question is how many reefs should we have and where should they be positioned?
Generally, whenever this comes up the debate quickly centres on how many reefs are “best”. Two, three, or even four. 99% of charter yachts in Greece with batten mainsails have only two reefs.
So what about two reefs? Well, it’s certainly a nice simple solution, but just as it is important not to over-canvas your boat, it is also a poor idea and very uncomfortable to be dramatically under-canvassed.
If you have only two reefs with the top one at 36% as most are, you will spend a lot of time in either condition: too much sail, or too little.
Here at Puresailing Yachting we believe that three reefs is best for the following reasons;
1. Balanced Rig
Just like it is tempting to sail with just the jib set (particularly if it is on a roller furler) it is also tempting, once the main is set, to roll up the jib more than we should, or even all the way, rather than reefing the main and leaving an appropriate amount of jib out.
Yes, it’s tempting… But don’t do it, OK? It’s simply poor seamanship that:
- Makes the boat squirrelly and difficult to steer.
- Increases the chances of breaking something because the mainsail gear is more heavily loaded than it would be if the loads were properly distributed between the two sails.
- Restricts your ability to manoeuvre the boat properly.
The thing to understand here is that when you are short-handed like most cruisers, and particularly if your crew prefers to be sunbathing to sailing, being over-canvassed happens at much lower wind speeds than your boat’s designer or sailmaker may take into account.
3. Sailing to windward
When on the wind, the third reef goes in at about 27 knots true.
4. Sailing off the wind
When broad reaching and running, the third reef goes in at about 30 knots steady true wind speed, which reduces the load on everything and particularly cuts the autopilot a break.
Accordingly as part of our continuous efforts to ensure that you have the best yacht charter yacht experience in Greece we upgrade our sails to three reefs as soon as possible.
Our Beneteau 343 2010 model (SY Panorama) has new sails as of 2015 with a mainsail of three reefs.
Our Beneteau 45 2012 model (SY Ikaria ) will be sporting new sails for the Beneteau Blue Cup in Athens in 2015 with ofcourse a third reef.
Our Beneteau 45 2014 (SY Daedalus) is due for an upgrade in 2017!
As a bonus all our new Sails are fully battened as opposed to semi battened giving you that extra control and speed exactly when you need it.