Reefing Advice for 1954 Shetland built Bermudan Sloop

kita18

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Hello- I recently became the happy owner of Aurelia, a 35' Bermudan sloop, built in Lerwick in 1954. Mahogany planks on oak frames and surprisingly dry in the bilge. She was moored in Arisaig and I am working my way round to Rosneath for the winter. I'm scratching my head slightly about the reefing setup, so any advice appreciated....

The boom is a solid spar of douglas fir and appears to be set up for point reefing- there are coombes and sheaves at the three reefing points. However there are no cleats on the boom, just two brass winches.

On the mainsail, there is a hook on the tack cringles for a shackle on the gooseneck, and there are cleats on the sail at the reefing points above the clew.

For the outhaul I am currently running a line from the clew to a block on the boom end, and then forward to one of the winches on the boom.

My questions are:
When reefing down should I release the out haul from the clew and reattach it to one of the leech reefing points OR leave the out haul as is and run one of the reefing penants from one of the leech reefing points through another block on the boom end and then forward to the OTHER boom winch.

The latter seems to make more sense but then I'm not sure what winch I should use for the down haul- the other two winches on the mast are in use for the jib and mainsail halyards.

Also what are the cleats on the sail for if the reefing penants are tied to the boom and hauled in by the winch?

I've been tempted to use the smaller cringles as part of the point reefing system but I'm pretty sure they are just for tying the sail down once reefed, but any reassurance on that point appreciated.

I know this should all be pretty obvious but the setup seems to be a mix of different systems and I'm unsure which is the right one.

Any ideas appreciated.

Cheers,

Felix
 

Romeo

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I think you are going to have to post some photos. I don't understand what you mean by cleats on your sail, but am pretty sure they will not be something that can take a great deal of strain, so will be for tidying up or minor adjustment, not for actually holding the pressure on the corners of the sail when reefed.

I don't think I would be wanting to release a clew outhaul before putting a reef in. Generally at times when you are wanting to put a reef in, you are not wanting to risk anything that might reduce control..... please forgive me if I have misunderstood the question!
 

marekp

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Tried to send you a PM about another matter, following up on some info about spares for the Whale Mk2 1.5" bilge pump from another forum member, but it says your mailbox is full and not accepting new messages. Any chance you could drop me a line by PM or through this forum?
 

srm

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As Romeo said, photos would help.

If I have understood your description correctly the following suggestions may be of help:

I would suggest using a lashing to tension the foot and hold the clew to the boom. The two winches can then be used for permanently rigged reefing lines through the blocks and cringles. Pull the luff down by hand and hook onto the goosneck shackle. Your mention of cleats on the sail are a bit puzzling, unless they are for the leech line in the sail, as this may need adjusting after a reef had been taken in (my main has a small clam cleat above each reef cringle).

I know the boat, but have not sailed her. Aurelia has had four owners to my knowledge, plus one or more while away from Shetland before Robert Wishart brought her back. The reefing system has probably been 'tweeked' by more than one previous owner so may not be obvious. From experience with big mainsails on heavy boats you need to make the reefing system as easy to use as possible. Don't be shy about adding cleats or other hardware to the boom if that is what you need to make it work well.

As you probably know she was designed by Thomas Moncreiff (Tammy Scatt) of Lerwick. I remember him showing me his original plans, hand drawn with gothic script lettering.

A very nice boat, I hope you enjoy her.
 

kita18

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While this was a while ago, I just wanted to thank the posters above for their help. I did work it out, simply by setting up an adjustable out haul that was independent of the reefing system ( I think it was previously just lashed). I used two blocks, one attached to the clew of the mainsail, and one attached to the end of the boom, to send a line back along the boom which I can adjust and tie off to one of the cleats on the boom (yes there were cleats on the boom, I just somehow missed them the first time round!). With that question solved it was obvious that the three sheaves in the boom lined up with the 3 reefing points in the sail so it was just a question of tying one end of each reefing line to the comb, through the cringle in the leech, down to the sheave on the other side of the boom, round the sheave and along to the winch. As Srm said the small cleats on the sail are just for adjusting the leech line. So far it seems to work well although I have been fairly cautious- no 3rd reef yet!

Have a separate question about the whisker pole rig but will start a new thread on that.

If anyone else has any personal experience of the boat or the builder I would love to hear more stories. Just coming to the end of my second season on the west coast and still very happy to be looking after her.
 

Wpol

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A bit late perhaps, but I know Aurelia fairly well and have been out with her on numerous occasions.

You will have bought her from my former father-in-law in Arisaig.
I used to come over from Holland every year for a week or fourtnight's sailing.

We have been all over the Hebrides, but I think my best memory is having sailed out to St. Kilda in a force seven. That was absolutely brilliant.
On the way back we stopped at the Flannan Isles - interesting history there!

Another good one was sailing from Loch Rodel to Loch Maddy in a strong force 7 - 3 reefs in and pulling to windward like mad, took 4,5 hours but great fun!

I always thought she was a basic but very comfortable boat - and I just loved the wee dumpy stove.
 

kita18

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Hello Wpol- thanks for sharing your memories of being out on Aurelia. Haven't been that far north yet but looking forward to following in your wake. She is a good sea boat and holds up well to a bit of wind, as I found out myself last season coming down the Firth of Lorn past Easdale. Not a good time to be single handed but she came through. As you say the stove is a highlight after a wet day!

A couple of pics here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RLu_9__8uwLJzWR2AOytbf3XAZ4yWdv6

Should be launching a couple of weeks, let me know if you a re passing by Glasgow or Oban and would like to say hello.

Felix
 
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