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am I using the right sail?
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Russ, Newt,

As always, appreciate the excellent advice.

Russ, I think a single, larger reef makes a lot of sense given the way we use the boat. When you said 30%, should I assume you mean 30% area not 30% of the luff length?

Thanks again,

Laurence Steiner


I am following up on Russ S. response to you.

Yes, years ago the racing sails were make as long as possible on the luff for max. sail area. We were using a "Preventer" system to hold the boom down when going with the wind. This had to be changed side to side when you jibed.

Recently the Boom Vang has been used and is much safer in all points of sailing. This required the Main sail luff to be cutdown to no more than 23' in length to give the needed angle to make a boom vang work. The sail is cut from the bottom of the luff to the intersection of the foot and leech of the sail. This means you are cutting a narrow triangle off the bottom of the main sail.

I have had several main sails cut and the cost was about $150.

Any questions, you can contact me directly

Good Sailing in 2021 and Beyond.

Newt Wattis

# 2604

"My Lightning"

Looks like old style, most sail area, sail. If the sail is in otherwise good condition, Get the luff cut, at a loft near you, to 23 feet and have a reef or two put in. For me, I used a 30% reef. If the sail is not rolled, you can fold it up, box it and mail it any loft you like.


Currently I'm using a set of used/retired North race sails for daysailing mostly with my family. The lack of reef points makes me overpowered on windy days. I was planning to add reef cringles this winter, but it got me thinking. The luff seems really long, hard to get tension and the boom stop has to be set so low that the vang doesn't really work. Would I be better off buying a different main with reefs and maybe better suited for cruising if such a thing exists? If anyone has a good condition main with reefs and preferably a little shorter in the luff they are interested in selling, let me know. Any other advice is welcome. If I'm way off base on this I'd be glad to find out from the group.

Thanks and happy new year,

Laurence Steiner

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