Prototyping Dog Bones for Reefing

My boat came with a set of new-ish crispy Dacron sails.

The broker who joined me and the seller on the sea trial was enthusiastic about helping up on the cabin top to “jump the halyard” as we raised the main sail. “Good Man” I thought. Good man who was helping to gloss over the situation where the plastic sleeve at the hole where the halyard enters the mast had come loose.


I spent some time carefully measuring and after a time, decided I could re-use the existing sleeve with the assistance of a cleaned mast surface and some quick-cure JB weld. Problem solved, more or less – the halyard operates as Bruce King, the boat’s designer and the good lord would have wanted.

Next was the fact that my newer Dacron main sail, while snappy and relatively clean, lacked the dog-bones which would have made the reef points functional. On their own, I can’t reach the cringles onto the ram’s horn. I tried prototyping some new ones with Dyneema and some rings from West Marine:


I use several loops of line to distribute the load, then halve the strength of the connection point with a reef knot. It’s a prototype.


A boom rehab is in the offing. The reefing outhaul sheaves at the aft end of the boom are worn, (one is frozen) and both cast aluminum ends would enjoy cosmetic and preventative attention. Before I disassemble, though (and craft some more permanent dogbones) I expect to do some testing on downhaul lines so that I can engage my reefing points from the cockpit, without the help of my local yacht broker at the mast.

Pixie the dog and I made it over to Alcatraz yesterday in 4-12 knots of wind and some nice California January sunshine.