Sail handling

Being able to handle the sails from the cockpit is a big advantage to a single-handed sailor. Apart from being easier and quicker to hoist or drop the sails, it is significantly safer, especially in a small boat like a Corribee.

The Main

The three controls most useful to lead back to the cockpit are the main halyard, the topping lift and the outhaul. Others you might want to think about are the kicker (which flattens the main and helps to stop the boom lifting when the wind is aft), and the downhaul (which is used to tension the luff). In the photos below, only the first three mentioned have been led aft so far. I have yet to do the downhaul, and I can reach the existing kicker setup without leaving the cockpit.

The main halyard (blue/white) and the topping lift (brown) are led down the starboard side. I used a 3-sheave Barton organiser, a Barton rope clutch  for the halyard and a plastic cleat for the topping lift. The red line is for reefing – see below.

Fig 1

Fig 1

On the port side I have another deck organiser (I only had a 2 sheave but this is due to be replaced with a 4 sheave one later), one of the lines is for the mainsail outhaul, and the other is another reefing line. Different coloured lines are a good idea, but a coloured whipping will do instead. A pair of Spinlock jammers (smaller and cheaper than rope clutches) are through bolted to the coachroof.

Fig 2

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 3

The arrangement at the foot of the mast – a triple block on one side and a double on the other. These are fitted through the coachroof, with stainless backing plates to spread the load. The starboard side routes the outhaul and one of the reefing lines.

Fig 4

Fig 4

Reefing Lines

The main on this boat has two sets of reefing points. The first reef is controlled by the blue line on the port side of the coachroof, and the second reef has a red control line routed down the starboard side. Both follow similar routes, see fig 5. From the block on the coachroof it comes up through the cringle on the sail, and then down to a cheek block fitted to the boom. This is a Barton block, attached to the boom by drilling and tapping a couple of M6 holes. There are two of these blocks fitted, one each side of the boom. The diagram  below shows the route more clearly. The line is 6mm polyester braid – it needs to be flexible and slippery to minimise friction.

Fig 5

Fig 5

Fig 5 shows the reefing lines made off to existing U-bolt fittings on the Procter boom. The fittings on the underside of the boom can be moved (by slackening off the bolt and sliding them along the track).

Fig 6

Fig 6

Fig 6 shows how the reefing line leads up from the block straight to the cringle on the luff of the main – this red line goes through the cringle and down to the cheek block fitted on the port side of the boom, exactly opposite the one seen here on the starboard side.

Fig 7 shows the overall layout of one reefing line.

Fig 7

Fig 7


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3 Responses to “Sail handling”

  1. Paul Cundy Says:


    I am just rigging my Corribee for the first tome and the outhaul assembly is missing. Are there any diagrams out there to show how it is normally rigged and routed?



  2. pampty Says:

    I don’t own a Corribee but I’ve found this site to be extremely useful – so my apologies for “scrounging your knowledge”.
    The pointers raised here are both extremely helpful and clearly laid out. If I may be permitted to say so, your “” is a fabulous, encouraging and well laid-out site. All I need now is the Corribee!

  3. Les Davis Says:

    On my Corribee Antares I only have 1 “jiffy type” reefing as described.
    However, I have threaded a line criss-crossed through the reefing eyelets – thin nylon with an 18″ piece of shock-cord attached – and put plastic hooks on one side of the line between the eyelets.
    After bringing the sail down to reef, using the reefing line, I can then bundle the excess sail neatly along the boom by hooking the new line under the boom to its counterpart on the other side.

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