When heading out for the day, be sure to check conditions ahead of time and don’t wait for things to get too rough. It’s easier to shake out an unnecessary reef, opposed to putting it in while underway in breezy conditions.
Reefing can protect your boat from damage and make the sail more comfortable, but if not done properly can also add extra wear and tear to your sails. Make sure to protect the luff of your sail by putting the luff tension on first, whether you have a boltrope main or a slide main. Release the outhaul and vang before dropping the mainsail down to the desired reef position. Secure the tack of the reefed main and take up on the halyard ensuring there is good tension on the luff – keeping the sail pulled forward. After the luff is tight and secured, take up the slack on the reef line on the clew and ensure that there is good tension on the foot of the sail.