Reef that Crab

Reto Brehm's P5 proa "Lili'Uokalani" with a shunting Oceanic lateen rig. 

There has never been a completely satisfying way to reef a crab claw sail.  If you just furl up some of the area along the boom, you still end up with the sail at full hoist, not the best place for the area when the wind is strong.  Reto rigged a ring or loop of beads that slides down over the halyard to lower the yard and yet keep it tight against the mast.  The control line is led out to the main shroud to give a new support point to the mast and prevent any excessive bending.



  1. I sometimes think it is also a good idea just to raise a smaller sail instead of reefing, as long as you can stow the "reefing sail" for a deployment that doesn't take much longer than reefing. I brought along my smallest lug sail for this on the EC, stowed across my akas (I should instead have brought the largest sail for light air!). Standing lugs are easy to set (clip in downhaul, clip on halyard, raise, tighten downhaul). I could imagine a small crabclaw, rolled up and fairly easy to deploy. The deck of the vaka could have some simple provisions to secure the sails being stowed at the time.

  2. I am sorry, but I gotta ask: As an american living in New Zealand who is involved in designing multihulls, what do you think of what happened america's cup?

  3. I doubt that we'll ever know the whole story. I was backing the Kiwis because I like the way they approach the whole thing and the fact that most people on the street here do know what a gybe is. I hope the foiling multihulls are here to stay, after all I was advocating it back when I was sailing SF Bay in the 60's. Yes there was a foiling tri blasting around the Bay then.

  4. Thanks for your response, I agree about the real story not being available. I was also rooting for NZ despite being an SF Bay resident, it just means more to the people down there than here and because I have never met a Kiwi who was not a good human. However I was glad when oracle put up a fight. The major contribution was putting sailing on the radar of the average joe (at least in the us). It would be cool to see proas in the AC, and a team from the Marshalls dominate but I think it is clear there is little chance of mainstream sailing going there.

  5. It must have been wonderful watching extreme video. I can imagine how skilled they are. Your photos are excellent and you captured the excitement. Team building New York

  6. You can see here how reefed and then 1:45 unreefed CrabClaws works.
    Surprisingly no rings with addtional shroud or other fancy arangements are needed - tested ;)

    1. The ring does lower the center of effort of the sail which is a welcome addition to reducing the area.


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