Iinstead of reefing the topgallants (which was not always done), I recommend making that button simply lower the sail to the level of the reefed topsail instead. Then we can actually create the sailplan described by the UI: 'topgallants over reefed topsails'. They would never allow a big gap underneath the foot of the sail like that. It would also be cool if the topsail could be reefed several times, with each command of 'reef' and 'set' moving up or down one level.
A simple texture adjustment to the sails to depict the reef bands would help cue the player in.
Edit: I have been restraining myself from proposing UI changes because I know it's a pain in the ass and probably not your priority just now. But there are two things that could be really helpful:
1. A 'miles travelled since noon' counter;
2. A small arrow showing whether the wind is rising or falling.
If you are worried about screen real estate, I personally do not find myself using any compass other than the popup one in the lower left corner. Maybe others would feel differently though.
Anyways, just had a great Atlantic crossing, the 'Battle' location to Guadeloupe by March 12th!
When I got there I almost ran aground because you can look 'underneath' the island, which floats in the air. Is this a common issue? You move the camera and suddenly more land appears.