If you do it a lot, changing the sail on a furler is no more difficult, and perhaps even less difficult, than a hanked on sail, IF you use a pre-feeder and your foil is well maintained and correctly set up. I race
a fair amount here on the Chesapeake in the summer on a few go-fast boats and we change headsails a LOT. Yes you need someone at the bow and someone on the halyard
, but you also don't spend five-ten minutes fiddling with the hanks.
I consider a furler to be a mandatory piece of equipment
on my boat. I single hand a lot, and the ability to deploy, take in, or shorten sail in 20 seconds is critical. My staysail is hanked on and it won't be long before I put that on a furler too. One piece of advice when you get to it...bear off downwind to take in the sail. I see a lot of sailors struggling to take it in as they are luffing into the wind, thinking that's easiest, but it's not.
It's definitely a DIY project
once you understand the design and mechanics of it. Make sure you've considered all the issues with respect to equipment
around the bow. For example, if you have an anchor
roller, make sure the furler drum is set high enough (adding a tang beneath it) to allow the shank of the anchor
to clear the drum as it pivots over the roller. In addition to having a bolt rope
added and the hanks removed, you might need to have the sail recut at the foot based on the height of the furler.