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Old 13-07-2013, 06:43   #1
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Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

I am considering making an offer for a 1988 Beneteau First 305.

I would like to ask your advice on the following.

The forestay is set up to be used with hang-on forestays. There are three different jibs. We are more interested in sailing one-handed with a furling genoa. We are considering converting the forestay to a furling system, however we would like to utilize the different sails the boat comes with. Is there any way that we can have both systems in place? Or would you recommend something else?

Many thanks!
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Old 13-07-2013, 07:23   #2
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

Roller furlers are very convenient when single handing, you can take your hank-on sails to a sailmaker and have them sew a bolt rope on you sails so they will fit in the roller furler.

Hank-on sails could be very difficult to change in a seaway if you only have one hand.
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Old 13-07-2013, 07:54   #3
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

Its pretty easy to add a furler to an existing fore-stay, there are many manufacturers who offer no-cut fore-stay furler's, in fact they are the most popular kind nowadays. As for using the existing sails, I'd find out what size luff tape the new furler is going to use and bring the sails to a sail maker, they likely can swap out the hanks for a new luff tape. I'd first get only the largest (or what you feel would be most commonly used) sail done, because you may find that with the furler's ability to reef you may not really need to get all three sails done.
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Old 13-07-2013, 08:26   #4
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

What sizes are the existing foresails ? If I were you, I'd take a #2 and get that converted. #1's don't reef very well I believe, #2's (which is what I have) are OK, #3's are too small for normal sailing. And you can furl a #2 down to a #3.
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Old 13-07-2013, 08:34   #5
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

When I checked, converting hank on sails to luff tape for roller furling was relatively cheap, under $200. You don't have the advantage of a foam luff which greatly benefits reefed sail shape. Possible that foam luff could even be added. Ask your local sailmaker about that.

Agree that converting your most used sail and try it out is a good idea. My foam luff 135 roller genoa has been up for 4 years. Have a non furlable 150 that I could use sometimes but too lazy to make the change. Performance is a little compromised sometimes but not all that much. Definitely have no desire to be out on foredeck changing a headsail when a little tug on a line reduces sail area.

If you sail in an area with radically different seasonal wind conditions might have some incentive to use two different sized sails.
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Old 13-07-2013, 09:51   #6
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

Do remember that if you want to leave the sail furled on the stay when the boat is not in use that besides the luff tape, a sacrificial sun cover must be added. This will up the cost significantly and generally will degrade the sail shape as well.

Ain't no free lunch on a yacht!

cheers,

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Old 13-07-2013, 13:30   #7
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

You can add a short sprit and put the furling sail there - this way you can hold on to the (now) inner forestay and its sails.

Te opposite is doable too, but you would need an inner fitting for the furler - this may be more difficult to add that a sprit.

I noticed since we have a furler I do not use the hanked sails anymore. So you may opt to place the furler where now your hanky forestay is. This may be the simplest option.

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Old 13-07-2013, 20:43   #8
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

Thank you all for your help - would we need to get a furler system made specifically for this boat or is there a way to adopt a used furling system from another boat that has similar dimensions?
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Old 13-07-2013, 20:56   #9
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

Having lost a tiny fortune over a lifetime of sailing by selling for less than I've put in a boat ... not this time. I'm passing on all boats without furlers. I'm just not heading to the rigger right after I buy a boat and spent a bunch of dough. There are too many boats for sale to do that. I am really surprised at the condition of many boats I've seen. And not in a good way.
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Old 14-07-2013, 08:14   #10
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Re: Converting forestay to furling system, or not, or other option?

You can re-use if the stay dia fits the model and when the whole thing is long enough. It is easy to shorten, but not always easy to get an extra foil. Often, the existing stay can be re-used too.

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