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Old 19-08-2013, 08:47   #1
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Difficulty Furling Genoa

I have a 36' S2 11.0 CC that I single-hand on occasion. I've been having extreme difficulty furling the genoa, even in modest winds (6-8 kn). I am forced to use the winch to get the sail in and furled, which just doesn't seem right. Is this normal? If not, any thoughts on the likely source of the problem and recommended solution?
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:00   #2
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

First you have to tell us what kind of furler you've got. They all have their idiosyncracies and the problem might be as simple as too much halyard tension.
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:11   #3
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

More information helps. Make, model, integral or separate halyard, last maintenance done, is this sudden or gradual, what has changed lately, etc.

If this is a furler that uses a separate halyard, you could be getting halyard wrap at the top. You should never us a winch to operate a furler for this reason.
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:13   #4
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pirate Re: Difficulty furling genoa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
First you have to tell us what kind of furler you've got. They all have their idiosyncracies and the problem might be as simple as too much halyard tension.
Or it could be you've just got to big a build up of salt, dust and grit etc that's affecting your bearings... give the roller a good long blast with water... wash the build up away.
Same thing happens with winches after a while...
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:15   #5
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Is it easier when you relieve the luff tension?

We found that with a new jib the luff stretched and the top swivel was bearing against the head of the luff tube under tension. Solution, take an inch or two off the luff length.
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:18   #6
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

I agree with Vasco. We have a profurl and it is harder to furl our genoa than I would like, but with our setup I think it's normal. Our previous profurl was also not an easy furl. It helped to make sure the furling line had as fair a lead to the cockpit as possible and depowering the genoa helped.
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:30   #7
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

Which is why I still have hank on foresails. Wait until the S hits the fan and you have to haul in your genoa in strong wind! Great fun watching a race boat in Australia struggle with their jib wrap in a roller furling configuration. Ended up having to drop the whole kit & kaboodle.

Or, if you need to replace your forestay. What a PITA.
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:38   #8
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

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Which is why I still have hank on foresails. Wait until the S hits the fan and you have to haul in your genoa in strong wind! Great fun watching a race boat in Australia struggle with their jib wrap in a roller furling configuration. Ended up having to drop the whole kit & kaboodle.

Or, if you need to replace your forestay. What a PITA.
Headsail furlers have proven themselves over the years. Much better than wrestling with a sail on the foredeck when it gets a bit bouncy. It is interesting to see that there are still folks out there that refuse to live in this century.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:01   #9
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

Already some helpful hints (halyard too tight or wrapped, bearings need service). To answer the questions in your responses: it's a Harken "unit 2". Could be original equipment and the boat is 1982. Boat is new to me a/o January so not sure when (if?) last maintenance was done. Pretty sure the halyard is integral but quite possible there's too much tension on it. Oddly, there's an extra 4-5" of loose luff at the furling drum, which kind of makes me think there may not be enough tension (or maybe the sail is too big for the setup I have). When it's unfurling it comes out smoothly, and once the genoa is about 75% furled it becomes easier. Earlier this season when I noticed this problem I unfurled and refurled the genoa at the dock (near-zero wind of course) and it seemed OK. Not effortless but certainly didn't require a winch. Hope this additional info gives a clue as to the cause.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:11   #10
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

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Headsail furlers have proven themselves over the years. Much better than wrestling with a sail on the foredeck when it gets a bit bouncy. It is interesting to see that there are still folks out there that refuse to live in this century.
Yeah. There are still people out there who don't follow the herd instinct, who aren't lemmings.

Things get rowdy all I have to do in order to de-power is let go the clutch handling the jib halyard. Down she comes like a rocket, boat comes up onto her feet and I have complete control. If too dangerous to go forward I can let the jib flog, knowing full well there'll be some repairs required later on.

I cringe at the thought about consequences for delay getting things under control while I wrestle getting a furled foresail in...
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:28   #11
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

OK, sailors, play nicely together. Please don't turn this into a thread about the virtues of roller furlers. I have one and I'm keeping it (although I may be repairing/replacing it).

And yes, I've already had one adventure trying to get the @&#% thing furled in 12-14 knot winds and I ain't doin' it agin. So any advice about how to get it to work right is appreciated.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:41   #12
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

I believe the Harken MK2 furler uses a separate halyard that comes down the mast. An integral halyard would come down the foil.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:50   #13
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

I singlehand alot and use the Harken MK2,with 130%? genoa.It uses internal mast halyard,low stretch. As soon as wind hits about 12kn., I furl about 1/3,either by luffing sail or blanketing with main.Boat speed stays same,and much easier to furl further at that point.Always slacken halyard tension when boat not in use.
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Old 19-08-2013, 11:15   #14
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

Quote:
Originally Posted by FruiVita View Post
I have a 36' S2 11.0 CC that I single-hand on occasion. I've been having extreme difficulty furling the genoa, even in modest winds (6-8 kn). I am forced to use the winch to get the sail in and furled, which just doesn't seem right. Is this normal? If not, any thoughts on the likely source of the problem and recommended solution?

When you have to use a winch to furl, something is wrong. Take a look at the pictures on this website.


Boldly Go Sailing: Your Mast Could Come Down – Really! -- Halyard Wraps

The damage to those forestays was caused by "halyard wrap." I suggest you *immediately* get out a pair of binoculars and look at your forestay above the top of the roller furler. I think you're going to find that it's compromised.

What *I* think is going on is that your halyard is fouling your forestay because it doesn't approach the roller furler from the right spot and angle. It's easily fixed but your forestay may be severely compromised. If it gives way, it's not inconceivable that your mast could come down although if you're lucky your roller furler will hold it until you can use a spare halyard to temporarily replace your forestay and keep the mast safe.

This is from my blog but I've been told by numerous people that it's a good explanation of the problem. The real risk here is that there's a lot of really stupid advice about this problem on the 'net. Just because you find it on the 'net doesn't make it true, and of course that's true of what I wrote as well. But it's a start, and there's a couple of other links at the bottom of the article so you can see what others have said about the problem.

I think you might have a serious problem on your hands.

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Old 19-08-2013, 11:38   #15
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Re: Difficulty furling genoa

I'm curious about the efficacy of slackening the halyard when the furler is not in use. When my 130% genoa is wrapped around the Harken MkII foil, the whole lot becomes a pretty solid mass, and slackening the halyard does not relieve tension at the tack connection to the drum (in my case a 10" strop, so that I can see under the sail when unfurled). The only way to reduce strain on the whole thing is to slacken the halyard before furling.... not a likely manoeuvre for most people. Or is it just a case of halyard preservation?
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