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Old 24-12-2014, 11:41   #1
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Do you use Winch for Roller Furler?

My 38 foot boat does not have a dedicated winch for the headsail roller furler. PO told me if you can't furl the genoa by hand, then you've got a problem with the furler.
Ive got a problem with this, but I'm not sure if it's a bind in the furler or simply wind drag on the sail. When wind gets to 15 knots, pulling the furler in by hand is a challenge for me. At 18 knots, I generally run the furling line to the large jib sheet winch. At 20 knots, I'm totally dependent on the winch. Is this normal? At what wind speed to you become reliant on a winch to furl the genoa?
Tom.
ps, the head stay is well tensioned and the 20 plus year old Hood furling drum spins easily at light loads.
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Old 24-12-2014, 11:45   #2
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

I had dedicated winches on my 44 and 47 for furling. it helps to control things if nothing else. Sure... you can let the sail flog and furl without one, but you may not get a nice furl that way. With a winch I let the sheet go gradually and roll in at the same time for a nice furl.
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Old 24-12-2014, 11:46   #3
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

Assuming the furler is properly aligned and not binding at the head and assuming you aren't trying to furl a sail full of wind, something is wrong if you can't do it by hand. If you have overlooked any of those, using a winch will quickly identify the problem in a drastic fashion.
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Old 24-12-2014, 11:48   #4
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

We use a winch all the time, but our genoa is 60m2. Impossible to furl by hand.

A trick to furling is to always turn deep off the wind and let the sail billow out and reduce the apparent wind. If the main is up, hide the sail behind the main for even more help.

2 Hulls Dave
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Old 24-12-2014, 12:10   #5
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

My Tartan 33 is a fractional rig and I have no problems with the 135. In the summer I use a 150. With the larger sail, I find I have to add some back stay tension to ensure the forestay is tight and straight or the roller furler does not turn smoothly. With just a little tension I can roll it up no problem.

All that said, I do take a turn on the winch when I am tired and single handing. Not to crank the winch, but to hold the furling line while I ease the jib sheet. Furling with just a little wind in the sail results in a spiffy looking furl.
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Old 24-12-2014, 12:16   #6
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

By hand. 73 square meters. Harken Mk3 Unit 2.0. As said above, bear away for a moment to make it easy. Flogging the sail much is counterproductive.

I have used the winch at times. But it is easy to damage the furling gear is something goes wrong so I avoid such a practice. Plus the manufacturer says "no." Breaking the furler on a crossing would be no fun.
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Old 24-12-2014, 12:20   #7
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

We have the old Hood Seafurl 2 on our 36' boat. Probably near the same sail area as you. I would never use the winch to furl. Probably end up breaking something. I'm not a big guy at 5'6 and about 135 lbs. It can get hard to furl if the wind is up, but can manage. Check that your furling line runs smoothly back to the cockpit. Does your line run through blocks?

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Old 24-12-2014, 12:25   #8
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

As far as I know, ProFurl is the ONLY furler/reefer manufacturer that states it si OK to use a winch. All the rest say DON'T DO IT.
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Old 24-12-2014, 12:46   #9
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

If the furling gear is strong enough to sustain the sailing loads from a partially reefed sail, then it is surely strong enough to sustain the loads from winching the furling line on an unloaded sail.

FWIW, we have used a winch on every furler we've owned: Reef-Rite, Schaeffer, Furlex and Facnor. None have suffered any damage from this practice.

Re turning downwind to furl: It surely does reduce the loading on the furling line, but sometimes one simply can not turn down when the need to furl arises. Better to be prepared to deal with the higher loads that may be encountered.

Jim
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Old 24-12-2014, 12:53   #10
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

Great discussion! I find it hard to furl by hand because the small diameter furling line is hard to grasp without hurting the fingers. I single hand and think a small self tailing drum for the furler would be helpful, notwithstanding the concerns about breaking the roller. To echo some of the great comments, I think the line routing to the cockpit and making sure the forestay is tight are critical. I am also going to do some detailed testing in turning way off the wind.

Excellent information folks.
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Old 24-12-2014, 12:56   #11
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

I also have a older Hood system on a Gulfstar 37 - I release the wind and roll up by hand. No problem for many many years of sailing.
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Old 24-12-2014, 13:02   #12
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

I used to use the winch frequently on the 45' cat I used to be on, rarely use on the current 36' cat.
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Old 24-12-2014, 13:04   #13
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal31 View Post
Great discussion! I find it hard to furl by hand because the small diameter furling line is hard to grasp without hurting the fingers. I single hand and think a small self tailing drum for the furler would be helpful, notwithstanding the concerns about breaking the roller. To echo some of the great comments, I think the line routing to the cockpit and making sure the forestay is tight are critical. I am also going to do some detailed testing in turning way off the wind.

Excellent information folks.
The diameter really makes a difference. I can't fit larger than 1/4" line on the drum. 3/8 sure would be nice. The only time I wear sailing gloves is to furl.

Ralph
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Old 24-12-2014, 13:17   #14
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

on my pdq 36 we use a traditional fuler on our screecher .to get more and bigger line into the drum I pull the core in the first 1/4 of the line and sewed the core to the cover at that point .the cover does the work in the light loaded portion of the furl. This works well for me
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Old 24-12-2014, 13:21   #15
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Re: do you use winch for roller furler?

Ralph, you are so right! A larger diameter line would be really nice. I am going to try to be really nice to my wife between now and my birthday and drop hints about how helpful a small self-tailer would be. I might even try to work some sort of safety angle into the discussion.
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