Originally Posted by Jim Cate
Dan, the admonition to never use a winch on a furling line is commonly heard... and not correct. On larger boats, the sails
are big, heavy and stiff. They defy rolling up without some additional grunt, supplied by winching on the furling line. The new Facnor furler that I just installed on our Solent jib
even says it is ok in the manual.
When you add in some wind
pressure, it is even more necessary.
PS We don't have any electric winches on Insatiable, but do use a Milwaukee drill to drive regular winches... especially the one for the genoa furler! It's a lifesaver for arthritic old farts on boats where one has to furl the genoa to tack it.
I'll agree with you up to around 40ft. I have furled lots of 40 footers and always manually - OK I take a turn around the winch for pulling ease but never motorized.
One of the reason's furlers jam is precisely because the genny is drawing and deflecting the foil/forestay.
Sheet out the genny so it is just holding it's shape, the pressure all but gone and if furling is still an issue the forestay is slack, the halyard
is loose or some other rig problem.
It takes a lot of goofoo to break a foil - especially on the bigger boats!
I also get that as the community ages and muscle mass disappears we want to do "push button" sailing but caveat boater, in that case.
Had a guy "electric winch" his in mast
main. They had to drop the mast
to unjam it.
Use electric winches enough and you will break stuff.
Same can be said for electric wenches too I guess - LOL
BTW - I am not criticizing you. I have kept my mouth shut many times - depending on my "crew" station - and watched checkbook guys break lots of stuff. His boat, his money