I can't promise that this'll work, but it's cheap
enough that if it doesn't, you've not lost
boats hoist their headsails in foil systems called TuffLuff's on bolt ropes attached to the leading edge of sails
, in lieu of hanks. Schaefer Marine - Tuff Luff Aero - Slotted headstay systmes.
And a TuffLuff is naught more than a plastic extrusion with 2 slots for bolt ropes, a couple of end fittings, & a bolt rope
Given that they're such light weight plastic, semi-wing shaped pieces, they rattle like crazy when any wind
at all comes up when no sail's in them, so... in order to quiet them down, as well as extending their service
lives, there's a tool/"fix" that'll likely work for your woes also. Assuming, that is, that mains which furl inside of the mast, do so on foil systems.
Go down to, or call your sailmaker
, and tell them of your woes, in addition to giving them a copy of this explanation. So that between the two of you, hopefully you'll find a solution which works.
Have them take a section of bolt rope
the correct size for your groove, about 2' long. And then triple stitch a heavy piece of sail cloth onto that. Shaping it in a small triangle, akin to a tiny trysail (shape wise). It only needs to be a couple of square feet in area tops (if that).
Then have'em knock 3 stout grommets into it, one near each corner.
When it's done, take it down to the boat, & firmly tie say a piece of 3/8" double braid to the "clew" grommet. Leaving the bitter end of that line as yet uncut, & for the moment not secured to anything.
Then you'll do the same for the Tack grommet, prior to attaching the halyard
- You can use an old beater halyard
for this, a piece of 3/8" double braid, etc. It's just there to take the halyard's place for the Winter, & save wear & tear on the more expensive line.
Now's when you'll have to play with the lengths of the 2 lines which you tied onto your new, tiny, sail, in conjunction with using the halyard & figuring out how high to hoist it. As the goal is to get it up high enough so that the line from the clew, leads fairly to the end of your boom (or in a pinch a deck
fitting, far aft on the boat).
And once you have this height more or less approximated, secure the line from the tack, to your tack ring, or something appropriate in that vicinity (or even on deck
, down below the tack).
After which, you want to make sure that the "sheet" on the clew end is well secured, and from there, crank on a moderately firm amount of halyard tension.
The idea being, that this little scrap of Dacron is taking the place of your Main, & that (mostly) the tension in the "sheet" on the clew, will put enough load on your furler's foil, to keep it calm & stable when the wind
You may have to experiment
with the shape of the "Winter Main" a bit, so that the lines lead at angles, such that you get the foil/furler to settle down. And if it does work, it's worth it to go back later to your sailmaker
, & have a spare or two made up.
Just don't go wild, tension wise, on the lines, as all of the load on them is going to be on a relatively small length of the extrusion (through each & every Winter gale). You wont need, & likely shouldn't use, the winches for this. I never have, even on the monster vessel which I talk about below.
Although, you could do a variation on the above (one piece "Winter Main"), where there are 2 cloth pieces like I described. Only that in such a case, there'd be a line connecting the two vertically. And one line which would loosely connect the 2 clews together, but with a block on it. With a line extending from the block, to your boom's end.
Actually such a setup might actually work better, as the line between the clews of the two patches would kind of self dictate it's own ideal angle, because of the block would naturally find that point.
Plus you'll have both the load on, & the stabilization effect of the system spread out over more area on your foil.
Anyway, I hope that that makes sense, & let me know what you wind up going with & how it works out.
Oh, & good luck.
PS: In case you're curious, the ones for headstay foils are sometimes slightly different. The cloth on some of them is shaped like a sail with it's aft half chopped off. And there's a grommet in all 4 corners.
The after lower one being attached to a line that terminates on deck back near the mast. And the aft upper one is connected to the topping lift
- But there are also plenty of others which are triangle shaped, & the "clew" line's led anywhere from a spot on deck somewhere near the mast, to being tied to the gooseneck on the boom. Pretty much exactly like what I originally described as a remedy for you.
So, bottom line, the angle's not critical for the idea to work, & they do work. I setup one, on a racer
with a 75' spar, & it's all of 1.5 square feet (so yeah, less surface area than the TuffLuff foil on that boat). And the boat's in an area where every third day in the Winter, gales come through, routinely in the 50ki - 75kt range. No joke. - Straits of Juan de Fuca area, if you're wondering.