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Old 08-08-2009, 09:02   #1
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New Slant on Roller Furling

Hi all,
I finally put roller furling on my boat. I have a traditional full keel cutter. A Bristol Channel Cutter. This system is based on a flying jib as opposed to hanked or foil.

I live on board here in St. Thomas. For 14 years I operated term charter yachts here in the Caribbean. Sailing about 175 days a year in usually pretty stiff tradewinds. I learned to hate roller furling. Now I know some will say that the modern roller furlers are so well engineered that they are very reliable. This well may be true compared to furlers of yore. But things do jam/break over time and at usually the worst time. **** happens. Also be mindful that I'm not claiming my system is infallible. But I do think it deserves scrutiny. The 2 biggest advantages are the more reliable single line furling and the ability to ALWAYS be able to drop the sail in an emergency.

So I wanted a system that was more reliable, easier to change sails than what is available in todays standard furlers. Also with the ability to easily run light air sails. I will admit I am fussy about my sailing. I like to get good performance. Makes a big difference on time at sea and the ability of the boat to deal with bad weather. A better sailing boat is a safer boat. My new rig is designed for operation at the end of a long bowsprit. But it can easily be adapted for a standard slope rig. This rig is designed for easy sail changes as opposed to reefing the sail. It uses less parts and no foil for a savings in weight aloft. I have never liked the sail shape of a reefed roller furler. Of course I have a staysyl for really heaver weather.

Granted this sytem is not for everyone. So if your interested please visit my blog for more details and photos.

Cheers
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:09   #2
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As far as I'm aware this style furler is designed for Code 0s and Gennakers. Looks good and I'd like to try one, but I don't think that it is intended to be adapted for regular headsails. This is the same as the original furlers from 30 or more years ago except that you have the dyneema line instead of the wire rope. My friend had one of these years ago. The problem was getting the halyard tight enough to point well. With the halyard tight enough to get most of the load off of the forestay it chewed up the halyard, sheave, basically everything that moved. Even though the padeye on the deck for the tack was connected to the stem fitting below decks the deck still flexed enough to produce gel coat cracks. If everything were upsized to take the load, you still couldn't point as high unless it was tightened enough so that the headstay was loose and flopping around which I think would be annoying at the very least.

I did a quick search and only found the Facnor, which says its version is only for Code 0s and Gennakers.

John
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:55   #3
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Hi John,
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
As far as I'm aware this style furler is designed for Code 0s and Gennakers. Looks good and I'd like to try one, but I don't think that it is intended to be adapted for regular headsails.

Agreed, that was not the original intension of the design. The one I am using is rated at 3000# SWL and a 450sqft sail, mine is 250sqft. So I saw no reason it wouldn't work. On the old gaffers from England they used a simple furler designed at the turn of the century for flying jibs http://www.classicmarine.co.uk/product.asp?product=294&ph=search&keywords=furling &recor=1&SearchFor=any&PT_ID=all. So I figured this was a better unit. It's built by Precourt Rigging in Canada. Harken and Colligo Marine also make Code zero furlers. I will also be using the unit to set my lapper and drifter with.

This is the same as the original furlers from 30 or more years ago except that you have the dyneema line instead of the wire rope. My friend had one of these years ago. The problem was getting the halyard tight enough to point well.

I had to upgrade the power of my halyard winch and go to a 2-1 purchase for the halyard to get the tension. Coupled with the low low stretch of the dyneema this has not been a problem. The incredibly low stretch of the Dyneema is part of what makes this work.


With the halyard tight enough to get most of the load off of the forestay it chewed up the halyard, sheave, basically everything that moved. Even though the padeye on the deck for the tack was connected to the stem fitting below decks the deck still flexed enough to produce gel coat cracks. If everything were upsized to take the load, you still couldn't point as high unless it was tightened enough so that the headstay was loose and flopping around which I think would be annoying at the very least.

The fittings for the tack should be able to take the load. Loos recommends a tension of 20% breaking of the wire for the headstay. So that would be 2000# vs the 1200# I'm using. I checked with my mast maker and they said the gear could easily handle that load. I have tightened my headstay/backstay to 1800# and I would have to exceed that for the stay to go slack. At the 1200# my sail sets well and goes to weather just fine. I was worried about that and was prepared to have the luff re-cut for the sag, but the sail sets clean at 1200#.

I did a quick search and only found the Facnor, which says its version is only for Code 0s and Gennakers.

I don't think there have been many people trying this setup yet. But so far mine looks to be working a treat.

John
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Old 08-08-2009, 21:00   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seacap View Post
Hi all,
I finally put roller furling on my boat. I have a traditional full keel cutter. A Bristol Channel Cutter. This system is based on a flying jib as opposed to hanked or foil.

I live on board here in St. Thomas. For 14 years I operated term charter yachts here in the Caribbean. Sailing about 175 days a year in usually pretty stiff tradewinds. I learned to hate roller furling. Now I know some will say that the modern roller furlers are so well engineered that they are very reliable. This well may be true compared to furlers of yore. But things do jam/break over time and at usually the worst time. **** happens. Also be mindful that I'm not claiming my system is infallible. But I do think it deserves scrutiny. The 2 biggest advantages are the more reliable single line furling and the ability to ALWAYS be able to drop the sail in an emergency.

So I wanted a system that was more reliable, easier to change sails than what is available in todays standard furlers. Also with the ability to easily run light air sails. I will admit I am fussy about my sailing. I like to get good performance. Makes a big difference on time at sea and the ability of the boat to deal with bad weather. A better sailing boat is a safer boat. My new rig is designed for operation at the end of a long bowsprit. But it can easily be adapted for a standard slope rig. This rig is designed for easy sail changes as opposed to reefing the sail. It uses less parts and no foil for a savings in weight aloft. I have never liked the sail shape of a reefed roller furler. Of course I have a staysyl for really heaver weather.

Granted this sytem is not for everyone. So if your interested please visit my blog for more details and photos.

Cheers
Do you have any pictures?

Extemp.
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Old 08-08-2009, 21:15   #5
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Interesting. A number of years ago there was a company called Path Finder marine that sold a furler that allowed for a hanked on headsail. Too bad but they went out of business before I was able to get a good look at one. The foil isn't bad but it is a pain to change sails in higher wind conditions. Does anyone know if there's a furling system out there that allows for rolling up a hanked on sail?
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:11   #6
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S&S,
There is a company by the name of Facnor. They make a wire/hank furler. It's a really nice unit and what I orginally looked at for my boat. Go here to see Facnor

Extemp,
Go to my blog at www.garyfelton.com/shanti/ plenty of pics there.

Gary
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:56   #7
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I do like the method you have for deploying the tack forward, but as for the "new slant on roller furling", this is far from new. I'm still using the reliable old Schaffer furling system that functions this same way and was common in the early 1970's. Sure, there are compromises with the tension on the leading edge, but, as you stated, there are benefits too. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:14   #8
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CaptForce, I was mostly referring to using the Dyneema torque rope coupled with these new code zero furlers. My system is a blend of old and new. People were using "furlers" on flying jibs 100 years ago. I think the whole idea when combined with modern technology is again a viable alternative for people who want more control. So the reference to "slant", because it definitely is not new.
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seacap View Post
CaptForce, I was mostly referring to using the Dyneema torque rope coupled with these new code zero furlers......
Thanks for the ideas. I could probably use these features to vastly improve the performance of my old Schaffer system. By the way, your vessel is a real beauty! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 09-08-2009, 19:18   #10
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I am using a Colligo continious line furler on the front of my Trimaran. I say "front" because there are times where I move the tack to an outter hull to get cleaner air. See photo. I have flown the drifter, genny and Yankee all from this furler on the bow. all of my headsails are now roller up in a tight roll and bagged. Re ady to deploy by simply attaching the head swivel and hoisting. I want to go to a 2 to 1 hoist to get better tensions. It has really made hoisting and changing sails a lot easier..:-)

Gary, I just took a look at your blog. Very nicely done, outstanding photography.
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Old 09-08-2009, 20:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seacap View Post
S&S,
There is a company by the name of Facnor. They make a wire/hank furler. It's a really nice unit and what I orginally looked at for my boat. Go here to see Facnor

Extemp,
Go to my blog at www.garyfelton.com/shanti/ plenty of pics there.

Gary
Thanks Gary, I'll check it out.
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Old 09-08-2009, 21:51   #12
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S&S,i had exactly what you are looking for,it was called a Mariner roller stay,it used hank on sails,the Dashews used one on their old Columbia 50 on their 1st circumnavigation and spoke well of it in their cruising encyclopedia.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:06   #13
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Jmolan,
Great! Your the first I have heard of anyone running tensioned headsails (vs genaker type) with this system. Your first posts on the synthetic rigging had a big influence on the path I am following. What got me started down this path was the thought that the synthetic line (Dyneema) would be great for a luff and solve the problem of to much sag in a flying sail coupled with proper tension via winches/2 part halyard.

Thanks for the inspiration, and the compliment.

S&S,
I orginally was seriously considering the type you mention that is being made by Facnor now. But it didn't solve the problem of having to go out on the sprit. This way I don't even have to hank sails.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:18   #14
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S&S,i had exactly what you are looking for,it was called a Mariner roller stay,it used hank on sails,the Dashews used one on their old Columbia 50 on their 1st circumnavigation and spoke well of it in their cruising encyclopedia.
Steve.
Seems like they're out of business now too.

Seacap. I see where you're coming from and agree, it wouldn't be much help with a 'sprit. In our application (no 'sprit) it'd be nice to be able to get the #1 down still attached to the stay (flake, roll, THEN unclip)
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Old 10-08-2009, 16:50   #15
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Is this the same as what you are talking about?

http://www.colligomarine.com/docs/gu...guidelines.pdf

From that pdf:
Using your Roller Furler
Halyard tension is very important with luff line furlers. If up wind performance is
desired with your headsail then you might want to consider using a 2:1 halyard setup.
Always use a winch for final tightening of your halyard, being careful not to tension
the halyard beyond the safe working load of the furler unit.


Regards,
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