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Old 18-06-2017, 19:49   #1
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Profurler/headstay tension

I just replaced my headstay and I have a couple questions:

1. How do I figure out my headstay tension? There is no way to measure with with a loose gauge with the furler. I think I am going to call a rigger but just wanted to ask here too.

2. Is it possible to hoist a jib onto the furler by myself? Maybe run the halyard through a block and pull it while I feed the sail into the furler with the other hand? Would if I were at sea and needed to change a sail? would I just be screwed?
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Old 18-06-2017, 23:01   #2
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Re: Profurler/headstay tension

If its an inline rig the backstay tension will normally be slightly less than the forestay tension, so you can measure backstay tension to get a rough idea of forestay tension.
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Old 19-06-2017, 06:32   #3
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Re: Profurler/headstay tension

Quote:
Originally Posted by odeapt View Post
I just replaced my headstay and I have a couple questions:

1. How do I figure out my headstay tension? There is no way to measure with with a loose gauge with the furler. I think I am going to call a rigger but just wanted to ask here too.
In terms of static tension, you can measure how much rake & prebend are in the mast. Particularly with a fairly loose backstay, in order to see if the headstay is fairly close to being tuned correctly. Then tighten up the backstay a bit, & go for a sail. Stopping to tighten up the backstay & headstay a few times until the jib has the proper amount of curve at the luff in about 20kts of wind, when going to windward. And at the same time you'll want to be tuning both of them (headstay, & backstay) so that you have just a touch of weather helm.

Ivar Dedekam's book on sail & rig tuning is an excellent one. With lots of illustrated diagrams that have simple text explanations that go with the pics. It's inexpensive, & a good tool for anyone from intermediate novice, to expert.


And no, you can't measure headstay tension on a roller furler with a loos gauge. Though there are other, similar, but more complex means akin to this. But the best way is via the under sail method as described above.

Also, check out some of the bigger sailmaker's websites, like North Sails. As they tend to have some fairly decent tuning guides. As will class associations per boat type, especially classes which get raced. And owner's associations are often another great resource.

2. Is it possible to hoist a jib onto the furler by myself? Maybe run the halyard through a block and pull it while I feed the sail into the furler with the other hand? Would if I were at sea and needed to change a sail? would I just be screwed?
Regarding question #2, yep, you can hoist it solo. And the "how" will depend on your halyard configuration. Meaning; internal/external, led to mast winches or deck winches, or led to the cockpit.

For me, the easy way is to put a turn or two of the halyard onto a mast mounted winch, & take the halyard's tail up to the foredeck with me. That way I can pull the sail up several feet, then reposition the sail's luff so that the next meter or two will feed well (on it's own) while I 'm pulling on the halyard. And I keep repeating this until the sail is close to fully hoisted, or at least 2/3 of the way up. Which is when I then move back to the mast to get better leverage on the halyard, along with then being able to control the sheet. Which is run from a cheek/turning block aft of the cockpit, & led forward to where I'm working. This, with or without a couple of wraps of the sheet on the sheet winch in order to make it easier to control the flogging, filling, jib.
From there, do your final tightening of the halyard, & you should be good. But you can always add a bit more tension to it in between tacks. DO NOT do this when the sails's sheeted in, & you're going upwind. As you'll either rip the head out of the sail, or be contributing to it's early demise.

One thing which sometimes helps immensely, is one or two pre-feeders for the luff rope, mounted below the foil's entry point. Sometimes mounting one using a bungee lashing helps things. Though you'll need to tune the force that it exerts via how many wraps of bungee cord you incorporate into your lashing.
The idea is that as you hoist the sail, the springing effect of the bungee on the pre-feeder pulls the section of the luff on deck up towards the headstay. And (mostly) automatically feeds it into the furler's foil.

You'll need to experiment with where (how high) you mount such an assembly in order to get the best results. And to see that it'll actually work for you. Plus you'll want to see where a second, fixed, pre-feeder would work best in conjunction with the one attached via the bungee. If in fact it does.

Also, pre-feeders which can open & close are a GREAT tool. Since with a fixed pre-feeder, if the bolt rope pulls out of it, you have to fully lower the sail to put the boltrope back into it. But with ones which open, when the sail accidentally yanks itself free of the pre-feeder, you simply open it, & reattach it to the sail. Then pull a bit more of the sail as far forward as possible, & commence pulling on the halyard again.
Here's an opening pre-feeder, but there are many brands Wichard Opening Luff Tape Pre-Feeder | APS

One other tip is to get Andy Evans's book on single-handing tips & tricks. You can get it both in hard copy form, & via free PDF download. I don't recall his handle on here, but over on Sailing Anarchy Forums it' "Foolish".
He has more single-handed time other than some of the high end, pro, French racers. And he competitively races a Class 40, in addition to his Olson 30'. So his tips are Hugely beneficial.
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Old 19-06-2017, 06:54   #4
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Re: Profurler/headstay tension

You can tell forestay tension from backstay tension.

You can hoist a furling sail solo. But the idea behind furling sails we furl, not swap.


Cheers,
b.
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Old 19-06-2017, 07:17   #5
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Re: Profurler/headstay tension

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
You can tell forestay tension from backstay tension.
How are you suggesting that the OP, or anyone else, determine their headstay tension when it's inside of a furler. Well, short of a load cell. Or hoisting a 1sqft triangular "sail" with grommets in all of it's corners, up to a pre-set spot on the foil. And then using a line attached to it's tail end grommet to measure foil deflection (by eye) vs. a measured, applied load.
IE: The more complex "loos gauge" which I purposefully avoided mentioning above.

You can hoist a furling sail solo. But the idea behind furling sails we furl, not swap.
At some points, swapping sails is the only thing which makes sense. Such as when the winds freshen in strength considerably, & are forcast to remain at said level for a stretch of time. And they're of a strength when the boat would sail best with a jib in the 85% - 105% range, instead of the 135% that's normally on the furler. Since once you roll a jib in much more than 25% - 30% it's shape & performance go to s**t. Plus it's then operating directly in the lee of a large chunk of rolled up sail, which severely disrupts the air flow of the bit which isn't furled.

Also, operating with a jib that's rolled up by a significan percentage, due to it's poor shape, your heeling moment goess up, along with the drag produced by the sail. And the harder you push a rolled up sail, the worse it is for the sail cloth in the long run.
So then switching from your #1, or #2, to your #3 makes sense. Non?

Cheers,
b.
Not trying to tear apart your post. Just asking for some clarification, along with pointing out some (semi) common sense facts.


For the OP. One other "trick" is to "bribe" a good racer (with, food, beer; the usual), & have them sail with you for a few hours in order to get the rig dialed in.
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Old 19-06-2017, 07:28   #6
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Re: Profurler/headstay tension

If it is truly a ProFurl unit, it should have come with a very nice stainless steel feeder. I did NOT lead my jib halyard aft, since it is easier to raise the jib from the mast singlehanded - don't need help. I also use the tack to adjust the luff tension, rather than the halyard, since once the halyard is fully raised past the top wrap stop, it shouldn't be going anywhere.
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Old 19-06-2017, 09:11   #7
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Re: Profurler/headstay tension

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Not trying to tear apart your post. Just asking for some clarification, along with pointing out some (semi) common sense facts.
Probnoblem.

Expanding on my earlier brief version here. Correct me where I am off conventional physics.

You can tell forestay tension from backstay tension. Very easy in top rigged sloop. Still doable, if a bit more intricate, in other configurations.

" ... The geometry of typical rigs means forestay loads will be around one-third higher than the backstay load, so a backstay tensioned to 15 per cent of its breaking strain will load the forestay to around 20 per cent of its breaking load (assuming both are of the same diameter wire)..."

Source: How to tune the rig on your yacht - boats.com

Tension in the forestay is proportional to tension in the backstay. As much as tension in the port shroud is proportional to the stb one, except one allows for the angles being slightly different. Selden pdf helps. Surprised so few people ever read it.

http://www.seldenmast.com/files/1416.../595-540-E.pdf

Re swapping sails: stay with plain non furling sails on hanks if you want to swap sails.

I have only once swapped foresails on our boat and only because the working one suffered a structure threatening damage.

BTW A Loos gauge is not required. One can use the tape measure ("stick") method.

http://images.boats.com/resize/wp/19/files/MG_9854.jpg
http://images.boats.com/resize/wp/19...ing-opener.jpg

Cheers+Love,
b.
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Old 19-06-2017, 13:03   #8
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Re: Profurler/headstay tension

I reckon it's about time we find out what kind of rig he has before offering up any more advice. Since I know that I for one was assuming masthead sloop, with inline spreaders, & little to no pre-bend. But alter any one (or more) of these, & things do change a good bit. For example, you can put a decent amount of headstay tension on with just pre-bend alone, via the shrouds. Assuming a bit of rake to the tube.
Oops.
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