We have a 40ft steel
boat with a set of good hank on sails
in all shapes and sizes. I really love those sails
, however, am getting a bit tired of the hassle when changing and hoisting them (and storing on deck). Also, being able to both quickly and potentially single-handedly furl the sail in and out can be a great safety
We are planning a long cruise
coming summer including blue water
passages and though of upgrading to a furling
system but were put off by the prices of the big brands with foils/ extrusions spinning around the standing forestay.
There are a couple of local producers in Scandinavia and Germany
that make furling
systems where the sail wraps around a turning forestay. These are comparatively VERY cheap
and have the advantage that we don't need to install a luff tape, i.e. can keep and change all our hank on sails as before.
The main disadvantage in everyday life compared to the expensive extrusion systems I can imagine is the fact that you cannot reef the sail, but only roll it in completely (the forestay is seems to be too thin to be a good core
for a half rolled sail and would destroy the sail under heavy loads), which in our case is not so bad since we most of the time use the big 150% genoa
, anyway, and will keep the option of changing to other sails.
One thing I'm more concerned about is the stability of these systems. A forestay that's attached to moving parts
sounds a little unsafe in extreme conditions. Also, what about the furling functionality under heavy loads/ heavy winds? Will be difficult to spin the system when there is a lot of load?
Does anyone have experience or opinions on these systems? Can you recommend going for it as a cheap trade
off to the expensive fancy ones and thereby saving us enough money
to finance a few months extra cruising? Or do you think it's a bad idea and we should rather keep what we have and maybe find a used furling system on the way?
Any opinions appreciated!