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Old 01-06-2010, 17:57   #1
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Roller Furling Conversion

I just installed a roller furling on our boat. Up until now I have been a hank on kind of guy. Weekend cruiser with my wife and two sons (2 & 6). Really do not want to spend the money on a new head sail this year and have a few questions regarding the conversion of a hank on sail to a roller:
  1. The sail maker I have always used says foam tape is a waste of time and money. Any comments?
  2. He recommends UV Dacron for the sun cover. The foot & leach total about 50 ft. He wants about $550 for the cover. Is this reasonable.
Thanks for any input,


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Old 01-06-2010, 18:39   #2
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I would go with a separate cover for the sail. The sewn on kind affect how the sail sets more than I like. It's probably not a lot cheaper or as cheap but can be moved from sail so you arent' restricted to one sail that can be left on the foil. Here is one source: ATN Genoa Sleeve

The problem with a foam luff is it will eventually breakdown and compresses somewhat when furled in high wind conditions. It will make for a better setting partially furled sail until the foam turns to powder. Dopn't know about the life expenctancy of the foam, it could be more than the sail. If I was going to do it again, would have the sail maker sew lengths of rope into the luff. That won't degrade with age or compress when furled under load. If you are going to buy a new sail fairly soon, I wouldn't waste the money on foam or rope additions to the luff.

I single hand mostly and everytime I roll up my 130 genoa, I get a smile on my face. Done a ton of miles with hank on sails and the roller headsail is a blessing.

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Old 02-06-2010, 16:49   #3
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Thanks for the info.

I like the idea of the cover. My wife does marine canvas so I will get her to make me one.
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Old 04-06-2010, 16:02   #4
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On a 29ft boat the headsail is rather small so "foam luff padding" is really not necessary. It is used on much larger sails to take up some of the "body" of the sail as it is wound around the furler.
- - Sewing on "luff tape" to accommodate your new roller furler is not difficult. It just takes a strong sturdy sewing machine. Likewise, the "Sunbrella" sun cover is a variable based on the distance measured around the outside of the rolled up sail (plus a little). It can also be sewed onto the sail by using a good sewing machine. But beware you need to use Sunbrella and acrylic or better "sail" thread. Check out "Sailrite" for supplies.
- - If your boat is a "racer" and not strictly a cruising boat then you will loose a little performance by sewing something - sun cover - onto the surface of the sail. And the added material also changes the weight distribution on the sail. Then maybe a "sock" cover as suggested by others might be a better solution. Just like a "spinaker sock" it rests below the roller furler and is hauled up the furled foresail.
- - And if the boat is small - there is not reason you cannot "haul down" the sail after the weekend (or whatever) sail is over and store it in a sailbag. Then you have the utility of being able to roll up the foresail when you stop and anchor, but when you get home you can take the sail down and put it below decks. Best of both worlds . . .
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roller furling

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