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Old 21-12-2013, 11:59   #1
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Switching Back to Hank-on for the Headsail

We have a new (to us) Hunter 37 with a CDI roller furler. I have the boat in my shop for the winter doing refits. I took some time off from working on the deck and rolled the 130 genoa out to look at it for the first time since we bought the boat. I am not all that impressed with how tightly and evenly the sail was rolled on the furler. The sail is all wrinkled up and that irks me. It is otherwise in excellent condition but I don't how to get what looks like permanent wrinkles out of it. My wife washed it this morning and we hung it on some racks to dry. The wrinkles are still in it and it looks like the previous owner did not pay attention to keeping proper tension on the sheet when rolling it up so the sail was repeatedly rolled on the furler in random fashion.

I am seriously considering taking the roller furler off and going with hank-on and a downhaul line like our previous boat had. I could care less about the convenience of roller furling. I guess I'm sort of old-school that way, as neither me nor my wife has any problems with going forward to swap jibs out. We've done it for 8 years with our old boat.

I guess what I'm wondering is if some of the more experienced have any compelling reasons (other than convenience) why I should not do this.
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Old 21-12-2013, 12:50   #2
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Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

I agree with you. I will not have any form of furling on the boat I am building. I have sailed tens of thousands of miles with and without furlers, and I think they are a waste of time on genoas. On sprit mounted skreechers (code zeros) furlers are great. All other applications I prefer hanks. VO70s use hanks made of high tech line, and call them loups. That is the ticket. Metal hanks are more expensive, heavier, less robust, so overall inferior to loups.
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Old 21-12-2013, 13:08   #3
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pirate Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

Guess selling the furler and genoa will put a few $$'s towards your new hank on genoa, No1, No2, No3 and storm jib..
Whatever floats your boat.. mind I'm not that house proud.. a few creases never affected performance and as the sail looses its stiffness they'll disappear.
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Old 21-12-2013, 13:17   #4
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Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

Have sailed tens of thousands of miles without roller furling and a few thousand with it. It's just so convenient. Would never go back to hank on sails.

If you think wrinkles are bad with RF, try stuffing a sail in a bag and see how it looks afterward. Then there is the problem of where to stow all those bags of sails especially when the size of the bag has blown up because the sail was stuffed. Don't have the time, crew or space to fold a sail each time there is a change. Definitely not a good environment for pressed tidy whities.
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Old 21-12-2013, 13:23   #5
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Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

The temptation to roll in/ out the amount of sail you want from the cockpit with either the genny or the main is pretty tempting to middle aged coastal cruisers like us. Our current boat has a furling genny, but a mainsail hauled up by the armstrong method, and reefed from the base of the mast, usually while hanging on for dear life.
On the other hand, simplicity means reliability, another commodity I value in a boat.
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Old 21-12-2013, 13:32   #6
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Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

I ditched the roller furler. Everyone in San Diego thought I was stupid but when I started hanging out with multi-year multi-circumnavigators they generally nod and say "that's a pretty good idea."

If you have a huge sloop and a short handed crew there is no denying the advantage to a roller furler on the genoa that when folded will be the size of a minivan on deck.

Inspecting my outer forestay is cake, my yankee never unravels in a blow, and I can pick between a yankee or drifter (I have a cutter).

If it's crappy enough that I don't want to be on the bowsprit or hauling down a sail, the staysail is all that's up anyway and it's a moot point.

In short: if you know how to downhaul a sail and want to do things that way, scrap the furler.
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Old 21-12-2013, 14:41   #7
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Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
In short: if you know how to downhaul a sail and want to do things that way, scrap the furler.
Thanks for the advice everyone. The quote above sort of reinforced my feeling on it. We won't scrap that CDI roller furler - I'll sell it and buy a new storm jib.

The plot sort of thickened with this boat. I've spent the past two weeks refurbishing the hull and I have that all done. It looks absolutely beautiful - mirror finish that you use to shave. I started working on the deck (lots more work). My wife was inside the boat holding locknuts while I screwed hardware off the deck and there was all sorts of stuff in the way. So we started unloading the cabin to sort it all out in there.

My wife came up the companionway carrying a sail bag with what was advertised as the "storm jib" in when we bought the boat. We took the sail out, unrolled it and looked at it. It is a brand new in the bag, never been hoisted, 130 hank-on genoa with brass hanks on it. In another bag she brought up on deck we have a brand new in the bag, never been hoisted, mainsail that matches it - both from Vector Sails. That was a pleasant surprise.

So we're already part of the way there anyway - discovered in just the past hour.

There is no storm jib in the boat, as was advertised when we bought it.

Inspecting the first genoa closer that we took off the roller furler it is apparent that the previous owner was using the roller furler to reef the genoa. Some of the stitching on the foot is pulling out. We're going to send that sail to Vector and have it cut down for a storm jib.
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Old 21-12-2013, 14:55   #8
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Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

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Originally Posted by CruisingCouple View Post
I guess what I'm wondering is if some of the more experienced have any compelling reasons (other than convenience) why I should not do this.
I too prefer hanked on sails. I strongly feel the a furler solves few problems and creates many. However, to answer you question, one more reason to prefer a furler is with a hanked on genoa, the bagged sail is right in your way when anchoring. Working around it can really be a pain.
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Old 21-12-2013, 14:56   #9
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pirate Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

If your gonna buy a new storm jib... why not have the genoa cut down to a 1 or 2 jib.. an in between sail for 20-30kts...
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Old 21-12-2013, 15:24   #10
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Re: Switching back to hank-on for the headsail

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If your gonna buy a new storm jib... why not have the genoa cut down to a 1 or 2 jib.. an in between sail for 20-30kts...
That's what we'll do. The storm jib is not that expensive and there is probably enough good material in the roller furled one to cut it down to a 1 or 2. Inspecting it closer after it dried fully reveals that it has more wear than I thought at first glance. I'm almost certain it was being reefed on the roller system based on where I'm seeing the wear in the fabric by shining a light through it.

We'll send it into Vector and see what they say about it.
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Old 21-12-2013, 17:49   #11
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Re: Switching Back to Hank-on for the Headsail

I switched out my roller furler for hanks and had a cursing headsail made with reefing points. Just an idea if you want to save sails.
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Old 21-12-2013, 18:30   #12
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Re: Switching Back to Hank-on for the Headsail

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I switched out my roller furler for hanks and had a cursing headsail made with reefing points. Just an idea if you want to save sails.
Yeah, Salty, I had a headsail with reefing points and I cursed it a lot, too!

Never worked well reefed, hard to set up, a big mess IME. I don't recommend such these days.

Jim
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Old 21-12-2013, 18:51   #13
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Re: Switching Back to Hank-on for the Headsail

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I switched out my roller furler for hanks and had a cursing headsail made with reefing points. Just an idea if you want to save sails.
You know, I like that idea a LOT.

It would be nice to have a 150 genoa for this boat for light air. But we didn't get one with the boat so I'm not going to lose any sleep over having just a 130.

But we got two 130's with it - one brand new hank-on and the other on the roller. So I'm thinking, why can't I send in that roller sail and have it cut down to a working hank-on jib and have them add reefing cringles to it reef it to a storm jib? I could put a pennant on the reefing tack and leave it on there all the time. To reef it down to a storm jib simply slack the halyard a little, hook the pennant to the shackle, change the sheets to the reef clew, bundle up the old foot and tie it and away you go. It could be done in 2-3 minutes.

Two headsails in inventory with the functionality of three.
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Old 21-12-2013, 19:02   #14
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Re: Switching Back to Hank-on for the Headsail

My 135 genie is 5oz Dacron and the storm jib is 8oz Dacron.
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Old 21-12-2013, 19:32   #15
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Re: Switching Back to Hank-on for the Headsail

CC, in my post 12 above I was having a bit of a joke about Saltymonkey's typo, but I was serious about the difficulties with reefing foresails. I've had several over the years, and none of them actually worked in anger very well. The big issues for you are:

1. Getting the bunt of now unused sail to stay bundled up and secure, and having decent sail shape when reefed.

2. The extra weight of the reefing cringle and patches makes the sail prone to leech flutter when used full size.

3. Actually performing the reefing exercise on a pitching, wet foredeck (the kind of conditions where you need the storm jib) is no 2-3 minute task. I found it to be a risky and exhausting performance (on 22, 30 and 36 foot boats that I owned over the years).

4. The sailcloth weight required for a genoa and a storm jib are very different. If you try to use what was once a 130 genoa cut down to a #2 size you will have stretch issues. If you try to use it for a storm jib you will have self destruction issues... especially starting out with a well used sail with some UV damage.

The one place where one sees success in a reefing headsail is with boomed jibs and staysails. In those cases, the reefing process is much the same as with a mainsail, and it can actually work ok.

There is a reason that you don't see many reefing foresails in use...

Cheers,

Jim
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