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Old 28-08-2013, 14:28   #1
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Top Down Furlers

I have a genneker with a snuffer on my 59ft Oyster monohull and I find it too hard to use short-handed so the sail just sits in the lazarette taking up space. I am considering getting a Karver top-down furler and i wonder if anyone has any experience using these at sea. They look and sound good in theory and i know that the Volvo boats use them offshore. Feedback from happy users out there would be most welcome.
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Old 01-09-2013, 18:12   #2
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Re: Top Down Furlers

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Originally Posted by Yachtjuno View Post
I have a genneker with a snuffer on my 59ft Oyster monohull and I find it too hard to use short-handed so the sail just sits in the lazarette taking up space. I am considering getting a Karver top-down furler and i wonder if anyone has any experience using these at sea. They look and sound good in theory and i know that the Volvo boats use them offshore. Feedback from happy users out there would be most welcome.
I've got exactly the same issue. Just too much trouble to use unless on a really long trip. I'm not under much pressure to get one in the Caribbean just now, I want to get one though sometime. Quite a few people have them in CF and there is a fair bit of info if you seach the messages.

I saw a 575 owner blow his Karver set up. Don't know the full story though. The Dolphin guys will.

There are also various systems out there, which seem pretty similar to me. Facnor, Profurl, Bamar, Selden etc. I don't know which is best, but would like to hear comments. There is also the question of getting a bowsprit or not.

Let us know how you get on with your research.
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Old 01-09-2013, 19:17   #3
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Re: Top Down Furlers

I used a couple of makes and did not see much benefit in top down.

Best furler I have used was a Karver btw. I also like Facnor units.

You must assure your sail can be made tight between the head and the tack which also includes in this case the top swivel, the lower unit (drum) and some form of purchase (unless you make the luff tight with the halyard alone). Some genakers will not furl then unless you add some form of a prod to your boat.

With an older design genaker, you will likely have to modify the luff to allow for the non-torsion luff line.

All in all, if you do use the sail often and if the boat is big, go for it. Even the pre top down units make life much easier with big sails.

On smaller boats the sail can be just lowered in the lee of the main. An easy task if the boat has a reliable AP.

b.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:23   #4
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Re: Top Down Furlers

I have a genaker which I have used for about 12 years of primarily down wind cruising.

I looked at the top down furlers but they look a bit Rube Goldberg to me.

I am noticing more boats with dual headsails on furlers and will probably go this way with an oversized, light weight genoa on the second furler.

In addition to the handling problems I find the nylon sail a little to fragile for a single hander and it seems to need a lot of repairs.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:26   #5
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Re: Top Down Furlers

I had a Facnor setup on ,my 393, worked well easier to use then a snuffer, endless line was a bit of a pain to run cleanly to the cockpit.

Dave
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:39   #6
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Re: Top Down Furlers

thanks everyone for all the feedback.

piou, i have bought a bow sprit from Formula as the guard rails foul the luff if i tack it to the stem head - so i am half pregnant!

my genneker is the right shape and size i think, not too rounded and more of a reaching sail.

i also have dyneema spi halliards so i should be able to get a tight luff.

i think i probably just have to go for it and see how i get on. allspars supply the navtec stay and the Karver gear and they claim to have fitted hundreds.

i have asked Dolphin for a 575 owner i can speak to - no response yet. There may be some at the Oyster regatta in Palma in October so i will have look out for them.
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