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Old 09-07-2015, 04:07   #1
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Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Hey,

I thought I'd ask more experienced bunch of folks about furling.

So I've got into an argument with a friend who's got beneateau 373 with furling genoa and furling mainsail. There are no additional stays for smaller sails.
He _thinks_ the genoa is not supposed to be furled in partially, because in stronger conditions the aluminium pole would break. Same with mainsail. The sails are supposed to be either fully furled out, or furled in completely, and nothing in between due to possible stresses, according to him.

Is it true?

If yes, how are you supposed to cope with worsening conditions ?

Maybe there are different furling systems designed to withstand the stresses when partially furled?

My position was that you can and you have to partially furl in. But please correct me here.
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:22   #2
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Parito,

You are absolutely correct, self furling sails can and should be partially furled or "reefed" as the wind conditions increase.

I do not have self furling main but I tend to reef early because I'm generally shorthanded. Usually below 15 knots for the main. My Genoa is easier for me to handle short handed so it gets reefed a little later, but generally below 20 knots.

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Old 09-07-2015, 04:24   #3
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Tell him he's got roller reefing units and see how the conversation goes.


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Old 09-07-2015, 04:30   #4
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Must get very uncomfortable for your friend when the wind picks up

Never sailed the 373, but I have a 473 and sails are furled for more than 50% of the time, sailing in higher latitudes, you do not have much of an option.

The genoa is designed to be used partially furled, it even has the marks along the foot of the sail to show the rough furling positions.

The main originally had 2 reef points, but I have added a third deep reef, as I considered the second reef point left the boat over canvassed in winds over about 35 kts.

I found this link to the 373 handbook, it indicates the reefing points on the main and the genoa, maybe your friend should take a look.

Without reefing, in strong winds, the rig will be overstressed.

http://sailingpearl.com/wordpress/wp...hull-22-up.pdf
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:38   #5
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Your friend is wrong. I've had my foresail partially furled in winds up to 50+ knots with no problems with the rig.

Sailmakers can install luff pads or ropes to improve the shape of the sail (keep it flatter) when partially rolled up. I had that done to mine and it made a huge difference.
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:57   #6
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Funny reefing story. I was out a few weeks ago with a double reef in my main, Genoa fully out, I was on a beam reach in about 10 knots of wind- sailing perfectly flat. A fleet of racers came out of the mist, pointed at my double reefed main, andblaughed out loud, loud enough that I could hear them.

But, there were thunderstorms in the forecast, I had my wife and son down below having a nap, and I had a pot of coffee on the stove- I was in no position to reef if I needed to and I knew it, so I just accepted the slower speed.

The racers were mostly on smaller boats with 3 or 4 or 5 guys on board, so reeling for them would have been easy, plus, I wasn't racing.

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Old 09-07-2015, 08:31   #7
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Sounds to me like your friend has it "arse backward" as if you left the genoa unfurled in strong winds then you could break the forestay not if you have if reefed/furled in slightly.

I have furling genny and main and have reefing marks on both sails to make it easier to balance the boat in stronger winds. This is not unusual and you'll see many furling genoas with dots or markers regardless of if you have furling main or slab reefing main.

Yes there are no other stays on my rig for a storm sail but I can leave a small triangle out at front to do the same job in an emergency, although I hope never to be in that situation.

The whole idea of furling genoas was to reduce the number of sails you have to carry. Why have a Zero, #1 & #2 Jibs and a Storm Jib when 1 sail can do the work of all of them?
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:54   #8
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

My head sail doesn't trim nicely when I furl.I think because it's an older type that is separate of the forestay. I always prefer to drop it down and put up a hank on working jib, Unless It's an emergency or a short run to anchorage or to port. I always reef the main when it blows over 15 because its so much more comfortable and seems to go just as fast. I am installing reefing and halyard lines to the cockpit now. My boat is a Newport 28 1979
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:00   #9
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Quote:
Originally Posted by parito View Post
Hey,

I thought I'd ask more experienced bunch of folks about furling.

So I've got into an argument with a friend who's got beneateau 373 with furling genoa and furling mainsail. There are no additional stays for smaller sails.
He _thinks_ the genoa is not supposed to be furled in partially, because in stronger conditions the aluminium pole would break. Same with mainsail. The sails are supposed to be either fully furled out, or furled in completely, and nothing in between due to possible stresses, according to him.

Is it true?

If yes, how are you supposed to cope with worsening conditions ?

Maybe there are different furling systems designed to withstand the stresses when partially furled?

My position was that you can and you have to partially furl in. But please correct me here.
ask your friend how less sail area in stronger conditions cause things to break.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:20   #10
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Despite apparent opinions to the contrary, whether he is "right" or "wrong" depends entirely on the hardware.

Some cheapo furlers are just that. Furlers. Not intended to reef.

Beefier ones are furler/reefers, designed to handle the stress of reefing.

Don't know what your friend has.

Neat idea: RTFM. You'll get actual information about the actual hardware, instead of a bunch of opinions.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:23   #11
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris95040 View Post
Despite apparent opinions to the contrary, whether he is "right" or "wrong" depends entirely on the hardware.



Some cheapo furlers are just that. Furlers. Not intended to reef.



Beefier ones are furler/reefers, designed to handle the stress of reefing.



Don't know what your friend has.



Neat idea: RTFM. You'll get actual information about the actual hardware, instead of a bunch of opinions.

I doubt a 373 beneteau would be fitted with non reefing furlers on both the main and genoa.


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Old 09-07-2015, 10:31   #12
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

"because in stronger conditions the aluminium pole would break". What aluminium pole? The extrusion in the furler? Why is it more likely to break with less load on it (partially furled)?

There is a genuine reason not to partially furl the genoa, which is that the shape ends up not very good. This tends to be more of a problem partially furling big overlapping genoas, made of quite thin and stretchy material, in strong winds.

The trick is to have a jib or genoa sized more or less right for the anticipated wind strength.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:31   #13
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

I think all systems based of extruded alloy foils are designed to work furled to any sail size (any % of the sail out). Not all sails are cut to be furled to any size though.

Furlers that are either/or (all in or all out) designs are those designed for kites, zeroes, and other light fore sails.

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Old 09-07-2015, 10:45   #14
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

most roller furling sails might be better described as roller reefing. mine, i think most cruising headsails, has a four inch foam strip sewn into the luff which is designed to maintain luff tension as the sail is reefed. a reefed genoa will never have ideal shape but it sure is an improvement over simple roller furling of the past. i can't imagine that a boat such as the beneteau 373 being equipped with anything but a roller genoa that is not specifically designed to be reefed to any size needed.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:59   #15
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Re: Basic question about furling (main & headsails)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris95040 View Post
Despite apparent opinions to the contrary, whether he is "right" or "wrong" depends entirely on the hardware.

Some cheapo furlers are just that. Furlers. Not intended to reef.

Beefier ones are furler/reefers, designed to handle the stress of reefing.

Don't know what your friend has.

Neat idea: RTFM. You'll get actual information about the actual hardware, instead of a bunch of opinions.
These opinions are based on the reality of 2015. Unless the guy found his roller furler in a junk pile it is probably capable of functioning with a reef.

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