In the past 3 years we have had two instances of the furling
line wearing through and breaking. I have previously assumed that the wear was due to the front block, or was due to the line touching the edge of the starboard forward hatch
. (For the latter I have installed a 2nd line guide on the stanchions from Spinlock)
But this summer I have found out (admittedly late) that the wear is due to the furling
line touching the edge of the furling drum, when the jib
See attached picture, where the furling line nearly touches the lower edge of the drum. If we had reefed a little bit less, the line would have touched the lower edge of the drum.
The movement of the jib
due to sea / wind
variations will continuously rotate the furlling drum a little bit. The rotation of the drum edge will then saw through the line in a few hours' time.
Since understanding this I have rotated the stainless steel
line guide 90 degrees. This line guide was mounted incorrectly by a local shipyard, as you can see in the picture. So now this problem is halved: it will only occur when the line on the furler
exits on the lower end of the furler
Now I always remind myself to check whether the furling line touches the lower edge of the furling drum, after reefing the jib. It is easy to manually pull the reefing line higher.
The other pictures show me changing the furling line during heavy weather
, with the jib unrolled completely due to the furling line breaking. We really needed the reef. I got wet. And yes, I used a lineline.
I explained this failure mechanism to a Z-Spars representative on the Grand Pavois boat show
in La Rochelle. He seemed not very interested.
Other furler manufacturers use rounded edges on their furlers.
I explained this to a Leopard
representative on the same boat show
, they also use Z-Spars furlers. He was very interested. He knew it happens a lot that the furling line breaks in their charter/rental business, but they did not understand why.