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Old 09-03-2017, 20:03   #1
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Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

Why are there not sailboats with twin or side-by-side jib furlers?

I have asked a number of sailors and nobody that I asked had ever thought about it. So I sent the following email to several rigging companies with no response. So I sent it to furler manufacturers, only Selden responded. The answer below as you can read was nothing but a guess so I thought I would raise the question here and see if I can get a real answer.

The email:
I have a question for which " the google" has not turned up an answer, perhaps you can help. On most larger sailboats there is a jib on a jib furler and then further forward another furler for the genoa. When tacking it is always a lot of fun threading the genoa thru the slot. So my question is why has someone not designed a bracket that holds 2 jib furlers next to each other, one on each side of the center line thus eliminate this pesky problem. Yes, I realize that this would require 2 forestays one for each fulrer but would it not work better and faster when tacking? What am I not understanding?

Selden USA answer:
Seems practical I suppose. I don’t know for sure but would guess it has something to do with the way the loads would build if the forestay were anchored off-center.

My response to Selden would be: It should not take too much engineering to design a bracket that anchored the dual forestay so it is on the center line.

So what do you say?
Has anyone actually tried this?
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Old 09-03-2017, 20:10   #2
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

It's kinda like a double barrel shotgun, over and unders just work better. Just rig up a solent stay with furler and your good to go.
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Old 09-03-2017, 20:19   #3
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

Forget it.

  1. It would be very easy to get tangles between the 2.
  2. The second furler will destroy the air flow on one side of the other sail.
  3. It would be challenging to get the stay tension even. More to the point, it would be impossible to get sufficient stay tension on the working sail.
  4. Quite an increase in windage. The furled sail will be nearly the size of a mast.
I don't think this is just difficult, I think it is impossible in principle. #2 alone is a non-starter.
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Old 09-03-2017, 20:41   #4
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

I think you're just over thinking the system. A smaller inner jib is closer to the mast to help balance out the boat in strong winds, or add sail area in light winds.

The only advantage of being side by side would be one have a lighter large sail and a smaller heavy sail. But in a strong wind the boat would want weather up with a sail that far forward.

And a special mast head or adaptor would have to be built for both ends of the furlers. As well as a furling line for each furler. KISS

For down wind, it would be great for a wing on wing. But you can do that with a double track on the single forestry.
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Old 09-03-2017, 21:14   #5
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

The furling drums would force you to place them quite a way apart - more than a foot unless it was a very small boat.
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Old 09-03-2017, 21:34   #6
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

If you remove furlers from the visualization, Kay-Zee headfoils did something close to what the OP's asking about. With a single forestay, there were extrusions that linked together, having dual T-tracks. You sewed slugs that fitted on the tracks to the sail, rather than regular hanks. Sails were stowed on a T-track magazine that plugged in at the bottom, your largest genoa on the left track, next size down, on the right, and so on, alternating tracks. You could fly the larger two at the same time for downwind twins. You could do inside out sail changes. You still had to go on the foredeck for headsail changes, but with on-deck sail stowage bags, you could have what you anticipated needing ready to go.....all the way down to the storm jib. It worked quite well, but we eventually went the furler route, in order to minimize foredeck exposure at night and in rough weather; and ours, now, on this boat is a Solent rig. It does have the downside with the genoa of having to be rolled up to tack. However, the staysail can be tacked normally.

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Old 10-03-2017, 09:25   #7
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

Are you thinking of two forestays? Each with a furler? Sounds like a headache.


I have a cutter with forestay and a staysail stay; each with a furler.

You might want a furler with twin tracks. It is possible to get a furler with duel track so you can have two sails on one furler.
This is usually for "wing and wing" running when there is no staysail and (for some reason) the skipper wants a second genoa rather than using the main.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:15   #8
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

You're starting from the wrong premise ... If you are tacking your genoa through the slot you're doing it wrong.

Either put your solent on a highfield (which is a little complex with a furler) ... or

if you're going to go upwind don't unfurl the genoa ... use the jib only.

and if for some reason you need to tack the genoa through the slot first furl it up, then unfurl it on the new tack. easy.

You're overthinking a problem which shouldn't exist.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:28   #9
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KP44 View Post
Are you thinking of two forestays? Each with a furler? Sounds like a headache.


I have a cutter with forestay and a staysail stay; each with a furler.

You might want a furler with twin tracks. It is possible to get a furler with duel track so you can have two sails on one furler.
This is usually for "wing and wing" running when there is no staysail and (for some reason) the skipper wants a second genoa rather than using the main.
Indeed our furler has the twin tracks. I alternate each year so they don't get furred up. Keep meaning to dig out the spare jib and fly it down wind with the genoa on the other side, the wind is always on the nose which ever way we want to go
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:01   #10
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

A friend of ours who has a Swan 36 in which he regularly does very long, mainly single-handed or short-handed voyages, (tends to say things like "Can't stop - just off to Venuzuela ..." or to do the transatlantic) has twin furlers on separate forestays. He swears by it - I believe it works for down-wind sailing and he also has one flatter cut than the other. I should add that the stays are both right at the bow (where we have only one) - one either side of the anchor.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:06   #11
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny AoB View Post
Why are there not sailboats with twin or side-by-side jib furlers?
Essentially a solent rig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny AoB View Post
I have asked a number of sailors and nobody that I asked had ever thought about it.
Assuming you asked the question clearly, you were asking the wrong sailors. Solent rigs are common on offshore boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny AoB View Post
The email:
I have a question for which " the google" has not turned up an answer, perhaps you can help. On most larger sailboats there is a jib on a jib furler and then further forward another furler for the genoa.
Not sure if you're referring to a cutter rig or a solent rig. Many older larger sailboats, rigged for offshore, have a cutter rig. Many newer larger sailboats rigged for offshore have a solent rig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny AoB View Post
When tacking it is always a lot of fun threading the genoa thru the slot. So my question is why has someone not designed a bracket that holds 2 jib furlers next to each other, one on each side of the center line thus eliminate this pesky problem. Yes, I realize that this would require 2 forestays one for each fulrer but would it not work better and faster when tacking? What am I not understanding?
As noted you're doing it wrong. Furl it then unfurl it. We're not talking about race boats where seconds lost on a tack are the difference between winning and losing, we're talking about long distance work where you measure time between tacks in hours, or days, or weeks even. Last time I crossed the Atlantic, in the trades, we did it on one tack for 21 days.

In a solent rig you're sacrificing quick tacks for having easy sail plan flexibility, a welcome trade given how most of them are sailed. In a cutter you're often flying both, but again the flexibility of one, both, or the other makes the slightly increased difficulty of tacking worth it.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:23   #12
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

It is possible to have two jibs on one furler: The sails come apart for down wind sailing or stay together for other points of sail. I was told it would be useful for trans oceanic sailing. No further experience with the concept.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:23   #13
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

Yes, this twin furlers were set up up at time on my 1971 Irwin sloop. The setup was to facilitate going down wind Wing-on-wing. My boat has a bow sprit, a 0.5" thick stainless plate that laterally spans the width of the ~ 12" wide bowsprit, has a flange welded to it that provides for attachment to the bowsprit material, and extends both vertically above and below the bowsprit several inches, and is drilled with holes for attachment of, variously, either one or two furler "cans". The lower side of the plate is similarly drilled with holes to which are fitted two 7x19 stainless cables that lead down to a fitting on the bow at the water line, thus creating an unusual bobstay arrangement. The mast cap casting has two diagonally offset "horns" to which each of the parallel headstays affix. I have not sailed the boat rigged in this fashion. I have photos from a prior owner that show it set up in said fashion. I have no clue how well or poorly it worked, but if you google wing on wing downwind sailing with double furling headstays, I know you'll find some examples. Cheers
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:28   #14
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

There was a brief period in the 1960's, maybe early 1970's where side by side head stays were tried. It allowed a second headsail to be hoisted before the 1st was dropped which racers liked and allowed for double headsails when running which cruisers liked. My sense is that it never caught on because if you tensioned both forestays up enough you doubled the load in the backstay too and started having mast compression problems and problems with bending the hull. I can see a way to preferencially (sp?) tension one side or the other with a highfield lever led to the cockpit for each side but it adds one more thing to remember, like swapping running backstays during a tack or gybe.

With roller furlers the problems would be multiplied since the headstays would have to be separated further.

From the 1980s thru the present multiple roller furling sails have been used on larger single- or short-handed racing boats. Usually in the headsail, solent sail and staysail positions. Lately the headsails have been out on a bowsprit and even when at the stem the solent sail is significantly further back than previously.
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Old 10-03-2017, 14:59   #15
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Re: Dual Jib Furlers - Why Not?

My furler has two tracks and so you can run up a second headsail, but if you want them to furl together they need to. be on the same halyard. It's not unusual for racers to hoist a second headsail directly in front of the current headie. They then drop the original sail and start using the new sail. It's called skinning the sails.
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