Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-10-2018, 08:49   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 102
Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Lets rewind a few months back… while sailing a new to me Sabre 34T from Annapolis to Wilmington I found a loose stainless screw by the tow rail. It was a small screw that I first thought belonged to one of the stanchions. I looked and looked, but didn't find where it could of come from. Well, its a small screw - not going to sink the ship. I tossed it in the spares bin.

Fast forward to yesterday. My girlfriend and I were out sailing on Lake Lanier in 20 - 30 knot winds that hurricane Michael brought to Atlanta. Was not going to reef the main, but the oversize Genoa was going to be reefed at about half point maybe less. Well, that was the plan as I carefully eased out the furling line. Tied it off, and was ready to roll.

To my great surprise the Genoa all of a sudden rolls out fully. I get confused with the sail numbers, but its a large sail with lots of overlap with main. Crap, that is not going to be good. I reach for the furling line to see if I can quickly bring the sail in. Crap again, it didn't come loose on the cleat as I assumed, and it was all the way out. Nothing on the furler drum to quickly bring in the sail.

Not good again, as things are now getting a bit dodgy. Gusts are really heeling the boat. Anna is way past her comfort level behind the helm. We don't even have life vests on, or teathers, or jacklines since this was going to be an easy lake cruise.

Genoa sail is either flapping violently with 1" sheets beating things up, or healing "Hobo" way over. Crap, I though again, as I heard the sound of toaster oven hit the floor in the galley. With a bunch of other semi secured items below. First thought was not to panic, we are on a local lake, not out in the open ocean, but still it wasn't very good to have a stuck oversize Genny catch wind in 30 knot gusts. This was suppose to be a pleasant sail with my girlfriend, not this f@cking debauchary.

It was time to formulate a plan so I can save face in front of the woman. Lets start with safety items, and put on life vests that I asked Anna to retrieve from below. Heave to for a minute to catch my breath and calm things down. I haven't practiced that move often enough, but it worked.

So, I am on a lee side of the lake with a shallow spot on my port side. This is not hurricane winds, but it doesn't feel very good either. Either way, I need to bring the Genoa in.

Not sure if there was a better way to handle this (open to ideas), First, I cranked up the motor for more control. Headed towards the opposite side of the lake balancing gust of wind and sail luffing, just at that fine edge where things were manageable. Hid behind one of the islands, turned the boat around to run with the wind direction, which felt much calmer by the way. Went to the bow and hand rolled the sail. Rest was easy money.

The inspection at the dock revealed that the loose screw from a few month before was one of three screws that connect furler drum to the rest of the furler mechanism. Once the other two screws came loose there was nothing to stop the sail from unfurling out. Easy fix, and it is all now repaired.

Lessons learned:
A. Wear life vests, never know what can go wrong.
B. Relying on a reefed furler sail is for sure convenient. But things can go wrong. Next time in moderate winds I am taking down the oversize Genoa for a smaller Jib.
C. When **** hits the fan, take a pause and don’t rush things.


P.S. I did manage to impress Anna by staying calm. Not sure how I pulled that off, thinsg were past my comfort zone.
__________________

Alex_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 15:49   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 7,859
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Congrats. That's good seamanship!.
__________________

StuM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 16:03   #3
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 5,338
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Good job!



Remember, you can always just haul the sail down the way racers do. We get so used to furling we forget that it is still a foil. Rolling by hand is not always going to work.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 16:56   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 102
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Good job!



Remember, you can always just haul the sail down the way racers do. We get so used to furling we forget that it is still a foil. Rolling by hand is not always going to work.
I did consider that. But last time I took down the Genoa in calm winds at the dock it was a hand full. Perhaps there is a better technique to do that.

For a split second I did consider letting the sheets loose. But that would of been a mess.

New things to learn.
Alex_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 16:57   #5
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 13,702
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

thinwater, of course you're right, but most boats don't have lacing to keep the sail on board once it's down, so the OP would need to think about sail ties, and lifeline lacing.

Alex V, agree you did well. You might consider loc-tite for those screws, or check them before each outing, part of your pre-start checks.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:02   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 102
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Congrats. That's good seamanship!.
Thanks. I am just not impressed how I disregaded a loose screw that was the start of the whole problem. It was just a loose screw that didnít seem all that important.
Alex_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:04   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 102
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
thinwater, of course you're right, but most boats don't have lacing to keep the sail on board once it's down, so the OP would need to think about sail ties, and lifeline lacing.

Alex V, agree you did well. You might consider loc-tite for those screws, or check them before each outing, part of your pre-start checks.

Ann
Ann, I JB welded those screws in. )) no more loose drum on my watch ))
Alex_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:15   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29į 49.16í N 82į 25.82í W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 13,344
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex_V View Post
I did consider that. But last time I took down the Genoa in calm winds at the dock it was a hand full. Perhaps there is a better technique to do that.

For a split second I did consider letting the sheets loose. But that would of been a mess.

New things to learn.
Your plan solved the problem and seemed like it was appropriate for Lanier but if this happened in open water dropping the jib would be the best or possibly the only option.

In that situation I would head the boat into the wind, keep the sheet tight and drop the jib inside the lifelines, rolling and bundling it as it falls. Once all is under control you can loosen the sheet, pull the clew forward, stuff the sail into the bag and tie it down to the pulpit.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:16   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 850
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Blue Loctite is part of the instructions on pretty much every furler that uses set screws like this to lock the foil to the drum. It is not something to be "considered", it is required for a proper installation.

JB Weld will hold the screws in... even when you need to take things apart. It can also get pushed in ahead of the screw and make a mess. Not the right tool for this job.
billknny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:18   #10
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in New England
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 4,086
Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

I dunno about your boat but my main has a reef in it by the time I see 20 knots if Iím not off the wind. The old saying applies: the time to reef is when you first think of it...or sooner. Makes the boat easier to handle and itís the harder sail to take in generally. Do it first.

One option when dousing a jib with a broken furler is to open the bow hatch and stuff it in as it comes down. Gets it out of the wind and the foredeck clear. You can sort it out when things calm down.

As for furling it by hand at the bow in heavier wind, it can often be easier and faster heading into the wind, just off the wind. While it will be flogging like mad and a noisy unnerving racket with whipping sheets, itís unloaded and quicker. YMMV depending on boat and conditions.
__________________
"Having a yacht is reason for being more cheerful than most." -Kurt Vonnegut
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:25   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 102
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Keeping the sheets tight on a big Genoa with a big overlap on main sail would of not straighten it out. I do understand the idea, just don’t think it would of been an easy one to make happen.
Alex_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:28   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 102
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Blue Loctite is part of the instructions on pretty much every furler that uses set screws like this to lock the foil to the drum. It is not something to be "considered", it is required for a proper installation.

JB Weld will hold the screws in... even when you need to take things apart. It can also get pushed in ahead of the screw and make a mess. Not the right tool for this job.
JB weld was used to lock things in. Threads were stripped on the old holes in the drum. For the time being it seemed like a right tool. But I agree with your point.
Alex_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:29   #13
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,812
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Good work, without room to run off and blanket the sail your options are limited. Dropping it on the deck is one option, Hand rolling it up is another. Handy to have a preplanned way to hand roll any furler. I've had good success with a correctly sized bit of wood jammed into the space between the tack lashing and the foil, but this may not have worked in your case.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:30   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 102
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I dunno about your boat but my main has a reef in it by the time I see 20 knots if Iím not off the wind. The old saying applies: the time to reef is when you first think of it...or sooner. Makes the boat easier to handle and itís the harder sail to take in generally. Do it first.

One option when dousing a jib with a broken furler is to open the bow hatch and stuff it in as it comes down. Gets it out of the wind and the foredeck clear. You can sort it out when things calm down.

As for furling it by hand at the bow in heavier wind, it can often be easier and faster heading into the wind, just off the wind. While it will be flogging like mad and a noisy unnerving racket with whipping sheets, itís unloaded and quicker. YMMV depending on boat and conditions.
Heading into the wind was a mess. I would take your advice next time I have a smaller jib that I can stuff into the bow hatch.
Alex_V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 17:43   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29į 49.16í N 82į 25.82í W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 13,344
Re: Learned a lesson - furler reefing gone bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex_V View Post
Keeping the sheets tight on a big Genoa with a big overlap on main sail would of not straighten it out. I do understand the idea, just donít think it would of been an easy one to make happen.
Not sure what you mean by straighten it out. Keeping the sheet snug (not bar taught) while dropping the sail will keep it under control and keep it from blowing over the side. The idea is to let the head of the sail fall inboard of the foot, letting the foot kind of form a large pocket to catch the sail.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
furler

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bad boat yard experience - a lesson learned. Bay Breeze Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 23 06-06-2017 13:23
Lesson Learned: When a Squall Comes Into an Anchorage Elysium The Sailor's Confessional 74 01-09-2012 10:27
Lesson learned about using steel wool pads to clean deck hardware. Renasci Construction, Maintenance & Refit 3 20-06-2012 07:08
Lesson Learned Charlie Seamanship & Boat Handling 3 23-04-2012 14:06
MOB Lesson Learned easy Kai Nui General Sailing Forum 37 15-02-2006 08:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.