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Old 30-04-2008, 10:30   #1
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Reducing sail with roller furling main?

I little experience with roller furling mainsail systems. The experiences I have had have been negative: jammed sails that will not come out, folded over sails at the head, bolt ropes coming out.

On a delivery from Newport to St Barth's via Bermuda on a Hylas 46 with a roller furling main, I was thinking about how to reduce sail area especially on a broad reach. It seemed to me that the only way this could be done was by going head-to-wind. That prospect really did not excite me. We had an electric outhaul and furler, so power was not an issue; having the sail roll properly was.

I have reefed conventional sails going down-wind with no problems.

For those with more experience, how are you reducing sail with roller furling mains?

Jack
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Old 30-04-2008, 12:19   #2
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I have a roller-furling main (and wish it were electric) on a 43 footer and sail alone. I haven't had any jamming issues with the main and have furled it on almost every tack. The forces are lower when the boom is on the port side since the mechanism furls in counter-clockwise and thus the bend angle is lower and you get little friction from the mast. I do have to control tension on the outhaul with a hand (or foot) while furling but that isn't too tough.

Going downwind with the boom on the wrong side is the only time I didn't actually furl since I felt the forces on the furling line were just too much - but all it took was sheeting in the main and letting the boat be driven by genoa while furling in and then letting the main back out.
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Old 30-04-2008, 12:24   #3
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Ditto what Zanshin said. It can be furled saiing DDW if the boom can be centered. Mine is a Charleston Spar furler.

p.s Zan. How's your wrist doing?
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Old 30-04-2008, 12:34   #4
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Thanks Hud and Zan.

How critical is the boom angle? Since the mainsheet is hard, I assume that boom is lower than the optimum furling angle. Does the topping lift need to be hardened?

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