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Old 01-12-2014, 08:55   #1
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Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

We love flying our asymmetrical spinnaker on light air days. We currently have an ATN sock and it works fine. As you know, it is a pain to haul it out, set it up, and take it back down when the wind picks up. With our 47 footer it's pretty big and heavy. I'm thinking the benefits of a top down furling system would include:

Set it up at the dock and forget it for the day+
Stows and carries much smaller
Easier to gybe in the heavier air down wind with option to furl

There may be more benefits but those three are enough for me. What's the downside? I've only seen these demoed online on smaller boats and in very, very light air.



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Old 01-12-2014, 09:22   #2
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

I dont see many downsides, you can stow the whole thing furled in a locker or bow compartment, just be sure the top block purchase is strong enough and free of bugy frictions, Facnors are very afordable in Price....
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Old 01-12-2014, 14:43   #3
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

Top town furlers... Well I love them, but there are some issues. The torsion rope technology is still a little new, so if your sail is cut really full it can be an issue to roll it. Otherwise with just a little extra tension they work great.
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Old 01-12-2014, 14:52   #4
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

I don't know much about these, but definitely interested on my 47' as well. So you're saying you can furl the sails on there and then take the whole thing down when you want to put it away? That's a plus for sure!

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Old 02-12-2014, 09:05   #5
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

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Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
I dont see many downsides, you can stow the whole thing furled in a locker or bow compartment, just be sure the top block purchase is strong enough and free of bugy frictions, Facnors are very afordable in Price....

I forget the term, but my rigger noted that the triangular piece where that block would mount at the top of the mount was less than what he would recommend for that much sail. He's talking about making a larger one that bolts four times instead of two. A picture may be worth 1000 words here. I'll take a snap next time at the yard.

Still curious why some prefer to stay with the dousing sock over furling a gennaker.


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Old 02-12-2014, 12:25   #6
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

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Originally Posted by IntoMyHealth View Post
I forget the term, but my rigger noted that the triangular piece where that block would mount at the top of the mount was less than what he would recommend for that much sail. He's talking about making a larger one that bolts four times instead of two. A picture may be worth 1000 words here. I'll take a snap next time at the yard.

Still curious why some prefer to stay with the dousing sock over furling a gennaker.


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Some reasons why some prefer to stay with the dousing sock:

Well first there is cost. A good furler will cost you a minimum of $2K and likely significantly more. Secondly there is storage. You store it in a long (very long) bag flaked and the bag doesn't fit nicely in any place on the boat but on deck or in the main salon (not good unless racing). Thirdly is the fact that if you don't furl it just right and you leave it up it can begin to open and flog itself. Fourthly is that if it starts to blow unexpectedly it can be a problem to furl.

A dousing sock is a pretty bullet proof way to go. "If it's not broken, why fix it."
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:50   #7
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

Coincidence... I was looking at the Karver vid yesterday. Their system allows for multiple sails and available with a lock to prevent unfurling at an inopportune time.
Bob
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Old 02-12-2014, 15:52   #8
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

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Coincidence... I was looking at the Karver vid yesterday. Their system allows for multiple sails and available with a lock to prevent unfurling at an inopportune time.
Bob

When I mentioned unfurling I did not mean the furler turning, rather the sail beginning to open up on the higher end of the furled sail. The furlers all look wonderful in the videos when there is no wind at all. (Did they get the perfect furl on the 1st take? Was an edit necessary?) Also, note the price for the Karver for the boat size in question is in the neighborhood of $4K.
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Old 02-12-2014, 17:39   #9
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

Our boat is 58 feet with 80 mast. We added a code zero last summer. I haul both the code and the AS, in their ATN socks up from the cabin through the port or starboard hatch next to the mast. The bags for these sails are both too large and heavy to drag on deck. They douse down the hatch as well. I can hoist the code by hand but the AS needs a winch for the last 15 feet due to the weight. I sometimes use our Milwaukee 1/2 inch right angle drive with the winch adapter & the self tailer. Perhaps this can work for you.
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Old 02-12-2014, 17:50   #10
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

admittedly I don't have a large boat, but I set myself up this last summer with a Facnor furler that worked very well. I cut down the height of my turtle bag in half because when the sail is coiled it takes up much less space. I used a Facnor furler that was reasonably priced but I didn't use the Facnor recommended line running from torque rope to leach of sail. I rigged the standard top down system with the head fixed to the top of the torque rope. The torque rope does develop some memory and you should always turn it the same direction. I never ever had any trouble getting it in when the wind came up to be to strong, and I sail mostly single handed. A few times in the beginning a got a problem with it furlin over itself down low. I think it might have been a result of the torque load easing on the torque rope causing a reverse twist. Now that I've used this setup I can't ever imagine going back to the sock. On a larger boat I would recommend spending the money for the Profurl system with the plastic balls on the torque rope. I think the balls would eliminate any reverse twist problems, and make the whole torque rope a larger diameter causing the sail to furl in bit faster and need less rotation. Other than that I say go for it!
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:48   #11
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

You still have to pack it away, can't leave it furled and exposed to the sun.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:03   #12
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

Asymetricals and other light spys and genakers are very sensitive to weather , i mean sun, rain, etc.. better to stow down below in a dry location, also the risk in blow to get unfurled...
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Old 06-12-2014, 20:04   #13
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Re: Top Down Furling - Specifically Larger Boats

Had one on my cruise last summer
Only issue is that you must get a tight wind or you can get
A blowout of a portion of the reefed sail and then you have to either take it down
Or unfurl and rewind
We had a self tacking jib and would deploy it before furling to take some wind
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