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Old 31-07-2012, 01:59   #16
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I echo many comments here.

By your own posts the boat is new to you, doesnt have an Otto, you are single handing and other sails or not suitably set up for reefing. As you say, "lots to do."

Furler performance is affected by condition of the furling gear, wind conditions, forestay tension and halyard tension.

In general the forestay needs to be rigged right and by that I mean tight. A sagging forestay exacerbated by strong winds makes furling tough. The halyard should be snug and not too tight. The halyard angle when fully hoisted is also critical, it should lead up at anout a 45 degree angle into the sheeve.

Wthout an autopilot and hanked on foresail your situation would likely have been worse.

I am not advocating one way or another and furling gear does have its downsides. I have accidentally gybed, wrapped the genny around the forestay and had no way to raise, lower or furl the genny. My solution is dont accidentally gybe - LOL

In terms of sequence, I have a 150 genny. At 20 kts I furl to 100%. At 25kts I set the first main reef. At 30kts I furl to about 60-75%. I have carried this sail through 45 knots. And have never set the second main reef.

As others have said reef early especially with a furler. I can get the genny to 100% in about 15 seconds.

I have started club races reefed to 100% on the beat, gybed the mark and released the furler. Instant sail change for the downwind run - awesome. Point being reef the genny early, shaking it out is a breeze.
Hi Dan, i just dug out your old post using the search function. My Facnor sd165 furler is quite hard to turn for the first 30% or so of the 135% genny. Without using a winch I can't get it in if the breeze kicks up. Flushed and lubed (McLube) the bottom bearings as far as the maintenance free design allows. I'll check the forestay tension next.
My halyard is also really tight, might want to try letting out an inch or so.

cheers :-)
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Old 03-08-2012, 15:53   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ato

Hi Dan, i just dug out your old post using the search function. My Facnor sd165 furler is quite hard to turn for the first 30% or so of the 135% genny. Without using a winch I can't get it in if the breeze kicks up. Flushed and lubed (McLube) the bottom bearings as far as the maintenance free design allows. I'll check the forestay tension next.
My halyard is also really tight, might want to try letting out an inch or so.

cheers :-)
If furling performance changes with the wind speed, i.e. hard to furl in higher winds, my first look is at the forestay tension. Some folks incorrectly harden the hlayard to compensate when they see a bend in the luff. This can put undue loads on the furling drums.
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Old 06-08-2012, 00:35   #18
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Re: Using Roller Furling

Various posters suggest a hanked on jib would be worse than this recalcitrant furler, or some even suggest a hanker would be impossible to drop, without an autopilot.

Single handers were doing these things safely long before autopilots or self steering. They were also reefing headsails, without going on the foredeck. I spent some years doing these things alone, with no self steering.

An affordable and yet 'gold plated' alternative to roller gear is a headsail with a couple of slab reefs, provided with a second sheet (which can run through the same sheet block as the first, if it has a wide sheave and you get the sail built correctly), a clew downhaul (maybe 2 or 3:1, and ideally a second downhaul long enough to lead to the next reef) led back to the cockpit --the purchase will often make a halyard winch unnecessary-- and a head downhaul (threaded either through the hanks, or through eyelets just aft of the luff), round a standup block on the foredeck, and back to the cockpit.

This will let you alter your sail area, or drop the sail completely, with more reliability, better sail shape and longevity, and without going on the foredeck.

But let's be clear that it is not necessary to go this far: even with NONE of this convenience-oriented standing rigging, all you have to do is heave to (using an 'under main only' technique - there's at least one thread on that topic on the Seamanship forum, ) and you can safely go on the foredeck, taking the halyard tail with you (preferably direct from the mast) and get the thing down safely and without fuss.

And this works in the real world, you know, the one where you don't get advance warning of every wind increase, much as it would be nice to.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:26   #19
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Re: Using Roller Furling

Just a thought about slab reefs in headsails. I wouldn't do this to anything bigger than, say, a 105% made from heavy cloth for its size- slightly smaller/heavier would be even better.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:03   #20
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With headsail slab reefing how does one avoid halyard wrap? Sounds like a perfect setup for bad situation.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:25   #21
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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With headsail slab reefing how does one avoid halyard wrap? Sounds like a perfect setup for bad situation.
Wrap? around what? The forestay?

I don't understand the question.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:29   #22
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Re: Using Roller Furling

I started this thread wanting to know why my roller furling jib didn't work. I think I have the answer - the headstay is not tight enough. That said, further research leads me to believe while that roller furling is a great convenience for weekend sailors who can pick their conditions, it is not a good setup for offshore work. In addition to the potential for breakdowns, there is the problem of the poor sail shape of a partially rolled up sail - a real problem if you have to go to windward under adverse conditions. Additionally, it makes it extra difficult to fly a storm jib. I've seen an arrangement that is supposed to fit over a furled sail but it looks to me like it would be a nightmare to deploy when the wind picks up.

I recently acquired an updated edition of Heavy Weather Sailing. Overall, the comments on roller furling in storm conditions are quite negative.

I am still resolved to replace it before I head offshore.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:57   #23
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Re: Using Roller Furling

Not a good set up for offshore work ? I wouldn't go out any other way.

There is a furler on both my jib and staysail and both work fine. The staysail is the storm jib.
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Old 06-08-2012, 15:11   #24
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Re: Using Roller Furling

Heavy Weather Sailing is not my be all and end all for what works offshore nor are the Pardeys. Both interesting reading and work for them but not cup of coffee. I read the first edition of HWS when it came out and still have the the fourth edition. It's a good source but I found it of a bit dated. In fact, things like boom roller reefing, not the inboom reefing, was the worst abomination for reefing that was ever invented and virtually abandoned when slab reefing came in in the '70s.

Changing a roller furled jib at sea in high wind conditions would not be fun. But then why would you want to. Any sailmaker worth his salt can make a roller furling headsail set reasonably well at half it's area by using luff padding. Even furled smaller than that it's a useful sail. So far haven't had to furl it smaller even in winds up to 40k. In really heavy conditions, no boat is going to point 45 degrees to the wind. Wave action just won't let you point very high. Also, without a heavily reefed main or storm trysail you aren't going to sail much closer than a beam reach because the wind will blow the bow off and the rudder won't be able to hold a windward heading. So a heavily reefed furling headsail should suffice. The danger is blowing the sail up but a well built sail should hold up as furling handles the increased stresses of the wind.

I wouldn't single hand without roller furling. My 135% genoa is a handful to maneuver on the boat. Hanks or no hanks, don't know how I'd get it down and stowed in really windy conditions. Just getting it in the bag, let alone hauling it back to the cockpit and trying to stuff it in a locker would be work of collosal proportion. Admittedly, the sail is built of heavy and stiff dacron because it's designed to never need to come off the furler. A lighter sail would be easier to handle but would necessitate changing it out even for blustery but sailable conditions which negates the reason for have roller reefing to begin with.

Just an example of how roller reefing headsails come in handy. My whisker pole pretzeled at 0300 on a moonless over cast night on the way to Hawaii. Tried to pull the pole back on board but couldn't get it out of the water and sail was flogging horribly with the clew still attached to the pole. It suddenly came to me, that I had roller furling, use it. Went back to the cockpit and furled the sail which brought the pole back on board. Went forward, disconnected the bent whisker pole, rigged the spinnaker pole, unfurled the sail and was off again in a few minutes. Took care of stowing the bent pole when the sun came up. Without the furling would probably have spent the rest of the night getting the bent pole and sail handled.

The newer roller reefing setups are virtually bullet proof if installed right. They should be checked regularly but you should do that for your rig in any case. Seems many of the problems with roller furlers in high winds is not enough turns on the furling drum. Sail will furl way tighter under heavy wind pressure. Without enough turns on the drum, you can't completely furl the sail in those conditions. That means you can't get the sheets wrapped around the sail to keep the wind from getting into the Leech and partially unrolling the sail. Mine is set up so I have at least eight wraps of the sheets around the sail when furled at the dock. Even in heavy winds, should have enough wraps of the halyard to contain the sail.

My old boat was a cutter rig and that was very doable with hank on sails. Made only one sail change from ghosting to serious weather. Had a lightweight 120% high cut genoa/reacher for light air and reaching. Dropped and bagged that and went with the Yankee and staysail, then dropped the yankee, lashed it to the bulwarks, and continued on under staysail. Staysail had reefing clew and tack cringles but never had to use them. Of course, had three reefs and a trisail on the main. Even though the Genoa was light material it was a handful to bag up when the wind picked up. Got snuck up on by 30k plus wind off Point Conception. Sail kept getting away from me and hoisting itself back up the stay. Ended up having to Gasket it to the lifelines working forward as I hauled the sail down to be able to finally control it. Of course by the time I got the sail bagged the wind dropped to nothing and ended up motoring the rest of the way to Newport Beach.

I still emember how much fun it was to haul another sail bag up on deck, stuff the old sail in the bag, hank on the new sail, and drag the old sail now twice it's flaked size, because it had been stuffed, back to the cockpit every time the wind changed velocity by 10k or less. Now I just incrementally furl the sail and I'm done. So far has worked without a hitch up to reported 40k of wind.
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Old 06-08-2012, 17:12   #25
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Our mast is 80 feet. The Quantum Fusion membrane 135 jib must be furled to tack even in ordinary conditions because of the cutter rig. I finally added this piece of gear. Milwaukee 1/2 inch right angle with 2:1 reduction and 28 volt lithium battery. (reconditioned on Amazon) Throw the furler line in the winch on self-tail and hit the trigger. Sail is gone in seconds. We also have two electric primaries that can do the job too. No sense fighting it. Slack the sail but control the clew and wind it in.
LOVE IT! My 37 Slocum has a 54' mast and because of a gimpy right arm (rolled up bicep tendon) makes furling the genny a bear. Your Milwaukee corkscrew would make my day. Do you have a custom fitting in the chuck to plug into your winch?

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Old 06-08-2012, 17:37   #26
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
LOVE IT! My 37 Slocum has a 54' mast and because of a gimpy right arm (rolled up bicep tendon) makes furling the genny a bear. Your Milwaukee corkscrew would make my day. Do you have a custom fitting in the chuck to plug into your winch?

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Old 06-08-2012, 20:44   #27
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Re: Using Roller Furling

Ralph, Roller furling is a God send for offshore sailors (here come the arguments) but I will pemis this with saying that it is a whole lot better with a double headsail rig. May that be a double headsail sloop or a true cutter (mast placement). Andrew posted a link on another thread ( i dont know how) to a very good article about sails and rigging, and it clearly said that to get a roller furling jib started that it is common to need to use a winch. I always found that true on my 44 footer in any sort of a breeze. When I first bought the boat it didnt want to furl in any wind at all. I changed the bearings in the top and bottom fittings and it got much easier, but still needed a winch in a breeze. My boat came rigged as a sloop, but I added an inner forestay and a staysail, which was my storm jib, but was never set up or used except for long passages. You can do the same thing with your Pearson and spend less time on the foredeck in nasty conditions. A roller reefing 135 with a hanked on reefable staysail seems to be the best combo for offshore. Normal winds have them both up, more wind, reef the jib or drop the staysail, even more wind roll up the jib and raise the staysail, even more wind, reef the staysail(slab reefing) all the while reefing the main as appropriate. More wind than that, Pray or tie it all down and go below and sleep untill it changes. I did my first 20K miles with hanked on jibs in sloops. Then I owned a cutter with a roller jib and learned to love it(after a new set of bearings in it). Any thing that keeps you off of the bow in a blow is a plus for long distance sailing. For daysails remove the inner forestay and have a nice easy sail. My 2 cents worth____Grant.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:56   #28
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Re: Using Roller Furling

FWIW,

Back in the days before useful roller gear was available I went down the "reefable hank-on jib/genoa" route. My very strongly felt advice is to not do this! While it sounds good when you say it really fast, the actual practice of using such a reef is not so easy, and the issue of what to do with the bunt of reefed sail was a constant problem. I found that I spent more time on the foredeck ditzing about with the reefing sail than I did doing a regular sailchange, and that the resulting sail (reefed) wasn't all that great in shape. IM experience, not a good solution.

Now, as to the hazards of using a roller at sea... a look around any cruising anchorage that is well away from the nearest yachting mecca will show that the majority (by far) of the folks who have actually left home and gone cruising have at least one roller furling sail. Somehow they have avoided all the horrors that you CF cruisers worry about so much.

Can something go badly wrong with a roller? Hell yes it can, but the benefits to the short handed cruiser seem in practice to outweigh the potential downsides. Can something go wrong with hanked on sails? Hell yes it can (frozen hanks, fouled lines in the hanks, halyard jumping the masthead sheave and jamming, etc). And I have had each and every one of those things happen to me at sea, and I'm now quite happy to have rollers on both genoa and solent jib. And I have a few sea miles to back up that opinion...

Cheers,

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Old 07-08-2012, 05:22   #29
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Re: Using Roller Furling

+100 jim, exactly my experience with the slab reefing headsails I had on my last boat. No matter how carefully I secured the clew and bunt of the sail it would shake loose and then catch water, stanchions, inner forestays etc. I ended up never using the slab reefs and just changed the headsails.

Since then I have fully converted to roller reefing. The biggest benefit to me is not having a collection of wet and poorly folded sails cluttering up the boat. Closely followed by keeping the boat with exactly the right amount of sail much more often. More info on my thoughts and some photos here:
Snowpetrel Sailing: Roller reefing, and misguided mascochism

But you have to have good reliable gear and a well cut, STRONG sail, low cut genoas are hopeless, With my moderately high cut 120% radial genoa I get away with this one sail from 7-40+ knots, I don't even have to change the sheet lead!

I have a removable solent stay and a solent jib, but so far I have used it once, to test it. It is not worth the hassle for any possible extra performance (but it is good to have it dry and well folded below for peace of mind). I also have a drifter that hanks onto the solent stay for light stuff and downwind.

I also try to run off to furl the sail, generally blanketing it behind the main. Works a treat, but I can also winch it in if I have to, like when I have been stupid and got to close to a lee shore...

My furler is a bulletproof reefurl with the halyard returning to the massively oversize drum. The only bearing is electrical conduit around the stay. no halyard wraps or busted bearings! highly recommended and also cheap.
Reefurl Roller Reefing Roller Furling Systems

Another good trick is to have a furling drum lever made from a bit of wood. You jamb it through between the tack lashing of the sail and the foil and you can roll it up by hand if the furling line breaks or gets jammed, or at least you can take the load off the drum to fix the problem. It also helps if the lower bearing has failed, because you can reduce much of the load from the rope pulling aft on the bearing. Make it long enough to swing inside the pulpit when it is pushed half way through, and lock it with a bit of rope or by knocking it out a bit so it jambs against the pulpit.

Cheers
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:59   #30
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Jochen
Thank you!
RT
PS Great thread great tips....
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