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Old 07-08-2012, 07:56   #31
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Re: Using Roller Furling

You said you didn't want to hear it, but tough, it's the main thing you did wrong, you waited too long to reef...Would you have rather gone to the bow? If so get rid of the roller..
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:03   #32
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Originally Posted by rtbates View Post
You said you didn't want to hear it, but tough, it's the main thing you did wrong, you waited too long to reef...Would you have rather gone to the bow? If so get rid of the roller..
Have had breeze build from 10 kt to 35 kt in around 60 seconds - in clear air with no warning. It happens to the best of us. Sooner or later.

With the furler properly set up and in good condition, I've been able to furl my 780 square foot genoa by hand (no winch) in 35 kt. It's a LOT quicker than using a winch. That's a lot more sail than your 36 footer has. If yours doesn't work that well, you should be looking for what's wrong with your set-up.

As to the choice of furler vs hanks, I'll go with the furler every time:
  1. I don't have to go up to the bow in the middle of the night in a blow. I'm a lot less likely to go overboard from the cockpit.
  2. I don't have to wear myself out wrestling with a sail on the foredeck getting it down and under control.
  3. I don't have to wear myself out wrestling with another sail on the foredeck, getting it rigged and set.
  4. In the event something goes wrong with my genoa furler, in the vast majority of cases I can unfurl the sail and pull it down and wear myself out on the foredeck .... (I've never had to implement this strategy so far, but at least I know it's there.) That's just like a hanked on sail.
  5. In the event of an override or jumped turns that won't permit the sail to unfurl or furl, I can cut the furling line at the swivel so that the furling line no longer holds the stay and allows the sail to unfurl so I can drop it and wear myself out .... (I've never had to implement this strategy so far, but at least I know it's there.) Again, with an extra step, that's about the way it would be with a hanked on sail.
  6. I have a stout staysail that serves very nicely as a storm jib. I can go to weather with it very nicely when I need to (and when I want to sail through an anchorage with controlled speed and good visibility). It's on a furler too.
IMHO, there was a time when Hiscock's comments and the Pardey's comments about furling were quite legitimate and stood as very good advice. I think the improvements in furlers leave those bits outdated and of limited current advice. Of course, in the Pardey's case, the economics of furler vs hanks is an important consideration, as limiting cost has always been a key aspect of their choices and their writings. That means if you have a furler that dates from the seventies, you might be prudent to consider the naysayers regarding the problems and limitations. If you have a current, up-to-date piece of gear, with state of the art engineering and materials, you're in a different situation and might benefit from some different thinking.

If you single hand or sail short-handed, or have a lot of novices in your crew, I think furlers are all the more important - particularly for the speed and safety of getting sail reduced when it's needed.

As to reliability, I'd point out that the Volvo Ocean Race boats all relied on furlers for their +/- 30,000 miles of racing, much of it in fairly testy conditions.

Fair winds and following seas to all.
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Old 07-08-2012, 16:57   #33
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Re: Using Roller Furling

Agree with all the pro furler comments and would only add that like every bit of kit on the boat it requires maintenance, knowledge on how to use and needs to be set up and rigged properly.

Money is always the ultimate limiting factor but maximize what you have and can afford.

A friend races with an asym in a sock. The sock is too small and he always struggles on the sets to get the sail out of the sock. Loses every race at the windward mark. Putting up with the wrong gear is frustrating.
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Old 07-08-2012, 17:23   #34
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Originally Posted by LH44 Anne View Post
Have had breeze build from 10 kt to 35 kt in around 60 seconds - in clear air with no warning. It happens to the best of us. Sooner or later.

With the furler properly set up and in good condition, I've been able to furl my 780 square foot genoa by hand (no winch) in 35 kt. It's a LOT quicker than using a winch. That's a lot more sail than your 36 footer has. If yours doesn't work that well, you should be looking for what's wrong with your set-up.

As to the choice of furler vs hanks, I'll go with the furler every time:
  1. I don't have to go up to the bow in the middle of the night in a blow. I'm a lot less likely to go overboard from the cockpit.
  2. I don't have to wear myself out wrestling with a sail on the foredeck getting it down and under control.
  3. I don't have to wear myself out wrestling with another sail on the foredeck, getting it rigged and set.
  4. In the event something goes wrong with my genoa furler, in the vast majority of cases I can unfurl the sail and pull it down and wear myself out on the foredeck .... (I've never had to implement this strategy so far, but at least I know it's there.) That's just like a hanked on sail.
  5. In the event of an override or jumped turns that won't permit the sail to unfurl or furl, I can cut the furling line at the swivel so that the furling line no longer holds the stay and allows the sail to unfurl so I can drop it and wear myself out .... (I've never had to implement this strategy so far, but at least I know it's there.) Again, with an extra step, that's about the way it would be with a hanked on sail.
  6. I have a stout staysail that serves very nicely as a storm jib. I can go to weather with it very nicely when I need to (and when I want to sail through an anchorage with controlled speed and good visibility). It's on a furler too.
IMHO, there was a time when Hiscock's comments and the Pardey's comments about furling were quite legitimate and stood as very good advice. I think the improvements in furlers leave those bits outdated and of limited current advice. Of course, in the Pardey's case, the economics of furler vs hanks is an important consideration, as limiting cost has always been a key aspect of their choices and their writings. That means if you have a furler that dates from the seventies, you might be prudent to consider the naysayers regarding the problems and limitations. If you have a current, up-to-date piece of gear, with state of the art engineering and materials, you're in a different situation and might benefit from some different thinking.

If you single hand or sail short-handed, or have a lot of novices in your crew, I think furlers are all the more important - particularly for the speed and safety of getting sail reduced when it's needed.

As to reliability, I'd point out that the Volvo Ocean Race boats all relied on furlers for their +/- 30,000 miles of racing, much of it in fairly testy conditions.

Fair winds and following seas to all.

If you have a properly operating furling system, you will be more successful if you avoid using a winch. Under tension, the winch will force an extremely tight furl and you risk running out of line on the drum. The better procedure is to release pressure on the sail and furl by hand taking advantage of your back muscles to pull on the line. We used to have a 411 with a 150% genoa and furling by hand after reducing pressure on the sail (either by releasing the sheet or going up wind) was always faster than using a winch. On our new Sabre 426 it is even easier because we only have a 100% blade and the furling equipment is new and of a higher quality.
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Old 07-08-2012, 18:47   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58
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.
WOW.....gotta get one of them! I love my furlers, but you need to practice and always shade with the main and control the clew. And really ya need a autohelm, even if its just a wheel brake.....
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Old 07-08-2012, 19:06   #36
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Re: Using Roller Furling

I read through the posts and no one mentioned the back stay?!?!?

When I fly the 150 Genoa, it will not unroll easily and an rolling is a bear, if I do not harden the backstay. The absence of luff foam also makes the sail difficult to furl.

The 135 has foam, but it too is dramatically easier to furl and unfurl with a hardened backstay that will tighten up the forestay.

Bill
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Old 07-08-2012, 19:18   #37
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Re: Using Roller Furling

I've been poorer ( hanked on sails)and I' ve been richer (roller furling), and believe me richer is better.
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Old 07-08-2012, 22:39   #38
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post

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.
That's our basic configuration and a reason why a hanked on yankee is fine. The staysail sits on its own boom and tacks by itself; super easy to manage. The yankee is 370 square feet and gets hauled down first when there's any sign of serious wind. We have a drifter for light conditions.

I really do think though that light air sailing, or the lack there of, causes a lot of motoring. When the only sails you carry are 10oz dacron and a 140 genoa, you're not going to do much under 10 knots of wind, which is pretty normal around here.
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Old 07-08-2012, 23:21   #39
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Re: Using Roller Furling

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
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,

Jim
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