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Old 08-09-2015, 21:03   #1
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Furling very difficult

I'm having a very hard time furling both the Genoa or screacher on my Gemini 105Mc. (Im new to the boat and new to sailing)
The Genoa sits on a Furlex 200s and the screecher is on a simpler little drum and I can't recall the manufacturer. In both cases I'm having a lot of trouble getting the furling started and even after it's started rolling up, I have to pull really really hard to get it to roll up. Any tips?
I've checked the drums and they roll very easily on their own.
The furling lines are not new, but don't seem very worn.
I think I might not be heading up correctly and or not letting out the sheets enough. Should I let the sheets out until the sail starts flapping and then pull on the furling line?
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:19   #2
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Re: Furling very difficult

Depending on wind strength and heading, yes, the sail should be luffing or about to luff in order to furl. Only in very light air can you furl the foresail while it is still full and pulling.
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:15   #3
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Re: Furling very difficult

Is your furling line straight back to the cockpit or does it turn 180 +/- through a block? Much easier if it does. When I bought my boat, the line was straight back to the cockpit and the previous owner used a vise grip to secure it. That is not the way you want to do it.

Yes, you will need to luff the sail when you furl it. If it is windy, you will need to luff it quite a bit. Just try to pull it in quickly to minimize the flailing.
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:39   #4
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Re: Furling very difficult

The furling line of the Genoa leads to a block on the starboard bow (it's a cat) then straight back to the cockpit. The screacher furling line simply wraps around one of the pulpit stanchions on the starboard bow. I will be adding a block to it as well.
I think I wasn't letting it luff enough, but single handed, it's difficult to ease the sheet while pulling in the furling line at the same time. If I let the sheet go completely it flaps around like mad but I think I could then furl it pretty quickly (I hope)
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be trying it out this weekend.
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:45   #5
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Re: Furling very difficult

Forget about heading up. Turn down and run deep, furling will be a cinch!!


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Old 09-09-2015, 06:49   #6
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Re: Furling very difficult

With the sail furled, try turning the furling drum by hand to see if the drum is tight, it should turn very easily.

Other causes are top swivels not turning freely. You'll need to unfurl the sail and then drop the sail to access the top swivels. If they are tight, a good rinse in hot fresh water can work a treat.


Halyard tension, if it's way too tight, that can cause a problem with furling.

Then there is also halyard wrap (google it), which if not sorted out can lead to damaging the forestay.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:19   #7
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Re: Furling very difficult

My furling line leaves the drum and runs through a series of stanchion blocks back to the stern, through a Lewmar line stopper on the rail and finally through a Harkin ratchet block to where I coil and hang the line. The final ratchet block turns the line perhaps 160 degrees and makes it easier to pull in. The ratchet block allows me to let it out slowly. The line stopper on the rail lets me reef at any point. The setup works very well.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:33   #8
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Re: Furling very difficult

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Forget about heading up. Turn down and run deep, furling will be a cinch!!
This is the right answer, unless you have something wrong mechanically.

Unless the wind is quite light, it's much better to furl headsails heading deep downwind - sheet them way out to relieve the load and hide them behind the main (if it's up). The sail won't luff at all, it won't roll up as tight, and it'll thank you with longer life.

So, plan ahead if arriving at your destination on the wind to have room to turn and run deep for as long as it takes to furl, then head back up under main alone or motor main to eventually be head to wind to drop your main.

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Old 09-09-2015, 08:22   #9
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Re: Furling very difficult

Yep, I wish I could remember to do that too ^^
Also drop your jib and rinse out the upper furling gear with fresh water. Sometimes it gets a big crusty with salt crystals etc.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:47   #10
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Re: Furling very difficult

Great suggestions. I would have never thought to head downwind.
I knew I was doing something wrong
Couple more questions..
Does it furl any easier on one tack vs another? Furling lines run on the starboard side.
How do you keep some tension on the sheet while furling if you are sailing single handed? Just a wrap or two on the winch?
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:54   #11
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Re: Furling very difficult

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Originally Posted by SaltyB View Post
Does it furl any easier on one tack vs another? Furling lines run on the starboard side.
How do you keep some tension on the sheet while furling if you are sailing single handed? Just a wrap or two on the winch?
It shouldn't make any difference which tack you furl on. When doing this by yourself, yes, just a wrap or two of the sheet on the winch. This will be much easier when you're downwind.

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Old 09-09-2015, 13:10   #12
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Re: Furling very difficult

Everybody already said it, downwind blanketed by the main. Makes it easy.

You can see if it's fouled by doing some slip-sailing when there's no wind. Pull the genny out, furl it back. No wind should be easy (and likely is) - then your problem was too much wind in the sail.
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Old 09-09-2015, 13:13   #13
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Re: Furling very difficult

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Forget about heading up. Turn down and run deep, furling will be a cinch!!
Yep, my recommendation as well.
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Old 09-09-2015, 13:22   #14
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Re: Furling very difficult

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Yep, I wish I could remember to do that too ^^
Also drop your jib and rinse out the upper furling gear with fresh water. Sometimes it gets a big crusty with salt crystals etc.
My upper swivel seemed to be spinning freely but when trying to unfurl the jib it appeared to bind.

I sprayed a bunch of the McLube in there and haven't had any trouble since.

So I would say it's not enough to spin it and say it's running freely, just a little bit of headstay tension could be enough to cause it to bind up.
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Old 09-09-2015, 14:34   #15
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Re: Furling very difficult

Start by furling at the dock. Does it furl easily? If not, you've got something wrong. Some good suggestions here on what to look for. Even when loaded I don't need to use a winch to furl my jib.

When furling, you want to keep a little bit of tension on the sheet so that the sail furls without wrinkles. Heading down works great, but you should be able to furl upwind by taking the pressure off the sail.

As for single handing, do you have an autopilot? Let it steer while you attend to the sail. I can furl in less than 15 seconds.
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