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Old 05-07-2014, 23:24   #76
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Re: Sail life

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
My boat continued to turn down wind, the boat eventually gybed then tacked and when it was all done the genny had wrapped backwards around the forestay. It was impossible to unwrap or furl and I had to drop it on the deck.
Been there, done that (without the close encounter of the boat kind), tried to buy the T shirt but they were out of stock
I ended up motoring in circles to unwrap the genny.
I am sure there were puzzled people on shore wondering what that fool was doing out there going in circles

Is it even possible to drop a wrapped genoa that is on a furler - I would think that everything would be real tight and it would be impossible to slide the sail out of the foil slot.

I am so itching to try things out in high wind with the adjusted fairlead for the furler and a winch as a new option .....
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Old 06-07-2014, 00:05   #77
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Re: Sail life

I don't know if this is furler specific, but my Harken furler manual states that a tight forestay and a slightly loosened jib halyard makes it easier to furl. Easing the jib halyard unloads the offset loads on the swivel bearings making it easier for them to rotate. Loosen too much and you can get halyard wrap.

Tensioning the sheets while furling just makes it hard. In light airs I tension the sheet to get a tight wrap, but when the wind is blowing hard I've found I don't need to tension the sheet to get a decent wrap, and anyway if I'm overpowered I'm more interested in getting it without problems or breaking anything in than worrying about a perfect wrap.

Harken also states you should be able to get the sail furled without a winch, but if you do need to use a winch to watch to make sure you're not getting a halyard wrap.


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Today I went out to the boat to look over the furler. Turns out it's a Shaefer 2100. With no sail on it turns completely free on both upper and lower bearings. I flushed them out and things seem ok but of course I will have to check with full halyard tension when the sail is back.
One interesting thing I found - the steel cage of the furling drum was located in such a manner as to have the furling control line run over the edge of the cage making maybe a 30 degree angle with an empty drum and possibly upward of 45 degrees when the drum is full. Well no excrement it would be hard to turn under load ... duuuhhh
I fixed her all up and am looking forward to trying the 'new and improved' furler towards the end of next week when the sail is back.
I will also make an effort to keep a bit of tension on the sheets as I haul the sail in and on the furling line as I haul the sail out - I have a habit of letting the lines run slack which causes a really soft sail furl and a possible overlap of the furling control line on the drum.
Checking out the furler was an excellent suggestion and I am confident it will be a substantial improvement.
The Furler manual warns against use of the winch for furling but the more I think about it the more I like the idea in difficult circumstances with the proviso of being careful. I think I will implement 'careful' by limiting the wraps around the winch so that an overload causes the control line to slip. I will still need to test that theory of course but all-in-all I learned a lot from this thread!
Thank you for all the replies !!!
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:28   #78
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Re: Sail life

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While I grant you that I am lacking experience, I can tell you that people jump over multiple cars with a motorcycle all the time. Some even jump over large trenches in the ground called canyons. That still isn't a reason for me to do the same.

Sure, if the **** hits the fan with enough of the brown stuff involved then you might have to try and take the sail down even if you are single handing but if you do that in todays day and age as a routine plan then I have a big canyon for you to jump over - it's really not a big deal with enough practice.

Being in my mid fifties, I have acquired enough common sense to not pull stupid maneuvers like that without a really really really good reason to do it.
I think comparing a routine sail change manoeuvre with a stunt that regularly mangles its adepts is... a little over the top?

Earlier you were challenging the concept of changing headsails in any weather, well this is how you do it.

Now Jim's point is valid, you were having trouble trying to change sail on a furler section. This is a different job, but you don't normally do this at sea other than as a planned move in good conditions, if at all. It takes two people to do it efficiently.
This is not the procedure you would use to switch to a smaller sail or storm jib on a boat with a furler. This is why I was suggesting adding an inner forestay if you are going to sail in winds above the limit for your sail on the furler. I never suggested ditching the furler altogether.

What you need is a setup that works for the type of sailing you are doing and also capable of seeing you through if you get caught out. You can come up with one that includes a furler or not, but "furler and nothing else" isn't a good option as you have already discovered.

Now when it comes to how you change hanked headsails, racing and cruising are two very different things because you can take your time and minimise your risks. If you really want to do it the hard way, do it upwind on a small boat while hanging on in order not to fall overboard. As far as I am concerned, there is no need for that. Getting it down behind the main is immensely easier and safer even if it means losing a couple of miles.
If your furler fails (breaking the drum at the bottom or control line is a classic), you can end up having to get your full genny down and out of the groove in more or less any wind strength. They don't come down nicely. Having a few ideas about how to get it down is not wasted knowledge. If there is too much wind, in my experience you lose the sail almost no matter what.

If you compare with a single headsail setup and sail in strong winds areas, a hanked set of sails delivers rather more than a "marginal difference in performance" as well as a lot more sail life. Having the right sail forward and sailing properly also makes a huge difference in terms of safety in heavy weather.

As you said, every time you go out, you can learn something and get better. It is great. It is a steep learning curve, but don't cut your options short either. What "everybody does" can be far from what you should be doing. If you go out and sail in 30 knots when you don't have to, you are already not mainstream.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:12   #79
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Re: Sail life

Fair enough, thanks for clarifying!
I am still trying to wrap my mind around this whole sail change thing but I am going to keep an open mind. Sorry I reacted badly to your previous post.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:47   #80
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Re: Sail life

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
SNIP

More, I was thinking, what if the furler line breaks while the sail is out? What is this guy going to do?

SNIP
Dealing with this problem would certainly be weather dependent as well as how many folks were on the crew.

My screecher is on an endless furler and once when sailing the line jumped off (I was sailing with guests and the screecher was released while the furler was still secured causing it to jump off, something that is unlikely if I am single handing but quite possible when two folks are handling lines, a lesson I am glad I learned when the weather was nice.). Since my screecher is only used in somewhat light airs (maybe 10-15 knots most) I headed up, lowered the dinghy, went forward to the end of the bow sprit and put the line back on the drum and had one of the guests furl the screecher.

If I was alone I would probably head up and simply lower the halyard for the screecher. I know there is the possibility of the sail and lines getting fouled in the props, especially in very bad weather. The working jib can easily be reached from the fordeck and would be much easier to deal with.

Not saying Murphy's Law is not applicable. But checking lines, and everything else, before leaving on a sail is always a good idea.
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Old 06-07-2014, 13:05   #81
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Re: Sail life

Well a lot of sailing is problem solving. Equipment failures create opportunity for creativity.

We've had and/or I have seen spinnaker gear and or genny gear failures whereby the sail was not controllable or dousable.

We've gathered the genny and wrapped it with the spin halyard to get home where we can fix it.

I saw a guy do the opposite with a spinnaker - i.e. gathered it and wrapped the genny halyard around it to get home.

Normal operations are "normal" and abnormal operations are opportunities...

I like what OSS says about challenging conventional wisdom. We sailed a race with an asym out and decided to add about 60% genny to it. We adjusted genny length by watching the backwinding of the mainsail and played around enough to end up with an unusual and faster sail plan than our competition.
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Old 09-07-2014, 18:22   #82
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Re: Sail life

Update: Sail is repaired with a hollowed leach and back up. I am scheduled to leave for a few days tomorrow but do not expect anything past 15 knts.

I am faced with another problem though .... the new sail. I know I want a 135% Dacron Genoa with luff foam and Sunbrella UV protection. 7-8 oz material. After picking myself up off the floor after hearing the price ($3200 Canadian plus taxes), I found out that there is Dacron and Dacron. Apparently all kinds of Dacron. To somebody who has never bought a sail before, this is rather challenging.
I have two quotes, two differnet materials, two different set of dimensions (!!) - one based on published specs and one based on measuring the existing sail. I am assuming that either loft would come out and do an actual measurement on the boat. I have however nothing really that says one sail maker is better/different than the next.
I have asked Leitch & McBride and UK Sailmakers in Sidney BC for quotes and they are roughly in the same ballpark but there are many many details to a sail and I am ignorant enough that I couldn't possibly spec them all (for example details on construction of foot,head and clew). I also don't know if it is customary to spec these things and don't want to look like an idiot spec'ing every little detail.
One item that I would like to double check with the group - would a genoa that could be used in 35 knots be ok to have a single three step zig-zag seam or should double stitching be spec'd?
How would you even begin spec'ing the reinforcements on the tack/clew/head ?
Am I being too anal about all this ?
If we were talking a single boat unit I would probably just pick a sailmaker and see what they deliver and call it a learning experience but when we are talking 3.5 boat units that is a lot of money for a learning experience.

Any thoughts (and comments about sail makers) would be appreciated and would go a long way to making this decision easier.
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Old 09-07-2014, 19:37   #83
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Re: Sail life

A 135% genoa should never be up in 35 knots. Have it down or furled by 20 unless you are running and poled out.
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Old 09-07-2014, 19:42   #84
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Re: Sail life

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How do you know when a sail is past it's prime and not worth patching any more?
It's when you have enough money to buy a new one.
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Old 09-07-2014, 19:53   #85
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Re: Sail life

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A 135% genoa should never be up in 35 knots. Have it down or furled by 20 unless you are running and poled out.
The OP said he originally reripped his 135% genoa singlehanding in 35 knots.
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Old 09-07-2014, 19:55   #86
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Re: Sail life

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The OP said he originally reripped his 135% genoa singlehanding in 35 knots.
True. Hence the problem.
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Old 09-07-2014, 21:48   #87
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Re: Sail life

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True. Hence the problem.
Guys, that ship has sailed a while ago We are now talking sail replacement!

(and to set things straight, the 35 knots came up real fast and I only had time to reef the main at this stage)
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Old 09-07-2014, 22:02   #88
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Re: Sail life

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SNIP


One item that I would like to double check with the group - would a genoa that could be used in 35 knots be ok

SNIP
Several folks have commented a 135% genoa should not be used if the wind is over 20 knots, with the possible exception of running down wind.

It is still not clear what the OP means by "a genoa that could be used in 35 knots", but there does seem to be some agreements that lots of folks would be shortening sail well before that.
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Old 09-07-2014, 22:13   #89
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Re: Sail life

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Several folks have commented a 135% genoa should not be used if the wind is over 20 knots, with the possible exception of running down wind.

It is still not clear what the OP means by "a genoa that could be used in 35 knots", but there does seem to be some agreements that lots of folks would be shortening sail well before that.
Let me clarify ....
I tend to shorten sails around 20 knts. Depending on a number of circumstances it might stretch a bit higher but I should be well reefed by 35 knots. However, **** happens ....
I would like the new genoa to be strong enough to not start ripping seams if the brown stuff hits the fan and the sail is out in 35 knots. Hence, the question of 'should the seams have double three step zig-zag seams or is a single one ok'.
I hope that clarifies things enough.
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Old 09-07-2014, 22:27   #90
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Re: Sail life

Double stitching is arguably more durable. As far as Web attachment and design, yes you might be overspecifying.

At this point I would ask both sailmakers what they do and why they recommend doing it that way.
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