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Old 11-03-2013, 17:29   #16
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Re: Furler foresail changes at sea

A word of caution, if your headsail hasnt been out of the grove for a year like many... it may be VERY hard to get down. If you intend to change, I would suggest pulling it down now and then.

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Old 11-03-2013, 18:09   #17
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Re: Furler foresail changes at sea

Originally Posted by lockie View Post
In each case, I run a temporary "sheet" from the clew, inside the shrouds to the main sheet winch. Then as the sail is dropped, I can flake it roughly and then roll it up. It's not the neatest job, but at least it will fit through the hatch.
You've basically already discovered the best way to do it, especially the part about a temporary sheet holding the sail steady.

I think you're better off flaking a headsail offwind because you've got a better chance of keeping the sail dry, and because the apparent wind decreases on deck. If you've got three people, having someone on the halyard lowering the sail to crew on the tack and clew is a sweet arrangement. Then, once the sail is flaked, roll it from the tack so that next time you use it the sheets can be tied to the clew before you unroll the sail.

Is this an operation you're likely to perform often? If so, you may want to look into a long-roll sail bag. Any sailmaker who deals with racers will know about these. It will allow you to flake the sail directly into the bag, which you then zip up prior to folding the sail. The bag is basically the same dimension as the boat's J, and has a full-length zipper.

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Old 11-03-2013, 18:48   #18
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Re: Furler foresail changes at sea

I found that changing from a now! to large head-sail to a smaller takes way to long in rough conditions if you take the time to fold roll stow etc so I had a piece of webbing that attached to the toe-rail with a cross pieces about every foot or so with quick-connect buckles that could be cinched around the sail and lower life-line this allowed the sail to be dropped fast and kept under control while new sail was being tended to,after new sail was set and I felt that boarding wave were going to be a problem the whole thing could be unclipped and stowed
This addition made the amount of time spent on the bow in bad weather much less and cost was minimal

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