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Old 14-04-2009, 19:56   #1
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Furling Headsails

Just wondering what tricks people have for getting the headsail around the innerforestay when tacking or gybing, it tends to get caugth. We tried both part furling it and just hauling on the sheets at the right time, both worked but furling gat a better result but is that necessary ?

Until now we had only sailed with hanked on headsails, we do like the furlur, but need to refine the process.
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Old 14-04-2009, 21:00   #2
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It does require some finesse with the sheets, and in light air it can still be a problem. Here's what we do:

Use the smallest knots you can to secure the sheets to the clew. We use a "luggage tag" or "cow hitch" at the middle of a double-length line. This is less likely to snag on the inner stay than a more bulky knot.

If you are sailing with the staysail unfurled, don't tack the staysail until you get the headsail across. The staysail catches the headsail and guides it through the slot.

In light air, we have someone ready to go forward and pull the headsail through the slot. I usually try brute force on the sheet, but sometimes that doesn't do the job.

I've considered a "tricing line", which is tied to the headsail clew, led through a small block at the tack, then run aft to the cockpit. You pull on the tricing line to bring the headsail clew forward during tacking. I've not actually tried this, because it is just one more line to snag on something, and we don't usually have that much trouble tacking anyway.

The classical way is to have a removable inner stay that you can secure aft, but I have a staysail furler which makes it difficult to do this.
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Old 15-04-2009, 03:09   #3
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See also:
Tacking a Cutter
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Old 15-04-2009, 04:29   #4
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Thanks for the great info & link, that gives us plenty to try out on our next sail.

First thing we will do is sort out the knots and sheets to reduce friction and catch points, then play with different techniques to get the sail around.

PS: We have a self tacking staysail.
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Old 15-04-2009, 05:24   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ribbony View Post
...First thing we will do is sort out the knots and sheets to reduce friction and catch points...
Try a Lark's Head knot with a one-piece sheet on the foresail. Don't bother with bowlines and two separate sheets.
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