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Old 14-02-2011, 14:20   #16
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We went away from the furler.......90% of the time the boat loves the 110% headsail, too windy for that sail? I'd be pulling the 135 off of the furler anyway to swap to a smaller sail, so with the hanks it's eaiser.
This isn't for everyone though.
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Old 14-02-2011, 14:25   #17
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Daddle, I'm not sure that I understand your comment that roller furling leaves you with the wrong sail about 75% of the time
I would regularly switch from 155%, to 120%, to 95% and to whatever my smallest headsail is. I've seen attempts at roller reefing headsails. To someone who is serious about sail trim, and trying to make good time to weather in all conditions, roller reefing of headsails is a very poor substitute for the real thing. Even with foam luffs.

I have a 135% on a roller furler now. I'm not liking it much. I've learned to put up with having to sail slow in the lulls and furl it completely in the squalls when I'd normally hoist a more appropriate sail.

Call me crazy, but I'm one of those rare cruisers who lowers, folds and stows the RF headsail if anchored for more than a few nights.
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Old 14-02-2011, 14:27   #18
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1) We had our big jib (a.wrongly k.a. genoa) made at Boding Sweden with foam luff pads. This sail was just as good reffed deeply (50% and beyond) as it was reefed 20% or less. In fact it was worst at full hoist (one cannot have everything - the sail was cut very flat to start with). I have seen sails from UKSails and N-S made to furl from 10% to 60% without any set issues.

2) The most common issue I have seen with furling sails (including on my own boat) were too big and way too heavy genoas set on the furler. If there is only one jib/furler I would set a flattish, heavish jib on it that can be furled to any reef point. The light sails can be most of the time flown from the outer fore stay - on hanks or free flying, and they have to be light!

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Old 14-02-2011, 14:44   #19
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I like the idea of having an extra wire haylard for my twin sails(can't wait to try them by the way) Thanks pete7.
I am still up in the air weather to get a furller or not to. All great points from everyone Thanks
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Old 14-02-2011, 15:03   #20
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Furlers add weight and windage aloft, are expensive and despite proponent's protestations of reliability, do occasionally malfunction. Not always dangerously, but there it is. It seems the height of foolhardiness to take a perfectly workable system and change it out for something heavy and expensive.
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Old 14-02-2011, 15:07   #21
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I'll go back to the original question: is roller-furling a must-have? The answer is clearly not. Many of us have sailed many miles without roller furling. Which is not to say that it isn't a great convenience, or that you wouldn't like having one. It just isn't a must-have. It is also an expensive conversion to make. As others have noted, roller furling requires sails designed for the purpose, not converted sails. I would recommend sailing with what you have, assuming your headsails are in good shape now. When the headsails need replacing then make the decision; you will be more experienced and have a better idea of what will work best for you. Be clear: the best time to make this decision is when you need new sails, and not just because you are preparing to start cruising. Before leaving for cruising most of us put too many things on the "to-do" list because we want to get everything "right " before leaving. That is a recipe for delay and expense. No cruising boat is ever finished - don't waste your life preparing; get it good enough and go! You will have time later to "perfect" your boat.
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Old 14-02-2011, 15:16   #22
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Amen Ben! Not a must have.
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Old 14-02-2011, 17:41   #23
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Furlers add weight and windage aloft, are expensive and despite proponent's protestations of reliability, do occasionally malfunction. Not always dangerously, but there it is. It seems the height of foolhardiness to take a perfectly workable system and change it out for something heavy and expensive.
Ben
But you do not have to drag the replacement sail fore, swap, drag the ex aft, pack, store, get wet, pissed off, only to learn the wind eased and it's time to swap sails again.

You are correct in what you say but you are talking about one side of the equation only.

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Old 14-02-2011, 18:07   #24
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I've got a Harken Cruising unit. It's very convenient, & if singlehanding, the only way to go.

I find it a little strange that I almost always read posts here saying nobody wants to sail to weather- but I also read posts marking reduced windward performance as a reason to steer clear of roller furling. Yes, rolling up the sail reduces it's performance- but when the wind picks up, you're trying to reduce the sail's efficiency anyway, that's why you partially furled it. If you need to claw off a lee shore, that's what your storm jib is for.

Does a roller furler add weight aloft? Not in any meaningful way. Does it add windage? Yes. Does it add expense? Yes, but less than a good autopilot, which is what you'd need to steer the boat while hanking on a headsail by yourself.

Perhaps, if you wanted the convenience of roller furling & the quick sail changes & efficiency of hanked-on sails, you might consider a Solent rig?
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Old 14-02-2011, 22:52   #25
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if singlehanding, the only way to go.
Nonsense. I have sailed a long way alone, and no roller furler. There is another way. There are arguments for/against which I see no need to repeat. I just note that there is a (reasonable) choice between hanks and roller furling. Make your own choice. If your headsails are in decent condition then give it a try as is before spending $5k on something different.

I am impressed that daddle frequently strips off his sail and stows it. At the other extreme many folks leave the sails on the headstay all winter. I have seen many torn apart during winter storms. At the least it shortens the time before the sun-protective strip needs replacing. Apparently some have more money then brains...
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Old 15-02-2011, 05:09   #26
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I like the idea of having an extra wire haylard for my twin sails(can't wait to try them by the way) Thanks pete7.
I am still up in the air weather to get a furller or not to. All great points from everyone Thanks
Mark, worth having a search on here for "twizzle" and postings by Smacksman and others. Some interesting videos on his web page too.

Twistle Rigs

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Old 15-02-2011, 05:15   #27
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id say it depends on what you value more: simplicity or convenience?
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Old 15-02-2011, 06:08   #28
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A roller furler has the wrong sail on it about 75% of the time. And makes shorthanded sail changes difficult. Otherwise it's a great idea.
Which is why the foam luff is handy. Not perfect, but you can simply furl the headsail smaller.
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Old 15-02-2011, 06:22   #29
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Well... having used both I can tell you as you get older as a singlehander they rise to a higher position on the 'Must Have List'
In the 80's I scorned furlers and engines... I was on a sailboat... today... given the choice I'll take the furler on a voyage... I'd rather do without the engine...
I'm not as strong and fast as I once was... but that does not mean I cannot manage with just a hank set..
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