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Old 08-06-2012, 09:24   #16
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Nigel:
I have made most (ok, maybe not all) mistakes whilst trying to furl my headsail singlehanded.
Luffing up in big winds and waves is easier said than done and you have only seconds to get the sail furling before you have to cleat the furling line and get back to the steering mechanism. ( I do not have electronic autopilot, only wind vane). It seems the first few furling turns take all the work, after that it gets easier.
Blanketing the headsail by turning downwind can work but you have only seconds to get mojo working (in big winds) before trouble.
I lost my 150 off Borneo by blanketing. It was night and could not see well in the squall. Damn sail double wrapped itself and was impossible to manage. Tore itself to shreds.
I think best bet is to round up, slowly, and furl like madman. I don't use any winch for furling. Too many things can/have gone wrong up at the head end and I don't want to break more things than necessary.
Put up with the flapping and crashing and get her done.
If you find a better way, please let me know. I have just commissioned a new headsail (100%) and not interested in shredding it for a while.
Pete
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:29   #17
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

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So, does anyone have any handy hints on what to do to try and keep that sheet under some semblence of control
The most handy hint I can offer, Nigel, is to heave to prior to furling. Let the boat stop as completely as it will, thus reducing apparent wind. At that point the windward jib sheet will be attached to the winch. Before releasing it, set the lazy sheet to the leeward primary so that it has a few meters of slack. Release and furl until the jib once again starts to draw, and then release the other sheet and furl the rest in. The boat should be forereaching at this point on the main alone.

Make sure to have plenty of sea room before trying this.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:30   #18
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Have you replaced the bearings in your furler? Both upper and lower bearings need replacement every few years. They are normally not very expensive, but a fair share of labor to do the job. When I bought my Peterson 44 it had an older Hood system on it that worked fine until I got caught in a squall. With the wind howling it would not budge, and I had to go forward and drop the sail. I was not happy at all with the system, but I changed the bearings and it worked great for several years until it started getting stiff again. This time I changed bearings at the first sign of a problem and that solved it. Bearings that are a little worn or faulty may work fine until they are put under high loading and then the friction goes way up. New bearings are a lot cheeper than a whole new system. Give it a try! My 2 cents worth._____Grant.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:35   #19
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

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Partially stall the sail by heading up about ten degrees off the wind and begin to furl the sail easing out the leeward sheet a little at a time. Using a remote control auto pilot helps perform this as you can adjust your position while furling. As you get closer to completely furling you continue to head up into the wind. Not perfect but feels more controlled to me.
This should work reasonably well. Do you have a winch for the furler? Having the leeward sheet with just enough wraps so you can slip it easy helps. I usually just lay the windward sheet around the winch lightly for just a touch of resistance. Crank some furling line, then release some Lee sheet. etc My boats had blocks on the furling line on every stancion... it's a two handed job with an autopilot on.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:36   #20
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Thanks for all the suggestions, nicest one is to get a Harken furler, but that will have to wait some time. In the meantime, I'll work on all the lead blocks etc and get the friction reduced as much as possible, then play about with halyard tension while furling, try and find a sweet spot. Windward sheet, a turn around the winch to try and keep that one from flogging around.
The furlers fitted are Facnor SD's, after much googling it appears they are bottom of the list in terms of easy rotation. Plus Facnor recommend they are not opened up unless as a last resort. They rotate pretty well with no load, no indication of bad bearings so far as I can tell
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:36   #21
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Fix the friction problem. There should be close to none. Then, don't ever flog the headsail. That is just wrong. Get an auto pilot of figure out how to steer with your legs. Ease the lee sheet just enough to depower the luff. Furl a little. Repeat.

Turning downwind is not a bad idea. But you should be able to do it upwind I do. My headsail is probably far bigger than yours.
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:05   #22
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

One of the most common problems I see is that the first block back from the furler is bent at a much steeper angle than it should be. Even over good running blocks a bend of 90 degrees can increase the friction significantly. Just recently in fact I had a customer that was planning on replacing his furling unit because it was so hard to furl, I littlerly went out, moved the forward block back to the end of his bow pulpit and down 6" and now it runs so smooth he doesn't need a winch to furl it even in 15kn.

The best way I have found when going upwind to furl is to slowly ease off on the sheet until just before the sail starts to flog. You are looking for a big bubble here. Cleat the sheet off, then haul in the furling line. This won't give you a lot at a time, but everything stays controlled, and the headsail shouldn't flog much, if at all. If doing this solo it does take some practice, or a good autopilot.
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Old 09-06-2012, 14:43   #23
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

The first lead block is quite aways back, maybe turning the furler line through about 30 degrees, nowhere near 90.

It does turn's quite easy if I go fwd and pull the line from between the first two lead sheaves, I believe some of the problem lies in the stanchion lead blocks, think there are 6 of them. I'll strip them all down when I get home, which is another 3 weeks and 4 days.
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Old 10-06-2012, 00:38   #24
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Nigel, if the manufacturer doesnt recommend changing bearings, then something is wrong. If you dont feel you are up to changing bearings then any good machine shop should be able to change them out at less cost than a new system. Checking the lead blocks should come first , then the furler bearings, My 2 cents worth____Grant.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:58   #25
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Something you might do as a check: re-reeve the furling line skipping most or all of the stanchion lead blocks and do a check to see if that reduces the friction. Not a permanent solution, but perhaps a useful diagnostic.

Another thing -- we have a smallish Facnor on our Solent stay. Works ok, but has steadily been loosing grease from the lower bearing set since new. No obvious way to renew it, either. Anyhow, perhaps yours has lost all its lube there... who knows?

Cheers,

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Old 22-07-2012, 12:57   #26
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Re: Taming Foresail Sheets when Single Handing

Just an update.
Removed a couple of the stanchion leads as they were really surplus to requirements. But, having had a good look at the set up, to my mind, Beneteau installed in the furlers 90 degrees out of the correct position. Noticed that with the furler drums empty, the furling line is against the vertical part of the guide. With the drum full, the line is hard up against the guide. If the furler was turned through 90 degrees it would not be an issue.
However, to do this will involve some major surgery.
I have now led the line out side the guide, and it made furling a lot easier. So, I'll have to come up with a way of extending the guide further outboard.
Did find that the staysail furler drum is a bit stiff to turn. Furlex have promised to send instructions on how to change out the bearings and seals.
For the time being, just going to need to keep a good eye on the furling line as they are now outside the guides.
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Old 22-07-2012, 15:12   #27
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Re: Taming Foresail Sheets when Single Handing

Biggest problem I found with my furler was it had a regular cleat to tie off and cleat was behind my position in the cockpit. Furling in strong winds I really wanted to be facing forward and have a jam cleat on that line.
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Old 22-07-2012, 15:30   #28
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Re: Taming Foresail Sheets when Single Handing

Just a small correction, in my last post I said Furlex, should have been FACNOR
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Old 22-07-2012, 15:45   #29
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Re: Taming Foresail Sheets when Single Handing

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Fix the friction problem. There should be close to none. Then, don't ever flog the headsail. That is just wrong. Get an auto pilot of figure out how to steer with your legs. Ease the lee sheet just enough to depower the luff. Furl a little. Repeat.

Turning downwind is not a bad idea. But you should be able to do it upwind I do. My headsail is probably far bigger than yours.
Hi Daddle,

Genoa size is 60m2, not small, and is pretty heavy sail cloth. This may contribute to the problem, the weight of the sail.
After I made a few changes, ( see previous post), I was able to furl the sail head to wind with about 12kts across the deck, just by hauling by hand on the furling line. So, slowly winning
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Old 22-07-2012, 15:57   #30
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Re: Taming Foresail Sheets when Single Handing

i use autopilot to steer at sea--makes a huge difference
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