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Old 08-06-2012, 03:18   #1
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Taming Foresail Sheets when Single Handing

As it hints in the title, foresail sheets can prove a problem for me when I'm single handing and either furling the sail completely, or just putting a couple of rolls in to shorten sail.
When I first started, in my ignorance, I would luff up, and haul on the furler line, and make an attempt to keep some sort of control on the leeward sheet. The weather sheet would be flogging itself all over the place, think I lost my port side light last year to this. Well, I know I lost the light, but I think the sheet must have smacked it.
So through trial and error, I now find the best way is to turn downwind and then furl..
If the wind is strong, I'll leave the main up, then go to a broad reach, and use the main to give a lee to the foresail.
However, in strong wind conditions, even this method does not prevent at least one sheet from taking off and smacking the cr*p out of itself. So, does anyone have any handy hints on what to do to try and keep that sheet under some semblence of control
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:57   #2
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

twin forestays and hanked on sails?????????????
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:15   #3
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

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.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:29   #4
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

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twin forestays and hanked on sails?????????????
Hi Alex,
there is an inner a forestay with a roller staysail.
1) Cost of converting to hank on
2) I might struggle on my own trying to drop and secure a foresail, dont know, never tried it, just seems it could end up a bag of worms.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:34   #5
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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.
Did not have much luck with this, mainly because of the friction on the furling line, it passes through a lead block on the foredeck, then six stanchion sheaves, then a turning block at the cockpit.
The best fix would be a really good furler, the one there at the moment is an old Facnor.
Found I had to ease the sheet a lot before I could start to furl, and by then, the sail was really starting to flog
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:41   #6
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Hi Alex,
there is an inner a forestay with a roller staysail.
1) Cost of converting to hank on
2) I might struggle on my own trying to drop and secure a foresail, dont know, never tried it, just seems it could end up a bag of worms.
twas me being faecitious!
there really is no free lunch,apart from having a effective furler that rolls fast,or having a smaller high cut jib,though you could try larger diam sheets(16mm?) might help being a bit heavier.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:10   #7
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
twas me being faecitious!
there really is no free lunch,apart from having a effective furler that rolls fast,or having a smaller high cut jib,though you could try larger diam sheets(16mm?) might help being a bit heavier.

16 miily sheets fitted start of year, Has helped a bit, but leave bigger bruises
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:32   #8
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

I fitted an electric capstan to the furling line, like

Seawinch C400 Anchor Capstan [AWJN-C400] - NZ$796.31 : SHOP :: Chains, Ropes & Anchors :: The Maritime Bondage Specialists

Its 200 lb pull let me keep a bit of tension on the sheet and bring it in quicker, but it didn't have enough power to damage the furler. I still tended to reach off a bit to furl when it got really heavy, as the flogging sheets would hit the dodger windows otherwise.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:04   #9
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

I could use the powered halyard winch, but not comfortable winching the furling line. Couple of years back, crew managed to unlay the forestay using the winch on a halyard wrap.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:55   #10
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Put the lazy sheet around a winch - 2 turns unless it is light air. Ease the jibsheet in use by less than you were used to before going to the furler, enough to have the front half of the jib luffing and the back half drawing. After turning the roller a few times you may need to ease the sheet a little more. Be sure that there is drag on the lazy sheet the whole time.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:40   #11
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Did not have much luck with this, mainly because of the friction on the furling line, it passes through a lead block on the foredeck, then six stanchion sheaves, then a turning block at the cockpit.
The best fix would be a really good furler, the one there at the moment is an old Facnor.
Found I had to ease the sheet a lot before I could start to furl, and by then, the sail was really starting to flog
Nigel--

You may find that easing your halyard somewhat when you're ready to furl will make furling a bit easier. On HyLyte, we take up the back stay adjuster a bit to ensure the headstay is as straight as possible, ease the halyard about 2-3" to take some tension off the sail's luff, ease the working sheet until the sail's a-luff from head to foot (keeping the lazy sheet a tad snug, looped around a winch but uncleated) and haul in a foot or two of furling line. Then repeat. While I agree about using a winch on a furling line in general, one can pretty easily tell if there's a halyard wrap which, with a halyard guide to keep the halyard 10 or so out of alignment with the headstay at the masthead, is rare. Accordingly, we do use our secondary to haul in the furling line in all but light winds. If the working sheet is flogging, it's too loose and the sail's out of control. A little pressure on the sheet keeps things orderly and will make furling easier--at least for us.

FWIW...

PS: We have a Harken Furler which is quite good gear if you're contemplating a replacement.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:50   #12
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Thanks, I've been drooling over the Harken furler for some time.
When I replaced the forestay, I fitted a diverter just to be on safe side, originally there was one of those donut thingies sitting above the top swivel.
I have contemplated easing the halyard, but since I had it just about the right tension, I chose not to. I have marked the halyard position at the clutch, so I'll give it a go next time, ease off a couple of inches.

When its blowing pretty hard, I take the furling line to the winch, hold the tail, then pull back on the bight between the turning block and the winch, then haul in the slack, happy with that as I'll know straightaway if some thing is not quite right.
Guess trying all this single handed, I do need to put up with a bit of flogging.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:08   #13
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Thanks, I've been drooling over the Harken furler for some time.
When I replaced the forestay, I fitted a diverter just to be on safe side, originally there was one of those donut thingies sitting above the top swivel.
I have contemplated easing the halyard, but since I had it just about the right tension, I chose not to. I have marked the halyard position at the clutch, so I'll give it a go next time, ease off a couple of inches.

When its blowing pretty hard, I take the furling line to the winch, hold the tail, then pull back on the bight between the turning block and the winch, then haul in the slack, happy with that as I'll know straightaway if some thing is not quite right.
Guess trying all this single handed, I do need to put up with a bit of flogging.
Affording the Harken proves not to be so difficult. Every time you get angry about having to fight to furl your headsail set $50 (USD/Lbs) aside as I did. You'll save enough to afford one in no time. (The old sau about eating a 300# banger--one bite at a time, eh?)

The idea of sweating the furling line between the secondary and the turning block is a good one. I'll give that a try. Also, FWIW, rinse out your lead blocks with fresh water from time to time and, once they're dry, give them a short of SailKote dry lube. The blocks do tend to load up with salt and cleaning and dry lubing them can really make a difference in how easily the furling line runs--as I discovered rather a long time ago. (We we're putting the yacht to bed I rinse down the decks/rigging with fresh water and train the hose on each furling block for a minute or two to wash out the salt.)

I look forward to hearing about your next effort.

svHyLyte
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:01   #14
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

Next time the GF comes sailing, I'll put her on the furling line, might speed up the agreement to buying a replacement.
Blocks get rinsed end of each trip, the stanchion ones are the spinlock type with a sheave in each one, I'll knock the pins out next time home and give them a good coat of dry lube
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:18   #15
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Re: Taming foresail sheets when single handing

I am trying to come up with a plan on this too as the other day singlehanding got hit with huge gust where I just had to let go all sheets to avoid knockdown and then deal with furling the jib after after it had wrapped around forestay. At that point I was heading fast downwind with just the jib flailing out the front of the boat. One thing I did after that was get a better camcleat for the furler and locate it so I have a straight ahead pull on that line and easier access to the sheets. But trying to furl downwind sure didn't work for me especially since I did not have main up at the time.
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