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Curmudgeon 07-12-2011 12:13

Asym on a Furler
I'm investigating the possibility of putting an asymetrical spinnaker on a removable furler, like a Facnor, a Nautos (which looks like an inexpensive Facnor knock-off), or the CDI. My boat is a Bristol 38.8 with an "I" dimension of 51.5 feet, so I'd guess I'm looking at around 700 sq. ft. of sail for a cruising asymetric. I have an attachment point on my stem head that would accomodate a removable furler.

1. Does anyone have any experience with these continuous line furlers? How do they comapre to a snuffer like the ATN in terms of ease of use and reliability?

2. How much do these continuous line furlers weigh?

3. The CDI furler has a "brake" on the upper swivel to keep the spinnaker halyard from twisting when you furl and unfurl the sail. How is this issue addressed on the Facnor and Nautos furlers?

4. Are there other brands I ought to be considering?

colemj 07-12-2011 12:35

Re: Asym on a furler
We have the Facnor 2000.

1. They are completely different than a snuffer, so hard to quantitate ease of use and reliability. Ours is easy to use, and reliable. The snuffer is much cheaper and a better solution if you are getting a true asymetrical spinnaker. The furler will not work well unless you can get a lot of tension on the luff of the sail. If you are getting flatter cut downwind sail like a Code 0 or Doyle UPS and its similar cousins, the furler works well.

2. They weigh very little - a machined aluminum furler "drum" on the bottom and a swivel on the top. Maybe a couple of pounds.

3. The Facnor top swivel is attached to the halyard on one side and the sail on the other, so there is no way to twist the halyard on the sail. I might not be understanding your question here - I think all of these have the following attachments at the top: <halyard><swivel><sail>


Hannah on 'Rita T' 07-12-2011 12:37

Re: Asym on a furler
We use a sock with our asym and I can't imagine anything easier.

44'cruisingcat 07-12-2011 13:22

Re: Asym on a furler
This does look pretty easy:

RollGen Furling Spinnaker system from Bamar - quick demo - YouTube

Curmudgeon 07-12-2011 13:34

Re: Asym on a furler
Yes, that "Bamar" clip is what I'm looking for. I had an asym with an ATN sock and tacker on my previous boat, and it was a PITA, especially when singlehanding. If the wind piped up, I would have to go forward to get the sail down. I'm looking for something I can furl from the cockpit. Also, the ATN sock is heavy. I want something lighter.

As for the issue with the spinnaker halyard: when the sail furls, does the halyard itself twist?

BTW, the Doyle UPS (or a similar sail) looks like a good solution for me. The problem with gennakers and other sails that are "sort of" spinnakers is that they don't work particularly well downwind. Doyle says their UPS does, although I'll need some convincing. I also want a sail that I can fly along with a poled out Genoa (mine is a 120%) to create a double headsail rig for sailing downwind.

Penceler 08-12-2011 18:50

Re: Asym on a Furler
Go to Doyle sails and look at what they refer to as a ups. It's a small, flat spinnaker on a factor system. Very light and easy. Wouldn't even consider a sock after using it both coastal/bay and offshore. That sail handled about 500 miles going from Bermuda to Tortola. Highly, highly recommended. You will probably need to get creative for a tack point.


muskoka 08-12-2011 18:56

Re: Asym on a Furler
We run a Doyle UPS on a continuous line furler. The furler weighs nothing, just make sure Doyle know what you're using so the can install the anti-torque luff rope. You also need to really tension up the halyard so she furls properly.

Also, put a small block on the continuous furling line so that you can attach a shock cord. The tension keeps things from getting twisted!

Curmudgeon 08-12-2011 20:04

Re: Asym on a Furler
Thanks for the feedback on the Doyle UPS. How do you keep the spinnaker halyard from twisting with a facnor-type continuous line furler?

Penceler 08-12-2011 20:15

Re: Asym on a Furler
Twisting is unrelated to the furling drum. Tension, lots of tension.


cwyckham 08-12-2011 20:52

A UPS or code zero are fundamentally different from an assym. The former have a luff that is attached like a Genoa and can be used tighter to the wind.

An assym has a loose luff with a very deep cut. It can also go on a furler just fine. It is much more expensive than a sock, but easy to use. The luff is free and there is a rope from the head to the tack with a small tag line from the center of this rope to the luff to aid in furling. I'd have one if I could afford it

Penceler 08-12-2011 21:05

Re: Asym on a Furler
Yes, the ups or code 0 is really just a 1970's concept which can finally be executed well thanks to modern furling, sail design and other gear. Talk to the sailmaker to tweak the sail for upwind or downwind performance. It's a real option for the cruising sailor.


Curmudgeon 08-12-2011 21:29

Re: Asym on a Furler
So if you tighten the spinnaker halyard it won't twist?

I'm not interested that much in upwind performance, only downwind. My #1 priority is ease of use. #2 is being able to fly two headsails with my 120% genoa poled out on one side and the new sail on the other.

estarzinger 09-12-2011 06:34

Re: Asym on a Furler

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon (Post 834560)
So if you tighten the spinnaker halyard it won't twist?

We have never had any sort of halyard twisting problem using these furlers. Do you have someone else telling you it is or can be a problem? There is a nice ball bearing swivel in between the sail and the halyard. That swivel isolates the halyard from the twisting, that's what it is there for. I suppose because no swivel is perfectly friction free that there could be some twisting torque on the halyard just while you are furling or unfurling the sail, but once the sail is in or out the swivel will allow the halyard to go back to its straight untwisted 'rest state'.

I'm not interested that much in upwind performance, only downwind.

We have two different sorts of sails here - the code zero style with a tensioned rope luff (which is in fact 'asymmetrical'), and the spinnaker style with floating luff. The spinnaker style will (in theory) be able to sail deeper because it can rotate around the front of the boat, and is typically bigger.

But I will comment that one thing we find in light air is the wind angle moves around quite a bit as you sail thru lulls and gusts and the zero style sail is much more stable and needs less 'constant trim' than the spinnaker style. That's not important for racers, but is useful for us cruisers who want to sheet the sail and mostly just leave it.

My #1 priority is ease of use.

Furling is easier than sock IF the sail is designed correctly.

#2 is being able to fly two headsails with my 120% genoa poled out on one side and the new sail on the other.

How much sail area do you want up when doing that? If you are happy with a 155-160% size sail opposite your 120% then a code zero style will be best/easiest/most bullet proof. But if you want more area than that, or if you also want to be able to sail a little deep/deeper with just this sail alone (without the opposite 120%), then the spinnaker style is probably the way to go.


daddle 09-12-2011 07:26

Re: Asym on a Furler
A Code Zero type furler is far simpler than a sock. But I don't think you can use it 'from the cockpit' to avoid going forward. My experience is that the furled sail often needs to be unfurled immediately after hoisting, and lowered immediately after furling. It will tend to unwind at the top since the luff ropes (if any) may not be able to resist some untwisting.

I don't understand the halyard twisting part of the question in #1 above. A brake sounds like the last thing one would want at the top.

Like everything, it takes careful setup and practice...

Curmudgeon 09-12-2011 08:11

Re: Asym on a Furler
Many thanks, estarzinger, for your detailed and very helpful response.

If you take a look at the CDI furler, as opposed to the Facnor (and Facnor clones), you will see that CDI has an anti-rotation bar on the upper swivel. The Facnor does not appear to have this. See the part labelled "L" and the picture on p. 8 of the manual for CDI's spinnaker furler: BTW I'm not in love with the CDI design, because I can easily imagine the anti-rotation bar fouling some other bit of rigging or poking a hole in a sail. But maybe it works.

I raised the rotation issue because a very experienced sailmaker and a very experienced yacht manager (both in the Newport, RI area) both raised it.

The ability to just set the sail and forget it is important to me. I'm definitely leaning towars a smaller "gennaker" or "UPS" type sail on a removable furler.

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