Our ProFurl furler had a number of damaged parts
that are no longer available, so along with replacing our damaged 1x19 wire forestay we also had to replace the furling system. Given the clean slate, we thought about some of the performance attributes that our current system was missing, chief among them being that the 50% or 80% furled sail shape is pretty awful. As our boat has an aggressive reefing plan (she doesn’t need a lot of sail area to sail well), it means that we’re sailing with a partially furled jib from about 20 knots TWS.
We decided on installing a structural furler (no separate forestay - the furling cable is the forestay) for our jib. A structural furler means that the sail cannot be reefed - fully furled or fully set only. When the wind is too strong for the full jib we will need to furl it away and use a staysail, basically equivalent to about 60% of the jib area. That will be part two of the installation
Structural furlers are common on all classes
, short and fully crewed round the world race
boats and becoming more common for super yachts. They also can make sense for performance oriented cruising boats. One major drawback for cruising is the fact that the sail cannot be lowered with a halyard
- someone must go up the mast
to release the head lashings
We have completed installation
of our new structural furler and serviced jib, finally after 7 weeks of lockdown and a couple of working weeks following the lockdowns. Thanks to:
James at KZ Racefurlers for providing a 10 ton single
line furler and top swivel along with customised top and bottom fittings http://www.kzracefurlers.com/single-line-range.html
, top swivel
and bottom swivel with single line drum
Nick at Doyle Rigging
NZ for providing a custom Stratis furling cable spliced with end terminals provided by KZ Racefurlers https://www.doylesails.com/
and Matt at North Sails Auckland
for converting our jib’s luff groove and foam roller padding luff to soft hanks and no furling structure http://www.nz.northsails.com/
The system was designed for the same loads as the 1x19 stainless steel
wire forestay and 22mm pins that it replaces.
Installation took place today after we collected the cable from Doyles and furler components from KZ Racefurlers in the previous few days. Plus a special shoutout to Matt from North Sails for delivering the serviced jib and helping me with the installation, including two manual hoists of my post-lockdown increased mass to the top of the mast and two trips to local shops for panicked supplies (who knew, tiny little M4 x 6mm grub screws with Allen key heads are available at engineering supply stores).
Mounted the (as it turns out, not labelled!!) tack cable terminal to the upper swivel fitting. Found out only once it was hoisted up the mast to me and Matt notice the ‘head’ label on the terminal at the other end of the cable. Thanks Matt for the quick terminal swap while my legs went to sleep in my harness (lesson learned, loosen the leg straps). The terminals are identical, but the cable has a top and bottom.
Wow, the top fitting was a tight fit in the mast tangs, almost too much material above the pin hole so that it barely fit. A whole bunch of mallet hits got the pin through, just. Definitely need some space washers on either side of the tangs as the pin extends several mm out either side.
Top and bottom fittings are connected and the rig tensioned - phew, the existing turnbuckles only changed by about 10mm. Then we lashed all the soft hanks and hoisted the sail. A good hint by Matt to use a short loop of small line to attach the halyard
, to make it easier to remove the halyard after tying the lashings.
Notice the SS mast tang that we’ll use for the staysail. I think we can use the jib halyard for the staysail as it’s not needed for the jib and the lead even without a fairlead is pretty good.
The 2:1 halyard is for our screecher, that I had up from our sail a couple weeks ago and was supporting the mast during the installation. Taking that sail down now. Matt will attest, it’s a beast of a big and heavy sail as it is tri radial Dacron and huge overlap.
The tack is similarly lashed to the furling drum. Tensioning the luff is done with the bottom lashing - gotta love uncovered Dyneema line on slippery fittings.
Wonderful to have a head stay and jib back on the boat! Thanks all!!
We reused our existing jib as it has a few more years of life left. When we replace it we can add about 70cm to the hoist as the structural furler fittings are much more compact than the traditional furlers.
Our whole system now weighs 14kg, vs around 60kg for the previous system with wire forestay, aluminium foil, and bulkier fittings. Cost of our system was about 110% of what it would have cost to replace what we had. Of course, we have to spend another 80% on a new staysail and furler fittings to basically replicate the furling jib we had before. So pretty much double in price
by the time we’re done. We think the improved sailing performance is worth it.