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Old 12-10-2022, 05:02   #16
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
Using a winch on a furling line makes me nervous. It seems like it needs "feel" to pull it in rather than muscle. If something is wrong and it gets snapped using a winch...bad times ahead.

On some boats I've put it on a winch, but just gently cranked it in on high speed (to keep force down). The winch isn't so much for more force than you can apply by hand, but to get more grip on the line and to allow you to provide a smoother, steadier pull.
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Old 12-10-2022, 05:23   #17
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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Originally Posted by Windpilot View Post
Somethings not right, but, how big is the boat/sail, is there any friction in the furling itself, how about forestay tension? Too loose/sag would make it more difficult. I have a loop at the emd of my furling line to help start rolling it in, once it's rolled up a bit it is easier. Some also use a winch to pull it in.
This.

Do a google search of this forum, and others. This question is asked about once a month.

Aside from the obvious (load on the sail and/or drag on the furling line), the geometry of the furler at the head is determined by forestay and halyard tension. Think of it: the two are rarely parallel, so cranking hard on the halyard will pivot the head ferrule of the furler so it doesn't spin freely on the forestay. Sometimes you can see this with binoculars.

Try letting up some tension on the halyard. I find that every year I have to play with it to get the right forestay and halyard tensions.

And, lubricate the rotating elements of the furler.
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Old 12-10-2022, 05:46   #18
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
New to me boat. Last boat had hank on. New boat has a brand new Harken MK1. I struggle to get it back in a lot of times. Other boats I see seem to have no issues. Not sure if I dont get it or what.

Is there some trick to it? My hank on point I just point up wind and release the halyard the the sail drops on the deck pretty much. It was non issue. Not the case with the roller. Im struggling, even in low winds and doing what I can to release pressure on the headsail.

Is there some trick that makes it easy to get back in? Also the furling line the rigger put on seems really small and hard on the hands which does not seem to help any. Not sure what size it is. Not opposed to roller, but if its this difficult normally, Id go back to hanks.
When was the last time the Harken had any maintenance done to it? Might just be worn out. You have to keep in mind a Harken MK1 is a 40+ Year old furler. my Harken ESP unit (2016) calls for 5/16 line which is a bit thin. My previous Hood furler recommended thinning out the core of the line for the first half to make it work on the drum but leave the line thicker for the hands at the bitter end.

Also, how is your headstay tension? too little tension creates sag and makes the furler harder to rotate.
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Old 12-10-2022, 08:12   #19
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Halyard tension as some have already said, it should unfurl pretty much on it's own once started and furl by hand without pointing up and flogging the sail. I did it yesterday with a 150 in 20 knots in a freakin monsoon thunderstorm.
Fun story, I was replacing a furling line clutch on a 43' Bene that had exploded while being winched (electric). Three acquaintances walked by and asked what I was doing. A circumnavigator, a broker and a sailing instructor, all three said "OH, You should never use a winch". I told 'em to keep that secret because it was an quick and easy $100 to me when they did.
BTW He said it was a 3 month old Harken furler, odds are good it's OK.
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Old 12-10-2022, 13:07   #20
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Furling the jib is a skill that should be practiced, as with any other skills.
There are two situations in which you may be furling the jib.

The easy one is going downwind; the easiest time is when the jib is starting to collapse (i.e., close to jibing). In that situation, furling it should not require significant effort, even in heavy conditions, especially if you shadow the jib behind the main. If you need great force, there is some unwanted friction in the furling system, most likely in the angle of the furling line with the drum (that angle should be 90 degrees, if it is not, it will introduce unnecessary friction, you may need a lead block to correct it).

Sometimes, you need to furl going upwind. That requires some practice, especially in a breeze. The easiest way is to point into the wind, ease the sheet somewhat and furl. The trick in this situation is to maintain just a bit of tension in the sheet, but not so much that it puts a lot of pressure on the furler, and not so loose that the jib is flogging around widely. To find the right amount, it takes some practice. The other trick is to give a first pull to just furl the first round (furling the luff takes a bit more effort, because it is more rigid and you need to get it "going"). Then, if it is windy, give a couple of energetic pulls to get the bulk of the sail furled.

Even in this case, you should be able to furl without a winch. If that is not possible, either the wind is so strong that you should be furling going downwind (as a rule of thumb, we try not to furl upwind above 22 knots or so, it stresses the system unnecessarily), or there is some extra friction in your system (see above).

As for the size of the furling line, that is determined by the size of the drum and the length of the line. The line should not overflow the drum when it is all in, and there should be extra line in the drum when it is all out. Again, the most important thing is the angle of the line with the drum. A "tech" line (i.e., cover over high-tech core) is not desirable (it has a higher probability of getting a kink and jamming in the drum) nor necessary (you do not need extremely low-stretch line for this).
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Old 14-10-2022, 20:40   #21
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Halyard wrap could be an issue.
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Old 14-10-2022, 21:26   #22
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Harken is up to the Mark IV, and a Mark 1 Furler is over 30 years old. The troubleshooting guide is still pretty useful .

Look at the guides for the furling line. Are they Harken ball bearing blocks or are they just fairleads.

Of course you need to let the sail fully luff when you start to furl, and only put a bit of tension on the sheets for the last 25-30% of the furling to ensure a tight wrap on the headsail.
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Old 17-10-2022, 06:35   #23
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

We have a large headsail and an older crew. We have a block running free between the cleat and the last turning block for the furling line. The running block has a rope handle. When the running block is pulled it gives a 2:1 advantage and makes furling much easier.
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Old 17-10-2022, 06:58   #24
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
New to me boat. Last boat had hank on. New boat has a brand new Harken MK1. I struggle to get it back in a lot of times. Other boats I see seem to have no issues. Not sure if I dont get it or what.

Is there some trick to it? My hank on point I just point up wind and release the halyard the the sail drops on the deck pretty much. It was non issue. Not the case with the roller. Im struggling, even in low winds and doing what I can to release pressure on the headsail.

Is there some trick that makes it easy to get back in? Also the furling line the rigger put on seems really small and hard on the hands which does not seem to help any. Not sure what size it is. Not opposed to roller, but if its this difficult normally, Id go back to hanks.

A few things - flush the rollers out with fresh water. Could be your jib halyard tension - either too loose or too tight. You need it just right. Also - given you're new to a roller - maintain some tension on the roller line so you can achieve a fairly even wrap in the drum. Also make sure the lead into the drum enters without much of a pitch or angle. Finally, as others have mentioned try de-powering the jib by going downwind and blanketing the jib with the main rather than going up wind. I too have a smallish line on my jib roller -- it is VERY important to maintain tension when rolling it out. Good luck and happy sailing.
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Old 17-10-2022, 07:00   #25
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Try letting out jib sheet more fully as you pull in on roller furling line.
Try pointing higher into wind as pull in on furling line.
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Old 17-10-2022, 07:06   #26
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Wing an IP27 and a Harken Furler it is certainly in the setup. Halyard tension, fairlead position and make sure the sail has no pressure on it. Get those right and you will have your solution.
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Old 17-10-2022, 07:19   #27
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Maybe obvious, but do you have more than one halyard? Like an old racing boat that has two genoa halyards and a spinnaker halyard. I recommissioned my old boat, and couldn't figure out why the roller furling wasn't working right. Turns out the spool at the top was fouling on one of the other halyards. The boat had been on the hard for a decade and I forgot the unused halyards needed to be secured way aft, on the toerail, to get them out of the way.
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Old 17-10-2022, 07:22   #28
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Could be a simple fix. 1: take 3-4 wraps off the drum- line might be getting stuck in it. 2: change the angle of the furling line to assure a straighter exit back to cockpit.
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Old 17-10-2022, 07:52   #29
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

I find heading to 90 or 100 AWA is key to putting it away without wrinkles. You can run the risk of burning it out if you put it away at higher angles and winds over 18kts.
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Old 17-10-2022, 08:02   #30
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

First on the list have the rigger doublecheck everything. The angle of the furling line is important so is the halyard tension and the foil. If you have an adjustable backstay make sure it is tight and do not loosen it after the head sail is all furled up. When pulling the sail out keep a little tension on the furling line so it rolls up neatly. Don't let it shoot out! Also, before bringing the sail in get on a broad reach, let the sheets out just enough to keep the sail from flogging. If it is still hard to pull in go further downwind to unload. Sometimes when I expect the wind to build up and furling maybe difficult (I have Beneteau 461, quite larger than yours) I leave a couple of turns wrapped up when pulling the sail out. It makes it then easier to start the furling process. Furling line should be 3/8" or even 7/16".
Good luck and check with the IP block for more advice.
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