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Old 11-10-2022, 20:02   #1
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Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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.
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Old 11-10-2022, 20:30   #2
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

What boat? Tall mast?

Too small a furling line might get over-wrapped and tangled. Keep a bit of tension on the line as it winds onto the drum.

Is the furler in good smooth running condition?

You can remove most of the load by heading down wind, especially if you blanket the jib with the main.

If the jib lead is way off that can cause problems.
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Old 11-10-2022, 20:41   #3
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
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.

Use a winch.

Sure, you're not supposed to use a winch. It's not supposed to be necessary. But it depends, and in my experience, on smaller boats with smaller furling drums it's too difficult to just pull on the line. I used the winch more or less every time furling the headsail on my Hunter 26 when I had it. On my Tartan 3800 the furler is bigger and smoother and that isn't necessary.

You do want to be gentle and make a point not to power through real problems.

If there isn't quite enough line on the furling drum, that can contribute to the difficulty. The drum should be pretty much full of line when the sail is all the way out.
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Old 11-10-2022, 20:44   #4
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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.
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Old 11-10-2022, 20:46   #5
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Also try experimenting with halyard tension- too much and you could be increasing friction in the bearings.
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Old 11-10-2022, 20:51   #6
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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how about forestay tension?

Heh. I had a B&R rig on my Hunter. Forestay tension was a luxury I didn't have unless I rolled up the foresail with the main still up and sheeted in hard.



OP, what kind of boat did you buy?
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Old 11-10-2022, 21:06   #7
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
What boat? Tall mast?

Too small a furling line might get over-wrapped and tangled. Keep a bit of tension on the line as it winds onto the drum.

Is the furler in good smooth running condition?

You can remove most of the load by heading down wind, especially if you blanket the jib with the main.

If the jib lead is way off that can cause problems.
Boat is an Island Packet 29.

It's a brand new Harken MK1, only 3 months old with brand new standing rigging only about 6 months old.

What if I don't have the main out? Sometimes Im just solo trying to relax and have a nice day and don't even put the main up. How would you depower without the main up to blanket the headsail?
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Old 11-10-2022, 21:17   #8
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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.
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.
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Old 11-10-2022, 21:21   #9
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

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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.
It's not bad the last 30% or so, Its just getting to that point thats difficult. Maybe I was just expecting it to be a lot easier and need more time with it. I also think I need to go one size up on the furling line. It seems pretty dinky and hard to handle.
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Old 11-10-2022, 22:48   #10
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

I've got a furling main and can tell you you should not use a winch. If you need to - something is wrong.

It's possible that the foot angle is wrong and you are wrapping the edge over itself, which creates material build up and it starts to rub on the inside of the mast. Best is to ask someone local who is experienced or call the rigger and ask them to tune it up until it works right.
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Old 12-10-2022, 03:01   #11
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
It's not bad the last 30% or so, Its just getting to that point thats difficult. Maybe I was just expecting it to be a lot easier and need more time with it. I also think I need to go one size up on the furling line. It seems pretty dinky and hard to handle.
Line size really makes a difference. We just had to replace the furling line on our Endeavour 32, we have a Furlex system. But we went with 3/8" line, so between the larger size and the fact that it's new and soft it is much kinder on the hands. My wife is much less reluctant to pull it in now !

I'm also going to try Windpilot's advice and experiment with different tensions on the halyard. I may have mine too tight at the moment, so I'll try loosening it up a smidge and see what happens.

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Old 12-10-2022, 03:20   #12
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pirate Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

On a 29ftr you should be able to handball it in.. I would check your forestay tension and the feed angles.. no way you should need the winch except maybe in extreme conditions.
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Old 12-10-2022, 03:36   #13
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
Boat is an Island Packet 29.

It's a brand new Harken MK1, only 3 months old with brand new standing rigging only about 6 months old.

My advice would be to talk to the rigger who installed it and get them to come to the boat and look at the problem firsthand. It's part of the service they provide. Even if you weren't the one who paid for the work, they are likely to do that for you, no charge.
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Old 12-10-2022, 04:02   #14
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

Check the installation instructions to see that it looks correct. Make sure the drum is positioned so the furling line is running cleanly, both at the beginning and end of the furling. Check for friction in the turning blocks that bring the furling line aft. Sometimes thoroughly cleaning those blocks with fresh water can make a noticeable difference.
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Old 12-10-2022, 04:52   #15
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Re: Roller furling headsail. Why do I struggle with it?

I concur that using the winch in other than heavy conditions should not be necessary. Perhaps you should try furling and unfurling with help at the dock in calm conditions so you can figure out where the problem is. If it furls easily with no wind pressure you can then lose a bit of fear that something is going to get broken by winching but it can end badly if the winch is overpowering something jamming and needing to be fixed.
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