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Old 14-05-2022, 14:15   #1
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Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

I need to change the forestay inside a profurl. Can I use the halyard to lower it into the water with some fenders lashed on to float it to land? My fear is I'll kink the foil during the lowering process.

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Old 14-05-2022, 15:01   #2
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

What size boat are we talking about here? What’s the headstay length?
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Old 14-05-2022, 15:21   #3
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

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Originally Posted by Josephcrawl View Post
I need to change the forestay inside a profurl. Can I use the halyard to lower it into the water with some fenders lashed on to float it to land? My fear is I'll kink the foil during the lowering process.

Thanks

Yes, you can remove your forestay without dropping your mast - we did exactly that a few years ago when we removed our furling foil and forestay. It’s MUCH easier if you’re moored along side a berth with a straight line path to shore. Any reason you want to drop it into the water?

AFAIK it’s easiest to drop the foil and forestay together, then remove the forestay once you have everything on land. I don’t believe it’s possible to just slide the forestay out and leave the furler in place as there wouldn’t be anything supporting the foil.

How big is your boat? What I describe here is removing a relatively large and heavy forestay/foil system (ours, from a 16m catamaran, needed three men to lower and support it until we got it on stands).

You will need at least 3 forward halyards at least as high as the forestay to mast attachment (one will be used to lower the forestay - this could be a line through a temporary block that you install just for this). You will also need 2 rear or additional forward halyards if you need to slacken your swept back side stays. One halyard will be used by the person who is disconnecting the top of the forestay.

First, reduce the tension in your backstay and, if you have swept back spreaders, in the shrouds. You want to reduce the tension in the forestay to zero or near zero.

Second, secure one or preferably two halyards from the mast head to the bow. Apply just enough tension to the halyard(s) so that the forestay is soft - it should be just sagging.

If you loosened any side stays due to being swept back, ensure that you are supporting the mast side to side with halyards too.

Third, disconnect the bottom of the forestay where it attaches to the bow tang. This end will be moved away from the boat as the top is dropped, so have someone hold it, ready to move. Two people are useful as there is quite a lot of tension.

If you truly intend to float it, attach a line from the bottom and hold it from a dinghy, ready to move away. You will need two people in the dinghy - one to control the dinghy and the other to hold the forestay end. You will need a fair bit of power to pull the lowering forestay enough so that it doesn’t sag too much.

Fourth, support the top with a tight halyard and disconnect the forestay from the mast tang. Lower the person out of the way, then slowly lower the forestay and foil. As you lower, move the bottom end away from the boat. You don’t want to take any chances with kinking the foil at its connections between foil sections.

If you are lowering into water, attach a float every 6 metres or so. Otherwise, progressively add another person every 5-6 metres to hold it as it is lowered, such that it never sags too much.

Finally, once the top end is lowered to ground or water put a person (or another float) on the end. Then you can walk it or float it to stands or whatever work area you’ve got.

The forestay can be extracted at this time. Remember to support the foil at each connection before you remove the forestay.
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Old 14-05-2022, 16:11   #4
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

I could use the neighbors dock if that would be easier. This is a 35 footer with a luff of about 45 feet.

I'm not sure if have enough halyards. One to get the person up there and one to lower the forestay. Would relying on the inner forestay to hold up the mast and the human be a tragic mistake? There's a third halyard I could thread if needed.

Another thing I just realized is I'm not sure I can clear the pulpit once I've disconnected it.
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Old 14-05-2022, 16:21   #5
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pirate Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josephcrawl View Post
I could use the neighbors dock if that would be easier. This is a 35 footer with a luff of about 45 feet.

I'm not sure if have enough halyards. One to get the person up there and one to lower the forestay. Would relying on the inner forestay to hold up the mast and the human be a tragic mistake? There's a third halyard I could thread if needed.

Another thing I just realized is I'm not sure I can clear the pulpit once I've disconnected it.
I'd use the 3rd halyard as a temp forestay... getting it over the pulpit involves some very careful bending, there is some flex.
Did this on my H37c in Oriental.
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Old 14-05-2022, 16:49   #6
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

careful planning. it can be done. we did it on our Irwin 43. forestay length was around 55ft. pulled it down. put the new furler together under the clubhouse and walked it out to the boat. thru a 45 angle and a 90 on the dock..
keep as much tension on the new setup as possible while hoisting it up. this help to keep it from bending and kinking.


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Old 15-05-2022, 05:25   #7
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

PROFURL Technical support
https://www.profurl.com/manual-reefing-systems.html
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Old 15-05-2022, 09:38   #8
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

Not sure if you saw this, perhaps it will help.
https://www.cruisingworld.com/story/...boat-headstay/
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Old 15-05-2022, 13:55   #9
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

Definitely possible.
You can use your main halyard to go up the mast and just swing round at the top to access the forestay.
Genoa halyard run to the bow and winched tight.
We also used our inner stay to stabilise the mast but it is a solant stay (only about 10 inches from the top).
Spinnaker halyard to lower the foil.

If you tie a prusik hitch (or similar) around the foil it is easier to uninstall and reinstall the top end of the stay. It also allows the whole lot to be lifted slightly higher than the mast to make it easy to get the drum over the pullout.
The foil will slide up the stay slightly and be stopped by the black Darth Vader halyard wrap preventer that profurl use.

I'd definitely opt for a pontoon if it's an option Just to stop saltwater getting inside everything.
And a few extra hands to help guide it down and back up.
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Old 15-05-2022, 16:08   #10
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

We did this one time, OP. Into the water, I mean--we've done it a number of times at docks. It helps to have someone to help you.

The time we lowered the broken stay into the water, we used molded plastic kayaks plus our dinghy to float it ashore. One of us on the halyard, the other guiding the foil to where it needed to be, with the bottom of it coming in over the stern of our inflatable (~11 ft/3.5m) and extending about 5 or 6 ft. ahead of its bow, so we could drive it ashore. It is surprising how much bend there is, but one does try to keep it to a minimum. They [furlers] are not terribly heavy, so I would think using your fenders to float it will work okay.

Sometimes it can be hard to find a big enough spot to lay out the whole thing to work on, so think about where you want to do it. We were fortunate that the resort's owner, also a sailor, said he'd let us do it on his lawn. Otherwise ramps to docks, parking lots, or park lawns work. Sometimes there's a long enough dock. Sometimes you have to sweep the area first. Depends on where you are. Once it is attached to the halyard, the person aloft descends to the deck, and lowers the furler. Someone else fixes on the fenders and guides it into the water. You may have to add line to the tail of the halyard. In our case, the forestay in question was about 50 ft. If it will have to go through the masthead sheave, you'll want to sew the splice together, so you can pull it back through.

If I had to do it alone, I'd try to get someone to help me. It would be a bit of a struggle singlehanded, like Boatie did it...

Ann
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Old 15-05-2022, 16:59   #11
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

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Originally Posted by Josephcrawl View Post
I need to change the forestay inside a profurl. Can I use the halyard to lower it into the water with some fenders lashed on to float it to land? My fear is I'll kink the foil during the lowering process.

Thanks
If I had other options I would not want to attempt forestay removal while in the water. There are all sorts of stuff that could be lost into the water to say nothing of one more working condition to contend with during the removal. Other have reported accomplishing the job in the water but you should consider your specific circumstances before proceeding.

Why can't you wait until the next haul?

Good Luck.
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Old 15-05-2022, 21:55   #12
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josephcrawl View Post
I could use the neighbors dock if that would be easier. This is a 35 footer with a luff of about 45 feet.

I'm not sure if have enough halyards. One to get the person up there and one to lower the forestay. Would relying on the inner forestay to hold up the mast and the human be a tragic mistake? There's a third halyard I could thread if needed.

Another thing I just realized is I'm not sure I can clear the pulpit once I've disconnected it.
Do not rely on the inner forestay if it's not the Solent type that attaches nearly at the top of the mast. Rig one halyard from masthead to foredeck first.

Only two fore halyards needed. The top end of the forestay can be attached to the second fore halyard. The person doing the mast work can go up on the mainsail halyard.

Slack all the shrouds and stays slightly and equally before starting. Reduce tension, but no more than needed. No need to add more halyards to back up the shrouds, they are not going to be disconnected, just slacked a little.

We did this with the boat tied at our normal slip. We have a dock finger and the slip opposite also has a finger so we had lots of dock to work with. I think the extrusions are designed well enough that they are not damaged (we have Profurl) when lowering the whole thing without much intermediate support. The catenary bending looks scary but a couple of guys pulling hard on the lower end will help.
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Old 15-05-2022, 22:05   #13
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

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If I had other options I would not want to attempt forestay removal while in the water. There are all sorts of stuff that could be lost into the water to say nothing of one more working condition to contend with during the removal. Other have reported accomplishing the job in the water but you should consider your specific circumstances before proceeding.

Why can't you wait until the next haul?

Good Luck.
Actually in-the-water is the place to do it. Most yards don't want you climbing the mast when boat is on stands. It really is not such a difficult job, in fact no more so than replacing any rigging.
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Old 16-05-2022, 08:13   #14
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

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Actually in-the-water is the place to do it. Most yards don't want you climbing the mast when boat is on stands. It really is not such a difficult job, in fact no more so than replacing any rigging.
Riggers will do it while hauled in Port Townsend, WA; they did mine twice during biannual hauls.
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Old 16-05-2022, 08:58   #15
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Re: Changing furler forestay without pulling mast

A good, preferably alongside berth helps. We fitted our new forestay and renewed the roller reefing completely on the free south bank dock at Great Bridge on the ICW
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