Roller furling - the work of the Devil?

Where do you stand on roller furling

  • I have it and love it

    Votes: 96 67.6%
  • I have it but am secretly afraid it will fail

    Votes: 28 19.7%
  • I don't have it and yearn for it

    Votes: 8 5.6%
  • I don't have it and don't want it

    Votes: 10 7.0%

  • Total voters
    142

Tranona

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Thanks for the answers, folks, I know I am in a minority, but I like what I have and haven't really heard anything that will change the way I do things, but it is instructive to hear so many positive experiences.

Not sure why you bothered to ask if you have no intention of changing! The results are entirely predictable and can't see any reason why anybody would want to persuade you to change - struggling with hank on sails is your problem - not theirs'!
 

Seajet

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One thing I forgot to mention.

I am pretty certain I am joint holder of the World Record Westerly Centaur Speed Record, after my dad's genoa jammed full out in a F8; fortunately we were going that way...

As to bouncing off the foredeck, If you don't like sailing, you shouldn't be along ( unless extraordinary crumpet ).

At the time of the speed non-record we were aged about 61 and 22, dad is a qualified engineer from Spitfires and Hellcats in WW2 to crew chief on prototype Harrier GR5's.

I tried to learn a bit as well.

Dad made his own modifications to the Plastimo kit very shortly afterwards, but as for the record , yet another case of " if only some idiot with a camera had observed us ! "
 
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idpnd

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Many years ago I found myself on the foredeck of my old Trapper trying to douse the genoa in a rising gale and rough sea.

As I struggled to haul the 150% foretriangle sail down and lash it to the guardrail I was alternately airborne and then dashed to the streaming deck and washed over by the next wave as the boat buried her bow.

I suppose just as much as roller furling might get stuck and become a safety issue, the health and safety nightmare of going up to the bow when the wind is picking up (that's when we're going to be changing headsails, hanking and dealing with sail itself included) is a very good argument for RR in itself.
 

rotrax

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Re the Plastimo gear PBO showed a mod a few years ago. This involved drilling a hole each side of the drum opening where the line goes in/out and putting a chain of 3 shackles with the pin through the drilled hole each side for the two outside shackles and a centre shackle through which the furling line ran.Some of the smaller Plastimerde furlers do not have an arm at all.Hope you understand what I am trying to describe

Hi, I saw that and was about to make the mod. Then the following months issue came out. A follow up letter said all that was required was a twist shackle on the drum shield.I installed one and all was fine as long as a slight tension was kept on the furling line as it was wound in by setting the sail. Top mod-ten out of ten!
 

Little Five

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Have never had the furler jam but have had problems with the genny not rolling away completely in heavy weather. There is usually about 18-24 inches of sail flogging like mad and unfurling and refurling doesn't work so I have to do it by hand.
 

sailorman

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Have never had the furler jam but have had problems with the genny not rolling away completely in heavy weather. There is usually about 18-24 inches of sail flogging like mad and unfurling and refurling doesn't work so I have to do it by hand.

too little cord on the drum in the first instance to allow a tightly furled sail completely roll in
 

Little Five

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too little cord on the drum in the first instance to allow a tightly furled sail completely roll in

I had thought of that but the drum is full of line when sail out and am reluctant to get a thinner line as it can be hard enough to roll away, ( arthritic fingers) However if that is the solution so be it. Thanks Sailorman
 

Poignard

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I had thought of that but the drum is full of line when sail furled and am reluctant to get a thinner line as it can be hard enough to roll away, ( arthritic fingers) However if that is the solution so be it. Thanks Sailorman

Splice a length of thinner line into a thicker one that is easy to get a grip on.

Or do as 'lightning fingers' Sailorman suggests.
 

VO5

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The true fly in the ointment is not roller furling, but In Mast Furling.
It is a beast if it gets jammed.
This sometimes happens if the sail has just come back from the sailmaker having been laundered, or even re stitched.
I don't like them. I have a slab reefed main and a rolling Genoa. I have never had any problems with either.
 

Twister_Ken

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Have never had the furler jam but have had problems with the genny not rolling away completely in heavy weather. There is usually about 18-24 inches of sail flogging like mad and unfurling and refurling doesn't work so I have to do it by hand.

Or the line is too stretchy when pulling in a sail full of wind. Replace with Dyneema.
 

Bajansailor

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I think we have the best of both worlds - a 'slutter' rig.
Here we have a roller furling genoa on the headstay, and a hank on staysail (or storm jib) on a removable inner forestay set about 3' aft of the stem.

The genoa is on a Furlex reefing system, but it is 20 years old now, and there certainly does appear to be huge strains on the furler and the sail when it is partially reefed.

Hence we just use it as a furler rather than for reefing - if the wind is too much for the genoa then it gets rolled up and the staysail (which is already clipped on and ready to go, with sheets led) is hoisted.
We have never had to use the storm jib in anger yet...... :)
 
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I've been pondering the value of a roller furling headsail for quite sometime but I have seen so many that set like a sack of old spuds that I don't think I can be bothered.
Single headsails seem to set very much better are far more suited to the job because you get the different cuts & weights & besides I have now acquired a very good wardrobe that I'm quite chuffed about.
Not a problem for single handing if you reef down in good time & I think there is far more satisfaction to be got from them. :)
 

savageseadog

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And people tend to think that it's OK to leave the sail normally furled through all weathers while moored. As anyone that has seen them unfurl in storms will know, it can and does happen.
 

ProDave

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And people tend to think that it's OK to leave the sail normally furled through all weathers while moored. As anyone that has seen them unfurl in storms will know, it can and does happen.

Again, another advantage (I think) of the simple Barton furling system that does not have a rigid foil.

I can lower the jib halyard and remove a rolled up head sail as it is, still rolled up, and put it inside the boat in just a minute or two.

so if I am going to leave the boat for more than a few days, or if the weather forecast looks doubtful, that's what I will do.
 

prv

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And people tend to think that it's OK to leave the sail normally furled through all weathers while moored.

I don't think it's reasonable to do otherwise, although I do put a gasket round both of mine if it's going to be windy. I live five minutes away so can pop down if I haven't done so and the weather starts looking dubious. I might secure the sails every time if I lived further away.

What amazes me are the people who leave roller jibs up all winter, ashore in the yard. Even more so the ones that seem to be being stored long-term, with both sails still bent on, fenders hung over the side, etc. It looks like someone picked them out of the water, dumped them in the yard, and left them without even climbing back on board to put the warps away.

There's a small steel gaffer for sale opposite Force 4 in Bursledon, according to the advert stored from new and never sailed and the state of the hull certainly supports that. But they've left her there fully rigged, and after a couple of years now the running rigging is going green and the mainsail looks waterlogged and windswept. If I was buying her (and I do rather like the design) I'd be knocking money off the price for the way she's been needlessly allowed to deteriorate while up for sale.

Pete
 
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