I've been caught with just my headsail up and waiting far too long to furl it. This occurs mainly during times when I'm singlehanded, sailing downwind like a bat out of Hell, and stupidly believing the wind will lessen before I need to furl the sail - WRONG!
Each time I've been caught with my sail up and my pants down I resorted to firing up the engine, running downwind as hard as possible, and using every ounce of strength to furl the jib.
I've also turned the bow into the wind and while jib flailed wildly, furled the sail, again, using all the muscle this old man could possibly muster. Of course, this beats the sail to death while you're furling, the jib sheets are flying wildly, and the sail is furled so tight it resembles a toothpick on the bow.
There have been times when I thought to myself "What the Hell would I do if the furling line were to part?" That's why I'm going to change the 10-year-old furling line this week to a new, and larger, furling line.