Originally Posted by camaraderie
You're doing away with your roller furling??? Because you fear it is weak and unsafe... and subjecting yourself to the risks foredeck work in heavy weather??? And then you are weakening your backstay by insulating it?
I don't understand your thinking...pls. explain further. Not criticizing...you may have good reasons...just comes across as wierd.
Roller furling is fundamentally a trade-off, and has a record of failures in certain conditions, which is why the prudent sailor strips off the furler ahead of heavy weather. My new-to-me boat has a beefy ProFurl, and while I like it fine, I am far more familiar with hank-on sails (the new boat's staysail is hank-on, by the way).
On certain boats, going forward can be wet, obviously, but needn't be particularly dangerous. I have an "anchor well" that means when I'm working forward I am surrounded by a cage of pipe and can stay low and clipped on.
Hank-on sails can also be reefed and oceanic foresails usually have reef points for this purpose. If you have the space (which, admittedly, many don't or don't wish to surrender a bunk and an 'orderly' saloon for), you can carry five or six sails that will give you an enormous ability to keep sailing...and if one shreds, you have plenty of back-up.
Hank-ons can be dropped in seconds with a downhaul, and it can be done from either the mast or the cockpit. Folding wet foresails in a blow isn't fun, I'll confess, but neither is expecting to get any sail power from a 2/3rds rolled-up yankee on a furler.
Like everything else, it's a choice and it's a compromise. I'll keep the furler until it breaks...because I know and am comfortable with hank-ons.
But regarding the backstay insulator...I totally agree. There are many options for rigging SSB antennas that don't deliberatly involve installing potential failure points.