Join Date: Jun 2006
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Yes, it IS a bit dated, but there's no way to fly an 800 sq. foot jib (or whatever the hell it is) without a furler, and I suspect that she didn't pick hers up at a West Marine clear-out sale.
So if we focus on cutters or ketches under 42 feet, say, or sloops under 38 feet, it's not unreasonable to envision that a hank-on is just another option.
Understand that I've had both, and I like both, but I have no problem trading the admittedly attractive convenience of roller furling for the mechanical simplicity and flexibility of, say, a light No. 1, a heavy No. 1 and a nice 100% Dacron No. 3, plus the ability to pole out and, if you have a skilled sailmaker, to reef them as well.
Please also understand that my context is distance sailing far from most lofts. If the furler goes kablooey, or the foresail is badly damaged, I want some way to run up at least a temporary replacement. I am also a proponent of storm sails, although in practical terms this will probably mean a "stock" staysail and a beefed up storm staysail with a single reef. I am considering a Gale Sail, but I need to do more study.
So I suspect if the furler doesn't break on the new boat, I'll keep the furler. I'm already maintaining it, and it's not a Swiss watch, after all. But if it busts, I have no real issue converting back to hank-ons. But it isn't a matter of pure faith to me, either...I just really like to point the boat high and have been known to employ such arcana as barber-hauler upwind and genoa staysails on a reach...