roller furling vs hanked on headsails
I use a downhaul like yours on my 22 foot sailboat because it is not much canvass to manage on the deck. I use a furler on my 34 ft boat because there are times during a day when it is quite sufficient to trim the headsail with a few wraps. Furler does not mean you give up changing out headsails: if the marine forecase is calling for strong winds, I spend 30 minutes the night before removing the 150 and loading the yankee jib on the furler, giving the same trimming flexibility to a smaller headsail. I would say if you sail in highly variable winds go with a furler and if you sail where the winds have some sort of consistency you may want to stay with a set of hanked headsails. As far as reliability of furling gear, the conversation rarely comes up in my sailing circles, but then we are coastal cruisers not blue water sailors.