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post #7 of Old 07-23-2004
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roller furling vs hanked on headsails

I think furlers are the way to go, hands down. I have a cutter rig on my 65'', with both genoa and staysail on furlers. The staysail is self-tacking, so upwind work is just turn the wheel, no ropes to pull. Downwind, having a furled sail is much less of an issue, even in Gale force winds. It really doesn''t matter if windflow is perfect over the luff, because you''re going downwind. If its heavy wind, you could hoist cardboard scraps and the boat will keep moving. I''ve had great reliability and functionality with both Harken and CDI furlers, with no equipment failures. In my experience, when there is a furler problem, it''s really an installation or poorly led line problem, and not a faulty furler.
As for changing sails, most furlers have twin luff grooves, and you can rig a downhaul on these just as easily if you like. You also have the added advantage of being able to run downwind with twin poled out headssails, and no worries.
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