How much can you furl a headsail
I in general completely agree with the furler messing shape up more or less completely. However, sometimes that''s still preferable over the alternatives.
Earlier this year, we did an ocean race that turned out to be rather nasty. We only had a 150% (the #3 being on order and not yet delivered), so we started the race with it. As we proceeded out of the Gate (Golden Gate in SF), the wind first picked up to a steady 22kn, then to 26-28 with gusts into the low 30''s. Obviously we reefed and depowered the main, and then furled the genoa to a napkin sized sail. After a bit of twiddling, this resulted in an amazingly well balanced boat, that we were able to sail with just a couple of fingers on the helm.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that having a well balanced boat is critical, esp. in windy situations. Yes, we weren''t able to point that well, but we were in complete control and actually had tremendous fun, which without partially furling the genoa wouldn''t have been possible.