Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SF - South Bay
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Re: Hank on sails
Not really. A hank-on headsail generally has hanks which clip in to the forestay, and the sail can then be raised using the halyard.
A furling sail requires a roller-furler to be fitted to the forestay. This has one or two slots that the forsail fits into, for raising and lowering the sail - which you rarely do. It also has a drum at the bottom which allows the sail to be rolled (furled) and unrolled.
Thus a hank-on and roller furler are very different approaches. A sailmaker may be able to modify an hank-on headsail for a roller furler - a lot depends on the cut, age, etc as to whether that approach makes sense. And of course, if your boat does not have it, you would have to install the roller furling equipment.
Alternatively, many people prefer hank-on headsails, even cruisers! There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches (as with everything to do with sailing). Personally I have a furler, and sometimes would have preferred hank-on sails....other days I delight in the convenience of a furler.