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post #25 of Old 01-09-2013
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Re: Retractable Bowsprit DIY

Hi John,

The sail inventory on the race boat is:
Dacron main with 1 reef
Laminate #1
Laminate #2
Standard spinnaker
Asymmetric spinnaker
Code 0

Last year the owner bought the code 0 sail, along with the top down furling gear. I believe the unit is from Harken. Anyway, when he bought the Code 0 he also the asym modified to use the furling gear too. We can fly the asym normally, or use it with the furling gear (I've only done that once). I believe that from now on the asym on the boat will only be used with the furling gear. A 'Torsion' line is hoisted and once that's tensioned it doesn't twist but rotates and the sail wraps around it. The torsion line is relatively cheap and the bottom 'drum' unit can be used with multiple torsion lines. We switch the furling drum between sails as needed.

Regarding furling vs the sock, for racing the furling unit is clearly better as a hoisted sail in the sock is large, bulky, and would cause a lot of windage while a hoisted furled sail is much smaller. For cruising I think there's much advantage of one over the other (on boats under say 45').


Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Might be a bit of an apples to oranges comparison we're making here...

When you say that you furled an "asymmetric sail", or "gennaker", did you do so with one of the new Top-Down furlers like those from Karver? Or an older Roll-Gen? Because those are the only way to "furl" an asymmetrical spinnaker that I'm aware of... And, those units like the Karver, are VERY expensive...

People tend to use the terms "asymmetrical", "gennaker", and "Code 0" interchangeably, but the Code 0 is a very different sail, with a straight luff of high strength that makes it possible to furl in a conventional manner... That can't be done with a spinnaker...

The top-down systems were first developed for the big superyachts, where the sheer size and weight of a sock made for difficult handling by the crew... But for the sort of boats most of us sail, I still think a sock is the way to go... The top-down furlers need to be tacked to either the stem, or a sprit, they appear to lack the versatility of being able to fly an asymmetrical spinnaker using a pole, for instance... Never having used one myself, however, I'm not certain about that... Has anyone out there used one? I'd be interested in hearing your take...

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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