What type of roller furler do you recommend?
Mark Matthews responds:
We tend to stay away from recommending specific products, since there are too many variables. In the case of roller furlers, installation is certainly one such variable, and someone who has installed one type of unit may have it work flawlessly, while someone else with the same unit not installed properly may have all sorts of problems, particularly when it comes to the halyard inadvertently getting involved with the forestay. Having such a wrap has resulted in the demise of more than a few halyards and some forestays. Boat size, sailing experience, and what kind of sailing you do all come into play, as does maintenance, price, to say nothing of the types of metals used in roller furlers and how they'll hold up in your part of the world.
There are a variety of options when it comes to roller furlers, or any other piece of rigging for that matter. To figure out if Torlon bearings and a single or double groove are what you need, check out our Buying Guide. Id also refer you to Tom Wood's article Roller Furler Layup. Also, if you think you'll be around sailboats for a while, you should seriously consider owning Nigel Calder's classic tome Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual, which contains thorough information on all sorts of crucial systems and is available merely by clicking here. You can also give SailNet's rigging department a call at 1-800-234-3220 for further advice.