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Neicy 04-13-2006 09:01 AM

Need some info on Roller Furling
I was looking through some older Practical Sailors newsletters (July 05) and came across an article on furling leads. As a new sailor a sentence caught my attention. "If you have to use a winch to furl the headsail, something's wrong". Exactly what does this mean. I have profurl and without the winch I cannot imagine getting my 150 rolled up.
One other question, what is the correct size line for the furler?

sailingdog 04-13-2006 10:00 AM

If there is so much resistance on the furling line, that you require a winch to bring furl the sail...something is very wrong. It sounds like you may need to investigate what is binding on your furling unit.... because it sounds like something is... and if you continue to stress it that way, something is bound to break.

sailandoar 04-13-2006 10:03 AM

I suspect that they mean you should be able to pull the fuling line and roll the sail up 'by hand' when there is not a lot of wind pressure/tension on the sail. At the dock or drifting in a near calm, if you have to use the winch then something is binding/draging and adjustment or lubrication is likley called for. One of my favorite and most productive research methods is to ask, "can I please speak to someone in technical support". Works like a charm about 85% of the time.

Faster 04-13-2006 10:08 AM


If you are needing a winch it's likely you are trying the roll up the sail while it is filled. The sheet should be mostly free, just enough tension to be sure the sail rolls up clean, but not too tight. Often works best to furl sailing a deep reach, with the genny blanketed by the main. Alternately in lighter breezes do it head-to-wind with the luffing sail putting the right amount of tension on.Also remember to keep a light tension on the furling line while unfurling the sail to avoid overrides on the drum

As far as line size goes, for handling larger is better (easier on the hands), but don't put so heavy a line that it overfills the furling drum. A good non-stretch line helps. On our 24' race boat we had a small (4mm - 1/8") kevlar furling line with a larger (10mm - 5/16") cover slipped over and stitched to the portion that did not enter the drum. This kept the line in the drum small, but left you something to grab at the cockpit. This combo would be too small for your boat but you could do the same with larger sizes.


TejasSailer 04-13-2006 06:43 PM


I think what you read was correct. On our 37' boat, within a few days of sailing after the installation of the furlier, using the winch was the only way to furl the jib. Our problem was wrapping the halyard which was caused by an inappropriate angle of the halyard to the forestay. We figured that out by one for us furling at the dock and the other warching what was happening via binoculars.

The solution was a "restainer" that has completely corrected the angle and the problem. If you have the furler installation manual, this might be explained. If not, you can probably find one on the web. In any case, the Harken manual, which is available on-line explains the situation quite well, and I'm guessing that if this is the problem, the solution is generic.

sailingdog 04-13-2006 07:40 PM

One other suggestion I have for the line, is many riggers are using double braid and removing the core for the part of the line that wraps on the drum. This allows you to use a larger line for ease of handling, and the coreless section wraps quite flat and neatly on the drum.

TejasSailer 04-13-2006 07:56 PM

Oops, forgot to mention that the solution could be as simple as more tension on the halyard.

Also forgot to mention that our rigger removed the core as suggested in the previous post, and that seems to work quite well.

Faster 04-13-2006 10:49 PM

Cover or core?
I would think that the cover was removed, leaving the stronger, thinner core to go onto the drum. Same as we did, only we stripped the core out of double braid and replaced it with the (lower stretch) kevlar line.

paulmcquillan 04-14-2006 02:19 AM

You should be able to furl most modern systems by hand in most conditions. We have about a 560 sq ft headsail on a Schaffer 3100 (slightly larger drum diameter for more leverage).

It's a 41 foot sloop, and we almost always can furl by hand. It got eaven easier when we replaced the deck bullseyes that the furling line runs through, and replaced them with the Shaffer stanchion-mounted roller bearing leads.

drynoc 04-14-2006 08:47 AM

Watch the backstay
I have an Alado furler on my 35' boat, and it works well enough, but it is important to remember to tension the adjustable backstay if you have one. This will stiffen the head stay and make the system work more smoothly.

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