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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2007
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Yes, it IS a bit dated, but there's no way to fly an 800 sq. foot jib (or whatever the hell it is) without a furler, and I suspect that she didn't pick hers up at a West Marine clear-out sale.

So if we focus on cutters or ketches under 42 feet, say, or sloops under 38 feet, it's not unreasonable to envision that a hank-on is just another option.

Understand that I've had both, and I like both, but I have no problem trading the admittedly attractive convenience of roller furling for the mechanical simplicity and flexibility of, say, a light No. 1, a heavy No. 1 and a nice 100% Dacron No. 3, plus the ability to pole out and, if you have a skilled sailmaker, to reef them as well.

Please also understand that my context is distance sailing far from most lofts. If the furler goes kablooey, or the foresail is badly damaged, I want some way to run up at least a temporary replacement. I am also a proponent of storm sails, although in practical terms this will probably mean a "stock" staysail and a beefed up storm staysail with a single reef. I am considering a Gale Sail, but I need to do more study.

So I suspect if the furler doesn't break on the new boat, I'll keep the furler. I'm already maintaining it, and it's not a Swiss watch, after all. But if it busts, I have no real issue converting back to hank-ons. But it isn't a matter of pure faith to me, either...I just really like to point the boat high and have been known to employ such arcana as barber-hauler upwind and genoa staysails on a reach...
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Old 04-23-2007
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V- I'm not arguing with the option as there are hundreds of years of hank on history...just the characterization of furlers as less reliable. You will note that Ellen's staysail is also on a furler. For most...the reliability of a furler outweighs the safety issue of needing to go forward in bad weather to deal with sails. The question it seems to me is: Am I more likely to get into trouble at sea if my furler doesn't work or if I MUST go on deck to change sails in 30 knots of wind and 8-10ft. seas....and what are the odds.
In the context of the original post...a remain baffled by a decision to eliminate a furler for safety yet compromise a backstay for communications.
(I have a "compromised" backstay 'cause I didn't know the alternatives...but at least I have a spare! (split backstay)).
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Old 04-23-2007
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I like furlers. But then there was one day when the furling line broke, chafed up forward someplace on something unnoticed, and we had a 150 fully unfurled in mounting winds and worsening weather and no way to furl it without someone going up on the bow and...yeah, sure, thread a needle inside the roller drum while the rocking horse is pitching.

I have to admit at times like that, a hanked-on sail is faster and easier to deal with!

The chafed line? Yeah, we know that's pilot error but isn't that why sailors say "---- happens" ?
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Old 04-23-2007
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HS....so with the furler broken you had to go to the front of the boat to haul the sail down and get it under control. Sounds like a sail change to me! (G)
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Old 04-23-2007
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V- I'm not arguing with the option as there are hundreds of years of hank on history...just the characterization of furlers as less reliable. You will note that Ellen's staysail is also on a furler.

Cam, we should remove Ellen MacArthur's foredeck arrangements from the discussion, because it's a sure bet that her boats customarily travel three times the speed of ours and that even her staysail would likely tarp over our entire vessels. I am arguing (much as I would argue in favour of a manual transmission in Africa) in favour of the option of hank-ons in vessels of 42 feet or so and under.



For most...the reliability of a furler outweighs the safety issue of needing to go forward in bad weather to deal with sails.

I understand that, but I would argue that furlers inherently are more breakdown-prone than hank-ons, and that certain types of offshore sailing are made actually easier (option of a deck-sweeper, reefable foresails, storm sails) via hank-ons than the "all things to all people" furling yankee, which is cut to an ideal windspeed range (and desire for visibility) and is in some boats "not enough for light air and too much for heavy".

If you are a 60-year-old couple on a big boat, hell, yes...buy the most reputable furlers you can find (and size them up one class!). But I've had too much experience with multiple foresails on "long J" IOR style boats to pretend I don't feel how compromising a yankee jib can be. And as I said, by leading a downhaul and the halyard back to the cockpit, it is as easy to reef or douse a foresail with hanks as it is to furl.



The question it seems to me is: Am I more likely to get into trouble at sea if my furler doesn't work or if I MUST go on deck to change sails in 30 knots of wind and 8-10ft. seas....and what are the odds.


That's an excellent question each voyager must answer for him or herself, and which depends greatly on safety gear, deck design (some are far more exposed than others), personal experience of foredeck work (my little wife has little problem even with our 150% Kevlar genny on the old boat, which is equivalent to the entire main on the new boat), and of course, the prevailing conditions and one's preparedness. I am also strongly influenced, I will freely admit, from the cruising stories of the Roths, the Hiscocks, the Smeatons and the Pardeys, all of whom have opted for "bullet proof" over "convenient", possibly because of expense and age, but also, I think, because furling can be from a sail efficiency point of view, somewhat limiting.


In the context of the original post...a remain baffled by a decision to eliminate a furler for safety yet compromise a backstay for communications.
(I have a "compromised" backstay 'cause I didn't know the alternatives...but at least I have a spare! (split backstay)).


Yeah, I don't get that bit either. I have two backstays (not split, but two complete backstays going from both stern quarters to the masthead). Even with that redundancy, I will hoist an SSB antenna for transmit purposes off the spare main halyard rather than saw into 5/16th" of stay. It seems an unnecessary compromise, like replacing a furler would (to me!).
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Cam-
A sail change would have been easier. This boat just had the 150 aboard, so if we wanted a sail, we had to rethread the %$@ furler not just haul down the sail. And that was a job best done by "first, unscrew the itty bitty screw under the furling drum and try not to drop it into the ocean".

No doubt you know the drill.
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Old 04-23-2007
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Bill Trayfors has good antenna arangment on his boat basicly uses a spare halyard to pull up a random wire thats attached to the stern pulpit You dont have to cut the stay.
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  #18  
Old 04-23-2007
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Valiente/HS...Ok guys...I'll stop arguing as I think we've covered all the points for and against furlers! Kinda like anchor threads and mono vs. cat!! (G)

Bottom line....There's more than one way to safely navigate...just be aware of the choices and make ones that are good for you and your boat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
Cam-
A sail change would have been easier. This boat just had the 150 aboard, so if we wanted a sail, we had to rethread the %$@ furler not just haul down the sail. And that was a job best done by "first, unscrew the itty bitty screw under the furling drum and try not to drop it into the ocean". No doubt you know the drill.
That's why I liked the Sheaffer Furlers I had on my last 2 boats with open access to jammed lines and no screws to screw with to replace the furling line. I have a Furlex now and would gladly trade for a Sheaffer of the same size. Except for the - Big - friction difference at maybe 10 to 1 over regular hanks of sliding a different sail up the slot just carry a few smaller furler luff taped sails for when it hits the fan and the furler can't do what needs to be done.
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  #20  
Old 04-24-2007
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Newport41-

My boat (a '79 Mk-I) was re-rigged ~3 years ago before I purchased the boat. The re-rig included new terminals/turbuckles (swaged); with running backstays, Harken Mk-III Unit 2.5 furler, and insulated backstay, new running rigging on the mast (7 halyards), new stainless lifelines, spartite mast partners. IIRC the bill for the rigging (no yard labor/time included) came to appx. $18,000.

A similar boat (C&C Landfall 38) has a re-rig price breakdown listed here:

Rigging Cost
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