Headstay/halyard tension to improve roller furling performance - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2007
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Headstay/halyard tension to improve roller furling performance

My roller furling requires a good bit of muscle power to both furl and unfurl. Not to the point where I need a winch thankfully. I've read all the treads on the subject and see conflicting opinions as to whether the headstay and halyard tension should be increased or decreased to improve the performance. Can anyone weigh in on which direction I should try? Thanks.
Tom Shannon
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Old 07-04-2007
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Tom-

Sounds like you've got too much halyard tension. Generally, if a roller furling head sail is giving you trouble, take a look around, because something is wrong. Another problem is if you have too little headstay tension, since that can cause the foil to sag, which can make it harder to turn.
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Old 07-05-2007
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I will follow this with interest, not because my furling isn't working, but because my forestay seems a tad slack to me, coming from a hank-on foresail past where I regularly cranked up the Loos tension gauge to 1,200 lbs. on a 1/4" stay in order to get a decent draw.
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Old 07-05-2007
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Our furler seems to be properly set up. It takes a bit of a pull to get started when furling in but gets easier after the first few turns. Unfurling the sail is easy for the first several turns and then the wind does the rest.

Last edited by CapnHand; 07-05-2007 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 07-05-2007
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I experienced the same problem and it was a combination of both. I increased tension on the forstay and let some out of the halyard and it works great.
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Old 07-05-2007
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I've had this furling problem before. It boils down to headstay tension (or lack of). Tighten up on the stay tension so that the foil is not sagging. The halyard shouldn't be tension too much else it'll put stress on one side of the bearing assembly. You can see if the furler upper head assembly (one that slide up the foil) is off normal.
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Old 07-05-2007
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In my experience it is best to first reduce completely the halyard tension before furling or unfurling a headsail. This takes the tension off the bearings and will allow the drum to turn easily. This is standard practice on my boat. Once the sail is unfurled I retension the halyard. Once the sail is furled, I leave the halyard tension off, so as not to stretch the sail luff or the halyard.

Max
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Thanks all for your input. It sounds like I'll let off the halyard tension and crank up the headstay tension. I appreciate your time in responding.
Tom Shannon
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Old 07-05-2007
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What kind of furler / boat?

Hello,

What kind of furler and what size boat do you have? That will have an impact on the furling performance.

My first boat was a Catalina 22 with a Profurl unit. It was easy to do because the system worked well and the sail was small. My next boat was a newport 28 with a Furlex. That unit took more effort to furl because the sail was bigger. it was still easy to do because I liked how the Furlex worked.

My current boat is an O'day 35 with a Hood furler. This is not easy to furl at all, it requires a lot of effort. I think the problem is the Hood unit. It was originally a Line Drive (continuous line) system that was later modified to a single line (SL) system. The line has the core stripped to it fits on the drum, but it frequently binds when I try to furl the sail. Part of the problem is that the sail (a 50 genoa) is much larger than the other sails. I may need to make some adjustments to stay / halyard tension.

Good luck,
Barry
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Old 07-05-2007
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Barry,
It's a Profurl on a 42' boat. The force required is not too excessive and it may be that it's just a big sail. I'm going to try the headstay and halyard adjustments as suggested and see what the results are.
Tom Shannon
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