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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-22-2007
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roller furling & mylar sails

hello all! I hope some one can answer my question.
A friend of mine purchased a Farr 37, it has mylar sails and three different head sails and he doesn't know which one he can use with the roller furling as he say's for roller furling the sail has to be cut differently. And can you furl mylar? They seem to be very difficult to handle. My boat had just good old canvas and one jib and one genny.

Thank you. I hope someone can help quickly as it is the height of sailing season and we have yet to get the sails up and get in some great sails

Sue

Last edited by ligal; 07-22-2007 at 08:03 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-22-2007
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Sue,
what's the problem, can't you put up the sail you want and then put it away after use? Sounds like the boat has new roller furling gear...but no sails sized for it??
I've never heard of any issues related to furling a particular sail or material - the sailmaker who will fix the sail can confirm that for you. There are a number of common issues when coverting a sail to roller furling:
1. is the sail luff taped and the tape the correct size for the furler extrusion
2. The furler units takes some space out of the hoist, if the sail is a full hoist, the foot may need to be cut to reduce the luff to fit. If the sail is NOT full hoist, then a leader may need to be added to head, so the furler swivel raises to the top of the forestay.
3. you need to add a UV cover

Coverting a sail to roller furling can be expensive, if the sail needs cutting down and is old, it can make sense to just buy a new sail, sized for general purpose use in typical winds, for example here in Boston I want to get a 130%. Otherwise just do the sail you expect to use most often.
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Old 07-22-2007
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I don't have mylar sails so this is not first-hand knowledge. I researched a bit about them and talked to a couple of folks that make them to determine if they were something that I should get...

My understanding is that the newer ones are moulded pieces of plastic that are laminated between two UV-resistant sheets of synthetic taffetta (or similar). They are not durable sails, as the laminations tend to separate with use and exposure. They can be furled if the sailmaker has sewn a luff pad into the sail - which is basically a long piece of contoured foam that provides a larger radius on the headfoil in the general area of the sail's fullness.

Laminate sails are more prone to mildew than woven sails, as they are solid sheets of plastic, hence water evaporates less easily. This is particularly true with the roller-furled sails. Both sailmakeers that I talked to told me that if it rains - I should go down to the boat and open the sails up to allow them to dry - otherwise mildew would occur very quickly. Hence - I decided they weren't for me.

The only differences that I am aware of as far as the cut goes are the shorter luff that is required to allow for the height of the furling gear, and the luff pad, however - I am far from knoowledgeable about this. I would suggest that your friend contact the loft that made the sails, if not the specific loft, then the local dealer, and ask them. Some of the lofts will be able to identify the specific sail if they made it, and they are usually very helpful folks.

Good Luck !
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Old 07-22-2007
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Old 07-22-2007
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thank you

Thanks for the quick reply and I will pass on your knowledge as I am helping him with his sails today.
I was a cruiser with my husband and he was a racer crewing on others boats Just not the same as being out there.
Sailorman since you are in the Boston area maybe you could give me a hint about how long you think it would take to sail up to the North coast of Maine from Long Isand NY as that is where he wants to move it. I try to tell him racing for a few hours is not like cruising.
Thanks again
Sue
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Old 07-22-2007
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It really depends on what kinda of laminate it is. If they are a cruising laminate [dacron/mylar] then it is fine to roller furl them as long as they have a UV cover. they also need to be the right length so they are full hoist on the furler to work correctly.

OTOH if the sails are a kevlar laminate [brown color] or carbon laminate etc then do not roller furl them [unless your sailmaker tells you different].. they don't like that.

Best have a sailmaker look at them and determine what you need to do.
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Old 07-22-2007
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I don't think there's a problem with loosely roller furling these laminate sails, but they won't like to be roller reefed.

If the luff tapes fit the furler, and you use whichever sail full sized all the time, there shouldn't be a problem. Its better for the sail if you remove it and store it out of the weather anyway. In the meantime while sailing you have the convenience of quickly rolling the sail up out of the way.
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Old 07-23-2007
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Ligal - I'm up in Canada on the Great Lakes, hence can't give you much info regarding the time to cruise from NY to Maine. If it's any help, it used to take me three to four days to sail from Halifax, N.S. to Bar Harbor, ME - depending on which way the wind was coming from...
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Old 07-23-2007
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You can do it

I have a Mylar headsail converted to roller furling, and it works fine. It had to be cut to fit obviously, and my sailmaker says that you can only use certain types of UV protection, and even those are attached in a special way. But there are no operational issues, and the sail still looks new after three years on the furler.
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Old 07-23-2007
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Glad to hear

Thanks again to all that responded.
We went thru the hug inventory of sails that came with the boat and sure enough in the last bag was the roller furling jib, but it does not look like it has any UV protection on it but it will go on. And I HOPE SOON !!
Sue
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