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Old 07-27-2007
Henry Fung
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Building a roller furler


I am planning to make a furler for the jib on my 25 footer, and I would like to know are there any past experience from other sailors who also made the furler for their own boats?


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Old 07-27-2007
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Tartan34C will become famous soon enough
Are you going to design and build your own from scratch or are you installing a manufactured unit? It would be an interesting project to build one and if thatís what you are doing the only thing I would say is to avoid the mistakes of other builders. For instance Hyde used steel bearings and hoped they could seal them but they rusted and the system froze. Lots of early gear used the luff wire of the headsail as the attachment and rotation between the top and bottom. That doesnít seem to give you enough tension and you get a lot of sag with the result that the sail shape suffers. Some form of extrusions riding on the headstay is the better way to go. If you choose to not use the rigid extrusion you also get a lot of twist as you roll the sail up and reefing is all but imposable.

The only homemade systems I have seen used light aluminum tubing over the headstay with a sleeve sewn on the luff to slide up the tube. It had a screw into the tube top and bottom to keep the sail from rotating as you rolled the sail. The control line was just wrapped around the tube. It worked but you needed to take the mast down to change or remove the sail and you didnít have much mechanical advantage with the control line.
Good luck and all the best,
Robert Gainer
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