Old Roller Furler (a.k.a. "To Furl, or Not To Furl...") - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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  #21  
Old 02-08-2008
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I think the weight aloft is a non-issue. The furlers simple don't weight that much. The only weigt aloft is the weight of the foil and a swivel. The weight of the foil is evenly distributed over the length of the headstay and the swivel is light. As the owner of an older boat with a new furling unit retro-fitted, and I can tell you that the entire furler (drum, foil, swivel, etc...) is lighter than 6in. of my mast.
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  #22  
Old 02-08-2008
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It is the weight (and windage) of the sail that is an issue. Most boat stability is calculated with no sails up the stick.

Gaz
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  #23  
Old 02-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
It is the weight (and windage) of the sail that is an issue. Most boat stability is calculated with no sails up the stick.

Gaz
So you think the luff tape weighs more than bronze hanks????? There will be a slight windage differnce since the foil is bigger that the head stay, but its minimal. I must me missing something.
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  #24  
Old 02-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
It is the weight (and windage) of the sail that is an issue. Most boat stability is calculated with no sails up the stick.

Gaz
Plumper,

The weight of my Harken furler, in total, is less than 17lbs. The majority of the weight including the drum and its mechanism, furling line, tangs and apparatus that make it up are at the BOTTOM or deck level. Close to 80% of my furlers weight is within 14" of the deck...

At best I added maybe 4 lbs. aloft. Contrast that with the weight of in mast wiring for antennas, wind, anchor, spreader lights and a tri-color and you're way, way over 4lbs. and that's just the wire no antennas or anemometers. I'd bet enough bronze hanks, for a traditional configuration on my boat, would weigh at least 2 lbs!

Heck if you switched from the standard wire halyards, of that vintage, and replaced them with modern day low stretch line the extra two pounds aloft for the furler would become a net loss. In other words replacing your wire halyards and adding a new furler, to an old boat, will result in less weight aloft than the original configuration. Beyond that even 15 pounds on an 11,000+/- pound displacement boat is negligible.

Hell, most radar mounts, forget the dome, weigh in at more than 3-4 lbs.

Remember this guy has an older Bristol NOT a Mumm or J Boatn so weight aloft is really not even worth talking about in his scenario...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-08-2008 at 04:54 PM.
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  #25  
Old 02-08-2008
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On the contrary, weight aloft is the issue. All that extra gear at the top of the mast seriously affects the righting moment of your boat. Especially in severe weather when the boat is heeling from wind pressure and there are breaking waves. A boat with a furling jib still has the weight of the sail aloft (even furled) while one with hanks has downshifted to a smaller sail and put the bigger heavier sails down below. Of course that can also be done with furled sails but it becomes much more difficult because you don't take the sail off (you furl it) until the windage and weight become an issue. Then, in extreme conditions, you have to unfurl the sail to remove it. That is not a pleasant task. Small changes in weight aloft and windage up high have significant effects on boat stability.
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Old 02-08-2008
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Sometimes the originator of a thread walks away while everone else continues to debate the original post. Not the case here......this is exactly what I was hoping to get.....a discussion of the pros and cons from several different people. Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2008
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Sometimes the originator of a thread walks away while everone else continues to debate the original post. Not the case here......this is exactly what I was hoping to get.....a discussion of the pros and cons from several different people. Thanks!
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  #28  
Old 02-08-2008
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Plump- Ok now I understand what you are getting at. I don't agree, but understand what you are saying. I've never heard any accounts of boats that were even so much as knocked down because they had a furled headsail still on in heavy weather.
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  #29  
Old 02-08-2008
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While it is nice to be nostalgic, I would never go to sea without my headsail(s) on roller furling. When bad weather pipes up beyond the adjustability of the sail, it is nice to be able to roll it up without having to go on deck and it improves safety at sea. Todays furlers are efficient and if you like to change headsails in less than heavy conditions, there is no reason you can't. If you're worried about not having a storm sail option with a furler...then get an ATN Gale sail which slips on right over the furled sail. Finally...simply rolling out your headsail makes it easier to decide to sail as you don't have to get into a big production...10 seconds after you think about it....you're sailing...or furled!
All of the around the globe boats today use furlers, so any safety concerns are insignificant relative to the many benefits. One can make a case for hank ons for racing and day sailing if you like to fiddle around getting the most out of the boat...but for cruising these days, you should have a furler.
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  #30  
Old 02-08-2008
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Like I said earlier,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
If I had a boat with a furler, I would leave it that way unless something was wrong with it. If I had one with hanks I would also leave it that way unless I had some basic challenges getting the sails up and down. In the long run, hanks just seem to be tougher and I like that.

Gaz
For me, the decision to change from one to the other would be based on economic factors. I could happily cruise with either. I do think it is important to understand the issues associated with furling.

Gaz
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