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supergrade 02-07-2008 05:23 PM

Old Roller Furler (a.k.a. "To Furl, or Not To Furl...")
This is a real question, and yes I did check the archives before I posted this.....

OK, so, after being boatless and miserable for 7 years....we finally have a boat again. she's a 1977 Bristol 29.9, as mentioned elsewhere, and she's in great shape, except for a few things. One of those few things is the running rigging, which is no problem, because there is nothing I enjoy more than rerigging a boat just the way I like. so, here's the thing: our boat has an old, decrepit Seafurl roller furler. I've never have a headsail furler before, and to be honest, I don't understand them. It seems to me that the ability to carry an INVENTORY of headsails to suit the weather is infinitely better than carrying one permanent headsail.
I've never seen a roller jib that had a good shape when rolled partway up, and the "it's good for shorthanded sailors" argument seems weak to me, I've sailed alone plenty of times without a roller furler and had no trouble (I like to rig a downhaul led to the mast or the cockpit to bring the headsail down quickly).
Does anyone have thoughts? Does anyone feel the same? Seems like everyone has a roller furler, and I just don't get it. Any advice/comments welcome. If I have violated a rule or resurrected an old, dead thread, I'm sorry in advance.

CharlieCobra 02-07-2008 05:31 PM

I'm thinking of dumping my Harken unit and buying a good old fashioned Yankee cut jib. Of course, my boat's 47 years old and the Yankee would work better with the Staysail up than the current 135% Genny on the furler I currently have. Having the furler can spoil ya but then again, the sail's exposed to UV all of the time.

Classic30 02-07-2008 06:53 PM

Aside from the ones you've mentioned, the biggest advantage a roller-furled headsail gives you is the ability to shorten sail when the wind blows up just by pulling a cord in the cockpit.

True, sail shape is compromised.. but on a balmy night with guests on board, the party set don't care to have to put down their beer and excuse themselves from deep conversation just to go forward and change the jib.

One popular option is a roller-furler on your inner forestay. Several advantages:
1. You can rig headsails like you're accustomed to.
2. The furler doesn't get in the way of the anchor chain.
3. If you're out with guests and can't be bothered with a full headsail, you can unfurl the staysail with a pull of the sheet..

Happy sailing! :)

SVDistantStar 02-07-2008 07:00 PM

Ive had this same problem on Lola. A little wind storm made the decision for me last week when my rolled genny let out and flogged the **** out of itself into the rigging on my Pearson. Ive got 3 nice headsails that hank on and want to use them. I was having trouble deciding if it was worth it to remove the furler and ive pretty much decided its time for it to go.

Plumper 02-07-2008 07:05 PM

My jibs are hank on. The jibs on the 105' classic yacht I skippered were hank on. Sometimes I pine for roller furling then I learn of another disaster and save my money.
Provided you are organized and the boat will go straight when you leave the helm, sailing with hank on sails is a pleasure. The key is, of course, you gotta get off your a** to change sails. Lots of folks just plain don't like that.

The nice part is, when it is howling and you have your little 90% blade up and the boat is making good way to weather there is not much to go wrong.


Classic30 02-07-2008 07:34 PM

At the risk of serious over-simplification:

"Real Sailors Don't Use Furlers"!

:p :D :D

T34C 02-07-2008 08:08 PM


Originally Posted by Hartley18 (Post 262347)
At the risk of serious over-simplification:

"Real Sailors Don't Use Furlers"!

:p :D :D

I think you meant REAL OLD SAILORS.;)

rennisaint 02-07-2008 08:11 PM

Flexible furlers allow you to change sails.....not exactly a cheap way to go though.... dual channel units are great too.

Classic30 02-07-2008 08:25 PM


Originally Posted by rennisaint (Post 262368)
Flexible furlers allow you to change sails.....not exactly a cheap way to go though.... dual channel units are great too.

You mean head-foils?? Nahh.. if the sail doesn't feed into them properly and the guy on the halyard is a bit enthustiastic, you'll be wrestling with the bloody thing for hours. :mad:

There are some good furlers on the market (one or two) and they are not cheap or common, but getting the sail to furl properly and still actually set like a real sail is something that IMHO manufacturers haven't actually managed to acheive, despite trying for years. ;)

supergrade 02-07-2008 08:41 PM

Yeah.....that pretty much makes up my mind.......furler is gone. Buh-bye.

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