I'll start off by saying that I'm new to roller furling and info y'all might take for granted might still be useful to me. I've been on boats a few times and seen it in action, a handful now in windy conditions. Most times I've been in windy condtions I've noticed two things:
1: It is a REAL bear to get a fully loaded genoa to start rolling up.
2: The sail shape looks like dog-vomit and the stress points on the sail are not reinforced.
So I'll tell you a little story from the other day, I was sailing with friends on a Cal 36 in sustained 27kt true. (Good times
) We made a bit of a bonehead move by putting up full main and then immediately unrolling the 135% genoa without putting a reef in first. That said, the boat, way overpowered, with a huge load on the genoa was being forced off the wind. I wasn't at the helm but I believe this to be the case. With the genoa loaded I was unable to pull in on the furling lead myself. It took two of us with one sweating the line. There was a sheet winch handy but the skipper vetoed that as we might break something in the furling system.
So, is this normal? I assume we should have turned into the wind but it appeared that skipper was unable to do so. The genoa sheet was out all the way to the stopper knot but the sail was still holding air like a dacron spinnaker.
Do any of y'all have a winch for the furling line? Should the boat have had longer sheets? How do y'all set up your boat, or handle your boat to furl down a big sail in the wind?
Once rolled up to where we wanted it the sail shape looked like crap with the "new" head and tack of the sail being along the foot and roach without reinforcing patches. This made us not want to crank toooo hard on the sheets for fear of tearing the sail.