furling line blocks or bullseyes - SailNet Community

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Old 12-03-2009
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furling line blocks or bullseyes

Busted knees resulted in the purchase of a furler for the headsail on my Ranger 26. Travesty.
Just wondering what folks recommend as far as the furling line blocks. The furler uses 6 mm line. At first look the sheafer clear-deck blocks or the newer dual-roller harken jobbies look pretty good as far a getting the line outside the stantions. But it almost seems that bullseye leads would also be pretty good and may be a cleaner look.
Being new to furling, does the furling line require blocks on all stantions, or just the outermost one? I used to rig a downhaul on the jib and lead a line through various tiny blocks and line loops and didn't notice any huge friction issues. The boat has slotted toerails if that provides any other options.
Not looking for cheap, just clean.
Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZ View Post
Busted knees resulted in the purchase of a furler for the headsail on my Ranger 26. Travesty.
Just wondering what folks recommend as far as the furling line blocks. The furler uses 6 mm line. At first look the sheafer clear-deck blocks or the newer dual-roller harken jobbies look pretty good as far a getting the line outside the stantions. But it almost seems that bullseye leads would also be pretty good and may be a cleaner look.
Being new to furling, does the furling line require blocks on all stantions, or just the outermost one? I used to rig a downhaul on the jib and lead a line through various tiny blocks and line loops and didn't notice any huge friction issues. The boat has slotted toerails if that provides any other options.
Not looking for cheap, just clean.
Thanks.
The simple bullseyes are intended to lead the line inside the stanchions, and even then will introduce a fair bit of friction into the system. Your boat is at the tricky borderline size -- but if you can spare the change I would spring for the Harken OSLBAs (Outboard Stanchion Lead Block Assemblies).

I recently installed OSLBAs on our boat and have been very happy with them. Ideally, you'd put them on each stanchion. Here's a thread that might be worth perusing:

Harken OSLBAs

P.S. Sorry about your knees.
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Old 12-03-2009
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Bullseyes should be fine for the intermediate
fairleads that do not deflect the line much.
It may be better to have a ball bearing block
at the bow where the furling line will be deflected
at some angle to guide it on to the drum.
It is also a good idea to use a small ratchet
block near the stern to control the line.
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Old 12-03-2009
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My old boat had the line running on the inside of the stanchions and they did not get in the way, but I always thought about upgrading them to an outside system. My new boat has bull-eyes on the deck as it gets routed up and over the cabin and through a clutch. This setup has a lot of friction and I plan on moving it to the stanchions using Garhauer's blocks. It is not top on my priority list however.

One thing to remember is you need to create some tension on the line as you let it the sail out or you can get a mess in the furling drum, so a high friction system actually helps in this respect.

I can take some effort if you are reefing the sail. I had a spare cockpit winch on my last boat that I could just wrap the line around and this made the job easy. I have also sailed on boat that you needed to winch the line in when reefing just because of all the friction in the system. The larger the boat and sail the more difficult it can be. You shouldn't have a problem on your boat though.

Furlers are great. Enjoy.
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Old 12-03-2009
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Just to add to the caution about maintaining tension on the lind as you let the sail out. Early this season I forgot to do this, and the resulting mess in the drum couldn't be untangled. As a result the jib couldn't be furled on a very windy day with large waves. I had to got up to the foredeck (bow pounding into the waves), and get the jib down by taking it off the furler. And then in all that excitement, losing the job harlyard up into the top of the furler. Resulting in having to pay someone to go up the mast later on to retrieve said jib halyard. All in all, a big "lesson learned".
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Old 12-04-2009
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Thanks for the input. Sounds like getting the right amount of drag on the system might be something I can putz with for a few months next season, maybe longer if I drag it out enough.
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Old 12-04-2009
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Just a quick note to give a little more choice in hardware: check out Garhuer blocks. They make a real nice stanchion block in three sizes Garhauer Marine Hardware -447824 (I don't have a ny financial interest in Garhauer). I replaced all of my deck hardware with Garhauer manufactured equipment, and was very impressed with the quality and service.
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Old 12-04-2009
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I would recommend bullseyes where you are only trying to contain the line and lead blocks where the line is deflected or turned. Using a ratchet block as the aft articulating block is a good idea.
Be certain that the first articulating block behind the furler is positioned as close to perpendicular to the drum as you can get it. Then by imparting a little drag on the line as the sail unfurls you will get a nice wind.

Last edited by knothead; 12-04-2009 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 12-04-2009
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Ratchet Block

I second what COOL said - we used to have problems with reefing line jams at the furler drum. Installed a ratchet block AFT of the cockpit, so the furling line has to make almost a 180 turn - this automatically keeps some tension on the line as you let out the genny. No more fouled furling drum!
The Harken dual-roller jobbies are nice, but if your stanchions are not 1", you have to add spacers (mine are 7/8" - go figure) to make up the difference. Not a big deal, but something to consider. Garhauer is good stuff - worth a look?
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Old 12-04-2009
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Save your money and follow what COOL said. I have that setup, minus the ractchet block, on my boat with the bullseyes on the outside of the stantions. Works great and is much less than the fancier systems. I sprang for the expensive stainless lined bullseyes as it cut down on friction and they don't wear out each season.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 05:36 AM.
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