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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Roller furler headsails are pretty much standard these days. Equipped with proper UV protection, most do leave them rolled up between uses, unless put away for winter.
I'd guess the large majority are dacron exc for racers, and nowadays sails hold up pretty well. Sailing with a partially rolled up sail will not be ideal, esp to windward, but many do it. Ideally you'd change to the proper sail for conditions but the reality is that few truly do that often. Some sailmakers make headsails with shaped luffs and foam pads to try to enhance the 'rolled' shape with varying degrees of success.
For a 41 footer, depending on the rig you might find you'll do well with a nice 110 or 120% jib rather than a 150 that often gets installed, esp if the boat's reasonably powered up rig-wise. Tacking is much easier and once you get to 8-10 knots of breeze generally that's enough headsail, and reefing the main will not be required so soon.
The systems are quite reliable now, and the convenience is very nice to have.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)