"Reefing Point" for Roller Furled Headsail? - SailNet Community

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Old 05-13-2012
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"Reefing Point" for Roller Furled Headsail?

One of the significant drawbacks to a roller furled headsail is the combination of poor sail shape as well as stress on the roller furler when using the sail in a partially furled state, particularly in heavy weather.

I've long been thinking about whether it would be beneficial to add a kind of "storm jib reefing point" in a roller furled headsail which would behave similarly to e.g. an ATN Gale Sail, consisting of two reinforced grommets with a sewn in length of Dyneema between them, and a length of Dyneema the same length as the distance between the grommets, permanently atttached to the top grommet (or even just an extension of the line sewn in to the sail) and clipped to the bottom grommet when not in use. When needed, it would be unclipped from the bottom grommet and attached to a second halyard, and a specially measured Dyneema tack line, of precisely the correct length from deck to grommet, would be attached to the lower grommet, and then the second halyard pulled tight. See diagram (not exactly to scale):

The red line is the sewn-in Dyneema length and the green lines are the pre-measured Dyneema halyard and tack lines.

Obviously, a solution like this wouldn't work for anything other than near the endmost section of the headsail, lest it mess up the shape of the sail, but for "storm jib" functionality, I'm thinking there may be real benefit, as it would be faster/easier to rig than a separate storm jib, would produce a better leading edge, would remove stress from the furler (and rest of the furled sail), and help prevent the furled portion of the sail from unrolling. And if the halyard is also Dyneema, it would collectively provide a second backup forestay, making the entire rig more robust in heavy weather.

Or is this just madness...? ;-)
If a man speaks at sea where there is no woman to hear, is he still wrong?
Cruising the Baltic in 'Merihiisi', a 1979 Westerly Berwick Ketch

Last edited by rhumbunctious; 05-13-2012 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 05-13-2012
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Re: "Reefing Point" for Roller Furled Headsail?


Interesting concept. I would never call anyone mad, that attempts to find an elegant solution to a problem. " Post-it" notes, came from a laboratory mistake.

I do see a couple of issues with your solution, and wonder what your thoughts are.

1.) A furling headsail rolled up to the size of a storm jib would end up pretty high off the deck, too high imo, raising the CE considerably

2,) The weight/guage of the cloth of a proper storm jib is much heavier than that of a roller furling genoa. Would you propose having a different gauge material for the storm portion? If so, I wouldn't want the seam exposed; I'd want it rolled at least once around the furler. So you'd have to extend the heavier material beyond the final desired size.

3.) The new Head and Tack would need to be greatly reinforced beyond simply installing a grommet. The clew should be heavier/stronger than normal too.

How would that heavier material, and reinforcement affect the light air performance of the unfurled genoa?

Theoretically you could work out 2 and 3. I don't see a workaround for 1.
Sabre 34
Morgan, NJ

Last edited by Tempest; 05-13-2012 at 06:47 AM.
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