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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-16-2004
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Tuff Luff

Is anyone here familiar with Tuff Luff? How well does it work? Is it durable? Is it better than hanking on sails every time?
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Old 01-16-2004
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Tuff Luff

I had one on my Laser 28. It was used year round for 15 years without developing any problems. I thought it was a wonderful set up. For shorthanding I set up a netting in the forward lifelines and shock cord for quick tie off of the sail. I liked it a lot for short-handing and it is the only way to go for racing.

Jeff
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Old 01-16-2004
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Tuff Luff

We have a tuff-luff that came with the boat, so we have reason to believe it''s more than 20 years old. It''s a bit beat up from abuse, but still seems to work. Hanks do hold the jib nicely to the forestay, but they make changing headsails take MUCH longer. Especially if even just one of them binds. Using hanks also means you have to take one jib down entirely before you can hoist the other. Bald-headed sail changes make the boat SLOW!. Someone also has to be all the way forward at the base of the forestay to undo the hanks (and put on the new ones) This is not only slow, but dangerous as well. Once the sail''s tack has been secured and the head luffrope has been led through the pre-feeder for the tuff-luff, crew can retreat back to the mast to help hoist. Coming down, he just needs to be forward enough to help pull the sail down and free the tack and halyard. This is much safer and faster. Hanks have a place when your major concern is about the sail getting washed overboard. They can be convenient for leaving a sail "ready to go" on deck so you don''t have to keep stowing and taking out sails in changing breezes. It depends on what you''re looking to do with your boat.
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Old 01-20-2004
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Tuff Luff

I should have phrased the question a little better. I am deciding between roller furling and tuff luff on my Santana 35, which I will use exclusively for day sailing and cruising. The advantages of roller furling are obvious, but the boat came with four headsails - two each kevlar/mylar and dacron, all of different weights and in good condition. If I install roller furling, three of those sails will go unused, which seems like a waste. I assume that tuff luff sails have to be folded and stowed at the end of the day. Do they have to be cut in any way to work with the tuff luff system?
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Old 01-20-2004
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Tuff Luff

First of all, the luff tapes on a headsail made for a Tuff Luff are generally the same size at the luff tapes used on a furler. You should be able to use most of your sails on the furler. That said, larger racing style #1 genoas are generally have a little long a luff to use with the roller furler unless cut down.

I have a similarly proportioned fractional rig on my boat. My boat came with 11 jibs and a roller furler. (This is a 20 year old race boats so the sail collection builds up after a while.There is one full set of comparatively new racing sails, and then a motly collection with some that are in pretty fair shape and others are just old racing sails that are long past their prime but most are useable condition.)

When cruising I carry three jibs (a light #1, a heavy #2 and a small ancient kevlar blade) and a spinacker. Most of the time I use the #2 which at 140% has a range between 3 to 5 knots of wind on up to something approaching 20 knots without furling. If I am expecting very light air, I use the light #1 genoa which will sail well into almost no wind up to around 12 knots, and if it looks like a day of very high winds or cold dense air, I will put the blade on the furler. The blade is good well up into the mid 30 knot range.

You could probably get by with just one sail (roughly a 130% heavy genoa that could be reefed down to maybe 105%) if it was properly cut and had a foam luff. Properly constructed it would work pretty well in a wind range between maybe 7-8 knots and on up to maybe the low 20''s partially furled. What you lose with a sail like that is comfort and pointing ability at the high end of things, and the ability to sail on days when it is too light for the #2.

For me folding a sail is no big deal. I like the idea of not keeping a sail on the foil during the week when I don''t use the boat. If I go out for a period of time I like picking a sail that is right for that day.

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Jeff
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Old 01-20-2004
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Tuff Luff

Adding to Jeff''s comments: If you choose to get a roller furling, any sails you intend to use will need to have their hanks removed and a luff tape sewn on. In addition, you may want to add a foam luff if you intend to use the sail partially furled and you must add a sun cover if the sail is going to be left on the furling system. These are both added costs and add weight to the sail. Personally, I am a roller furling convert having installed a Profurl system on each of my last 4 boats. Pros are ability to deploy and reef a sail in a matter of seconds. Cons include possibility for mechanical failure and the sad fact that a furled sail is vastly inferior in shape. If you intend to race your boat you really could go either way as most furling systems allow you to remove the drum for racing and have 2 luff tracks that all you to hoist a second sail while flying the first. If you are willing to give up performance for convenience then a roller furling may be the way to go. As I mentioned above, roller furlings are by no means perfect; one more than one occasion, I have fouled the furling line or had problems with the upper swivel. This always seems to happen when the wind is howling. For me, given that I live 4 hours from my boat and I lack the time and inclination to hank (or feed) a sail and fold it at the end of the day, the roller furling is a good choice.


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Old 01-21-2004
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Tuff Luff

Thanks for all the great information. The problem is that you have brought more questions to mind, which I hope you won''t mind answering.
Jeff: as a relative newby, I assumed that it is difficult to change sails on a furler. Not true? Can you attach more than one sail at a time with a furler? Do sails have to be cut to work with Tuff Luff? Can Tuff Luff be self installed? Does it stay on the forestay as a furler does, or is it attached to the sail?
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Old 01-21-2004
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Tuff Luff

Furlers can come with two slots, just like a tuff-luff, though not all do. When you''re racing, you remove the drum and line that rolls the furler, so that the sails can be changed as needed. (Not all furlers allow you to do this.) Once the drum''s off, it''s the same procedure as with tuff-luff when you change sails. When you''re done racing, you hoist the sail you want, slap the drum back on, and roll it up. While it might be possible to sail with two jibs up at the same time with both setups, I would''nt want to do that with my tuff-luff. Others may not mind. To work in a furler or a tuff-luff, sails have to have the "tape" along their luff that JeffH referred to above. Essentially it''s a flap of cloth sewn to the sail that holds a line which slides up the slot and keeps the sail attached to the forestay. This may have to be added to your sails if you''ve been using hanks up to now. With a tuff-luff, this would not entail re-cuttting the sails, however. Tuff-luff is simply another way of holding the jib to the forestay. A furler, because it is usually mounted about a foot off the deck, probably will require that any sail you want to use with it be re-cut because of the roller-furler drum. (Sails that you would only use racing would probably not need re-cutting because you''d only use them after you had removed the drum for racing. ) Tuff-Luffs are mounted on the forestay, but I don''t know if they''re a self-install item.
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Old 01-22-2004
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Tuff Luff

paulk,

Thanks for the info. It has been difficult getting additional information on the subject of Tuff Luff on the web. Tuff Luff must have competitors. Who are they? Are they worth looking at? It appears that you are using Tuff Luff at the moment. Do you prefer it to a furler, or have you just not gotten around to replacing it yet?
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Old 01-22-2004
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Tuff Luff

Our primary use for the boat is racing, so we are frequently changing jibs. We would also be loath to leave our racing sails furled on the forestay, where the daily UV dose would make short work of the kevlar. After a daysail it would be easier to simply roll up the jib and open the beer, but the added cost -- $2-$3k for the furler, then re-cutting the sails -- hasn''t seemed worth it yet. The first mate keeps hinting, however, and leaves the jibs for me to fold with other crew..... For competitors to Tuff-Luff, I believe there''s a Stearns Stream-stay, but I''m not sure if it''s much competition.
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