Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: West Vancouver
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Roller Reefing Headsails
I have a hatred for roller reefing a headsail. No issues with roller furling i.e. all the way out, or furled all the way in, but a partially "reefed" headsail not only has terrible shape, but frequently, the associated gear typically isn't up for the job e.g. the furling rope gets snarled on the drum with the load, the furling line through the usually flimsy fairleads on the stanchions adds friction, you need to take it to a winch for a reefing application..etc etc...
Lastly, to handle a roller reefed situation, I think the headsail would have to be overbuilt, particularly the leech and clew. After all that, the shape is still generally not something you can seriously go to windward with in heavy air.
In storm conditions, a fully furled headsail adds a lot of pointless windage.
I prefer to use the right sized headsail with the right cut for the wind range, but that's just me. Day sailing for a few hours? Sure roller reef it, but offshore with heavy air for days on end? Not for me.
Edit: re: the trysail, a separate track should be added that goes down to the base of the mast at the coachroof, so that the trysail can be setup ready to hoist with the mainsail stowed on the boom and without having to strip it entirely from the mast.
Offshore makes you think differently. I would not rely totally on bare poles. I prefer to be sailing with some control and given that, not have a boom flogging around or getting buried to leeward in seas, hence the need for a trysail.
Last edited by wunhunglo; 04-20-2010 at 05:55 PM.