Halyard Tension on Roller Furling System - SailNet Community

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Old 05-23-2010
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Halyard Tension on Roller Furling System

When furling the sail for the day, should the halyard be slacked off a bit to avoid parking the sail with the luff under high tension? What's the common practice? What do you do?
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Old 05-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countdemonet View Post
When furling the sail for the day, should the halyard be slacked off a bit to avoid parking the sail with the luff under high tension? What's the common practice? What do you do?
There's no harm in slackening the halyard after furling the sail. Just make sure to harden it back up before using it again. A loose halyard is much more likely to wrap.
To be truthful though, most people don't take the tension off and I don't really ever see any problems because of that.
Systems that use torlon ball bearings may be a little more susceptible to flattening the balls than the ones that use steel bearings, but I bet it would have to sit in one position for a long time for that to happen.

I think more important is not tensioning the halyard too much to begin with.
People often tend to over tighten the halyards on furlers. Older Harken systems especially don't like too much tension.

What I don't understand is why more people don't ease off their adjustable backstays when done for the day.
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Old 05-23-2010
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You will find that easing the halyard slightly--but leaving the headstay taunt--before your furl will make furling easier. It is also wise to relieve the tension on the sail's luff while furled/stored to prevent the luff stretching due to "creep" in the sailcloth which will ultimately distort the sail.

Easing the headstay/backstay while the yacht is moored will tend to reduce wind induced oscillation in the stays.

FWIW...
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Old 05-23-2010
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Easing the headstay/backstay while the yacht is moored will tend to reduce wind induced oscillation in the stays.
Actually; you should maintain a minimum of 10% break strength or so on your backstay when in the slip. If you let it go fully slack the headstay and backstay will vibrate and fatigue the end fittings. If you use the backstay to add bend to the mast; you should ease that tension; but you should never let it sit with zero backstay tension.

We ease the jib halyard after the headsail is furled. When we deploy we add some tension before opening the sail (so the halyard will not wrap around the foil) and then fully tension the halyard when the sail is deployed before sheeting it in. A chore to protect the sail; but still much much easier than needing to hoist/drop/fold/stow the headsail.
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Old 05-23-2010
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Thanks for the insight. I learned a lot in one hour!
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Old 05-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countdemonet View Post
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Count,

I'm going out Friday and would like 15-kt SSW wind with waves no higher than 1-2-ft for the stretch of Chesapeake from Herrington Harbor to Annapolis. Blue skies would be nice too, but you didn't mention skies, so I'd be happy with the first two. Will you accommodate?
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Old 06-01-2010
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ww,
Sorry I missed your post, but I dashed off to the marina last week. Alas, I only have the power to try and rule the conditions Neptune grants. I hope your sail was exceptional. We had 12-15 kt and 2-3 ft on Saginaw bay, Lake Huron. Great ride under 1st reef and the genoa rolled in to 100%.
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