Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People. - Page 27 - SailNet Community
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post #261 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
and their universal acceptance among the elite singlehanded racing fraternity speaks volumes about their functionality and reliability…
Members of the elite singlehanded racing fraternity generally have sponsors

Hey, kroozers can have sponsors, too… Take the Bumfuzzles, for example – their “Wanna buy us a pizza?” PayPal link could have been just as well titiled “Wanna buy us a roller furler?”, no? (grin)

My point is, roller furling headsails by now have a superb track record of functionality and reliability among a wide array of sailors…

Another example, then – Rolf Bjelke and Deborah Shapiro…



If they are to be considered “Offshore” sailors, that is… (grin)

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There may be good reasons for some to still prefer to avoid RF on a cruising boat, but fear of failure/problems should certainly not be among them… I would guess that 99.9% of those making the switch to RF never look back, if you know what you’re doing with today’s systems and don’t abuse them, there’s really very little chance of major drama with their use, IMHO…
Agreed. But that is a mighty big IF.
Well, then I would suggest that any sailor incapable of routinely inspecting and maintaining a system that rarely requires either, or properly performing an operation as butt-simple as the operation of a furling headsail, well… they probably shouldn’t be going up on the foredeck on a dirty night offshore to change their hanked-on headsails, either…. (grin)
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post #262 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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*Clueless Amatuer Alert*

I don't understand this statement. I admit that I have limited experience, and use hank-on jibs, but are you trying to furl while sailing off the wind? Couldn't you come close to the wind to unload the sail, and furl it, then fall back off and resume couse?

I realize that this may mean reversing course for a few minutes. What am I missing here?

Example: During last year's Governor's Cup, the wind built the point where the skipper ordered a headsail change. A less experienced driver was at the helm, and the crew couldn't haul the sail down (this sail was in a foil, not hanks). I nudged the helmsmen and told him to pinch up a bit to unload the sail, and it came right down. He thanked me for the reminder, later that night.

Hi BubbleheadMD!

You're certainly not clueless! I bet that was awesome helping all aboard by knowing how to unload the sail..

I think in general the bigger the boat and sails, then the longer it takes to furl, and the greater the forces are to the point of having to do things differently than on a smaller boat... I think that the bigger the boat the more important it becomes to furl in a much more controlled way...

On my boat, heading into the wind in a squall to furl the jib would cause the jib to flog like crazy with enough force and for long enough to likely damage the sail. I would also need my engine to head into heavy wind.. and doing that would cause my boat to hobby horse which is more of a problem with my hull than others...

I would rather try to keep the boat on course with the wind vane, slack the jib sheet until it just barely begins to flog, then furl it in a little bit with a self tailing winch. Then repeat until enough or all of the jib is brought in.. all without letting it flog..
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post #263 of 375 Old 01-17-2012 Thread Starter
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...butt-simple …. (grin)
Now that's a term that needs far more exposure in the sailing world.


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post #264 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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On my smaller Westsail 32 I could always man handle the jib furler by pulling the line by hand. Difficult in heavier wind, but possible. But on my bigger Westsail 42 it's just about impossible to furl the jib in heavy air without a winch.. I think my big mistake was not installing a self tailing winch for furling the jib.. It made everything so much harder to correct when I accidentally gybed when that squall hit. I was spending forever battling with trying to get the jib in by pulling the line in by hand... Never again! I'm installing a self tailing winch for furling the jib before we push off...
In my opinion, and I think I echo the comments of killarney sailor above, something's not right, if you're not able to manage to furl your headsails - at least in normal conditions - without resorting to the use of a winch...

IMHO, such "abuse" of headsail furlers is perhaps the Number One contributor to problems on down the road... Winches can do damage, and of course electric winches are the worst, I'll bet lots of RF systems out there today are being mangled with the press of a button...

The problem is, most manufacturers size their furlers for "normal" use, the sort of coastal sailing most people do... Just like anchor manufacturers do with their sizing recommendations, for example... But if you're gonna sail offshore, it will never hurt to step up a size, IMO - that will give you the mechanical advantage necessary to furl with less effort, and have to resort to using winches, and whatnot...

Are you sure your lead is completely fair and absent any unnecessary friction? Ball bearing blocks are well worth it for this application, and as KS mentions, a ratchet for the final turning block is invaluable... And, the addition of a S-t winch just for furling seems like way overkill, can't you simply cross-lead to another available winch, if need be?

Finally, how are you generally furling the sail, to begin with? I find that whenever the loads have increased to where furling is gonna require some major effort, they can be lightened considerably by sharply falling off, and deeply easing the sail while it's being blanketed by the main... If you're still attempting to sail close-hauled and furl at the same time, even with allowing the sail to luff completely (further accelerating the eventual demise of both the furler and sail, of course (grin)) the loads are generally going to be considerably more than if you're sailing off the breeze, you may have immediately halved your apparent wind, after all...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 01-17-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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post #265 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakeParagon View Post
Hi BubbleheadMD!

You're certainly not clueless! I bet that was awesome helping all aboard by knowing how to unload the sail..

I think in general the bigger the boat and sails, then the longer it takes to furl, and the greater the forces are to the point of having to do things differently than on a smaller boat... I think that the bigger the boat the more important it becomes to furl in a much more controlled way...

On my boat, heading into the wind in a squall to furl the jib would cause the jib to flog like crazy with enough force and for long enough to likely damage the sail. I would also need my engine to head into heavy wind.. and doing that would cause my boat to hobby horse which is more of a problem with my hull than others...

I would rather try to keep the boat on course with the wind vane, slack the jib sheet until it just barely begins to flog, then furl it in a little bit with a self tailing winch. Then repeat until enough or all of the jib is brought in.. all without letting it flog..
Ok, I have a better understanding of the difficulties you were facing now.

True, your boat is much bigger than the C&C 35 in my example, and very different, plus singlehanding is different than having a crew on the foredeck waiting to haul the sail down, and prevent it from flogging.

Thanks for the explanation.

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post #266 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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Hi Casey, I strengthened everything I could... I replaced the 3" diameter schedule 10 pipe compression post with a ridiculously overbuilt 3.5" diameter schedule 80 pipe. The walls of this pipe are a 1/4" thick! Way overbuilt. I also custom welded an additional I-beam and thru bolted it to the stringers underneath the old I-beam which supports the compression post... Now have 2 I-beams supporting the post. The 2.5" thick plywood/glass layered deck was crushed between the mast and the compression post, so I cut it all out and rebuilt it with layers of aluminum plate and fiberglass cloth saturated in West System... Then I figured "oh what the heck the mast down anyway", and spent months removing all the hardware, sanding it all down to bare aluminum and painting it myself with zinc chromate, Awlgrip 545 primer, and Awlcraft 2000 paint (oyster white...) I had replaced the chain plates before leaving NYC and they still look good.. I might replace the standing rigging before we push off in April...
Cool, sounds like you are ready for your next storm.
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post #267 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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That's a great idea. I don't know how much the elasticity of the rope plays into the performance of the drogue - but everything else you mention sounds perfectly reasonable.
Well, elasticity is quite important in a drogue system, but that's the beauty of the JSD - the "elasticity" comes from the design itself, and is not reliant on the materials used... However, with a single point drag device like a Galerider, there is no way you'd want to use a rope like Amsteel, the snatching loads could be huge, and overwhelm the strength of the attachment points, etc...

One thing with using Amsteel, because the "weave" of the rope is far looser than a double braid, the recommended manner of attaching the cones will have to be revised, a simple knot will not do... I used small fender washers to prevent the webbing from being pulled through the rope, or you could simply tie the three ends together after threading it thru the rope...

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I found this out the hard way, going from my C27 to racing on two 37'-ers. Just 10 more feet, but everything regarding the sails was way more intensive. For example, just hoisting the main on my first race on a PSC37 was surprising. I was grinding way longer than I was used to on my C27. I started to wonder if there was a "top".
Again, somethings wrong there - there is no way the main on a boat like a PSC 37 should require that sort of effort to hoist... One should be able to raise it to full hoist simply by pulling the halyard at the mast, only having to put it on the winch for the final halyard tensioning...

Ahh, but were the halyards led aft to the cockpit? Well, then THAT gives you an idea of the additional friction induced by leading lines aft, rather than keeping them all at the mast - where they should be... (grin)

The owner of that boat should consider something like a Strong Track from Tides Marine, raising the main on a boat that size should not be that big a deal...
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post #268 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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My understanding is that you really want as little stretch as possible in the JSD line. Somewhere I read that you're supposed to let out more line every hour to limit chafe, but I don't understand that. I need to get me one of these to experiment with.
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post #269 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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Drake, What happened to the jib sheet that wrapped around the prop? How and when did you get loose?
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post #270 of 375 Old 01-17-2012
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In my opinion, and I think I echo the comments of killarney sailor above, something's not right, if you're not able to manage to furl your headsails - at least in normal conditions - without resorting to the use of a winch...

IMHO, such "abuse" of headsail furlers is perhaps the Number One contributor to problems on down the road... Winches can do damage, and of course electric winches are the worst, I'll bet lots of RF systems out there today are being mangled with the press of a button...

The problem is, most manufacturers size their furlers for "normal" use, the sort of coastal sailing most people do... Just like anchor manufacturers do with their sizing recommendations, for example... But if you're gonna sail offshore, it will never hurt to step up a size, IMO - that will give you the mechanical advantage necessary to furl with less effort, and have to resort to using winches, and whatnot...

Are you sure your lead is completely fair and absent any unnecessary friction? Ball bearing blocks are well worth it for this application, and as KS mentions, a ratchet for the final turning block is invaluable... And, the addition of a S-t winch just for furling seems like way overkill, can't you simply cross-lead to another available winch, if need be?

Finally, how are you generally furling the sail, to begin with? I find that whenever the loads have increased to where furling is gonna require some major effort, they can be lightened considerably by sharply falling off, and deeply easing the sail while it's being blanketed by the main... If you're still attempting to sail close-hauled and furl at the same time, even with allowing the sail to luff completely (further accelerating the eventual demise of both the furler and sail, of course (grin)) the loads are generally going to be considerably more than if you're sailing off the breeze, you may have immediately halved your apparent wind, after all...
Hi JonEisberg,

My Westail 42 has a very large Profurl roller furler for the jib.

In lighter winds I have no difficulty pulling in the jib furling line by hand. I often wrap it around the dedicated winch, pull the line by hand, and then secure it in the self tailer.

In heavy air I think it would be next to impossible to furl the jib without a winch, even with bearing off or going down wind.

My biggest concern is always to not let the jib flog when furling it. With the wind vane steering, I let out a little bit of jib to the point where it might just start to flog. Then I furl it in a little bit with the dedicated self tailing furling winch.. Then I repeat the process until the jib is furled as much as I want.

On my boat I can't bring the furling line across the cockpit to another winch that's normally used for something else because the line would chafe on the cockpit coaming... and I would be uncomfortable with the line going through the cockpit like that...

But that's all just me and my boat... I've rigged everything as much as possible for single handing in all conditions and I get into heavy air every time I make a passage..

I wonder at what point do offshore sailboats get so big that they need winches to raise or furl all sails 100% of time? I wonder at what point do offshore sailboats get so big that they need all of these winches to be electrically powered...

Or I wonder if when I'm 95 years old and still sailing offshore on my Westsail 42 if I might switch all my winches to electric ones to keep me out there longer as the inevitable infirmity settles in...

We'll see..
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