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  #11  
Old 06-08-2012
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Here's your 'technical' answer: Sails are made from polymer materials which are 'plastic'.
The definition of 'plastic' is that which constantly deforms or changes shape over time under constant load (tension, etc.)

If you keep your (plastic) sails always tensioned you will ultimately permanently DEFORM them. If you dont want to continually replace 'stretched-out' and permanently distorted sails .... unload them if tensioned when done sailing.

_____________________
That said, a taped-luff sail (continuous luff support tape that fits into a furler foiil) isnt 'set up' in its foil with 'much' tension by most 'cruisers', .... and if you stretch out the luff with 'heavy tension' for 'shaping' purposes most inexpensive furlers will jam or bind anyway ... so the 'usual' set up on most jib/genoa furlers will need little luff tension anyway and therefore wont make much difference.
However for those (few) who actually 'shape' their sails, if you leave the halyard or outhaul, etc. TIGHT for long periods of time when your not sailing the boat .... those edge dimensions and the shape of the sail is going to 'radically' change by permanent 'plastic' deformation.
Sailmakers LOVE folks who dont 'unload' sails, ... creates lot of business to replace 'blown out' sails.

Best practice is to UNLOAD the sails when not sailing ... your sails will 'live longer'.

BTW - PDQ has it correct about the torlon or other 'plastic' roller bearing 'balls' in furlers .... they're 'plastic' and even just because they are an engineered 'plastic' that resists heavy applied stress - they are still 'plastic' .... UNLOAD 'plastics' if you want to keep them 'undeformed'.

;-)
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Last edited by RichH; 06-08-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Quote:
.... and if you stretch out the luff with 'heavy tension' for 'shaping' purposes most inexpensive furlers will jam or bind anyway ...
;-)
Really? Which makes of furlers would do that? I would like to know so I can make sure my next boat isn't rigged with such garbage! Imagine! a furler that jams under load! That could be dangerous!
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
While I'm sure it varies with the furler, many with plastic bearings don't deal well with sustained (24/7/365) loading. The balls very slowly deform, leading to failure. Yes, I would either slack after each sail (easy) or use very minimal tension--just enough to lift the sail and flatten a few wrinkles (plain lazy).
The post referenced was very clear that halyard tension should be eased when rolling things up for the day. Tension as appropriate for the conditions at hand. Simple as that.
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
Really? Which makes of furlers would do that? I would like to know so I can make sure my next boat isn't rigged with such garbage! Imagine! a furler that jams under load! That could be dangerous!
My old Hood Furlers would jam and bind anytime I put large luff/halyard loads on them. Ive even had early Harken Furlers have their torlon balls go 'egg shaped' or break .... obviously they were over stressed well beyond their 'design limits' ... but Im sometimes known as a 'gorilla' when it come to tensions. I now typically prefer Harken Furlers as if you 'bust' one, you can usually 'rebuild it' - just rebuilt my 25 y/o Harken yesterday on my crab-crusher with all new 'balls'.
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Old 06-08-2012
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
Really? Which makes of furlers would do that? I would like to know so I can make sure my next boat isn't rigged with such garbage! Imagine! a furler that jams under load! That could be dangerous!
From page 28 of the Harken Mk2 Owners' Manual:

Quote:
Halyard Tension
The jib halyard should be firm, but not too tight. Tip: The luff foil system supports sail along its length so halyard tension is used only to shape sails, not to support them. Use enough halyard tension to remove some wrinkles along luff of sail. Do not tension halyard enough to cause vertical wrinkles in luff of sail. Tension to adjust position of draft in sail to suit sailing conditions. Halyard should be firm but not tight. If in doubt, release halyard tension. To protect sail, ease halyard when boat is not in use.
One needs a tight headstay, eased halyard when furling and or storing the boat with the headsail in place.

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