Release halyard tension on roller furler? - SailNet Community

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Old 06-07-2012
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Release halyard tension on roller furler?

I'm sure some people use the halyard tension for sail trim, but we don't (at least not yet). Basically just raise it in the Spring and bring it down in the Fall.

Was considering putting a cleat on the mast to hold the genoa halyard. It occupies a clutch in the cockpit that could be better used for other control lines currently at the mast. Got me to thinking about what I'd be giving up by doing this.

Do you release the tension after each sail? I haven't been and I'm now wondering how much, if any damage is being done to the sail/furler drum?
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Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

I can see no need to ease the genoa halyard once it is set. Your proposed setup will also get some lines out of the cockpit. The one issue will be raising the genoa up the luff track and getting the right tension before locking it down. Is there a mast mounted winch? If not you will need to get the halyard back to a winch.
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Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

I change my halyard tension based on wind conditions. Leaving the halyard with tension on it all the time really is not good for the sail; ultimately it will stretch.

But then again I take my sail off the furling when I am done with it! I don't believe in leaving my sails exposed to the elements more than I have to. It only takes a few minutes to take it down, flake it and bag it. I couldn't imagine leaving it on the furling all year round, or even all summer!
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Perhaps rather than a cleat install another clutch on the mast.. then you can still hoist and tension with the usual winch, but lock at the mast and free the cabin top clutch for other duties. A good cam cleat might do too, but it's less secure.

It will be difficult to get decent halyard tension without some purchase/power.
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Thanks all,

My plan was to put a cam cleat above the cleat, I wouldn't trust a cam to hold in all conditions and the profile of the clutch seems awkward on a mast. I would run it to the cabin top winch to hoist and use the cam as a temporary hold and then cleat it.

More concerned with the impact on the sail's luff. Is relieving the tension a best practice or practical need?
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

If you ask a sailmaker he will likely tell you yes, you should ease your halyard tension when not in use, just as they will tell you to ease the outhaul on your main when not in use. If you like your sails, treat them nicely!
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

I use to race when I had a performance multihull. Zoom. Racing a cruising boat seems like a whispering contest to me, rather arbitrary, and besides, I've outgrown it.

Yup, I heave the roller furler up all year. Yup, it has a Sunbrella strip. It is a very solid sail from Quantum and doesn't seem to mind.

I set the luff tension (rather light) and forget it. High luff tension places a higher load on the furler bearings, so for me, it's not worth it. Since my furler is heavily built, the sail has a nice foam luff, and a cat gives many sheeting options, I just roll some up and move the leads in a blow.

I've gotten lazy, but honestly, I don't think I've given up much.
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

When we installed our new roller furling system for the the genoa last year, both the rigger and the sailmaker recommended easing the halyard tension after each sail. Apparantly it is easier on the whole system and will help the sail and furler last longer. So far we remember almost all the time.....it was an expensive upgrade!
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Old 06-08-2012
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjvanginkel View Post
When we installed our new roller furling system for the the genoa last year, both the rigger and the sailmaker recommended easing the halyard tension after each sail. Apparantly it is easier on the whole system and will help the sail and furler last longer. So far we remember almost all the time.....it was an expensive upgrade!
Regards,
Tanya
^^^This is the correct bit of advice.^^^

Man, I can't imagine just tying off a halyard and forgetting it. Halyard tension, both main (can be done with a cunningham as well) and jib, is one of the first things you go to when adjusting sail shape appropriate to conditions.
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Re: Release halyard tension on roller furler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
^^^This is the correct bit of advice.^^^

Man, I can't imagine just tying off a halyard and forgetting it. Halyard tension, both main (can be done with a cunningham as well) and jib, is one of the first things you go to when adjusting sail shape appropriate to conditions.
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).
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