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Genkigary 10-18-2012 08:53 AM

Reefing Roller furling jib
I am a month into owning my first cruising boat-1987 Hunter 34. Sailing Chesapeake's easter shore and loving it. I am not used to using roller furling having always used hanked on jibs. What is the best way to reef with a furler?
I use a 120 on a Harken furler. Thanks.

caberg 10-18-2012 09:04 AM

Re: Reefing Roller furling jib
Just furl in as much sail as desired. That's what I do on mine. It's not as good a solution as putting up a smaller jib, but it sure is easier.

Genkigary 10-18-2012 10:00 AM

Re: Reefing Roller furling jib
So just cleat the furling line at the desired point? Was wondering i if there was something I needed to do witht the drum

caberg 10-18-2012 10:43 AM

Re: Reefing Roller furling jib
Yup, just cleat off the furling line. Maybe others do it differently but this works for me with my CDI roller furling.

JonEisberg 10-18-2012 11:00 AM

Re: Reefing Roller furling jib
Couple of suggestions...

When sailing close hauled, I always bear off sharply to furl or reef. Reducing the apparent wind, even blanketing the jib in the shadow of the main, really eases the procedure, and is much kinder to the sail... Never ceases to amaze how often one sees people going head to wind to reef or furl their jibs, that can be a very cruel thing to do your sail, or sheets...

When unfurling, you definitely want to maintain some control over the furling line, and not just let it run free... Otherwise, you're likely to get a rat's nest of loose or untidy wrap inside a closed drum like your Harken, that can be a real mess to un-jam...

Whenever you're furling in anticipation of a real blow, or if the boat is being left unattended for any time, you want to ensure you get a nice tight wrap for the full length of the sail. In a big blow, furling jibs always begin to lift and unravel from the clew/sheets upward. To prevent this, when rolling it up, you must do the equivalent of moving the jib leads forward as you do so, to keep even pressure on both the foot and leech of the sail. Do this either by moving your leads forward, using a snatch block, or simply having your crew go forward to "guide" the sheets by the exertion of some downward pressure, to ensure the leech of the sail is being wrapped tightly...

Of course, when you're reefing under sail, you also need to move your jib leads forward as well, to maintain the correct lead angle as the sail is reduced in size...

Depending on how your furling line is led to the cockpit, the use of a ratchet block as a turning block can be very nice to have, they can afford a lot of additional control... Except in extreme conditions, you should be very wary of ever having to put your furling line on a winch to get it in. With properly sized furling gear, and a fair and friction-free lead of the line back to the cockpit, something is generally wrong, or undersized, if you should feel the necessity to resort to the use of a winch under normal conditions... (Don't get me started on those who use electric winches for this purpose (grin))

Check to see whether your Harken has some sort of locking mechanism to lock the drum (some older units did, haven't used a newer Harken lately) But, you definitely want to configure some means of locking the drum with the use of a shackle, or similar, when the boat is being left unattended for any length of time...

Enjoy, headsail furling gear is one of the greatest inventions known to man... (grin)

BarryL 10-18-2012 11:18 AM

Re: Reefing Roller furling jib

Is your sail and furler designed for reefing? Some are and others aren't. I have a UK 140% genoa that is designed for reefing. It has foam luff and mark on the foot to show me when the sail is reduced to a 100% jib. The foam luff is designed to make the middle of the sail furl faster to reduce the draft and make the sail more efficient when reefed. I don't think it works as well as a real 100% jib but it's better than no foam at all.

Most 'single line' furling units can be reefed. Some 'continuous' line units can't because the line can slip on the drum. So take a look at your gear and decide.

I like the ability to easily reduce the headsail from the cockpit. Just bear off, roll up the sail until it's a 100%, cleat the line, and sail on. Sometimes I adjust the job cars, other times I just deal with it. It basically depends on how long I'll be on that particular course.


chef2sail 10-18-2012 12:42 PM

Re: Reefing Roller furling jib
I will second Jons excellent explaination

Understand that a furled jib looses it real effectiveness when brought in greater than 25%Also some furling units furl equally from top of the forestay and bottom and some keep do not. This will affect pointing ability when close hauled. As Jon stated keeping pressure on the furling line is important or you will spend time sortying out the "nest" on the drum as he explained.

Finally, on our checklist when we leave our boat for the week we put a cloth bungee cord with PLATIC ENDS around the furled head sail where the jib sheets have wrapped around it. This prevents it from unfurling. We have spent time at dock jumoping on marina mates boats when in a good blow their furled headsails come undone and rip themselves apart.


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