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  #11  
Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

I think there are definite improvements with today's furlers, but it still takes considerable effort to furl a loaded sail - and using a winch on a furling line scares me - too much power and if things are jammed up you might break something.

My preference is even a maximally reefed main to hide the sail, or at least part of it, behind and to furl/reef while heading downwind. However on long, rolly downwind passages I can definitely see the advantage and safety of not having a main up and avoiding the risk of unintended gybes and/or backwinded mains on preventers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post

There have been times when I thought to myself "What the Hell would I do if the furling line were to part?" That's why I'm going to change the 10-year-old furling line this week to a new, and larger, furling line.

Good subject,

Gary
Be careful here, Gary... when you go to heavier line you can fill the drum before the sail's fully in. If you use heavier line it's a good idea to remove the core (or the cover) for the portion that 'lives' on the drum.. it reduces the drum fill but leaves you with heavier, easier to hand line in the cockpit.

Core vs Cover?... the core-less cover tends to roll 'flat' onto the drum and is said to be less prone to overrides.. removing the cover reduces diameter too and the core supplies the bulk of the strength of the line.. it's also a bit easier to do.... On a previous boat we stripped the cover off of 3/8 line and ran it over the aft half of a small dyneema type furling line to give us the grip.. tapered and stitched the cover onto the small diameter line where it ended.
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Last edited by Faster; 04-21-2013 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

Don't think I'd ever use a winch to haul in the furler. Putting that kind of pressure on the forestay sounds like a recipe for bringing down the whole fn shebang. I replaced the line last year and agree that a larger diameter line might not all fit on the drum, especially if(when) it decides to pile up in the wrong place. I wonder how straight 1/4" Dyneema would work.
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

1/4 inch dyneema would work fine except you couldn't grip it well enough to use it, esp when heavily loaded.. but sewing a larger cover over it for the portion that reaches the cockpit as described above would work fine.

The smallish, slippery line that Harken provides with their furlers is kinda crappy for that too.. it's on our list to replace.

Oh, and to Peter (OP), we've drifted away from the original premise, which was hanked or headfoil sails, not furlers... Race boats usually have enough crew to muscle things down. I'd probably oversheet and bring the sail over the deck, leave the sheet tight and dump the halyard. With hanks the neat thing is the wind tends to 'blow' the sail down unlike upwind where it can tend to pull the head up the stay. As mentioned earier a jib downhaul would help .. the tight sheet also keeps the bulk of the sail on deck. A luff tape sail in a foil, without crew, is VERY difficult to keep on board in those conditions.
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Last edited by Faster; 04-21-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I take it we are talking about hanked on head sails because all you would do is roll up the furler, on a roller furler. The only Hanked on sail I have is the staysail.
Not as easy as it sounds if your foresail is full in heavier winds. In fact, almost impossible - I also hate the idea of using the winch on the furler, but I was caught out once when if was impossible to furl the sail any other way. Scared the heck out of me. Even if released and flogging, in enough wind a manual furl is almost impossible. (Yeah, I was dumb not to have at least part-furled it earlier).

I can't help wondering if, in the dire scenario we are discussing, hauling the sail down the furler would work better (less strain on the rig) - but it would be dangerous.
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I think there are definite improvements with today's furlers, but it still takes considerable effort to furl a loaded sail - and using a winch on a furling line scares me - too much power and if things are jammed up you might break something.
Definitely... I generally find that if one needs the assistance of a winch to furl a headsail on boats up to 45' or thereabouts, something is wrong... Either the furler is undersized, or the boat is oversized, you've waited too long to do the furling to begin with, or the person doing the furling is simply too weak... (grin)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Be careful here, Gary... when you go to heavier line you can fill the drum before the sail's fully in. If you use heavier line it's a good idea to remove the core (or the cover) for the portion that 'lives' on the drum.. it reduces the drum fill but leaves you with heavier, easier to hand line in the cockpit.

Core vs Cover?... the core-less cover tends to roll 'flat' onto the drum and is said to be less prone to overrides.. removing the cover reduces diameter too and the core supplies the bulk of the strength of the line.. it's also a bit easier to do.... On a previous boat we stripped the cover off of 3/8 line and ran it over the aft half of a small dyneema type furling line to give us the grip.. tapered and stitched the cover onto the small diameter line where it ended.
Stripping the cover is definitely the way to go, IMHO... I would never rely on using the cover alone on a furling line, which on most hi-tech lines today is far weaker than the core...

On the furler for my genoa, I'm using 3/8" Samson MLX with the cover stripped from the portion that lives on the drum... The core is a very 'slippery' Dyneema blend very similar to Amsteel, and glides very nicely through the lead blocks and lays beautifully on the drum, one would really have to screw up to produce a snag... a highly recommended solution, I've VERY happy with my set-up...

I've come to love Samson MLX for furling lines and headsail sheets, a beautiful rope, very nice on both winches, and hands...


Last edited by JonEisberg; 04-21-2013 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

I'm not sure i agree with the thought that a genoa alone is more stable than with the main.
I am pretty positive the main stabilizes the boat better than jib alone.

It's just that people get scared going dead down wind in heavy weather that they will accidentally gybe.
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
With a hanked-on jib/genoa, the 'best' way to do this is with a jack-line attached to near the head of the jib, then run to block at the stem and run back to at least the base of the mast.
Just 'blow' the (captured) halyard, pull hell on the jack-line (from the relative safety of the mast base or cockpit) until the sail is fully down; no need to release the jibsheet, in fact its better to fully pull-in the jibsheet before dowsing.
Since I added a jib downhaul things have been much more comfortable in all conditions. It makes good sense to me to have it rigged. I had to change the jamb cleat to a larger one from my original install. I started with a nylon cleat sized for the line I use and managed to cut into the nylon base of the fairlead because of the high loads that are present sometimes. I am working from the cockpit pulling up on the downhaul line. The jamb cleat is low on the outside of the cockpit coaming. I need to change its location to reduce that angle by moving it forward a bit.

Down
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

Well, I just replaced the jib furling line, went from 1/4-inch to 5/16-inch, which makes it a bit easier to grip, and doesn't seem to take up much more space on the drum. The Alado furling system I use employs a rather large, aluminum drum, which for the most part, makes furling easier than some of the small drum systems I've seen.

If you're interested in switching from hank-on to roller furling, you may want to take a good look at Alado at ALADO - Furler and Roller - main page

Gary
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Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

I think the original poster implied that he had hanked on headsails... If this is so I have read many places that a down haul is the way to go... An earlier reply may have refered to it as a jack line. I don't know if this is in some places synonymous with down haul. The only jack lines I've learned a out are rigged on the deck for harness and teather clip-ins.
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Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Dousing headsails in breeze when the main is down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
Since I added a jib downhaul things have been much more comfortable in all conditions. It makes good sense to me to have it rigged. I had to change the jamb cleat to a larger one from my original install. I started with a nylon cleat sized for the line I use and managed to cut into the nylon base of the fairlead because of the high loads that are present sometimes. I am working from the cockpit pulling up on the downhaul line. The jamb cleat is low on the outside of the cockpit coaming. I need to change its location to reduce that angle by moving it forward a bit.

Down
Do you tighten the jib sheets before blowing the halyard and pulling on the down haul? Where on the jib is the down haul attached, halfway up the luff or all the way at the head?

I feel like tightening the sheets as recommended above would recent the jib from coming down though, something about the geometry of a triangle?

Btw I switched from roller furling to hanks shortly after acquiring my boat and have never looked back...
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