roller furling help - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 01-02-2006
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roller furling help

I feel like an idiot. I cannot figure out how to use the jib roller furling on my 1975 Helms 5. If there is anyone who could give a rudimentary step-by-step "how-to" I would really appreciate it.
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Old 01-02-2006
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roller furling help


1. There will be a line running from the furler drum back to the cockpit of you boat. This must be uncleated.
2. Pull the leeward side jib sheet and the sail should begin to open up. A little winch might help, but it should not take great force to open it up - if it does there is a problem. Once it begins to open up, the wind will take over.
3. Do not let go of the line you uncleated in step 1 as you will want to be able to use it to control how fast your jib unfurls.
4. When refurling, you want to make a tight furl, which you can do by applying slight tension to jib sheet as you are furling. A loose furl can come partially opened if the wind pipes up and while your boat is at rest. When done, you want your jib sheets to wrap around 3 times or so at the end of your furl to help secure it a little better. Some people use a sail tie or a shock cord to make sure it stays furled.
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Old 01-03-2006
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roller furling help

I may be wrong about this, since I don''t know what a "Helm 5" is, but you may require more than "A little winch" to unfurl the headsail.
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Old 01-03-2006
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roller furling help

Um, yes, what he said.
unfurling is done with the sheet winch, and sheet winches are the hardest working, most frequently used winches on the whole boat. Do not go undersized, regret will be a constant companion.

Furling on our boat is done from the starboard sheet winch or one of the spinnaker winches, but I suppose you could install a specific winch to do it, and it would nto need to be too big, I just don''t see the point.

Sasha
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Old 01-03-2006
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roller furling help

According to Brian Toss the renowned yacht rigger, if you need a winch to furl there is something wrong with your furlung leads, i.e. too many turning blocks,poor angle of the furling line. Look particularly at the furling drum and the first block. The line should lead directly to the first block, not at an angle. Next most important is a straight pull from the last block to your hands.
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Old 01-03-2006
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roller furling help

Richard, I agree with you, but notice they are talking about unfurling. I would be afraid of doing some damage by really cranking hard with a winch to unfurl or furl. If you have a halyard fouled - either the spinbnaker or the jib or the main - your going to break something cranking - a halyard, a masthead block, a sheave, etc.
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Old 01-03-2006
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roller furling help

I will clarify my last post - the very reason the sail may be so difficult to unfurl could be a fouled halyard which is why I would not force it.

I think the poster means a Helms 25 and with a boat that size, a properly working furler should not be too hard. Richard raises good points that should be looked into. You can''t get any more expert than Brian Toss.

Trueblue, I am wondering if we are talking about the same manuever. I am not sure how a furler comes into play on a sloop when coming about. I know some owners of cutters who will furl the genny (which they replaced their yankee with) in order to come about - I being one.
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Old 01-03-2006
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roller furling help

I''ve been watching this post with keen interest.

I too have had problems furling my genny in a stiff blow and have had to at times winch it in. It seems that if the wind is blowing fairly strong (lets say 20 or so) I have problems. I spill air by pointing and or easing the sheet but still have had my share of difficulties. In light air, no problems.

I have heard that the halyard can wrap around the forestay and cause problems, but upon inspection, all seems to be normal up there.

I thought possibly the drum was fouled but after inspecting with no load find that it turns easily. I also use a dry lube (Sail Lube or Sailkote I think it is called) on the turning points.

I will look into the furling leads and blocks as one of the post recomends.
Note: I have never had nor should ever expect anybody to have difficulties in unfurling: the wind does all the work.
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Old 01-03-2006
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roller furling help

Unfurling - that is why I think something is wrong with the Helm 25. Certainly, in a blow, it would be harder to furl. You probably have tried heading up into the wind to take all the pressure off your jib or easing the sheets so the sail has no wind in it.

I have had halyard wrap solved with a restrainer. I also had my spinnaker halyard to the bow pulpit and it somehow would get furled in with the jib and jam things up. Just a thought. Maybe some others have had some problems and will chime in.

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Old 01-04-2006
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roller furling help

I was referring to a different maneuver.
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