silly question about roller furling - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 05-07-2010 Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 525
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 8
silly question about roller furling

I'm new to sailing... I've only been out once, and it was an 8 day ASA 101/103 class. Our boat was an IP440 with roller furling genoa and main (mast furler). I was thinking back on it and thinking about some of the reefing stuff I've read in other threads today, and I guess my brain stopped working.

What keeps the sails rolled up? I know to furl them, you pull on a rope that turns the furler and it rolls it up, but I don't remember ever cleating that line off or seeing the captain cleat it. What prevents the sail from unrolling if the wind picks up or something? This seems especially problematic for the genoa. The captain isntructed us to keep the genoa sheets reasonably tight when the sail is furled so that they can be used as something to grab onto in an emergency if you're falling overboard... the tension should unroll the sail unless something is keepng the furler in place. As far as reefing, there must be a way to get the furlers for both sails to stop at a given position so you can trim the sail with the sheet/outhaul and it won't just continue to unfurl.

What am I missing or forgetting?
rmeador is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 05-07-2010
Barquito's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,777
Thanks: 1
Thanked 58 Times in 58 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Yup. Pull the furling line off the drum to roll the genoa up and cleat the line. Uncleat the furling line and pull on the genoa sheet to unfurl (the furling line is then pulled back onto the drum). Keep a little tension on the furling line when letting sail out to keep the line from getting into a mess on the drum.

When at anchor or mooring I also put a tie around the rolled genoa to keep it from unfurling in a storm.
Barquito is online now  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 5 Old 05-07-2010
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 2,151
Thanks: 9
Thanked 48 Times in 45 Posts
Rep Power: 12
I think the only thing you missed would have been to notice how and where the furling line had been cleated or tied off, because it must have been, or else the jib (especially, but the main too) would slowly unroll.

The same is true for partial furling (when a boat is so equipped), which serves as a "reef".

Last edited by nolatom; 05-07-2010 at 05:01 PM.
nolatom is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 5 Old 05-11-2010
1968 Pearson Wanderer 30
ilikerust's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 212
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Funny thing - just this past weekend, I took a 2-day ASA Sailing 101 class (I'll be doing the coastal cruising portion this coming weekend).

We were on a Jeanneau 33, which also has jib and main mast furlers.

We were out on the Rappahannock River, right at the mouth where it enters the Chesapeake Bay. Those in the area will know that this weekend was very windy, with winds at about 20 knots, gusting to 25 and sometimes 30.

We let out the sails about 1/2 way and had at it. Some pretty "energetic" sailing. Anyhow, after sailing for a few hours on Saturday, we were on our way back in, and we stowed the sails and fired up the engine to motor back into the inlet and return to the marina. As we were heading into the channel, the wind was pretty much coming across the beam. The main mast furler started slipping and the main sail started coming unfurled. Of course, as it came out, it presented more sail area, which gave the wind more to push on, so it started coming unfurled faster and faster. Not good, when the wind was gusting up to nearly 30 knots and we were trying to keep the vessel straight in the channel.

So we had a little excitement. Turns out the lines on the furler were not as snug as they should have been and the lock had slipped. We quickly cranked the sail back in and the instructor jumped up on the deck and locked the furler.

Just a little excitement at the end of an exciting day of sailing.

- Bill T.
- Richmond, VA

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
ilikerust is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 5 Old 05-11-2010
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 966
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Others have said it

To furl (roll up) the sail, you pull on the furling line which unwinds from the drum, which turns the drum to wind the sail up. To keep it from releasing and letting the sail back out, you cleat it and then coil the tailend.

When you want to release the sail, you uncleat the furling line, uncoil the tailing end and pull on the leeward genoa/jib sheet to unfurl the sail.

When I furl my sail, I roll it up so that the sheets wrap several times around the sail. This keeps the clew from catching wind and potentially unrolling the sail if I forgot to cleat the furling line. My sheets are loose and the untensioned tail ends wrapped around a cleat or winch drum to keep them from flailing all over the place in a storm.

If I am away from the boat for a long time or there is a good storm coming, I'll tie the clew snug around the furled sail with sail tie or wrap the spin halyard around the length of the furled sail (around the forestay) to keep it from unraveling just in cast the furling line cleat or line itslef fails.


If you liked my advice/response, give me some rep points. If you didn't......well what do you expect, it was free.
DrB is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mechanical difference between roller furling and reefing? duffer1960 Gear & Maintenance 6 10-26-2009 09:46 AM
Question on Roller Furling Jib robrichtx Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 10 05-06-2008 11:57 AM
Roller Furling Lay Up Tom Wood Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 10-21-2003 08:00 PM
Installing Roller Furling Sue & Larry Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 08-09-2002 08:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome