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mgb69 06-10-2012 12:45 PM

Roller reefing
Newbie question.
I have a (new to me) Mirage 24. Few afternoons of sailing her under my belt. Most of my experience sailing is from years back - summer sailing school as a kid, then some racing crew on keel boats.
My boat has a Furlex roller reefing system (s50) for the jib but I'm having a tough time getting it to furl even in light conditions. Can't imagine how I could reef in heavy weather.
Today I removed all the spare line from the drum so there is only what is required for the sail - but even with less line to tangle it is still resistant.
Pulling on the reefing line I feel like I'm going to break something. So far the only way I've been able to start the first few rolls is to twist the sail by hand. Once it's started then I can use a winch to roll in the rest. Only the last third can be hand pulled.
Any advice is appreciated. It's not that hard to twist by hand - So I'm wondering if I've got the sail rotation reversed or something?


Frogwatch 06-10-2012 02:06 PM

Re: Roller reefing
Are you somehow getting "overwraps" on the drum? This happens when the drum somehow catches the line and wraps it the wrong way.
Every now and then, I check for this on my CDI furler by unfurling at the dock and then slowly furling again.

jppp 06-10-2012 03:35 PM

Re: Roller reefing
I've been getting some help over here:

Freedom007 06-10-2012 04:41 PM

Re: Roller reefing
Check the rope as it leaves the drum. It has to lead fair to the first block as it runs back to the cockpit. If it does not it binds and makes it virtually impossible to furl your sail. You should not have to use a winch. If you do you can very easily break your system. Also how old is it and has it been in a salt environment. If it has not been cleaned periodicaly wear can occur and the bearings will wear flat on one side as they are bound and can't rotate like they should

mgb69 06-10-2012 05:39 PM

Roller reefing
Thx for quick replies.
My first thought was that the furling line was getting fouled (I had wrapped up way too much the first time). Stripped out a bunch - but maybe I need to keep more tension on the line as I reel out the sail. Given the drum spins easily by hand I think this is the most likely culprit.
Line is running clear to a block on the bow pulpit - so that shouldn't be the issue.
Boat is on salt water, definitely no servicing in last few yrs. Just bought some marine lube - I'll see if that helps.

I'll be sure to sort it out rather than just going with more force! Given the small line I couldn't see how it would have been designed to withstand winching.

Thx again

nolatom 06-10-2012 08:51 PM

Re: Roller reefing
At risk of asking the obvious, is the top swivel turning okay? If not, you're trying to furl your halyard, which gets difficult quickly.

mgb69 06-10-2012 09:19 PM

Roller reefing
I believe the top swivel is turning easily.
I can turn the sail by hand fairly easily and there is no twisting when it does furl.
But I'll check tomorrow - make sure

Faster 06-10-2012 10:35 PM

Re: Roller reefing
It's definitely crucial to keep some back tension on the furling line as you unfurl. If you let the wind freely roll the sail out you're almost guaranteed to get an override on the drum, possibly unawares until you try to refurl it.

There really shouldn't be any situation (with the possible exception of trying to furl in a real breeze out of the lee of the main - not a good idea in any event...) where you'll need a winch to get the sail to furl.

Unless it's really light air we tend to bear off, get the headsail luffing in the lee of the main sail, control the roll tension with the sheet, then come up to course if necessary.. easier on the hands, the crew and the gear.

Also, when you've got minimal line on the drum an overtight furl can mean you'll run out of line before the sail is fully furled, leaving some sail exposed which can complicate docking and mooring...

Bamazeb 06-11-2012 07:45 AM

Glad to see another M24 owner out there!! I have a Harken MkIII furler. I was having similar issues with difficult furling. Found the Root Cause was that the Furling line was wound backwards on the drum. You will be able to furl the jib (with two hands). To correct the issue, i removed the jib. Pulled the furling line out of the drum and re-fed the line, counter-clockwise in my case. Feeding the line between my Big Toe and second toe to keep tension (I was by myself and needed a third hand ;-)). That got me proper tension on the drum. I then motored out into the wind (light breeze). Hoisted the jib. Fell off a bit to allow the jib to fill. Finally i was able to haul on the furling line with my right hand while holding the Port jib sheet with my left hand to keep tension for a nice tight furl. Just to let you know...there is a Mirage 24 users group on Yahoo where we share maint tips, pitures & stories( You'll love your Mirage!! She is very fast!!

RobGallagher 06-11-2012 08:19 AM

Re: Roller reefing
You also might want to check the halyard tension (that was my problem). Experiment with it. Looser can cause the halyard to try and wrap, tighter can cause too much friction.

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