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swg 04-27-2001 07:37 AM

How much can you furl a headsail
I''m thinking of buying an oday 22 that comes with a 150% genoa and roller furler. I was wondering how much I would be able to furl up the headsail in deteriorating weather conditions? For instance, could I furl the 150% down to a working jib or storm jib? If so, what are the implications of doing so? Obviously, the air foil/shape will be affected due to the mass of rolled up headsail right? I should mention that I''m not so concerned with performance degradation (i.e., racing) as I am with safety. Also, my wife and I are novice sailors and it seems advantageous to be able to practice tacking with a working jib rather than hefting a 150 back and forth all day.


RichH 04-27-2001 08:09 AM

How much can you furl a headsail
There is a great difference between simply furling and reefing a headsail with a furler.
For straight furling, either the sail is completely unrolled or completely rolled - and no in between settings that will give any proper shape.
For reefing (you need to have the sail modified for reefing) ..... Typical jib maximum reduction with an installed foam luff will be about 25 to 30%. ... So you will be typically able to reef down to 115 - 110% from 150%. This assumes that the foam luff is correctly designed / tapered and the sail tightly rolled on the foil when reefing. You can also consider to have the luff rope "disconnected" (cut away) at the bottom and top of the sail ... only attached for about 80% of the middle of the luff - to ensure that the center part of the sail tightly wraps to the foil - you might want to discuss this with a sailmaker.
Without a foam luff, etc. you will not be able to ''reef'' and maintain good shape.
I somewhat disagree about performance degradation ... as any performance degradation WILL affect the boat''s safety. For instance (and especially without a foam luff or other means to control the SHAPE of the sail, etc.) as the wind rises and you simply furl a little of the sail, the draft will now become extremely full... preventing you from pointing up when necessary; and, when you do try to point up you will heel excessively because of the now too large draft in the sail. Further, you will now find that jib will become extremely unstable ... backing and filling with wind, sometimes unexpectedly - not a ''happy'' place to be.

Jeff_H 04-27-2001 02:22 PM

How much can you furl a headsail
I think that Rich hit the nail on the head. You can only expect to be able to furl 10% to 15% without a foam luff and beable to get a decent shape and then only for a short time. Over time the rolled in luff and leech creep toward each other powering up the sail (making the sail shape rounder) just when you want flat sails. I think Rich''s 30% may be a bit on the high side but even so at the shape of the sail at that range is not what you would want to get home on in a blow.


RichH 04-27-2001 04:03 PM

How much can you furl a headsail
You''re right, I naturally assumed a flat entry jib and not one that would commonly be found to have a ''cruising cut'' ... ie.: with a more rounded entry.
For normal ''cruising sails'' 15% would be about max.

paulk 04-27-2001 04:57 PM

How much can you furl a headsail
Before you decide tacking a 150% genoa is too much work, find out how much wind you''re likely to be sailing in. If you''re in a light-air area - such as most of the E.Coast between CT and FL in the summer, you may need the 150% to get up enough speed just to tack. In such conditions a smaller jib might mean slatting around or motoring instead of sailing. Also, in a 22'' boat, you might not want to be out in situations that would require reducing sail by partially furling the jib. If you do get stuck, simply furl up the entire jib, or drop it, and high-tail it back to port with just the main, and reef that, if you have to, to maintain helm balance. Essentially, you should be able to see the conditions changing and get back to port before needing to furl anything. If you need a smaller sail up before you set out, pehaps you''re not in a light-air area.

JEFryar 04-30-2001 06:20 AM

How much can you furl a headsail
Thank you one and all for the excellent advice on furlling vs reefing. It took a few scary trips in my O''Day 20 to understand the disadvantages to even trying to furl in 25 knt winds.
I have added a much smaller jib to my inventory and change to it very early on.
This season I am contemplating adding another furling system via a deck plate and mast hardware so that I can switch headsails without going forward.
Any suggestions?

swg 04-30-2001 11:00 AM

How much can you furl a headsail
Thanks to all for the excellent tips/advice. I''ve poked around on the web and now have a better idea of how the foam padding works. However, in light of the fact that I can only pull away at most 15% of the jib, it sounds like the way to go is to just furl the whole thing up and sail under reefed main.

cditzen 06-14-2001 11:41 AM

How much can you furl a headsail
Hi there,

I in general completely agree with the furler messing shape up more or less completely. However, sometimes that''s still preferable over the alternatives.

Earlier this year, we did an ocean race that turned out to be rather nasty. We only had a 150% (the #3 being on order and not yet delivered), so we started the race with it. As we proceeded out of the Gate (Golden Gate in SF), the wind first picked up to a steady 22kn, then to 26-28 with gusts into the low 30''s. Obviously we reefed and depowered the main, and then furled the genoa to a napkin sized sail. After a bit of twiddling, this resulted in an amazingly well balanced boat, that we were able to sail with just a couple of fingers on the helm.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that having a well balanced boat is critical, esp. in windy situations. Yes, we weren''t able to point that well, but we were in complete control and actually had tremendous fun, which without partially furling the genoa wouldn''t have been possible.


maxcontax 05-02-2002 07:56 AM

How much can you furl a headsail
Scott, another factor on furling a 150 is your point of sail. You can balance by furler-reefing with your main as long as it isn''t a close reach or beating hard to wind. That gets hopeless quickly with even 30% in, and that leaves alot of sail out there for beating with. But on any other point of sail, ie broad reaching, furling headsails work quite well. If you really need to get to wind in freshening breezes, the best balance is going to be a reefed main and a working jib, with the 150 furled and gone. For most daysailing, this is not such a big deal, you''re near home, but on a cruise, may be worth considering.

play hard


MaryBeth 05-02-2002 09:04 PM

How much can you furl a headsail
Guess everything I was going to say is already on the board. Evidently a LOT of experience here. WHile the diff between roller furling and reefing is not obvious to beginners, glad to see some who had a handle on things.

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