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post #4 of Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Top Down Furlers

The flatter the sail the better they work. A Gennaker does work better then a spinnaker. a Gennaker is really a asymmetrical spinnaker. they both have a soft luff. if you are using a reaching asymmetric they work well if the sail is designed for it. The head needs to be soft with out a lot of stiffening panels. an extending spinnaker crane on the top of the mast helps to keep the torque rope out away from the forestay and furled jib. The stiffer the head of the spinnaker the more the sail tends to hang up on the forestay as the torque tries to wind the sail around the torque rope. This causes the torque rope to wind up and twist like a rubber band on a model airplane and once the head does start to wind up the sail it will release the twisting and over wrap the sail. The sail will look like it is wrapped up just fine until the next time you try to unfurl the sail and it will be wrapped around the torque rope and will not unwind properly. Then comes the very messy take down. a bow sprit also helps a lot because for the furler to work properly the torque rope needs to hoisted tight and free to wind up the sail without it dragging on the forestay or furled jib. Get the stiffest torque rope you can for size of your boat. When furling the sail, if the torque rope gets any wind up, the sail will not unfurl the next time. Carver makes a good rope and furler but will still over wrap if not handle by an experienced crew, it is not something that can be done by one person like all the ad videos, where they show it being done in very light wind. The more wind the more crew skill needed to make it work and it takes practice like any spinnaker hoist and douse. The new Profurl looks like a good idea with the furling beads on the torque rope. I have yet to try one but just the fact they invented the idea lets me know that they were having the same problem with wind up and sail over wrap as the other manufacturers do. They don't talk about it unless you ask and if they tell you it does not happen then don't buy from them. the Volvo 70 guys have a very fast boat so they sail downwind with different apparent wind angles so they have very flat sails compared the one for a cruising boat. they also make it look simple but they have a lot of practice under their belt. most of their sails are hard luff sails like a jib or code zero. if one is trying to fly a old symmetrical as a asymm. on a furler then forget it.


Last edited by overbored; 08-30-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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