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post #1 of 25 Old 09-15-2018 Thread Starter
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Top down spinnaker furlers

The first big upgrade we have planned for our new Jeanneau 39i is a Selden Bowsprit and asymetric spinnaker, and I am thinking that with such a big sail a furling system would be money well spent! I am wondering what spinnaker furlers people are using and what their thoughts on them are. So far I am liking the look of the Harken Reflex system, but they are premium $$. Another contender is the Selden GX.
I am not looking for the cheapest solution if it doesn't work as well. I am willing to pay more if it means smoother, easier operation and greater durability. This setup is going to be a huge investment so I want to get it right!

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post #2 of 25 Old 09-15-2018
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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

I installed the Selden bowsprit last year and it has been a wonderful addition to my boat. I use my asymm with a sock however. I am interested to hear about experience with a furling asymm - it seems to me the torsion rope would be limiting on shaping the luff of the sail.
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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

Just my two cents. I think spin furlers are terrific and make an asymmetric much easier to deploy and retrieve. However, they are more involved. Itís heavier, more rigging, etc and are best if you plan to leave it up most of or nearly all the time. If you may only need the spin on occasion, a sock may be much less complicated and make it all easier to stow.

For what itís worth, a spin was my first planned add to this boat nearly 10 years ago. Thankfully, I went through my first season realizing how infrequently I needed it, and spent the money elsewhere.


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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

Agree about the simplicity of a dousing sock - I think the advantage of a top-down system would be singlehanding on an offshore passage, when the spin could be set and doused from the cockpit quickly. As for if they are worth it? Depends on if you are the type who doesn't want to turn the motor on when things get light. My local sailing, 15-20kts wind is typical and I do not have a planing hull, so don't often need a spinnaker. However, just this last week I sailed out to Catalina and the prevailing winds had reversed, and were steady 6kts. I hoisted the kite and sailed all 22 miles to the island under spinnaker making 4.5kts - I wouldn't have been able to do that with white sails. All the other boats were motoring that day. I like to sail, so to me was well worth having on board for such an occasion. I get to use it maybe 6 times a year at best, but am glad to have it.
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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

The thing I like about a sock is that it is BOTH furler and bag. In fact, I like launching straight out of a turtle, but on my last boat that would not fit through the hatch. However, with a sock, I could furl and then lower into the sail locker in one motion. No bag required. With a top-down furler, I then have to lay the chute in a large ring and bag it, which is another step (which we have to do with the reacher).

I can't imagine leaving it up. the windage is terrible and UV is deadly to nylon.

I agree the top-down furler is handy in stronger winds.
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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

Top down is by far the best way to go for my boat . the boat came with a spinnaker in a sock and it works but it is so heavy it now sits in the garage. we have a code 0 on a furler and it is very easy to use. my new spinnaker is on a Harken reflex furler and it works perfect every time. have never had an internal back wrap like all the other furlers I have had. the reflex cable is little heaver then the others but it works the best. every other torque rope I have tried and even the very high dollar ones are crap. they all had to much wind up before the sail would start to furl which would cause an internal back wrap of the sail which would keep the sail from un furling on the next set. only way to fix an internal back wrap is to un wrap on the lawn. took me 3 hour the first time it happened. The Harken might seem a bit more expensive but their torque rope works. I have no less then 5 other brands of torque rope that I have tried and the Harken is the only one that works.
I have the furling drum attached to all the lines and because of the way the torque is attached to the drum i keep the drum in the anchor locker and only need to attach the sail to use it. the drum is used on all our flying sails which have been converted to the Harken T slot connector. with this system you only need one drum for all your flying sails and the drum does not have to go into the sail bag. even use it on the Code 0
Our sprit is fixed but if I was installing one I would use a Trogear https://trogear.com/sailing-anarchy-...rket-bowsprit/
The Seldon is well made but clutters up the deck right ware you don't want clutter. the folding ones are way better then the retractable type to operate

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post #7 of 25 Old 09-15-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

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Originally Posted by Lazerbrains View Post
I installed the Selden bowsprit last year and it has been a wonderful addition to my boat. I use my asymm with a sock however. I am interested to hear about experience with a furling asymm - it seems to me the torsion rope would be limiting on shaping the luff of the sail.
The spinnaker flies free once it is unfurled, and the torsion rope just acts like another forestay. The selden furler has an optional adjustable tack swivel so you can control luff shape with a tack line just like with a conventional sprit setup.

I can't see it being much more difficult to set up than a chute with a sock. Pull the bag out, connect the drum to the sprit, connect the halyard and hoist. Granted, putting the sail back in the bag takes a bit more care as it needs to be coiled up, but it can be left up until you have time to deal with it. Of course I wouldn't want to leave it up any longer than necessary, particularly in bright sunshine.

I wonder about how cleanly and consistently they furl. Are they finicky to get a clean furl, or do they work smoothly most of the time. I wouldn't want loose cloth hanging out flapping from a bad furl!

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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

Overbored,

I have heard that Harken's torsion rope is their biggest strength, and I am a fan of Harken's hardware. The harken furler on my old boat is 30 years old and still smooth as butter!

I have also read that there is a solution to the internal wrap problem. Apparently you reverse the drum after furling to release the torque on the torsion rope, then it unfurls cleanly.

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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

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Overbored,

I have heard that Harken's torsion rope is their biggest strength, and I am a fan of Harken's hardware. The harken furler on my old boat is 30 years old and still smooth as butter!

I have also read that there is a solution to the internal wrap problem. Apparently you reverse the drum after furling to release the torque on the torsion rope, then it unfurls cleanly.

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I love the Harken. We tried every new fangled way to get a good furl with the other brands . have heard them all. do you really want to have to reverse the drum after every furl and how may turns do you reverse. Who counts the turns or does the bow man count the turns. on my boat I am the bowman at the same time I tend the helm. With the Harken I don't have to count turns. and that just does not work and some times it makes it even worse. and the Volvo guys can get a furl and there rope is not made by Harken. but at $20k it should work. I have one that cost 2k and it is no better then the $300 ones.

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post #10 of 25 Old 09-15-2018
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Re: Top down spinnaker furlers

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
I wonder about how cleanly and consistently they furl. Are they finicky to get a clean furl, or do they work smoothly most of the time. I wouldn't want loose cloth hanging out flapping from a bad furl!

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FWIW - I remember watching the start of the Sydney/Hobart race I think two years ago and several boats had problems with the furling asymms - and these are professional racers with presumably the best gear and lots of practice - certainly more practice than those of us on these forums. At least with a sock if you get an hourglass you can pull the sock down and shake it out with the sheet.

- go to about 44min mark and watch all the troubles unfurling


And the year before:
start at around 40min mark.
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