sailing with a partially furled headsail - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 37 Old 06-08-2016 Thread Starter
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sailing with a partially furled headsail

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Single Handing a 27' as a first boat? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

I'm looking for opinions regarding using a partially furled headsail...

how bad is it for the sail and/or furler?
recommended furlers for using a sail partially?
modifications to a sail to allow better use partially furled?
additions/ideas about deploying a storm sail (or other smaller sail) from a forestay that has a furler?
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post #2 of 37 Old 06-08-2016
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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

You have a nice boat.

Depends on type of Furler and sail. Harken and similar with a single line to drum can be partially furled. Some are permeant others like mine can change. I have a split drum which comes off. A blade (smaller sail which doesn't furl) and a laminate again doesn't furl.
Most of the time I use the cruising sail which furls, it is made to furl, its a cruising Dacron sail, it will stretch but is still pretty good.

As a beginner in a 27 don't worry about blowing a furled jib. Furl or reef early.

I prefer to reef the main first. The full jib works better. But I can take advantage of its quick to fur and unfurl when wind is changing.
It makes life easy. I wouldn't go back
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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

Most of today's roller furlers that I'm familiar with will reef a headsail. What happens as the sail reefs, if you think about the sail shape it's a little "baggier" in the middle. So when you reef, the shape will be effected. It will be better at the top and bottom, and kinda bagged out in the middle.

Various sailmakers solve this problem different ways by building some bulk into the sail, particularly in the middle part. For example, sewing in a piece of rope that builds bulk in the middle part. This helps a bit; however, most jibs designed this way are only designed to reef a bit, not a ton. So maybe from a 130% (this is the amount of overlap beyond the triangle formed by the forestay and mast) to maybe 100% (no overlap). Beyond that, this fix still tends to bag out in the middle.

So beyond that, it's time to change headsails. Most people I know who cruise, don't do that often. For instance, in some places seasonal winds are stronger, so they put on a smaller sail during the windy season, and put a bigger one on during the less windy season and live with the limitations. Obviously, changing a headsail on a furler is harder than just winding a bit of it up.
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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

I have a 130 genoa with a foam luff (Mack Sails) that I have rolled WAY down and still had good shape. We were beating into 25+ winds and 3' chop. The boat has a 7.5 hull speed and we were doing 8.5 with the genoa rolled to about 90. It was smooth and nicely shaped.
A part of getting a good furl that will still have good shape is the angle of the jib sheet and the tension on the sheet. Get those right and you get a pretty good sail shape if the sail isnt blown out and you have a foam luff.
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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

I doubt any furler or any genoa cant be successfully partially furled. The technology has been popular for 30 years. So unless your furler and sails are over 30 years old you will not have a problem.

Furlers are magic. In heavy winds I often jut have a foot or 2 of genoa out. just a smidgeon to keep the bow steady and counter the main trying to turn the boat up.

Play with it and have fun.

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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
I have a 130 genoa with a foam luff (Mack Sails) that I have rolled WAY down and still had good shape. We were beating into 25+ winds and 3' chop. The boat has a 7.5 hull speed and we were doing 8.5 with the genoa rolled to about 90. It was smooth and nicely shaped.
A part of getting a good furl that will still have good shape is the angle of the jib sheet and the tension on the sheet. Get those right and you get a pretty good sail shape if the sail isnt blown out and you have a foam luff.
xy what kind of boat do have, is it a cat? If not something with a 30' waterline that planes up wind I gotta get me one of dem! But I fear you have the brother of my knot meter (a known liar)not to be trusted at any speed...
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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

The speed was measured by gps. All the current prediction tables said I was at slack (lower Chesapeake).
The boat is a 1985 Endeavour 42. 38'LWL (correction; 33'4" LWL) weighing 33,000lbs.
Healed over a lot more than we prefer so we shortened again and slowed to 7 knots.

Addendum: healing way over increases our waterline quite a bit. LOA is 42' and I suspect with the curve of the hull our healed waterline is around 45'. Someday, I should measure it! No way do we surf that boat, especially in 3' head seas.

Last edited by xort; 06-09-2016 at 06:55 AM.
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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

Depends on the boat too. A small West Wight Potter 19 won't sail well with only the head sail for example. You can sail with the partially furled headsail, and a reefed main,(or just the main) but not just the headsail.

This is not specifically an answer to your question, but its a point that needed to be made.
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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

I hate what I imagine it is doing to our Yankee jib when I sail with it partially furled. It seems to be putting all kinds of stress on areas of the sail that shouldn't be stressed that way. We also begin shortening sail with the main, so it's got to be around 35 knots before we begin shortening the jib, so perhaps that has something to do with my feelings about the stresses.

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Re: sailing with a partially furled headsail

A properly selected full sail will always be the better choice, esp for beating, but as generally agreed to above today's furlers are fine for 'reefing'.

Our 130 genoa has marks on the foot and leech at the 100% mark, with tack & head reinforcement there to help support the loads in those areas when partially furled.

Ron

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