I forgot to mention it's a Newport 30 Mkii, and I sail with my wife and small children in/near the Georgia Strait (Vancouver - Gulf Islands, etc).You don't mention how big your boat is or what sort of sailing you do.
This would make a big difference in whether I chose hanked on sails or RF.
Basically, if you sail in sheltered waters a couple of times a month, I'd think hank on headsails would be fine, but if you were into extended cruises, especially short-handed, where you might get into some heavy weather and seas above 2', then I'd stick with the RF, at any cost.
If you'd ever had to wrestle down a big headsail and change it out for a smaller one, in winds over 20 knots and with the bow pitching heavily, I doubt you'd be considering going back to hank on sails. Not only is it not a whole lot of fun to be on the foredeck in those conditions, it is downright dangerous.
Depending on your wife's sailing experience you are more or less single handing. Even if you wife is a skilled sailor someone has to watch the kids, you are single handling, with extra burdens. Get your furler and a furling headsail working for you.I forgot to mention it's a Newport 30 Mkii, and I sail with my wife and small children in/near the Georgia Strait (Vancouver - Gulf Islands, etc).
That sounds more expensive than a plain cruiser's furler. You mean this harken MKIV, right? https://www.harken.com/productdetail.aspx?id=5466&taxid=547So is there REALLY a compromise? yes, a Mark IV furler, that takes tuff luff and allows for headsail changes for racing... if you get in a pinch you can still furl and shorten sail.
Sort of! The most efficient shaped sails are sails designed for an optimum flying shape when supported on a headfoil whether on a furler. Of course in order to have a optimum flying shape they are not designed to be flown partially furled.I'm going to be the generally dissenting opinion. Yes generally hank on sails will have way better shape. Mostly due to the fact that they can now be shaped for ideal efficiency, and not shaped to furl better.
Yep, furling is easier when the winds pipe up. But then you are supposed to reef early and before you know you have to (remember?)... so you already switched down to a smaller headsail too right?
But in more seriousness, hank on will generally be more efficient in a given range. Furling sure can shorten sail, but of course will also ruin shape... but hey you didn't have to go forward!
Which is it? Efficiency and speed, or easy and slow?
But but but, race boats have furlers too!!! yes they do, but if you look most only have 1 sized headsail, and its usually only 100%. Also they have compromised their headsails to make flying an asymmetrical easier (usually on a prodder).
So is there REALLY a compromise? yes, a Mark IV furler, that takes tuff luff and allows for headsail changes for racing... if you get in a pinch you can still furl and shorten sail.
Very cool idea, is there a trick to transferring the sheets to the upper clew cringle when you reef? Do you just lower the sail all the way to make the switch and then hoist it back up? I have visions of getting smacked in the head by a flogging cringle while trying to swap the sheets and gather the foot of the sail.If The OP wants to get fancy he can add a downhaul that will allow him to douse the Jib from the cockpit, and maybe even add a reef point so he can simply partially lower the jib and reef it which is way easier and almost as effective than doing a sail change, and way better than sailing with a partially furled jib.
I like this idea so much I'm almost ready to get rid of the furler . Worth mentioning that I have an old hood seafurl (810?) with an infinite furling line. It is rather difficult to furl even in benign conditions, and I feel it is both an inconvenience and a danger. I'm in the process of making my Newport 30 Mkii a bit more seaworthy, so that I won't have an emergency at the first breeze, and doing something with the furler is part of that.The deal on rigging the sheets is that you run a separate set of sheets through the correct sheet lead block and tie those sheets to the reef clue cringle before you reef and while the sail is still full so its not flapping about. That cringle will typically only be at eye level even on a pretty big boat. Then when you have reefed and the new sheets are trimmed, you remove the old sheets and brail the bottom of the sail to keep it from catching waves. Plan 'B' is to move the lazy sheet up to the reef clew grommet, reef then tack, and then tie on the new lazy sheet.
This is very old school stuff that was pretty much the norm in the days before modern furlers and hardware.
I don't think that wire luffs are used anymore. In my most recent experience, depending on the size of the sail, small hank on jibs no longer have any luff reinforcing other than the luff tabling, and bigger jibs seem to use modern high modulus line. The cost of either seems to be pretty similar to installing a foil boltrope,Unless things have changed radically since last I used hank on sails, all the hank on sails I've owned had wire luffs, not rope. That can't be cheap to have a sailmaker put in.