Do I need to keep tension on my furling line when I unfurl. The only thing I can think of to keep the line from wrapping around the forestay. Been out twice happened both times. Yesterday with wife and 15-18 knot winds not a good time.
Yes. This helps to keep the line tight enough around the drum to keep it from jamming.
Where is it wrapping? At the top or bottom of the stay? The furling line should have guides to keep it in the drum. The halyard at the top should never wrap and can cause significant damage if left unchecked.
You do want a little tension on the furling line so it wraps neatly on the drum while unfurling. Usually just letting it run over your left hand as it unfurls (gloves) is enough. I'm unclear about how it's wrapping the forestay, usually the cage of the furler would prevent that. What kind of furler is it ?
The furling line should feed onto the drum. If it's going around the headstay, then look at the placement of the control blocks. I have one less than 1' from the drum to make sure that the line feeds correctly.
When the wind is up, we tend to control the unfurling with a little tension on the furling line. That keeps it from getting away from us. So yes, keep some tension on your furling line and check the control block placement.
The last block on my furling line (closest to the cockpit) is a ratchet block, which works great to keep enough tension on the line to keep it from free spooling. Otherwise just a little hand preassure is enough.