Passport111

Non-furler headsail handling options

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I did my first distance single handed race this summer and really liked it.  I'm thinking of the next, longer race and need to get some things sorted I learned in the first.  Lots if little stuff but one of the big priorities is headsail handling.

The boat is 37'.  It has a Harken MK1 furler but I almost never use it (take the drum off) except for cruising and some social buoy racing.  I have one RF #1 sail and the rest (1,2,3) are full hoist so cannot be used with the furler.

I specifically did not want the furler on the SH distance as the wind speed variability meant it would be really crap over about 14kts.  All headsails for the boat have the furler foil luff and the #1 is a 155%. 

The problem of course is keeping control of the luff when dropping the sail.  I ended up doing 6 evolutions with headsails and the last had me hauling the #1 out of the drink in the rain with a squall bearing down.  

Thoughts?  What about keeping the foil luff but adding those clip hanks I've seen?  I'm not ready to completely loose the furler as it is great but not for this.  

 

 

 

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Yeah with a foil you are basically screwed.     I went back to a wire luff and hanks.   Also allows for a reefing jib.

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You could change your furling unit to a structural cable forestay (Colligo has one) or wire unit that allows for hanked on jibs to be changed and reefed as well as being able to furl.

 

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1 hour ago, solosailor said:

Yeah with a foil you are basically screwed.     I went back to a wire luff and hanks.   Also allows for a reefing jib.

What kind of Hanks is everyone using these days that make life simpler? Something preferably light weight, easy to use with one hand, and cheap...

Asking for a lot. 

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37 minutes ago, Floating Duck said:

What kind of Hanks is everyone using these days that make life simpler? Something preferably light weight, easy to use with one hand, and cheap...

Asking for a lot. 

Wichard Hanks:  The only way to go for one-handed operation when you are on the bow of a bouncy boat.   I've used them for years and not once had a problem.  Make sure to get the brass ones. The others are not as good.

 

WichardHank.jpg

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I have pondered having the sailmaker put a few eyelets along the luff tape. A little loop of line around the foil would help the sail behave when lowered shorthanded. Not many, just enough. Maybe each 2 meters, depending. Shouldn't interfere with furling. When bunched up at the bottom might allow a smaller sail to be hoisted right away. But I must say I have not thought about what problems there may be...or asked the sailmaker.

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4 hours ago, solosailor said:

You could change your furling unit to a structural cable forestay (Colligo has one) or wire unit that allows for hanked on jibs to be changed and reefed as well as being able to furl.

 

Which foil-less systems allow reefing beside the Ubi Maior, Jiber? Most are either 100% rolled up or 100% unrolled

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I can't find a picture but I swear I saw those plastic clips like on a bag used on webbing that went around a foil.  Maybe you don't see it much because its a bad idea.

I like the eyelet idea.  Maybe even some velcro on webbing every 4 or 5 feet to just keep the front attached.

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No, the jib reefs with an additional clew and tack.  Never use a furler for "roller reefing", EVER.    

 

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Not sure who your responding to but agreed, that is what I'm look for.  I just want to find a way to change sails and keep control of the luff without removing the foil from the headstay - if that is possible.

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Don't know where you are sailing or your rig type, but what do you do about a storm jib?

Another reason for hanks.

Also, tacking with a 155 singlehanded gets old quickly. Think about fewer, broader wind range sails to make fewer changes. Safer to stay off the bow.

Main has a luff rope? Reefing is better with cars or slugs.

 

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Here's the storm jib on my Sun Fast 3300. Independent to my headstay foil, and has an NEX furler at the bottom. I can also fit it round the main headstay with soft loops going through cringles down the luff. This jib also doubles as a Genoa Staysailwhich I can fly inside the Zero or the J1 / J2 when cracked off a bit.

Storm jib.jpg

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@Sparrow50 Great Lakes so highly variable winds.  Storm jib has luff tape for headstay foil.  I would prefer fewer sails as the #1 can be a bear but really is the best option for light upwind work which I had a good bit of.  I'll usually go right to a #3 then.

Main has slugs, not luff rope.  I'm thinking about a tides marine track.

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14 minutes ago, Passport111 said:

I would prefer fewer sails as the #1 can be a bear

My absolute favorite light-wind way of dealing with an old school huge #1 is to have instead a "flying jib" - basically 2x #3's.

It requires the same number of sails, but it's a cheaper option plus it's much easier to switch gears as you only have to furl/lower one sail - as opposed to having to REPLACE a sail (#1 with #3).

Plus it is my understanding that this is much more efficient as the "flying jib" (sprit sail) has its working area much higher than a regular #1, where the wind tends to be on light days, and the fabric can be very lightweight as there is less stress on the sail as it's a smaller sail than a #1.

THE FLYING JIB

1003288223_UKSailmakersFlyingJibTop.thumb.jpeg.8bd1a9bfa6a8955801f88d15cafd2d15.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Passport111 said:

However the flying jib is on your sprit correct?  I don't have one of those 

Correct. There needs to be separation between the sails like with any other sailplan. 

Step one, get a sprit :lol: Probably the same cost or a little less to get a sprit aANDnd a small flying jib, than a fancy new giant #1 

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48 minutes ago, Sidecar said:

And don’t be shy on length, go for a big one.

If it's not half your LOA, it's not big enough :lol::lol::lol:

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We use a snuffer for our drifter, which is a flying sail, & use the furler for the self tacking blade.  Flying sails are different these days- they can take a lot of luff tension.

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Get some Hanks, preferably Whichard. On a recent single handed race did two sail changes and never had a problem.  Many of the roller furling or foil guys going double handed lost their sails overboard. WWSHD...What would Stan Honey Do

DSC_1397 (1).JPG

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On 10/10/2019 at 12:40 PM, solosailor said:

Yeah with a foil you are basically screwed.     I went back to a wire luff and hanks.   Also allows for a reefing jib.

I have a reefing jib also (hank on).  What have you found to be the best way to handle the tack and clew material when it is reefed?  I do it, but it is very sloppy and I know someone has figured this out.

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2 hours ago, bridhb said:

I have a reefing jib also (hank on).  What have you found to be the best way to handle the tack and clew material when it is reefed?  I do it, but it is very sloppy and I know someone has figured this out.

The minis and other boats have a set of zippers on the sail to gather the reefed material into. here's a pic of Mini 969 where you can see the zippers. The grommets are there in case the zipper breaks so he can still bundle the foot

69593255_2336877893202859_8526036108679577600_n.jpg

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2 hours ago, bridhb said:

What have you found to be the best way to handle the tack and clew material when it is reefed

I roll the bottom of the sail up.  Then I use a short line to tie the lower clew to the upper (reefed) clew.  A few reef lines in the middle.  This keeps it all neat and tidy.

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On 10/9/2019 at 11:12 AM, Passport111 said:

Thoughts?  What about keeping the foil luff but adding those clip hanks I've seen?  I'm not ready to completely loose the furler as it is great but not for this.  

The Ubi Maior furler is a decent option if you want to keep the furler as an option but also want to use hank on sails and the other advantages of not having a furler.  The Ubi Maior Furler has some quirks but I've had it for about a year now and overall I'm happy with it.  There was a thread about this topic a few months ago if you're interested:

 

 

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6 hours ago, Foolish said:

I roll the bottom of the sail up.  Then I use a short line to tie the lower clew to the upper (reefed) clew.  A few reef lines in the middle.  This keeps it all neat and tidy.

Thanks, that is the way I do it but it seems to fall apart with a few tacks.  I probably need to be more careful in the execution, and better, not  more knots!

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16 hours ago, bridhb said:

it seems to fall apart with a few tacks

I put in three complete rolls.  I don't unclip the lowest hanks on the luff.   And then I make sure the lower clew is well tied to the upper clew with a short line.   Any less and it does fall apart. 

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Looks like you have an older IOR'ish type hull and the boat looks like a classic racer/cruiser with a Big J and I assume masthead.  I have a similar sized boat, early 80's vintage that I SH and DH with.  Since the DH community around here (Long Island Sound) is sprit boat focused I have been entering my boat (rates 117) in fully crewed class of like-kind boats and been having a ball doing this.

I've long pondered what you are asking - and been where you are.  Here is what I do based on a lot of hard work (changing sails) then getting good advise from others - I have a 135 RF jib that is cut for reaching ( a bit higher on the clue).  I use that as the main headsail I don't change.   I'm fully powered up for upwind sailing at ~ 10 knots ( I displace 12,600) since I don't have the required 6-8 crew to hold the boat down. Even rolled up a bit (made 20 percent) this boat will sail upwind well until about 16 knots - I have the speed but loose some pointing.   The high clue makes this a great close to brach reaching sail which is far better than a W/L cut 155 that looses shape quickly when cracked off for reaching.

For heavy air (above 15-16 going upwind) I have a Joe Cooper inspired solent stay made from Dyneema and built by Colligo.  Sidebar - I would make one myself (just watch Sailing Zingaro on how he did does the two forms of Dyneema slicing - very easy).  This I hank on (wichard hanks) a #4 or, God forbid #5.  Just land it on a grunty place on deck as you can wind the shit out of it even with a dinky winch.  I used a 1 inch thick piece of G10 from McMaster Car as a backing plate right up in the bow spanning the deck flange, and shaped it with a grinder and extra strong boring bit I got from the local hardware store for @ $20.  You need a very heavy pad eye to land this on as well - mines good to 12,000 lbs.

Since I'm masthead I installed a harken halyard deflector to set this up below the headstay and use a spin halyard as a solent halyard.  For light air up wind I'm thinking of getting a 155 hank on for the solent stay.  Its not perfect but it its better than the heavier 135 - the key is to make it fit with good shape - it only needs to go to 11 knots over the deck.

I race spinnaker class and have no problems with the chute.  You can use two poles or just a simple sock which is what I do.  It does require me to douse to jibe but jibing  on a distance race is not that prevalent.  Plus the ability to go deep vs. the Asyms is remarkable on the distance race on LIS which is pretty much a run going east and a close reach coming back.  Plus a good full sized symmetric in the .5-.6 ounce runner range will pull like a team of Clydesdales.  I set up the chute with the tack ring in the pin end of the pole.  They guy is attached to the pole not the sail.  To douse I walk forward and tip fronthe in-board end.  The sail flutters out behind the main and I douse.   So you can carry this setup really deep and in some pretty heavy air.

So  how have I done - in the 10 or so races I've done this way I normally hit in the top five and often on the podium if I have not done something stupid, and all against fully crewed boats.  The boat is easy to sail, easy to change gears, and very good in light air.  Just took a 3rd in the LIS Gearbuster and that with a dirty bottom, light air with leftover slop.  I'm still fine tuning things but look forward to doing more of this type of racing.   

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On 10/14/2019 at 2:28 PM, Floating Duck said:

My absolute favorite light-wind way of dealing with an old school huge #1 is to have instead a "flying jib" - basically 2x #3's.

It requires the same number of sails, but it's a cheaper option plus it's much easier to switch gears as you only have to furl/lower one sail - as opposed to having to REPLACE a sail (#1 with #3).

Plus it is my understanding that this is much more efficient as the "flying jib" (sprit sail) has its working area much higher than a regular #1, where the wind tends to be on light days, and the fabric can be very lightweight as there is less stress on the sail as it's a smaller sail than a #1.

THE FLYING JIB

1003288223_UKSailmakersFlyingJibTop.thumb.jpeg.8bd1a9bfa6a8955801f88d15cafd2d15.jpeg

Looks like a nice idea, but I count 5 crew.  Looks like tacking would be a little messy for a singlehander with the flying jib clew slamming into the regular jib.

Letterbox drop, or is that a furler I see on the sprit?  I'm not a fan of furlers at the sprit (at least the top-down on my asym)

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18 minutes ago, Leon T said:

Looks like a nice idea, but I count 5 crew.  Looks like tacking would be a little messy for a singlehander with the flying jib clew slamming into the regular jib.

Letterbox drop, or is that a furler I see on the sprit I'm not a fan of furlers at the sprit (at least the top-down on my asym)

"Flying Jib Tops" are on a bottom up furler, so you can partially furl/unfurl for tacking if shorthanded.

I am with you though, top-down sucks. Because of the small mid-girth of a jib, a bottom up furler is totally fine.

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On 10/11/2019 at 3:40 AM, solosailor said:

Yeah with a foil you are basically screwed.     I went back to a wire luff and hanks.   Also allows for a reefing jib.

This.

I now have two jibs and a storm jib.  the #2 has two sets of cringles and a big zipper along the bottom.  I've never actually used it as a #3 because most club racing gets called off before it's windy enough, and I'd spill my drink if it was that windy out for fun.  

That's beside the point.  I'm comfortable knowing that if it ever does reach 30-35's I can reef the #2 without a headsail change.  Top investment so far ;)

Putting hanks on, If you run a thin line up and back from the head when you hoist, you can also pull the jib down and hold it down without leaving the cockpit.  Sheet on, pull jib down, will stay reasonably manageable flaked on the bow 

Put a bit of bunjy cord between your pull pit so the bottom hank doesn't twist on the forestay turnbuckle

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For the OP, think "old school."  Really old school.  A jib downhaul.

Have your sailmaker stitch 7 or 8 of the smallest friction rings you can find (3/8" inside hole) onto one side of the sail, about 4" back from the luff tape. Top one about 3 feet from the head. Put a stickyback patch on both sides of the sail first.  Sew a dinghy block to the tack patch, and a leech line cleat as well.

Run a length of 1/4" line through them all, and lead it back to the cockpit.  A small mesh sack sewn to the side of the tack patch is good to stow the excess line when the sail is down.

To drop, blow the halyard and haul on the downhaul from the cockpit.  This will keep the luff nicely concertinaed together as it comes out of the foil. Then with the tail in your hand, go forward and cleat it off, and bag the sail.  No real need to fold it as the luff is all together.

YMMV.

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3 hours ago, P_Wop said:

For the OP, think "old school."  Really old school.  A jib downhaul.

 

Whoa. 

You mean a jib "dutchman". That is old school and would work perfectly for the OP.

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What I've been wondering is if one could combine a Bierig Camber Spar with a jib downhaul or dutchman? And maybe a reef, then toss the roller furler or just keep for lighter winds only.

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Another headsail question for you single handed experts.  I have an older IOR based, fractionally rigged 34' cruiser racer, with no sprit, hank on sails.  I have an asymmetric, flasher, cruising spinnaker, what ever they are called.  I run the tack line through the anchor roller to allow a bit of adjustment and get it out front.  I don't currently connect the tack to the forestay, letting it fly free.  

What is the best way to gybe this thing?  I have not tried gybing by pulling the clew between the luff and forestay, like I guess you can on a boat with a sprit.  I have gybed the thing by letting the clew "float" out in front of the boat with long sheets (as seen on youtube).  About 50/50 successful with this method.  Failures include getting sail wraps around the forestay, especially in the lighter winds I tend to attempt with it,  which is a cluster single handed.  Any suggestions?  Would pulling the luff tight or attaching the tack to the forestay help prevent the wraps?  Thanks in advance

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Outside gybe with a 2m strop between your sheets and the chutes clew.   The strop acts a bit like a delay fuse when you madly pull the sheets through.   For me, the problem is dropping the lazy sheet in front of the bow.  You need to somehow keep the sheets tight while letting the kite blow forward.   Hence the strop.

 

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By "strop" do you mean a single 2 m long single piece of line between the clew and the sheets?

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I have the lazy sheet disconnected and only connect it right before I gybe.  As soon as I connect it I disconnect the old sheet and as the sail floats around the front I move across the boat and start pulling in the new sheet.  I also make sure to run the new sheet inside the pulpit, but in front of the tack,  and on the deck of the new leeward side so it gives me time to get to the new sheet and haul it in before it can fall overboard and get caught under the boat (been there done that).   

I've done this with light to moderately winds and have not had a problem with it once I get the right cadence down.  If you are getting wraps you may be sailing to deep before you ease the old sheet or the old sheet is getting hung up.  The keys are to remove the old sheet and not start hauling the new sheet around until the clue cleared the front of the boat and to turn slowly.  Also, make sure the new sheet does can't get caught up on anything.   I do take out the slack in the new sheet as the clue moves forward but I don't haul hard on it until I flip the main over.  I normally do this without the AP running.  Instead I use the wheel break to hold the rudder steady in whatever position in place it.  This allows for slow, like in 15-20 second turns as you are normally going through 60+ degrees.

If the wind is heavier where I can't pull the clue in  I can loop a makeshift twinge onto the active sheet, sheet it in until its behind the main and I can easily reach the clue.   I 'm now sailing deep like 140-150ish but not deep enough to collapse on the asym.   The new sheet is ready to go with shackle open.  I set the wheel brake with enough drag to hold position but still allowing me to turn it, and put the boat into a gentle turn,  slide under the boom to connect the new sheet, trip the old and slip back into the cockpit, grab the new sheet take up slack, flip the main over and start hauling hard on the new sheet.  Reach back and stop the turn by centering the wheel.  Set the new course, set the AP and trim. Once everything is set I clean up the lines and get prepped for the next gybe, even if its an hour away.

Remember that the boat will be gybing and you will most likely be reaching/looking for the new sheet on the leeward side with your back to the main, watch out you don't get beaned.  It happened to me on the Solo/Twin, a lot of gybing in light air and wouldn't you know it - BAM! I saw stars the night despite the clouds!  Thank God it was light air. That was my first time with an asym.  These days I much prefer a symmetric for long down winds with little if any gybing.

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On 10/14/2019 at 1:09 PM, Passport111 said:

@Sparrow50 Great Lakes so highly variable winds.  Storm jib has luff tape for headstay foil.  I would prefer fewer sails as the #1 can be a bear but really is the best option for light upwind work which I had a good bit of.  I'll usually go right to a #3 then.

Main has slugs, not luff rope.  I'm thinking about a tides marine track.

I sail on lake michigan solo distance.  I have a regular harken carbo-foil.  Doing the same thing just #1 for less than 10-12 then straight to a #3.  Every year, i think about going to a furler since inevitably it will be a 10 headsail-change race and i'll fuck one up and get pissed and it's generally exhausting, but i havent done it yet.  There are a few boats that have an elastic line sewn into the luff that keeps the sail on deck during changes.

I have an antel track for the main that works great.  

Honestly i dont have an answer to the question, but I've just come up with little tricks that help me make the sail changes easier/less likely to screw up.  throwing a slipknot behind the mast block lead to keep halyard from falling when moving back to the cockpit etc.  There are pros/cons with both sides of it, and in lake michigan they've chosen to ignore the furling credit so it somewhat evens it up (if the boat is a one-design with a furler you're not penalized 3 seconds which is nonsense, but whatever).

For A-sym gybes, i usually go inside, but if it's blowing i'll go outside.  If you time it right (and nothing goes to shit......) the auto-gybe/tack on the raymarine lets you use both arms to move fast and get it through either way.  Havent hourglassed myself yet but im sure i will eventually.

Solo sailing for me just comes down to doing it enough and screwing it up enough that you learn a way to make it work with what you have.  

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42 minutes ago, EquusAsinusDomesticus said:

Solo sailing for me just comes down to doing it enough and screwing it up enough that you learn a way to make it work with what you have.  

This.

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I just got a new #1 built with a healthy slab reef for my Sun Fast 3200. I have a Harken furler that is my 'cruising' setup and found something kind of interesting when I got the new genoa; I was too lazy to remove the entire headfoil when I wanted to try out my new jib, so I just pulled the drum off (takes about ten minutes). The new sail is carbon (Carbon Sport LiteSkin, has a nice taffeta that's supposed to be super durable; we'll see, but it looks good and is light enough) and the sailmaker cautioned against Wichard hanks because of the corrosion issues. Instead the sail has soft hanks, nylon straps with plastic clips; seems lightweight but is evidently proven. But, one nice perk--the setup fits over the headfoil. A little extra friction on the hoist, but saves serious time when re-setting the boat shorthanded!

 

The full sail takes me up to 15ish knots, and the reef is pretty deep. Still trying to sort out the right crossovers,  but suspect I could carry it to 17-18kts by dropping the first reef in the main. Then, downshift to the jib reef and I can shake out the reef if it lightens up. The clew on the reef point is a bit higher than level, helpful if I'm cracked off in a blow as I can tie the reef point up and there's still a bit of room under the sail for a wave to pass under. I'm inexperienced with this system but a couple of practice runs reefing and tacking with the jib reefed give me some confidence that this setup is going to be great; not quite as easy as the roller-furler, but somewhat safer (roller-furlers are sadly not 100% systems, and a failure singlehanded can leave you in the lurch!) and the sail that replaces the RF sail is bigger, lighter, and better shaped. When it comes time to downshift in the really big breeze, I have an inner forestay and a #3 with a reef point as well... so hopefully only one headsail change between 0 and 30+ish knots! 

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