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A Sail Furler?


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#1 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:11 AM

My boat is 25' & sailing the A Sail has ultimately been very satisfying after quite a steep learning curve. We've actually started to win and place in our class. One of our areas most venerable sailors has suggested that we get a jib furler. I'm inclined to follow his advice; however, I just jettisoned a sleeve which was also recommended by a very good sailor.

 

If you have had experience with a furler, I would appreciate your thoughts.

 

I am reticent because I'm feeling so much better about our handling of the A Sail; however, I don't want to preclude a better scenario. Since I don't know what a furler really is, I don't know if any of the other boats are using them. When I have the time, I plan to do a little Binging to see what I can find out online. I have found the recommendations on this site so helpful, I wanted to started here first.

 

Thanks so much!

 

Steve



#2 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:18 AM

Please note that I meant to say spinnaker furler! Sorry for the confusion.



#3 notallthere

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:22 PM

you don't need one. 

 

keep practicing



#4 amro

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:22 PM

On a 25' boat? One handed samurai douse will do. Spins would be the size of bed sheets.

#5 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:29 PM

Steve,

Using a Top Down furler for your asymmetrical spinnaker is a good and convenient idea if you are sailing single or short handed. We have sold/installed furlers for A-sails on boats from 24 ft up to 55 ft. and have had very good feedback, so far. We have actually used it in a couple of 30 footers and it works quite well. 

There is a period that you will learn what is the best point of sail to furl the sail in, based on wind intensity, but that is like any other equipment on the boat that you are getting to know.

Based on the size of your boat, one of the most popular and cost effective units out there is the Selden GX 7.5 :

SEL545-018-10-2T.jpg

and then there is the Anti Torsion rope and furling line.

The dousing sock also works, even though is a hate / love relationship depending on who you ask. 

Drop em a note or a call if you want to go over some options or have any technical questions.

 

Rod



#6 amro

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:14 PM

Way to sell him something he doesn't need. The furler is probably worth more than the boat. Gypsy, if you are racing with an assy you 100% DO NOT need a kite furler. Your unfurling and furling will be slower than conventional hoists and douses. If you think you have issues with the kite spend some of that furler money on a coach for a day and beer for the crew and go practice. Sponsors should be banned from hawking wares in threads. No proper advice offered at all

#7 BobJ

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:35 PM

There are a couple of recent threads about this.

 

I gave the Karver KSF-1 a pretty thorough test, racing my 30 footer singlehanded with a 1,000+ sq. foot A2 (on SF Bay).

 

I tossed it in the bin.  The two big problems:

 

1)  It's slow.  To furl the sail I had to pull several miles of furling line before it even started to roll up, and this was with an oversized Dynex Dux-cored torsion rope that wasn't twisting much.  I could have doused and reset (solo) in the time it took to roll it up.  Then after it's rolled up it's still not on deck.  (It's also really hard on the sail because it winds so tight at the head.)

 

2)  The tack line has to be in just the right spot or it winds around the bottom end of the torsion rope, if not when you first start to unwind the kite, then when you try to wind it up.  It would work better with a fixed tack but then you couldn't ease the tack line to sail deeper.

 

Have you tried weather-side douses?  Sail really deep, pull the kite around to weather like you're starting to gybe, then drop the kite on deck, either into the forward hatch or into the companionway.  Tape up all the bits on your rig so you don't snag the kite on anything.  I can't imagine it being any easier, especially on a 25'er.  With a bungee cord on the tiller you could easily do it solo.



#8 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:23 PM

Way to sell him something he doesn't need. The furler is probably worth more than the boat. Gypsy, if you are racing with an assy you 100% DO NOT need a kite furler. Your unfurling and furling will be slower than conventional hoists and douses. If you think you have issues with the kite spend some of that furler money on a coach for a day and beer for the crew and go practice. Sponsors should be banned from hawking wares in threads. No proper advice offered at all


Not really a point of pushing a sale on this or any other case, even less to hawk. If someone is experiencing some issues with a dousing sock or even without it, then the furler may help, even though I agree anything smaller than 26 or 27 footer may be a bit overkill. In the other hand, we have been asked several times for a furler in 26 to 30 footers and owners have done their homework and are aware that may be overkill, but still feel it is a helpful tool to have when sailing shorthanded and want to stay away from the bow when maneuvering with the spinnaker.

We will make sure to offer advice regardless of buying or not, as we always had. Also won't push for anything that is not truly needed for the boat to solve an specific need. That's why we encourage anyone who may have a doubt or question to contact us and we are happy to go over the details. 

Probably some coaching onboard may be the solution or not,, but in case Steve considers he needs one, there is an option right there.

Regards,

Rod

 



#9 BobJ

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:06 PM

Rod, how might the Selden unit address the issues I was having with the Karver, which I thought was the top of the line?

 

Does the Selden unit have a lock to keep it from unwinding?  I think this is essential if you lose control of the furling line in big breeze, as I have.  Which of these top-down units have you personally used?  Which did you like the best?  Why?

 

My club has almost 200 members and we all race single or double-handed.  Improvements in spinnaker handling are of great interest to us.



#10 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:16 AM

Thanks to all for your suggestions. As fate would have it, a friend, also with a H-25, just purchased a furler from one of the top sail makers in our area.

I plan to sail with him to see how it works.

I suspect I will get one for when I'm with friends on a casual cruise. However, while I might change my mind, I think for racing, I will likely not use it because I, and my crew, enjoy executing the sets, gibes, and douses. The challenge is a lot of the fun. Of course, never having seen one, I don't know how much trouble it is to take on and off.

Again, I really appreciate all of your help!

Steve

#11 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 05:13 PM

Rod, how might the Selden unit address the issues I was having with the Karver, which I thought was the top of the line?

 

Does the Selden unit have a lock to keep it from unwinding?  I think this is essential if you lose control of the furling line in big breeze, as I have.  Which of these top-down units have you personally used?  Which did you like the best?  Why?

 

My club has almost 200 members and we all race single or double-handed.  Improvements in spinnaker handling are of great interest to us.


Bob,

I have put my hands on and used the Selden GX and the Facnor AFX. I have not tried on the water myself the Karver and Profurl. The Facnor and the GX do not have the locking mechanism. The Karver does. 

Based on feedback and own experience, the locking mechanism works well, but the truth is that you do not want to keep the sail rolled and hoisted for too long anyways. However, Selden has come up with the tandem fiddle block 405-001-40 that to keeps the unit from furling or unfurling unexpectedly:

SEL405-001-40R-2.jpg


Some owners also use cams on deck or even cleats, even though not to elegant solution.  Bottom line you want to make sure that the furling line (loop) does not move and has enough tension to keep the grip around the drum that prevents it to slip and unwind (not to common).

Like any other piece of equipment on a sailboat, the conditions will let you know how long you can have the rolled sail hoisted. If it would be me I would furl it and drop the whole thing when is convenient to do so.  If we are talking about cruising, then you may spend more time with the rolled sail hoisted. 



#12 BobJ

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 05:46 PM

I wouldn't leave a good spinnaker rolled up that tight either and this leads to another problem.  The only practical way to get it off the torsion rope is to rehoist it and douse it conventionally (which largely defeats the purpose of having the thing).  I've tried to remove the sail from the furler after it's rolled up and dropped - it's wound one way at the top, very tight, and the opposite way at the bottom - absolutely a nightmare to unwind by hand.

 

The furler line is continuous - I assume you'd have to have it spliced together after feeding it through that tandem fiddle block?  Then if something breaks . . .



#13 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 06:26 PM

The stanchion fairleads are opening and the furling loop comes already spliced. The tandem fiddle block is designed be opened and feed the continuous loop through, so you can remove the line from fairleads, the drum and then take the fiddle with the line and store it down below when done sailing. 

The is how the fairleads look like:

SEL480-501-01R-2.jpg



#14 SailRacer

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 06:31 PM

Hoist!

 

Let God take it down.

 

Sail safe



#15 BobJ

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 06:42 PM

Yep.  All this for a Harbor 25?  Thundering waste of time and money, and hassle.  Just reach up and pull the sail down.

 

For my boat, I'm going back to cockpit-led snuffers in the ocean (for those 0200 squall-induced solo take-downs) and conventional handling the rest of the time.  It's just not that hard.



#16 rushsails

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:55 PM

It looks like I am the source for Steve's interest in the top down spin furler. For those of you who have not sailed a H-25, it has a very large masthead asymm (715 sq.ft.) flown from a 4.5 ft. sprit. The cockpit is great, but it is really difficult to go forward of the mast when sailing. In addition, the shrouds, self tacking jib track and house, make is very difficult to feed the tack forward without having it go in the water or tangle in the jib track or other fittings on the foredeck. Dousing the sail can be just as challenging. As I said, the spinnaker is large, the boat relatively tender, and having one person bring it in is a handful.

 

We did the Selden 7.5 furler on the other H-25. One person could set or douse in every condition. While going to weather, the furled sail can be hoisted to weather or leeward and the sail unfurls almost instantly when the sheet is pulled after rounding the mark. For dousing, the sail can be furled in 5 to 10 seconds by one person, and the sail can then be dropped, either to weather or leeward, while going to weather.

 

The furled sail can be fitted to the retracted sprit before leaving the dock with the rest of the sail led back and stowed in the cabin with the halyard attached. We led the furling line through the starboard bow cleat and back to the cockpit. There, we secured the furling line to an available cleat.

 

I am looking forward to Steve's comments after he sails on the H-25 with the furler.

 

I am looking forward to using spinnaker furlers on other applications, like with multihull asymms, where you may be approaching a leeward mark at 20+ knots, and the chance of going shrimping on the drop is high.

 

Scott Rush

Rush Sails, Inc.

NW Agent for Neil Pryde Sails



#17 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:26 PM

Scott, thanks for the succinct explanation expressed with such clarity. Sounds like a furler will be a valued piece of equipment on Gypsy's Child.

 

While, with two crew, we have become reasonably adept, but by no means expert, with the A Sail; it would be quite an asset to be able to be capable with one crew member. With 2 crew, one is able to be on the foredeck to preclude equipment tangles and to pull the clew around in the gybe. For many reasons, it would be great to keep folks off the small foredeck.

 

When the weather improves, I will try to prevail upon Jim to take me out for a ride to experience the furler first hand. I think I will really like it.

 

After attempting to start in a race yesterday on Puget Sound, my mind has turned to extra reef points on the main...a topic for another thread.

 

I sincerely appreciate your willingness to share your expert experience with Newbies; thanks!



#18 THOR

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:39 AM

got a colligo marine unit.

 

First I had problems with it ( read the instructions ) its free spinning when no load on the furler line.... it just comes out like a banshee ....  after you have unrolled the sheets which you have to roll up rather loose all the way down to the unit ( otherwise you have a big bag hanging there )

 

Dousing is no problem at all... pulling it in I used to have those issues, but with long sheets and keeping them rather loose and roll them up all the way to the bottom it works fantastic ....

I have a F 33 Trimaran, rather big Spinnaker ( 950 sqf)  ( usually girlfriend and me alone )  

for a 25 footer...hmmm ????I would not do anything as long as you have 3 people on board. 2 peeps and the colligo furler will work great



#19 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:22 PM

Thanks, Thor.

 

Will report back after Sunday.

 

Will be trying my new Selden 7.5 this afternoon and using in the PSSC this weekend.



#20 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 06:00 PM

Went to the CYC's PSSC on the Sound yesterday & we had the most wonderful sailing the 3 of us had ever experienced.  The hours before the race on the docks were filled with exuberance and a spirit of camaraderie as sailors prepared their boats. There were wonderful breezes & the predicted rain left & the sun came out as the race was about to start. This humbled skipper excluded, I've never seen such exquisite sailing by so many, so upfront and personal. This was truly one great experience & I am grateful to everyone involved for putting on such a wonderful event!

 

Perhaps my Seldon is defective or it is like so many gimmicks I bought to improve my golf game: They may work somewhat, but, in the last analysis, time is better spent on the fundamentals.

 

Wednesday, the spinnaker was installed on the Seldon at the dock with no breeze. She furled and unfurled; however, the end of the furl was a little looser than expected; this was attributed to the fact that there was no breeze and that the cut of the A Sail was a little full for tension to...

 

Yesterday at the PSSC, we left the dock with ample time to do several pre-race sets, gibes, and douses. The breeze was light and the furler worked somewhat imperfectly, but we were encouraged. While all of these were addressed with such alacrity by an attentive, intelligent, athletic, and youthful crew, so as to not impede the speed of the boat, the issues were in order of appearance: fouling of the furler at the sprit; clearing the top 6', or so, of the unfurled part at the top after the setting; and the inordinate amount of hauling on the furler line, it seemed like it took an eternity to furl the sail; some difficulty in keeping the rope-like sail from falling overboard as it laid on the deck.

 

As the winds picked-up, we were able to deal with all of the issues and finish 3 races (I say finish with reticence because in the first 2 races the skipper, yours truly, rounded a few wrong marks, was expecting different starting procedures, etc. & for the first time in this, my first racing season, there were no A Sails (they were all symmetricals) ahead of me to help with a satisfactory reaching and gibing strategy in the down wind legs.) The amount of hauling to furl the sail became increasingly arduous & became nothing short of ridiculous. 

 

In the fourth race the sail furled for approximately 6' at the top & that was it. Having moved 50 plus yards beyond the mark, we let "God take her down" and withdrew. We then headed to the docks which CYC had provided at Shilshole to tidy-up and see if we could get the furler off. The sail was so tightly wound at the top that it is a testament to the strength of the material that it wasn't shredded. The furling line was tangled and the heavy black cable around which the sail was supposed to furl was a mass of twists about itself. It took the 3 of us some time to remove the furler. Except for a slight tear from a snag on a bow cleat near the foot, the sail was unharmed.

 

We then headed home to Kirkland. When we got to Lake Union, with our spirits somewhat restored by inordinate belly-laughing during the journey, we decided to do a little sailing in Lake Union. We gloried in our abilities with the A Sail, by no means perfect, but approaching it. The furler experience made us ever so grateful for our abilities... We arrived home just in time for drinks, a delicious roast beef with our spouses, and much more laughter and some serious discussion as to how we plan to learn at least when to start and where to go after we do. An A Sail reaching strategy may start to sink in?

 

On my boat, I think one needs to sail with adequate crew to handle the A Sail proficiently the old-fashioned way or just don't use it. Because of its relative size, I don't think the A Sail on my boat is ever to be used casually. I believe the furler could work well with a smaller "cruising" spinnaker like the one in Seldon's video ( http://www.youtube.c...&hl=en_US&rel=0 ) This would be great when sailing with less than experienced hands in ideal conditions. It seems that this particular furler on my boat created at least as many issues as it solved.



#21 Alex W

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for the great report.

 

Was your boat green and white and tied up by the dinghies at CYC yesterday?  

 

I was only out having fun yesterday, no racing, but conditions on the sound were great and the guests on my boat enjoyed having the races to watch.

 

What size is your asym spinnaker? 



#22 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:56 PM

You're welcome, Alex W.
 
It was a beautiful weekend for sailing; may have been the nicest one of the year!
 
No, Gypsy's Child has a blue hull. 
 
I don't recall the exact square footage, but I think it is more than 700, but less than 800.



#23 Alex W

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:11 PM

July had a lot of great sailing too, at least up in BC.  Similar winds, but longer days and the temps were 20 degrees warmer.

 

700sqft is a big asym for a 25' boat!  I've been curious about asym furlers and wanted to see how things would scale.  I have a 600ish sqft asym on my 29' cruising boat, much more in the "cruising gennaker" category.



#24 Gypsy's Child

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:46 PM

And please note Alex, this was the only time I used it & it is likely that the one I have is defective. So, I would suggest doing more research. However, for my boat with the Hoyt boom & relatively small foredeck, even when the furler worked earlier in the day, we still needed someone on the foredeck; hence, my conclusion that, at least for my boat, the traditional method works as well as anything. I found it to be the same with the sleeve that I bought earlier in the year.



#25 notallthere

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:15 PM

Try letting alex use it, maybe you can recoup some of the cost?



#26 Alex W

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:24 PM

I don't have a retractable bow sprit or a proper spinnaker crane, both of which are probably pre-reqs to using one of these on my boat.  I don't think that my masthead spinnaker sheave projects the spinnaker far enough forward for the furling bits.

 

I am interested in them, but it's kind of a back burner project at the moment.



#27 jtm

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:50 PM

Went to the CYC's PSSC on the Sound yesterday & we had the most wonderful sailing the 3 of us had ever experienced.  The hours before the race on the docks were filled with exuberance and a spirit of camaraderie as sailors prepared their boats. There were wonderful breezes & the predicted rain left & the sun came out as the race was about to start. This humbled skipper excluded, I've never seen such exquisite sailing by so many, so upfront and personal. This was truly one great experience & I am grateful to everyone involved for putting on such a wonderful event!

 

Perhaps my Seldon is defective or it is like so many gimmicks I bought to improve my golf game: They may work somewhat, but, in the last analysis, time is better spent on the fundamentals.

 

Wednesday, the spinnaker was installed on the Seldon at the dock with no breeze. She furled and unfurled; however, the end of the furl was a little looser than expected; this was attributed to the fact that there was no breeze and that the cut of the A Sail was a little full for tension to...

 

Yesterday at the PSSC, we left the dock with ample time to do several pre-race sets, gibes, and douses. The breeze was light and the furler worked somewhat imperfectly, but we were encouraged. While all of these were addressed with such alacrity by an attentive, intelligent, athletic, and youthful crew, so as to not impede the speed of the boat, the issues were in order of appearance: fouling of the furler at the sprit; clearing the top 6', or so, of the unfurled part at the top after the setting; and the inordinate amount of hauling on the furler line, it seemed like it took an eternity to furl the sail; some difficulty in keeping the rope-like sail from falling overboard as it laid on the deck.

 

As the winds picked-up, we were able to deal with all of the issues and finish 3 races (I say finish with reticence because in the first 2 races the skipper, yours truly, rounded a few wrong marks, was expecting different starting procedures, etc. & for the first time in this, my first racing season, there were no A Sails (they were all symmetricals) ahead of me to help with a satisfactory reaching and gibing strategy in the down wind legs.) The amount of hauling to furl the sail became increasingly arduous & became nothing short of ridiculous. 

 

In the fourth race the sail furled for approximately 6' at the top & that was it. Having moved 50 plus yards beyond the mark, we let "God take her down" and withdrew. We then headed to the docks which CYC had provided at Shilshole to tidy-up and see if we could get the furler off. The sail was so tightly wound at the top that it is a testament to the strength of the material that it wasn't shredded. The furling line was tangled and the heavy black cable around which the sail was supposed to furl was a mass of twists about itself. It took the 3 of us some time to remove the furler. Except for a slight tear from a snag on a bow cleat near the foot, the sail was unharmed.

 

We then headed home to Kirkland. When we got to Lake Union, with our spirits somewhat restored by inordinate belly-laughing during the journey, we decided to do a little sailing in Lake Union. We gloried in our abilities with the A Sail, by no means perfect, but approaching it. The furler experience made us ever so grateful for our abilities... We arrived home just in time for drinks, a delicious roast beef with our spouses, and much more laughter and some serious discussion as to how we plan to learn at least when to start and where to go after we do. An A Sail reaching strategy may start to sink in?

 

On my boat, I think one needs to sail with adequate crew to handle the A Sail proficiently the old-fashioned way or just don't use it. Because of its relative size, I don't think the A Sail on my boat is ever to be used casually. I believe the furler could work well with a smaller "cruising" spinnaker like the one in Seldon's video ( http://www.youtube.c...&hl=en_US&rel=0 ) This would be great when sailing with less than experienced hands in ideal conditions. It seems that this particular furler on my boat created at least as many issues as it solved.

Ours works probably half the time. Seems letting it flog to get it started furling and then have a little bit of weight on the sheet after that works best for us. Still a lot of winding to get started. Our biggest problem is un furling with the loose bit of foot catching and winding up the other way as the top is un furling. Can end in a hell of a mess too often. This is on a 37ft cat.






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