Line selection for Roller Furler

I'm in need of advice on line selection for my roller furler. I cannot decide if stretch in the furling line matters. I have some (really cheap) dyneema cored 1/4" remnant that I could use, or for about the same price per foot I could grab some generic polyester double braid.

Does "springiness" (or lack thereof) matter at all in this application?

 

HFC Hunter

Super Anarchist
The only load should be when you pull it to furl, or perhaps lock it off in a reefed position in which stretch only matters if you care of a fraction of a turn of the furl. Stretch isn’t going to matter. But it will sit out in the uv, and make sure it fits in the drum nicely without overflowing when full, nor jams if the drum has guards.

Unless your local rigger seems in need of a new car, in which case select the highest spec possible.

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
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I've had low-stretch furler lines and high stretch furler lines. I much prefer the low stretch lines. The issue is that if the furler binds up, it's much easier to tell with the low-stretch line, assuming you're hauling it in by hand. If you winch it, which you shouldn't do, stick with the stretchy stuff.

 

Alex W

Super Anarchist
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Seattle, WA
I've only had one boat with a furler, and it was 28 feet.  On that boat the furler used a standard poly double braid in 5/16" with the core removed for the first 15'.  This was the stock line from the manufacturer and always worked well for me.

IStream's boat is twice that size and loads are much higher, so I can see wanting a low stretch line there.  I still think anything nicer than Samson XLS Extra (their cheapest core dependent line with similar properties to NE Ropes VPC) is overkill.  I wouldn't recommend VPC because it is so stiff and wouldn't wrap nicely on the drum.

 

IStream

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I'm actually using the 1/2" double braid furler line that came on my current boat and just haven't bothered to change it yet because it's working okay.

My experience with low-stretch furler line was forged in the white hot crucible of my West Wight Potter 19'er, which had a 1/4" furler line. I changed that over to  a remnant of 1/8" dyneema I had laying around and even though it wasn't super comfy in the hand it was a much better solution.

 

Grande Mastere Dreade

Snag's spellchecker
I'm actually using the 1/2" double braid furler line that came on my current boat and just haven't bothered to change it yet because it's working okay.

My experience with low-stretch furler line was forged in the white hot crucible of my West Wight Potter 19'er, which had a 1/4" furler line. I changed that over to  a remnant of 1/8" dyneema I had laying around and even though it wasn't super comfy in the hand it was a much better solution.
OMG an actual owner of WWP,   I did't think anyone owned those boats as they just sat around for years , never moving..

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
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I don't anymore and it's entirely possible that it's moldering away somewhere now but I kept it rigged in a slip and used the shit out of her for a few years before selling it. Mine served her purpose well but that purpose wasn't trailer sailing.

 

steele

Super Anarchist
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Land of the locks
Having had two boats with furlers I could not tell much difference when I replaced old stretchy line with brand new stuff. In high winds with a reefed jib it would unroll enough to be noticable, but that seemed to more related to the rolled jib tightening on the foil rather than much line stretch. One consideration is the amount of effort it takes to reel in the sail in high winds. Any line should be strong enough, but it is best not to use a winch so get a line as big a diameter as will fit on the drum to make it easier on your hands.  I assume this is why Alex removed the core on his so it was less bulky on the drum.

 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
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Canada
I used 1/4" dyneema on the portion of the line that reached the cockpit but never pulled (because it was a catamaran it first ran diagonally across the nets so total run was about 30'). Then it was covered by about a 3/8" cover so easier on the hands. The dyneema was slippery through the blocks and didn't bulk up on the drum like the stock 3/8" line did. A good compromise and nice and chafe resistant.

 

notallthere

Super Anarchist
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im on a boat!
1/4" stay set x on my 34' with a nice ratchet block. Super easy, negligible  stretch, doesn't kink. Far better than the 5/16" poly with no ratchet it replaced 

 
I just took out my 30'er in a 15kn fresh breeze, and was much more comfortable running the jib about 30% furled.  It came with 1/4" StaSet or something similar, the cover was feeling pretty crispy so I replaced it with 1/4" poly covered dyneema cored line (Sampson Warpspeed II, was on sale...)

The load on the furling line was pretty significant, I was glad to have the fresh strong line.  I guess a fresh 1/4" double-braid polyester would also have done the job, but I do believe it would have been stretching quite a bit more.

 

Borax Johnson

Anarchist
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Get strong and long. Depending on the boat size several extra feet on the drum to absorb . Why? We were off the coast of Nicaragua motorsailing in about 10 knots. Within 10 minutes it was blowing 60 knots, lightning and blinding rain. There wasn’t enough extra line due to the stretch (pretty amazing what the load on a flogging 130 Genoa can be). By the time it was over an hour later, most of the sail was in the water and the sheet was around the prop.

 

HFC Hunter

Super Anarchist
Get strong and long. Depending on the boat size several extra feet on the drum to absorb . Why? We were off the coast of Nicaragua motorsailing in about 10 knots. Within 10 minutes it was blowing 60 knots, lightning and blinding rain. There wasn’t enough extra line due to the stretch (pretty amazing what the load on a flogging 130 Genoa can be). By the time it was over an hour later, most of the sail was in the water and the sheet was around the prop.
Line stretch? Or super tight roll on the sail. The latter will have far more impact than stretch.

 
Unless your local rigger seems in need of a new car, in which case select the highest spec possible.
My local rigger is cool with me bringing my own rope, which is a good thing since his rate for StaSet is a bit higher than a good Dyneema cored double-braid on sale from Fisheries Supply.

Still, I do hope to not call him again for a couple of years, at least.

 

Borax Johnson

Anarchist
554
104
Line stretch? Or super tight roll on the sail. The latter will have far more impact than stretch.
At time it didn’t matter. All of the line was out and the Lexmark 65 won the battle. There was so much wind pressure there was little way to tell when the wind load was matched by line tension.

 




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