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Asym Top down furler

Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
I’m considering adding a top down furler to the retractable bowsprit on my Hunter 216 as I feel it will allow me to use the spin on a more frequent basis. The photo below shows one rigged on the remodeled 216 H22-2 so it appears that this is feasible. I’ve only seen videos of the furlers so am hoping to get advice on brands, pricing, pro and cons of different models from sailers who have hands on experience with them.

4BAACDBD-E21F-4388-9323-5CF3816517E6.jpeg
 
Feb 21, 2013
167
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
I am familiar with Selden and CDI but I understand Facnor, Colligo, Profurl, Karver, Ronstan, Bamar and Harken also supply them. I purchased a CDI asymmetrical sail top down furler with a anti-torsion line, continuous line leading to/from the cockpit and stanchion blocks for my Hunter 386 in 2014 and used a number of times. Works very well and avoids leaving the cockpit to deploy and douse the sail. You furl the sail on the anti- torsion line provided anti-torsion line and tie the sail with breakable yarn, then attach the halyard and raise the asymmetrical halyard. I did not need a bow sprit. With the sock you have to remove the asymmetrical sail to use the jib. With a furler you can leave it up for the day and easily change between head and asymmetrical sails. You might find the following links helpful.

Pracrtical Sailer Artilce on this subject - Spinnaker Furlers - Practical Sailor Print Edition Article
Vesa furlers and prices - Spinnaker Top Down Furlers
CDI YouTube -
Sailboatowner forum on this subjuect - Snuffer vs Top-Down Furler
The Rigging Company Article - A Deeper Look at Top Down/ Spinnaker Furlers
 
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Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
You furl the sail on the anti- torsion line provided anti-torsion line and tie the sail with breakable yarn,
Thanks this is exactly what I was hoping for.

I hadn’t heard of the yarn bit. I don’t want to assume the answer so can you explain the purpose of that part?

You also described exactly why I want to rig one. I have a sock so the switch from jib to asym is not as efficient as the furler option. I also like the concept of a speedy dousing the furler I think would offer.

What was your primary factor in choosing the CDI unit?
 
Feb 21, 2013
167
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Yarn - The purpose of yarn is the hold the sail to the luff rope until the halyard is raised and continuous furler line is secured so the sail will not advertently unfurl.

Primary selection factor - deloy/douse from the cockpit.
Other factors - cost effectiveness, makes it easy to jib by furling it in, jib and deploy.

I also have a new in the box ATN sock and tacker but have never used it.

Once you are ready to put the sail away, furl the sail, drop the luff rope onto the deck, tie the sail around the sail with yarn and then coil it up into the asymmetrical sail bag and you will be ready for the next time you want to use the asymmetrical sail. The attached link describes the CDI furler installation and operating instructions.
 

Attachments

Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
@sail sfbay

Thank you for your support in this. I didn’t phrase my question very well. Although your answer was bang on!!

Why did you choose the CDI product vs one of the other manufactures?

I “think” they all sort of work the same, torsion rope, continuous line from cockpit etc. What put the CDI on top for you?

A factor that I would consider important is the ability to easily remove / connect the furled sail when I moor but leave as much of the system attached to the bowsprit as possible. Preferably this would not require any tools or pins that my arthritic fingers would be sure to drop into the water. The foredeck on the 216 isn’t particularly friendly, no life lines or non skid so being out there when the boat is heaving isn’t fun.
 
Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
CDI was the lowest cost by a wide margin in 2014 and under $1000. The others were well over $1000 at that time.

You could leave the furled asymmetrical sail up and not take it down and if you wanted to protect it you could cover it with a UV resistant sleeve. furling cover I would think.

Yes CDI always had a great price/performance footprint.

Thanks for the “leave up” thought but I don’t think I would sleep well. My mooring is somewhat exposed and the thought of the asym getting loose somehow isn’t something I would be comfortable with.
 
Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
@sail sfbay

I haven’t managed to read all of your links yet but did review the CDI manual as $ has a fairly important factor in this and they might be the front runner.

I do however have a usage question.
I believe your boat has a fractional NON backstay rig, I have a “mini” version of yours.

I have noticed that if I’m on a run with the spin and main pulling hard the forestay (my jib actually furls on this as well) has some sag.

The current spin halyard is fixed to the mast above the forestay point but neither are top of mast.

My question is does your mast bend forward like this and if so does it affect the tension in the torsion rope enough to cause operational problems? Should I build in the ability to “tighten” the torsion rope as it will logically sag as well as the mast bends forward?

I have also realized with reading some of the material that with the furler I will lose the ability to adjust the tack line length. Not a big deal as I rarely ever fiddle with that anyway as I seem to have found a good compromise position. The silver lining in that is that I might be able to repurpose the lead fittings and deck space for the continuous line setup.
 
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Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
I’ve been doing lots of online research and various vendors websites don’t make it easy to determine important issues such as the manufacturer of the torsion cable, whether they have retrofitted a Code sail furler to also work with an asym etc. Pretty hard to comparison shop as most don’t display their list price and some of the dealers don’t make it clear about what is included in the price.

There seems to be two levels of product. One group typically has proprietary torsion cables, the ability to leave the furler drum and continuous line on deck and “clip” on any number of sails each with their own torsion rope and top swivel Harken, Profurl etc are in this group. The other one tends to use generally available torsion rope, and you have to remove most if not all gear to store the sail. Selden is an example of this group. The first group I mentioned tend to cost more, maybe because they work better or for the extra features they offer. Interestingly enough I couldn’t find any pricing on CDI so I contacted them and was told they discontinued their product several years ago. Too bad as they typically offer a lot of bang for the buck.

I’m working on a spreadsheet that I will try to publish later as I gather more detail.
 
Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
Another important component of this is how to properly attach the furling drum to the bowsprit.Typically the drums have some kind of shackle (snap) on the bottom. The bowsprit on the Hunter 216 is a smooth carbon tube that has two working lines. The extender and the tack line which exits the end of the tube through an end cap.

I’m thinking I need some sort of loop attached to the end of the sprit that I can attach the drum shackle to. If I tie something on it could slip but I don’t want to drill any holes in the tube either. Big hose clamp might work but might tear the sail etc so has to be rope I think.

Looking for suggestions on this point.
 
Feb 21, 2013
167
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
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Oct 29, 2016
1,402
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
Our Selden GX TD Furler is setup with the tack of the sail connected to the top of the drum and the drum shackle is connect to the bowsprit end, I would suggest a similar setup. When we take ours down after use the whole thing goes in the bag, sheet barber poled around the sail, sail, and TD furler. Easy up and easy down.
TD Furler.JPG
 
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Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
You are on it like the one below on the left or a hose clamp like the one on the right with a high strength rope with a loop.

View attachment 169608View attachment 169609
I’m reconsidering my non hose clamp approach as they are relatively inexpensive and I can always tape over any sharp edges to protect the sail. Hmmm the old analysis paralysis thing is kicking in!
 
Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
Our Selden GX TD Furler is setup with the tack of the sail connected to the top of the drum and the drum shackle is connect to the bowsprit end, I would suggest a similar setup. When we take ours down after use the whole thing goes in the bag, sheet barber poled around the sail, sail, and TD furler. Easy up and easy down.
View attachment 169610
I’m leaning a bit in this direction as it’s less $. If I was racing and changing out sails on the fly I see the value of the tool less design. I only have the one sail and the effort to take down the drum is not really an issue.
 
Feb 12, 2019
18
beneteau 461 sweetaction2 port colborne
We use a Selden furler on our J 34. It's a great unit and we got the adjustable tack option. Excellent for when you are going deep. We bought ours from. Martin at Somerset Sails in Somerset NY. best pricing I could find.
 
Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
I’m currently looking at line drive furlers as opposed to full top down units. The top down products seem to be designed for much bigger sails than I’m flying. For example the Harken Reflex 1 spec lists max sail size of 1200 sq ft. My sail is less that 300 sq ft so the Reflex is way overkill for my application. The line drive systems sort of do the same thing without the torsion cable as the furling mech isn’t as elaborate. One issue is a smaller drum size which would make the pull harder but maybe that’s not an issue with a relatively small sail anyway or just blanket the furl with the main as in a high wind scenario to deal with that.
The line drive solutions are about 1/4 the cost and if they can furl the sail tight enough without issues then it might be the way for me to go.

Anyone with small boat racing experience with furling spins want to chime in????
 
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Feb 11, 2017
405
C&C 27 MkII Ottawa
I also like the concept of a speedy dousing the furler I think would offer.
In my experience spinnaker furlers are not all that fast. Maybe faster than a sock but slower than a normal douse with a crew, certainly slower than on a boat rigged with a retrieval line. But if you are short handed they can be a huge help.

Another important component of this is how to properly attach the furling drum to the bowsprit.Typically the drums have some kind of shackle (snap) on the bottom. The bowsprit on the Hunter 216 is a smooth carbon tube that has two working lines. The extender and the tack line which exits the end of the tube through an end cap.
Can't you use the tack line? That's what it's supposed to be used for.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
167
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
My experience on my Hunter 386 is deploying and dousing is faster than a sock. The links to the videos below show how they are operated.

 
Sep 22, 2018
483
Hunter 216 Kingston
@DArcy - Islay Mist

Thanks for your comments. They all help me narrow down on a decision.

I agree the speed of the actual douse of the sail is likely very similar however I often single hand and always daysail. What I typically do is work my way upwind, launch the spin, have a fun ride, douse, repeat. With the sock I usually have to drop the sock into the cuddy and then be on the correct heading to easily relaunch (adds to the “douse” and “re-launch” time) If I have the spin furled I can just turn upwind and go, relaunching can be anytime with less hassle. I would also likely rig the sail before casting off from my mooring more often on the chance I MIGHT use it. If it’s furled tightly it wouldn’t have any effect on my typical upwind performance as I’m not racing.

As far as using the existing tack line to attach the drum that’s a really great idea. This is an example of how well this forum works, a solution that’s was staring me in the face but I couldn’t see the forest for the trees! Currently the line with a snap shackle exits the end of the sprit through a cap. As I don’t see myself using it to adjust the sail I could just pull a little out and secure it to the top of the sprit tube to keep the drum from flopping around too much when I raise or lower with the spin halyard. THANKS!
 
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