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Self Furling Jib

Oct 10, 2020
11
Hunter Legend 290 Brightlingsea
Hello Everyone,

I used my new to me 2001 Hunter Legend for the first time recently. My Genoa has a self furling system on it. I have never had one of these before.
Pulling the sail out was quite easy, to be honest, the wind did most of the work after I started it.

When the wind caught the sail and unwound the remainder of the sail, it was at that point I realised you can't just undo as much sail as you want. I had always assumed this is how these systems work. Is that right, it's all or nothing?

When it was time to put it away, this was very hard work. I pointed the boat into the no go zone, the sail was flapping. But it was as hard as hell to pull in. To the point I worried that the small rope coming to the back of the boat was going to break somewhere along the way. I am guessing there is some kind of maintenance I should be doing on the drum. Maybe a lubricant to spray it with?

I am not near the boat at the moment, but will get a picture of it the next time I am at the marina.

Thanks
Andy
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,140
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Rolling in, the first few turns can be hard if there isn't any or much line on the drum because there isn't very much leverage. As you roll in line builds up on the drum and you gain leverage; and there is less sail area which helps.
Depending on your system there may not be lubrication necessary. On my Selden system the Rx was to flush the drum with fresh water. You should make sure the furling line has a fair lead, is the right size for any blocks it runs through and the angle at which the line winds on the drum is correct.
You don't have to be head to wind in the "No go zone" to furl in. I always found it worked best to head off wind and blanket the jib with the main on a deep reach - not DDW which would be subject to an unintentional jibe.
Rolling out the jib, you can make fast the furling line at a (Predetermined) length and the jib will only unfurl that much.
My first experience with a furler on a rental boat, I yanked the furling line so hard I pulled the line out of the drum and had to go up on the bow and roll the drum by hand. I don't think I ever thought of dropping the halyard.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Justin_NSA
Oct 10, 2020
11
Hunter Legend 290 Brightlingsea
Rolling in, the first few turns can be hard if there isn't any or much line on the drum because there isn't very much leverage. As you roll in line builds up on the drum and you gain leverage; and there is less sail area which helps.
Depending on your system there may not be lubrication necessary. On my Selden system the Rx was to flush the drum with fresh water. You should make sure the furling line has a fair lead, is the right size for any blocks it runs through and the angle at which the line winds on the drum is correct.
You don't have to be head to wind in the "No go zone" to furl in. I always found it worked best to head off wind and blanket the jib with the main on a deep reach - not DDW which would be subject to an unintentional jibe.
Rolling out the jib, you can make fast the furling line at a (Predetermined) length and the jib will only unfurl that much.
My first experience with a furler on a rental boat, I yanked the furling line so hard I pulled the line out of the drum and had to go up on the bow and roll the drum by hand. I don't think I ever thought of dropping the halyard.
Thank you very much, this was really helpful.
I can clean it with water this week. I need to buy a water pump spray bottle as there are no hoses near my pontoon :(
I guess that will help clear out salt.

Lot's to check, looking forward to my next visit to the marina :)
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,812
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
When the jib is unwinding, a bit of tension on the furling line will keep the line winding evenly on the drum.. If the line is loose as the sail pulls it onto the drum, you can have overlaps and hockles that make pulling the line back out very difficult.. Always good practice to have the furling line snubbed by a cleat or a turn on a winch to keep tension on and ensure that it winds well onto the drum..
 

Dave Groshong

SBO Staff
Staff member
Jan 25, 2007
1,676
Catalina 22 Seattle
20 year old furlers can be quite crusty if they have not been maintained!
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,365
Hunter 34 Berkeley
May I recommend an alternate approach. Sail downwind so that the headsail is blanketed by the main then role it up. Much easier and no flapping sail which is really bad for your sail anyway.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,057
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
the first few turns can be hard if there isn't any or much line on the drum because there isn't very much leverage.
I think I understand what Shemander is saying but it is reversed.

As you pull the jib sheets to "Unfurl" the sail it will catch the wind and come out on its own as some point in the process. You can and will want to control this process. You do that by holding the furling line and let it wind onto the furling drum under a little tension. As Kloudie said this tension lets the line wind smoothly around the drum.

When you are ready to reduce the sail or wind it up and put it away you grab the furling line and draw it towards you. This causes the furler to begin to wind the sail up. There are several issues making this difficult to do.
  1. Friction on the furling line
  2. The sail under wind pressure
  3. the forestay being to tight/loose
  4. the furler being jammed
  5. poor maintenance of the bearings of the furler
  6. the possibility that the halyard at the top of the mast is wrapped
As well designed as these systems are they are only as good as we operators and maintainers of their function.

I find it is best to practice the skills to furl and unfurl a sail at the dock under no wind conditions. Do it several times so you can see all of the operation functioning. Do it will your crew so they can also understand the system. You will learn a lot about your system and when you are then placed in a condition out on the water and something stops working you will be better prepared to find a solution that is safe for you, your crew and your boat.
 
Oct 10, 2020
11
Hunter Legend 290 Brightlingsea
Many thanks for your replies, they are all so very helpful.

I wasn't sure if it was ok to put the sails up whilst docked, even with little or no wind. Now that I know this is possible, this will make practice a lot easier. Also it will be a great opportunity to inspect more closely the drum when its rotating.
 
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
Oct 22, 2014
13,057
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Sure it is ok... In fact it is safer...
Just be careful not to start singing any sea chanties and slopping a bit a grog about . Someone might mistake you for an "Old Salt":yikes: and start asking you questions.:biggrin:
 
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Likes: andyb28
Jan 19, 2010
8,791
Hunter 26 Charleston
. You do that by holding the furling line and let it wind onto the furling drum under a little tension.
I would not recommend simply holding it in your hand. If the wind catches the sail and she unwinds quickly, the line will cut your hand. Take a bend around the horn of a cleat or a wrap around the winch and let your line out smooth and slow. That will protect your hands and let the furling line wrap snuggly and uniformly around the drum.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,544
Hunter 216 Kingston
Lots of great advice!

I have found that if you want to “depower” the unfurling process to some degree it helps if you are sailing close to the wind.
 
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Likes: andyb28
Oct 22, 2014
13,057
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Give it time Andy 20 is just getting sporty.

I’m reminded of the movie clip about a golfer who had the best round of his life.

 
  • Ha
Likes: rgranger
Jul 19, 2013
108
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Here's a how to for someone new to a furling system

and for when you have to put the jib back on

By the way, check and find out the recommended maintenance for your specificmake of furler, eg a Harken IV just needs rinsing, while a Furlex requires annual greasing.
 
Oct 10, 2020
11
Hunter Legend 290 Brightlingsea
Here's a how to for someone new to a furling system

and for when you have to put the jib back on

By the way, check and find out the recommended maintenance for your specificmake of furler, eg a Harken IV just needs rinsing, while a Furlex requires annual greasing.
These were really helpful, thank you.