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Trouble with jib roller furling on Hunter 170 (2-part question)

Apr 11, 2020
125
Hunter 170 Grapevine
Part One:

I am having trouble furling the jib on my Hunter 170 using roller furling and am looking for some pointers.

When setting the furling line, I make a point to wrap it around the inside of the furling barrel twice before passing the line through the tie-off hole on the top. This to ensure I get a nice, tight wrap when I furl the jib. I find this works OK in light winds, but on a more windy day I found that even with the boat pointed dead into the wind that the jib never furled completely back onto the jib stay. Eventually I gave up and just finished my sail with the jib completely unfurled and was only able to furl it manually once back at the dock.

Part Two:

How does one keep the boat pointed into the wind (other than using the auxiliary motor)?

I don't always have an able hand to assist me in keeping the boat pointed into the wind while working with the sails (furling jib, raising, lowering, or reefing main, etc), and need a way to keep the boat pointed directly into the wind while performing these tasks.

I have tried using a sea anchor tied to the bow line (about 30 feet of line all total), but find that the boat has an annoying habit of moving forward through the water even with the rudder and centerboard up (or down) and all sails lowered or furled. It's as though the hull itself is acting as a sail. As a result, rather than drifting downwind with the sea anchor upwind and the bow pointed toward it as was my plan, I often find the boat perpendicular or more to the wind.

I have not yet tried a regular bottom anchor, but based on my experience with my motorboat (slow whipsawing), I don't expect much different results.

What am I doing wrong? The ultimate aim is to come up with a way to keep the bow of the boat pointed directly into the wind for long enough to allow me to deal with the sails.

Thanks!
 
Jul 19, 2013
301
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Sounds like you need a few more turns of the furling line around the drum, remove that extra you turned on prior to the tie=off if you need the drum room.

See about 10:30 in

You use your main sail to control the angle of the boat to the wind. There is no need to point the boat directly into the wind for furling/unfurling a jib. In fact heading downwind to blanket the jib behind the main is a trick for easy furling on a windy day.

See

You do need to have the boat pointed into the wind to raise or lower your main. If you can raise the main at the dock or mooring, you are all set, otherwise you need to use your engine, See

You reef your main underway by sailing above a bean reach, luff the main sail while continuing to sail with just the jib.
 
Feb 21, 2019
26
Catalina 30 TR 3571 Cocoa, FL
Part 1 - Turn down wind and furl the jib (with a very loose sheet) in the lee of the main. Your furler can only do so much with a strong head wind and flapping jib.
Part 2 - When your boat's exactly head to wind its in what's called unstable equilibrium - the slightest net side force in either direction and the boat starts to fall off with wind forces increasing as you do. That being said there are a couple of things you can try in steady wind and minimal seas. With jib furled or at least luffing, ease out the main to what would be about a beam reach. With board down the boat should round up, find equilibrium between its weather helm and the wind, and sail at reduced speed. Taking your jib out of the equation increases weather helm plus reduces forward speed. You should be able to manage up to 60 degs. off the wind maybe a little more in light air. Keep in mind shifting your weight can /will throw this balance off. If you want to go head to wind, slow the boat as you head up so that as you put it in irons forward momentum is almost stopped. This minimizes the forces on the boat due to motion through the water. You won't have but seconds to accomplish your task before a slight shift in wind, a wave, or the wind driving you to back forces the boat to fall off so have things ready.
Good luck
 
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Likes: BobbyFunn
Jun 8, 2004
8,844
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Go to boat info/Hunter resources/170/downloads/owners manual/page 32.

Do you need some advice from a former dealer? Send a private message.

Crazy Dave
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Part One:

I am having trouble furling the jib on my Hunter 170 using roller furling and am looking for some pointers.

When setting the furling line, I make a point to wrap it around the inside of the furling barrel twice before passing the line through the tie-off hole on the top. This to ensure I get a nice, tight wrap when I furl the jib. I find this works OK in light winds, but on a more windy day I found that even with the boat pointed dead into the wind that the jib never furled completely back onto the jib stay. Eventually I gave up and just finished my sail with the jib completely unfurled and was only able to furl it manually once back at the dock.

Part Two:

How does one keep the boat pointed into the wind (other than using the auxiliary motor)?

I don't always have an able hand to assist me in keeping the boat pointed into the wind while working with the sails (furling jib, raising, lowering, or reefing main, etc), and need a way to keep the boat pointed directly into the wind while performing these tasks.

I have tried using a sea anchor tied to the bow line (about 30 feet of line all total), but find that the boat has an annoying habit of moving forward through the water even with the rudder and centerboard up (or down) and all sails lowered or furled. It's as though the hull itself is acting as a sail. As a result, rather than drifting downwind with the sea anchor upwind and the bow pointed toward it as was my plan, I often find the boat perpendicular or more to the wind.

I have not yet tried a regular bottom anchor, but based on my experience with my motorboat (slow whipsawing), I don't expect much different results.

What am I doing wrong? The ultimate aim is to come up with a way to keep the bow of the boat pointed directly into the wind for long enough to allow me to deal with the sails.

Thanks!
If you don’t have it here is the owners manual

Here is the jib - furl page
3FA1B971-FB13-4440-A85B-C72868686753.jpeg


Part 1

Our boats are similar in the way the jib is furled. So here is how I set mine up.

EDIT: I’ve added some more detail.

Do the setup while the boat is on the trailer or tied to a dock.
Before you tie the jib sheets on roll the jib up in a nice tight roll. Put a tie strap or short piece of line around it to keep it that way.
Pull ALL the furling line off the drum, then turn the drum so it has one or two coils around it and cleat it off
Tie the jib sheets on
Take the strap off the sail, uncleat the furling line and Unfurl the jib by pulling on the jib sheet. When the sail is all the way out you should have a some furling line left over where you would cleat it.
Furl the sail while holding tension on a jib sheet. This tension simulates trying to furl the sail when the wind is trying to pull it back out. Get a nice tight roll.
Repeat until you can get all of the sail furled and have a couple of turns of jib sheet wrapped around the furled sail.
Once your out sailing you are confident that you can completely furl your jib.

Part 2

Hard to answer without further info about what you mean by “deal with the sails”. Can you elaborate?

Something that is useful for single handed sailing is a “tiller minder”, a mechanism that holds the tiller in a particular position for you.
 
Last edited:
Apr 11, 2020
125
Hunter 170 Grapevine
Hunter 216,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to send me that page from the OM. I need to wrap my mind (pun intended) around your instructions. Should have time to do that tomorrow.

"Deal with the sails"... Raise, lower, reef, furl.

I am aiming toward being able to do all these things single-handed, as I do like to go sailing alone and often my "crew" are not up to the task of sailing and steering (even with an auxiliary motor). That's why I am trying to find a way to hold the bow of the boat into the wind while I "deal with the sails".

Conspicuously absent from the responses (although there is great info in all of them) is any way to hold the bow of the boat straight into the wind for anything more than a short period of time. Perhaps this is not a do-able thing given the dynamics of wind, boat, and wave?
 
Last edited:
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Hunter 216,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to send me that page from the OM. I need to wrap my mind (pun intended) around your instructions. Should have time to do that tomorrow.

"Deal with the sails"... Raise, lower, reef, furl.

I am aiming toward being able to do all these things single-handed, as I do like to go sailing alone and often my "crew" are not up to the task of sailing and steering (even with an auxiliary motor). That's why I am trying to find a way to hold the bow of the boat into the wind while I "deal with the sails".

Conspicuously absent from the responses (although there is great info in all of them) is any way to hold the bow of the boat straight into the wind for anything more than a short period of time. Perhaps this is not a do-able thing given the dynamics of wind, boat, and wave?
Your welcome

So single handing is a bit of an art form, everyone has a “style” that evolves around how they tackle a problem. You seem to be of the mind that you must be pointed into the eye of the wind to accomplish sail management. That’s OK if that’s your style but I would point out that if the boat is not moving forward it’s not a stable platform to move around on and a luffing sail with a boom attached can leave a mark ;)

So if you want some directional control while underway you should get a tiller minder (lots of choices from a bungee cord to an electronic steering system) I personally like a product called tiller clutch. This “device” combined with a motor will let you move the boat forward and steer a straight course without ANY sails deployed. Hands free operation. However start moving around in the boat and/or deploying sails, hit a wave, gust of wind from an angle and your course can change. So have a clear plan, execute it quickly, gets your hands back on the tiller. OH and don’t fall out of the boat because it will NOT come back to pick you up.;)

Hoisting your main depends on where you start out. I sail off a mooring so I often hoist the main while tied to the ball, others can hoist at a dock, while others don‘t hoist until they are out of a harbour in clear air and seaway. The part they have in common is the bow is pointed into the wind. The more the bow is headed off the harder the main is to hoist.

Same can be said about dropping the main but this can be accomplished at almost any angle depending on wind strength etc If the wind is light you could even be running downwind, stand at the mast, grab a handful or two of sail and pull down. I wouldn’t necessarIly recommend that but you can accomplish it in an emergency. Again you will establish your own style.

Reefing depends a lot on how your boat is set up, your experience, your agility etc but can be accomplished in lots of ways that don’t require or even be a good choice to head directly into the wind. Lots of threads on here about reefing.

Hope this helps.
 
Apr 11, 2020
125
Hunter 170 Grapevine
Thanks for the thoughtful helpers!

I actually have a way to make the tiller off, using the rear hold-downs for my shade canopy, but am a little sheepish regarding the whole boat-not-coming-back thing. :oops:

CurtisC, your point about unstable equilibrium rings true to my experience. The boat wants to sail, one way or another.

My fevered imagination has come up with a solution, though. What I need is something to pull the stern of the boat downwind while an anchor hold the bow in place. Something on the order of the high-altitude rocket-launched kite spinnaker from Kevin Costner's trimaran in Waterworld. :yikes:

I'll keep looking for the clip.
 
Last edited:
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Thanks for the thoughtful helpers!

I actually have a way to make the tiller off, using the rear hold-downs for my shade canopy, but am a little sheepish regarding the whole boat-not-coming-back thing. :oops:

CurtisC, your point about unstable equilibrium rings true to my experience. The boat wants to sail, one way or another.

My fevered imagination has come up with a solution, though. What I need is something to pull the stern of the boat downwind while an anchor hold the bow in place. Something on the order of the high-altitude rocket-launched kite spinnaker from Kevin Costner's trimaran in Waterworld. :yikes:

I'll keep looking for the clip.
Well falling out even with someone else aboard doesn’t guarantee they will come back to get you! ;) That’s why we all wear life jackets.

Here’s the Tiller Clutch product that I referenced. One finger on-off operation. When off gives complete range of motion of the tiller. Very useful even when not motoring.

 
Apr 11, 2020
125
Hunter 170 Grapevine
Special thanks to Sailfanatic and CurtisC for the tip on the downwind approach for furling. One of those not-so-obvious (to me, anyway) solutions that makes sense when you think about it and worked great in yesterday's light-wind sail.

Also thanks again to Hunter216 for the tip on wrapping the jib sheets around the jib to put some extra winds (wraps of rope, that is), on the furling drum. That was one of those forehead-slappers. Here I was trying to wind the rope around the drum several times before tying it off. Worked quite nicely!
 
Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
All the above!

Use the correct size line on the furler. 15 feet of no stretch control line. The line will chaff at the cleat so change it out so you dont loose the jib and the line when you need it most. I use this:
4mm Marlow Excel Racing Line

Also put about 3-4 turns of jib sheet around tight jib noodle before lacing through cleats. Test full unfurl and refurl on trailer.

I singlehand often and found the mooring line on the rear cleats, wraped around the tiller works well for tiller taming.

Raising the jib on a downwind run while singlehanding is insane. Youll jybe or roundup under main only in the 10 seconds it takes to crawl forward, unwrap and release the furler line, pray to the gods the line doesnt jump off the drum, and pull the jib that last 1/2 turn, then crawl back and pray you can get the mooring line off the tiller fast enough to gain control.

Just point into the wind, set the main to a safety run, then adjust tiller to try and tack across the wind. You are basically sailing with terrible trim, but you have the nose up and pathetic rudder control. if you let the main loose youll start to rotate off wind and begin downwind sailing, so you need crappy sail trim to keep from heeling, yet enough to give the centerboard and rudder some grip.

Use the opposite jib line for control. This puts you in heave to mode when the jib unfurls. Pull jib line tight and the boat will be hove to. Turn tiller to try and cross wind, let main out all the way. Rest, organize, get the jib out that last 1/2 turn, get ready to sail.

To furl, blanket with main some. Its mych quicker and less risky to furl. uncleat main, move up quick. Be ready to round up and stall. Keep tension on jib and furler.
 
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Apr 11, 2020
125
Hunter 170 Grapevine
Thanks for the pointers.

The boat came equipped with some thin line that was not always catching in the cleat, so I replaced it with 4mm line about a week ago and that worked perfectly. Sound advice there.

When the wife and I went out yesterday I put about 4 wraps of the jib sheets around the furled jib. Worked great when we anchored and when we headed for the dock.

Used the "sail-downwind-blanket-with-main" technique as well to furl the jib and it worked fine in gentle winds. I'll have to wait and see how it works in winds over 12 MPH.
 
Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
I'll have to wait and see how it works in winds over 12 MPH.
Youll find this is the only way it works well over over 10ish. Even under 25mph gusts the jib just dances off the stay waiting for you to roll it up. Just know that your're in accidental jybe zone if you go to far.
 
Apr 11, 2020
125
Hunter 170 Grapevine
Duly noted.

Speaking of accidental jibe, had one of those yesterday. Wife was at the helm and didn't seem to realize that when you come about there is a point at which you return the tiller to the centered location. :biggrin: Pretty sure we executed a slick 360 in the process!

We recovered and had a lovely day nonetheless.
 
Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
Once i was going downwind wing on wing and was planning an picking either side. I picked one and realized the port side jib sheet was out of reach. This was before i switched to a single line with both ends tied to the clew.

I got off the bench and reached forward to grab the sheet while on my knees. In that 3-5 seconds the main jybed and the mainsheet was on the back of my neck pinning me down. The life jacket held the sheet making it difficult to sit up.

Just like you said the boat rounded up with me now pinned on the floor and my weight on the wrong side.

I was heeled over pretty good before salvaging the situation. Good times.

I recorded some footage that has a decent jybe and a sketchy one.

 
Last edited:
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Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
The advantage is one line not two. I keep the loop by my side when jib is unfurled. Got the idea from rs boats. They knot the lines. Weta boats uses a single loop.

Its a pain to set up, but one lie with bowlines to the clew. Great for mast up storage.


tie bowline to clew, wrap around noodle few times, to cam, to cam, wrap around noodle, bowline to clew.