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Sailing made easy: Everything you need to know about roller furling systems

Sailing made easy: Everything you need to know about roller furling systems

What does a furling system on board sailing yachts do? A furling system allows you to set, recover and partially reef your foresail (genoa or jib) conveniently and practically from the cockpit. These systems are now fitted as standard on most sailing boats thanks to the ease and effectiveness of the system and greater safety when furling and setting. Find out everything there is to know about roller furling systems in this SVB guide: what they are, the main differences, features and advantages, which ones to choose, how they work and why to have them on board.

Roller Furling Systems for Sailboats

  • Advantages of a furling system
  • How it works
  • The ideal furling system

Installation and Maintenance

  • Retrofitting
  • Maintenance

Ultimate sailing convenience: The advantages of roller furling systems on sailboats

The use of furling systems has undoubtedly revolutionised cruising and regatta sailing since they first became available some years ago. These practical systems allow the sail to be furled without time-consuming hoisting or lowering each time you go sailing. Using a practical furling system, the foresail can be easily furled from the cockpit, without you or your crew risking life or injury on deck, as it eliminates the need for a crewmember to manually change or reef the jib or genoa. A furling system is certainly an efficient, easy and enjoyable way to deploy or stow sails on a yacht. However, whether or not such a system is appropriate for you largely depends on the size of your vessel and the sort of sailing boat you own.

Nevertheless, the obvious benefits outweigh the disadvantages, which is why a furling system is now standard equipment on almost all sailing yachts. The convenience of not having to recover, set, change or stow your sail is a big advantage! A roller furling system minimises or eliminates the need to carry additional headsails, resulting in not only increased room below deck, but also the removal of the laborious task of lowering and removing your jib or genoa after each voyage.

Roller reefing is useful when overlapping genoas obscure visibility. By reefing the genoa a few turns you can have a clearer view ahead leeward, which shortens the sail and increases visibility - important for safety and peace of mind. A furling system allows you to reef the headsail completely or partially. This way, even if you don't have experienced crew members on board, you can still safely manoeuvre your boat and cope with any wind gusts.

Advantages of roller furling systems

Roller Furling

Product image of FURLEX Furling System

How does a furling system work?

Roller furling - how it works.

A roller furling system allows you to roll or wrap your foresail around the headstay. This not only makes sailing easier, but also improves safety by allowing reefing without the crew having to go on deck in bad weather. To understand how to use a roller furling system, it's first important to know how it works, what specific steps to take when using it and to observe important safety measures. Using a roller furling systems is a relatively straight forward affair, but correctly furling the staysail is not as easy as it may first seem!

The setup of a roller furling system consists of a wire, foil, or spar around which the sail is spun. This is controlled by a furling line that is pulled or released from the cockpit. The foil is actually an aluminium track, up which the sail is fed all the way to the top. At the top of the track and at the bottom, the sail is on a swivel, which allows the sail to spin out while a drum rotates. The drum takes up the extra slack from the furling line as the sail is opened by pulling gently on the sheet and is furled by pulling the furling line. It is advisable to keep slight back tension on the sail while furling by leaving one wrap of the sheet on the winch. Pull the furling line to wrap the sail tightly around the forestay/headstay. To partially furl (reef) the sail, pull the furling line until the desired size of the headsail is reached, then belay the line. The headsail can thus be continuously adjusted to any size.

During furling or unfurling you should maintain a light pull on the sheet and furling line at all times. This keeps the furling line neatly spun and unspun around the drum and reduces the risk of an "override", where the furling line binds on itself and makes further unfurling difficult. Take special care that the furling line is of the correct length. It should still be able to make about 3 to 5 turns around the drum after the sail is fully furled and pulled tight. Generally, the optimum length is between one and a half and two times the length of your boat.

Ensure that the foresail halyard maintains an angle of 5° to 10° to the forestay when the sail is set on the furling system. To ensure proper reefing system function, the halyard must not run parallel to the forestay. Pay particular attention to the specifications in the assembly instructions. Alternatively, special fairlead blocks can be installed to allow the desired angle.

If the drum of the roller furling system gets in the way of manoeuvring the anchor at the bow, it can be raised with an eye/fork extension or two stainless steel chain-plates attached via a hinge to the mainsail at the bow.

How do I choose the right roller furling system for my boat?

How do I choose the right roller furling system for my boat?

If you want to install a furling system on your boat, there are a few things to consider first. This includes the size and weight of your boat, the area of the headsail and the diameter and length of the forestay. In order to find the right furling system, most manufacturers offer general guidance based on a boat’s overall length and class.

Having instant control of the sail with maximum surface area, as well as the capacity to navigate larger boats with a high level of safety and control, especially while sailing solo, are strong reasons that have impressed boat owners all over the world for many years. A clear view ahead, as well as the ability to recover and set sail fast, add to the appeal of furling systems.

Roller furlers are safe and convenient, but they are also heavy systems that can inevitably cause forestay sag. If sag is too much, it will affect sailing performance, especially when the wind picks up, but also in particular when sailing upwind. In addition to adjusting the backstay, some rig types also allow the tension of the upper shrouds to be increased in order to influence the leeward slope.

How can I retrofit a roller furling system?

The first thing to do before you start to fit your roller furling system is to familiarise yourself with the installation manual. It contains detailed and illustrated instructions that will enable you to assemble a roller furling system correctly. It should be noted, however, that the assembly steps may vary depending on the model and on the profile configuration and the number of parts to be installed.

The manufacturers PROFURL , NEMO and FURLEX offer comprehensive instructions on how to install a roller furling system. Take a good look and then decide for yourself whether you think you can install the system on your own. If in doubt, please get help from friends and/or boat neighbours who have already carried out such an installation. Local sailmakers and service providers in the harbours are also happy to provide guidance and tips. Please also bear in mind that the existing headsails must be adapted to the requirements of the furling system. This work can only be carried out by a specialist company (sailmaker). Although some manufacturers allow upright mounting as an option, we always recommend that you mount your furling system in a horizontal position. Do this especially if your vessel is in winter storage, as it ensures better stability and potential loads on the mast can be reduced.

Does a furling system require regular maintenance?

Furling systems are designed to minimise the need for maintenance and servicing. Nevertheless, this does not mean that maintenance is totally unnecessary. If you want to maintain the functionality and efficiency of your furling system, regular maintenance should be carried out.

To maintain full functionality of your roller furling system, you should clean it regularly with fresh water to remove salt deposits and dust from the drum and the inside. Some roller furlers require additional lubrication during operation. Be sure to follow the instructions in the user manual.

Further reading: Roller Furling Systems, Jib Furlers and Accessories

Don't compromise on the quality of your new foresail furling system. Even if you are on a tight budget - SVB has the right product for you! Discover our selection of NEMO , PROFURL and FURLEX foresail furling systems in various sizes - all available for you to select according to boat type, forestay diameter and length. In our categories Roller Furlers, Jib Furlers & Accessories you will not only find high-quality furling systems, but also matching accessories, such as drums, swivels and profiles from brands like PFEIFFER , TOP-REFF , BARTON and OLEU WATERSPORTS all at unbeatable prices! Are you looking for individual spare parts for your FURLEX roller furling system? No problem! Check out our spare parts finder for FURLEX furling systems !

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Product Reviews

Harken Roller Furlers

Tending headsails from the cockpit

From Issue   February 2021

T here’s no easier way to douse a jib than with roller furling, and Harken, with a line of small-boat furlers, has brought the ease and convenience normally employed by larger boats within reach of small-boat sailors. Unlike furlers on larger boats, which use a rigid foil that spins to furl the sail, Harken’s small-boat series uses stainless wire for the forestay, simplifying the setup and lowering the cost. These small furling drums are available in both conventional single line and the newer endless-line style.

small sailboat roller furling

This hoistable swivel, used here with the conventional furler drum, is installed over the forestay for a regular hanked-on sail to be hoisted and furled. In this picture, the peak of the sail is attached via a pendant—the gray Dyneema and red lashing line—to set the jib peak below the jumper stays, so they do not interfere with it. The sail will be hoisted with the blue halyard attached to the swivel.

With the conventional furler, pulling on a jibsheet unfurls the sail and pulling on the 4mm furler line furls it; the latter doesn’t spool line, so the line can be thicker and easier on the hands. While the conventional drums work perfectly fine, the endless-line type can handle a larger sail and provide finer control over the rotation of the tack, allowing one to fully unfurl the sail without relying on the sheet tension, and helping to overcome any curl that may be induced into a sail that has spent significant time tightly rolled on the furler.

small sailboat roller furling

This endless-line furler on a bowsprit will be attached to a straight-luffed code-zero spinnaker. The peak of the sail will be equipped with a swivel. This type of furler isn’t limited by the amount of line it can coil, making it more versatile for larger sails than the conventional furler.

The endless-line type can also be used to furl some of the more straight-luffed flying sails, such as code-zero spinnakers or gennakers common on beach cats and multihulls, and would be more suited toward jib setups under less tension, such as jibs used on traditional rigs with unstayed masts.

These Harken furlers employ the drum at the tack, a wire installed into the sail’s luff, and a swivel at the head of the sail. The luff wire becomes the forestay, and this combination is spun to furl the sail. This configuration is ideal for smaller trailerable sloops (where the mast is removed for trailering) and boats with traditional unstayed rigs, but makes it impossible to change or remove the sail without disconnecting the forestay on boats that rely on forestay tension to support the mast.

On these boats with tensioned standing rigging, a slightly more complicated setup can be used to enable sail changes without disconnecting the forestay. In this configuration, the furler is installed at the base of the forestay and a swivel is installed at the top. The forestay connects these, and a sliding hollow swivel is installed over the forestay. When installed in this manner, the tack of the sail is attached to a fitting at the furler drum, and the head is attached to the hollow, hoistable swivel. The sail is hanked onto the forestay as usual, and the hoistable swivel is hoisted by the jib halyard. While slightly more expensive and complicated, this setup enables sail changes and allows you to set the jib halyard tension independently of the forestay tension.

One important thing to note is that these furlers do not enable roller reefing as there is nothing to prevent the head and tack from furling and unfurling unequally and, therefore, sail shape cannot be maintained on a partially furled sail. Modifications may be necessary to your sail in the form of a different luff arrangement that incorporates a stainless-steel wire or high-tech Dyneema line to strengthen and stiffen the luff. If the sail will be left furled and hoisted for extended periods, UV protection to the sail’s foot and leech is a recommended addition.

small sailboat roller furling

Robert Hodge lives aboard a 42′ sailboat in Seattle, and cruises Puget Sound on his 1960s wooden Lightning that has been restored and extensively modified. He works seasonally in commercial ship repair in local shipyards and in the retail store at Fisheries Supply. He is a veteran of two first-leg Race to Alaska attempts and has plans to compete in the full R2AK in 2021.

  Harken’s full range of small-boat furlers is available in individual pieces and in kits. A basic setup for a low-load application runs a little over $300, and the more heavy-duty ones come in at around $750.

Is there a product that might be useful for boatbuilding, cruising, or shore-side camping that you’d like us to review? Please email your suggestions.

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Comments (5)

Great article. We have several small-boat furlers but weren’t familiar with the hollow sliding swivel or continuous-line furler. And while our Drascombe Lugger or Day Sailler rigs are not set up for “roller reefing,” no one has told Skipper, she always uses the furler to reef the jib out and in as we depart and return to the boat ramp, pretty as a picture. Once we crawl away from the dock under a scrap of jib on the Lugger I can raise the main, and she uses the jib furler like a throttle as we glide back in, having it perfectly furled when she stops the boat one inch from the dock. Magic! We really enjoy the peace that a jib furler provides, no jib flapping at the dock, and the peace of mind of not having to go forward to tend the jib. Our friend Webb says he considers a jib furler an essential piece of gear when singlehanding small boats. Thanks for the great bit of knowledge. Cheers, Kent and Audrey

I am interested in learning why reefing the jib is difficult. I have a 16′ sloop nearing completion and would love that feature as the jib is a pretty large overlapping size (120%).

Thanks for information

I installed my first jib furler on my little 21′ cutter. To use it, I couldn’t hank the Yankee jib to the headstay, so it had to be free flying. Luff tension came from winching the halyard with a “handy billy,” or little portable block and tackle. With this arrangement, you have to remember not to furl–or rather try to furl–while you are headed down wind. The jib wants to wrap itself around the headstay, which can lead to exciting moments if you do this in a rising wind.

I loved that Yankee jib, by the way. As soon as it started flying, you could feel the added power, and the instant increase in speed. It was the most powerful sail on the boat (which also had staysail and main).

Not having enough experience or good enough balance tend the jib on my CLC Passage Maker dinghy, I made my own roller-furling thingee from a wire spool and some swivels. This is a 12′ pram, sloop rigged. One swivel above the jib and a plastic spool mounted below, with the other swivel below the spool. Pull the jib sheets to set the sail, pull on the spooled line to furl it, make fast with a jam cleat. I have no other product to compare it to, having never used one before, but it works fine and costs less than $25 total.

I would like to attach a self furling jib to my Lightning. Looking for advice on what type and best way for mounting on the deck. Any other advice would be helpful. Thanks

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How to Choose a Furling System

How to Choose a Furling System | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

Choosing the right furling system is essential for safe and easy sailing. Furling systems can keep you dry and reduce your sailing workload.

In this article, we'll cover the most popular types of furling systems, their benefits, and their drawbacks. We'll also provide information to help you decide which furling system works best for your boat, your sailplan layout, and your vessel type.

The most common types of roller furling systems are the head swivel, the wire luff, and the internal halyard. Head swivel systems are the most popular and ideal for general-purpose use, while internal halyards are the most economical. Wire luffs are ideal for hanked-on headsails, and they're also less expensive than head swivel systems.

The information in this article is sourced directly from furling system manufacturers and distributors. Additionally, we spoke with sailors who have installed and used various types of roller furling systems on their boats.

Table of contents

What is a Roller Furling System?

A roller furling system is designed to make it easy to deploy and adjust your headsail. The most common kind of roller furling system attaches to a jib sail and allows the operator to deploy and stow the entire sail from the cockpit.

Roller furling systems eliminate the need to go on deck to reef the headsail, which is especially useful in rough weather or when short-staffed. It allows you to quickly adjust the power of your boat in unpredictable windy conditions, and it's more precise than traditional horizontal reefing points.

In its most basic form, a roller furling is a set of spindles controlled from the cockpit. You hoist up the headsail between the spindles, which you can rotate in or out using a line. When actuated, the spindles roll up the headsail around the halyard.

Many roller furling systems work with your existing forestay, but some require you to install a new forestay. If you have a common sailboat, such as a fiberglass sailboat produced in the last 50 years, you should be able to install a roller furling system without much trouble or modification.

Parts of a Typical Roller Furling System

Roller furling systems have a few more components than a traditional headsail setup, but deploying sails with a furling system isn't that complicated. The furling unit itself mounts just aft of the forestay and roughly positions the headsail in its usual location.

The most notable part of the roller furling system is the furling drum, located at the base of the mechanism on the deck. The furling drum attaches to a chainplate aft of the forestay. In many cases, this is the same chain plate that the forestay itself attaches to.

The furling drum is responsible for controlling the roller furling system. is this where the control line wraps around, and it's important to position it properly.

The wire halyard is mounted directly to the top of the furling drum. This line extends close to the top of the mast and supports the tack of the headsail. Small cloth clasps called jib hanks run along the length of the wire halyard when the head sale is deployed. Jib hanks secure the sale to the wire and prevent uneven load from damaging the canvas.

The Wire halyard attaches to another smaller swivel closer to the top of the mast. This connection is known as the top swivel, and it is much smaller than the furling drum. Typically, a spacer disc mounts to the top of this swivel. The disc acts as a buffer between the top swivel and the shackle.

The shackle, which connects to the swivel through the spacer disc, is connected to your existing jib halyard. From this point, the hoisting system remains as it was before installing a roller furling.

Types of Furling Systems

There are three main types of roller furling systems, and they share many similarities. The primary types of roller furling systems available today are the head swivel furling, the wire luff furling, and the internal halyard furling. Here are the basic traits of these systems and some of the advantages of each type.

Head Swivel Furling System

The head swivel furling is by far the most common roller furling system used today. It's simple to operate, easy to maintain, and robust. It's a standard furling system that mounts just aft of the head stay and incorporates your existing headsail halyard.

Head swivel furling systems utilize two spindles; a drum located at the deck level and another smaller spindle located just past the top of the headsail. It uses ball bearings or smooth and easy rotation and generally stands up well to the elements.

The sail itself attaches to a wire halyard with hanks and then to the drum at the base of the system. The drum is rotated using a line that runs to an eyelet on a deck to the cockpit.

To deploy a jib or genoa using a head swivel furling, simply untie the furling line and unroll the headsail using the jibsheet. Reefing is also easy. Simply adjust the amount of sail using the same method, and roll it in and out as needed.

Head Swivel Furling Benefits

Head swivel furling systems are extremely easy to use. Operation is intuitive, and their lack of complex parts makes them almost trouble-free. Additionally, there is a wealth of knowledge about these popular systems online and in sailing communities. Chances are you'll find someone who knows how to repair head swivel furling systems virtually anywhere.

Head swivel furling systems work with your existing halyard, which means they're easy to deploy. Changing headsails is quick and simple as well, which is not always the case with roller furling systems. Head swivels with most jib and genoa sails, so you won't need any custom canvas to use one.

From a performance perspective, the head swivel system is most advantageous and efficient. That's why these systems are so common on race boats and trans-oceanic cruising vessels. The head swivel system is also the most reliable roller furling available today.

Head Swivel Furling Drawbacks

From a purely mechanical perspective, the head swivel furling system doesn't really have any drawbacks. Many would argue that it's the best furling system available today. That said, head swivel furling systems are quite costly. It's not uncommon to pay upwards of $1,000 for a complete full-size head swivel furling set.

Wire Luff Furling System

The wire luff furling system is a flexible way to control your headsail from the cockpit. Unlike the head swivel furling, a wire luff furling system is easily removable and designed to be stowed when not in use. Wire luff furling systems are popular on smaller boats and coastal cruising vessels.

From the bottom, a wire luff furling system closely resembles a head swivel furling system. It features a prominent rotating drum that mounts to a chainplate just aft of the forestay. It also uses a swivel that attaches to a standard halyard, allowing you to use your existing headsail rigging.

The wire luff furling system is simple and easy to install. It is often used by people who don't always need a quick, easy way to unfurl and reef the headsail. It's popular boats that use a variety of different headsails, as wire luff systems can accommodate multiple types of canvas.

Smaller sailboats, such as dinghies, often utilize wire luff furling systems due to their ease of installation and simple operation. Wire luff furling systems also work well with basic sale plans such as the simplified Bermuda rig.

Wire Luff Furling Benefits

One of the main benefits of the wire luff furling system is that it doesn't require any specific kind of hanked sail. Nonetheless, it can be used with hanked or non-hanked sails. The system is versatile and ideal for vessels with multiple headsail types at their disposal.

Sailors also appreciate how easy it is to install and remove wire luff furling systems. It sets up in minutes and doesn't require much modification to install. It sits behind the forestay, which means you don't have to compromise any standing rigging to install or operate a roller system.

Additionally, wire luff furling systems are highly affordable. You can obtain a complete set for less than half the price of a premium head swivel furling system. It's an excellent introduction to roller furling systems, and it's inexpensive enough to justify purchasing one to enhance your cruising capabilities.

Wire Luff Furling Drawbacks

Although it's a proven design, wire luff furling systems have some notable drawbacks. One of the most notable disadvantages of the wire left for a living system is that it's virtually impossible to reef the sale when it's under heavy wind stress.

This means that when you need to reef the headsail in high winds, you might not be able to. This is a problem, as it negates one of the primary benefits of having a roller furling, to begin with.

Additionally, the performance of head swivel furling systems is superior to that of wire luff types. Sails have a tendency to sag on wire luff systems as they don't provide as much lateral support or structure to the canvas.

Wire luff furling systems are not as durable as the head swivel varieties, which means they are not as suitable for offshore cruising or racing. That said, they are robust enough to be used in most conditions.

Internal Halyard Furling System

The internal halyard furling system is unique amongst the other two varieties. Unlike wire luff and head swivel furling systems, the internal halyard system actually utilizes the forestay.

With an internal halyard system, the forestay passes through the spindle drum, which operates just like any other bottom-up furling system. The use of the forestay simplifies the system and utilizes deck space better. The spindle drum is bulkier than other units, but it sits further ahead than wire luff and head swivel systems.

Internal Halyard Furling Benefits

Internal halyard roller furling systems are inexpensive and highly reliable. They work with a wide variety of sails, and they take up very little space. Fewer components mean fewer problems, so they're popular with long-range cruising boats. Because the headsail now rides along with the forestay, the halyard can be used to raise light air sails such as spinnakers and gennakers.

Internal Halyard Furling Drawbacks

Like the wire luff furling system, internal halyard systems are difficult to control in high winds. Under load, you won't be able to reef the sail easily. Additionally, it's difficult to control the tension of the halyard with this system. Installation can be challenging, as it requires you to manipulate your standing rigging.

Bottom-Up vs. Top-Down Furling

Initially, all furling systems were bottom-up. This changed when more advanced headsails were developed for light wind. Here's the primary difference between bottom-up and top-down roller furling systems.

Bottom-Up Furling

Bottom-up furling is what most people would consider a standard roller furling system. The drum at the base is unrolled to unfurl the sail. When rolled up again, the sail begins to wrap around itself, starting at the base. This is how the majority of roller furling systems work for jib and genoa sails.

Top-Down Furling

The top-down furling system is a recent development that was designed to more effectively accommodate Code 0 sails and asymmetrical spinnakers. The top-down furling rolls the sail from the top down to the base. The base of the sail is free-floating and not directly furled by the drum.

Best Furling for Small Sailboats

The best furling system for small boats (under 20 feet in length) is the wire luff. This is because it's easy to install, and it works well with basic sail plans. Many small boats have used wire luff systems for years, and sailors agree that it's a user-friendly and reliable choice. The wire luff furling system is affordable and works well for training beginners.

Best Furling for Coastal Cruising Sailboats

The wire luff furling system works well for coastal cruisers, and so does the internal halyard. Internal halyard furling systems are compact, easy to handle in most conditions, and the drawbacks of the design are not particularly annoying in coastal environments.

The wire luff is the best choice for weekenders who sail in conditions where a roller furling isn't always necessary, as it can be stowed to more rapidly raise and lower the sails. This reduces rigging time but gives you the option to use a roller furling if you choose.

Best Furling for Offshore Cruising Sailboats

The obvious choice for offshore cruising sailboats is the popular head swivel furling system. The head swivel is the most robust roller furling available, and it allows you to quickly reef the headsail in all wind conditions. It's reliable, easy to maintain, and extremely strong. It does not involve standing rigging.

The head swivel furling system isn't easy to remove, but this doesn't matter on long-haul cruising boats. These systems are costly, but it's wise to invest in the best quality equipment if you're using your boat for long ocean passages.

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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Sail Away Blog

Learn the Step-by-Step Process of Putting Sail on Roller Furling

Alex Morgan

small sailboat roller furling

Roller furling is a popular method used in sailing to manage and control the sail’s size and shape. It allows sailors to easily roll and unfurl the sail, making it convenient and efficient. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to put a sail on roller furling, ensuring a successful and safe sailing experience.

But first, let’s understand what roller furling is and why it has gained popularity among sailors. Roller furling is a system that allows the sail to be wrapped around a rotating device called a furler, which is mounted on the forestay. This system enables sailors to adjust the sail’s surface area, depending on the wind conditions, without the need for reefing or changing sails entirely.

To put a sail on roller furling, you need to prepare both the sail and the equipment. This involves gathering the necessary tools and equipment, inspecting the sail for any damage or wear, and preparing the roller furling system to ensure smooth operation.

The step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of putting the sail on roller furling. Starting with positioning the sail and halyard, you will learn how to attach the sail to the furling system, hoist the sail, and finally, how to unfurl and furl the sail.

The article will provide some tips and considerations to keep in mind while using roller furling. These include taking care of the sail and furling system to prolong their lifespan and the importance of proper sail trim for optimal performance.

By following this comprehensive guide and considering the provided tips, you will be well-equipped to successfully put your sail on roller furling and enjoy a safe and efficient sailing experience.

Key takeaway:

  • Roller furling maximizes convenience: Roller furling systems make it easy to reef or unfurl the sail, allowing for quick adjustments while sailing.
  • Proper preparation is essential: Preparing the sail and the roller furling system before use ensures smooth and efficient operations.
  • Proper technique ensures safety and success: Following the step-by-step guide and considering important tips and considerations ensures a successful and safe experience with roller furling.

What is Roller Furling?

Roller furling is a sailing technique that allows for easy and efficient sail management. It involves wrapping the sail around a rotating device called the furling system , which is installed on the mast or forestay of a sailboat. This system enables sailors to quickly adjust the sail size by either unfurling or furling it, depending on the wind conditions and desired speed.

Roller furling has gained popularity among sailors due to its convenience and time-saving benefits. It eliminates the need to manually raise or lower the sail, providing a hassle-free experience. With roller furling, sailors can easily respond to changing weather conditions by adjusting the sail size without having to go on deck or use additional equipment. This technique is especially useful for single-handed or short-handed sailing, where there is limited crew available.

Proper maintenance and regular inspection of the roller furling system are crucial for ensuring smooth operation. It is important to keep the furling system clean and free from debris, as well as regularly lubricate the parts to prevent corrosion. It is always necessary to check the integrity of the sail and repair any damage before using it with the roller furling system. By doing so, the equipment’s lifespan can be prolonged, and a safe and enjoyable sailing experience can be ensured.

Why is Roller Furling Popular?

Roller furling is popular for several reasons. It simplifies the handling of sails, making it easier and more convenient for sailors. With roller furling, sailors can effortlessly roll and furl their sails without the need for manual folding and stowing. This saves them time and effort, making their sailing experience much more enjoyable.

One of the main advantages of roller furling is the enhanced safety it offers on the water. Sailors can quickly and easily reef their sails in strong winds or challenging conditions, reducing the risk of capsizing or losing control of their boat. This feature is particularly beneficial for solo or short-handed sailors who may come across unexpected weather changes. Roller furling provides them with the peace of mind and confidence to navigate through different weather conditions.

Roller furling promotes versatility . Sailors can adjust the size of their sails by partially or fully furling them, allowing for optimal sail performance in different wind conditions. This flexibility is especially valuable during races or long-distance sailing where wind conditions can vary significantly. It gives sailors the ability to adapt to changing winds and maximize their speed and efficiency.

Roller furling systems are known for their durability and long-lasting performance. They are designed to withstand constant use and harsh weather conditions, ensuring that sailors can rely on them for extended periods without compromising their efficiency. This reliability makes roller furling a popular choice among sailors who value a dependable sail setup.

Preparing the Sail and Equipment

Get ready to set sail! In this section, we’ll dive into the crucial steps of preparing your sail and equipment for a smooth journey. Discover how to gather the necessary tools and equipment, inspect the sail like a pro, and get your roller furling system ready to take on the open waters. With practical tips and expert insights, you’ll be well-prepared for an adventurous sailing experience. So, let’s prepare to hoist up those sails and embark on a thrilling seafaring expedition!

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Equipment

To ensure a smooth and safe sailing experience, it is essential to gather the necessary tools and equipment. When preparing for roller furling , follow these steps:

1. Prepare the appropriate sail for the boat and sailing conditions.

2. Check the halyard to ensure its good condition.

3. Gather a winch handle for controlling the halyard.

4. Have a sail tie or bungee cord ready to secure the furled sail.

5. Get a furling line for controlling the sail’s rolling and unfurling.

6. Ensure the furling drum is properly installed and functioning.

7. Check the correct positioning of the furling line lead device .

Once, I went sailing without a winch handle for our roller furling system. It was a windy day, and we struggled to hoist the sail. Thankfully, we borrowed a winch handle from a nearby boat and were able to set sail. This experience taught us the importance of double-checking our equipment before going on the water. Gathering the necessary tools and equipment is crucial for a smooth and safe sailing experience.

Inspecting the Sail

Regularly inspecting the sail is crucial to ensure its integrity and longevity . Start by checking for visible damage or wear on the sail fabric, such as tears, holes, or fraying. It is important to make sure there are no loose threads that could compromise the sail’s integrity.

Examine the stitching on the sail, paying close attention to areas where the threads may be coming loose or showing signs of wear. Look for any areas that might need reinforcement to avoid further damage.

Don’t forget to inspect the sail’s hardware , including the grommets, eyelets, and clew rings, to ensure they are secure and in good condition. It is essential to check for any corrosion or signs of wear on the hardware, as this can affect the overall performance of the sail.

If your sail has battens , verify that they are properly inserted and in good condition. Make sure they are not broken , warped , or cracked , as this can impact the sail’s efficiency.

Another important aspect to consider is the UV protection on the sail. UV exposure can cause damage over time, so it is necessary to see if the sail has a UV protective coating or if it requires a separate UV cover.

By promptly addressing any problems identified during the inspection, you can ensure that your sail remains in excellent condition and is ready for use when needed.

Fact: The lifespan of a sail can vary depending on factors such as usage, maintenance, and exposure to environmental conditions. With proper care and regular inspections, a well-maintained sail can last for several years.

Preparing the Roller Furling System

Preparing the roller furling system is an important step to ensure its proper functioning. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Begin by carefully inspecting the roller furling system for any signs of damage or wear. This will help identify any issues that need to be addressed before use.
  • Next, clean the roller furling drum and swivel to remove any dirt or debris that could potentially affect its performance. This will help maintain smooth operation.
  • Lubricate the roller furling system using a suitable lubricant as recommended by the manufacturer. This will help reduce friction and ensure optimal performance.
  • Check all attachment points and hardware to make sure they are secure and in good condition. This will help prevent any issues while on the water.
  • Inspect the furling line for any fraying or damage and replace it if necessary. A faulty furling line can negatively impact the system’s operation.
  • Make sure the halyard is properly attached to the top of the mast and free of any twists or knots. This will ensure smooth and efficient furling and unfurling of the sail.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to correctly wrap the furling line around the furling drum. This will help maintain proper tension and operation.
  • Test the roller furling system by manually furling and unfurling the sail to ensure smooth operation. This will allow you to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
  • Adjust the tension of the furling line as needed to ensure proper furling and unfurling of the sail. This will help achieve optimal performance.
  • Double-check all connections and attachments before heading out on the water. This will give you peace of mind knowing that everything is secure and in proper working order.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your roller furling system is properly prepared and ready to use. So, don’t skip these important preparations before your next sailing adventure.

Step-by-Step Guide: Putting the Sail on Roller Furling

Ready to set sail? Get ready to master the art of putting the sail on roller furling with this step-by-step guide . We’ll cover everything from positioning the sail and halyard to attaching it to the furling system . You’ll learn the ins and outs of hoisting the sail and the satisfaction of unfurling and furling it effortlessly. So, buckle up and prepare to navigate the seas like a pro with our foolproof instructions.

Step 1: Positioning the Sail and Halyard

To ensure proper functionality and overall sailing experience, follow these steps to properly position the sail and halyard on a roller furling system:

Step 1: Securely attach the halyard to the head of the sail.

Step 2: Make sure the sail is flaked and ready to be hoisted.

Step 3: Smoothly align the halyard with the masthead sheave and feed it through.

Step 4: Gradually raise the sail using the halyard while maintaining proper alignment.

Once the sail is properly positioned, you can proceed to the next steps in the process of putting the sail on roller furling. Remember, the positioning of the sail and halyard is crucial for the system’s functionality and overall sailing experience.

Step 2: Attaching the Sail to the Furling System

To attach the sail to the furling system, follow these steps:

Step 1: Secure the halyard to the head of the sail.

Step 2: Insert the furling line through the furling drum at the base of the forestay.

Step 3: Attach the furling line to the cleat or winch.

Step 4: Slide the luff of the sail into the groove on the furling foil.

Step 5: Engage the sail with the drum by rotating it clockwise.

Step 6: Check that the sail is properly aligned and centered on the furling system.

On a windy day at sea, Sarah and her crew struggled to attach the sail to the furling system. Despite the strong winds, they successfully followed Step 2: Attaching the Sail to the Furling System instructions and securely attached the sail. They were then ready to set sail and enjoy their adventure on the water.

Step 3: Hoisting the Sail

  • Attach the halyard to the head of the sail securely .
  • Pull on the halyard with enough force to raise the sail up the mast.
  • Check for proper alignment and no twists or tangles while hoisting the sail.
  • Continue pulling on the halyard until the sail is fully hoisted .
  • Secure the halyard to prevent slippage or accidental lowering of the sail.

Pro-tip: Double-check the hoisted sail for any signs of damage or wear . Regularly inspecting the sail will help identify issues that may affect its performance or safety. Also, test the sail’s tension before setting off to ensure it is taut and properly adjusted .

Step 4: Unfurling and Furling the Sail

To unfurl the sail on a roller furling system, follow these steps:

  • Find the furling line or control line for the sail. This line is usually located near the cockpit or helm.
  • Gently pull the furling line towards you to release the sail from the roller. Keep pulling until the sail is completely unfurled .
  • Release any stops or locks that are securing the sail in place, allowing it to unfurl freely .
  • Monitor the shape and position of the sail as it unfurls. Make sure it is correctly aligned and tight for optimal performance.
  • Make necessary adjustments to the furling line to control the amount of sail that is unfurled. This allows customization based on wind conditions.

One sailor, Mark , shared his experience with unfurling and furling the sail on his roller furling system. While on a solo sailing trip, the wind suddenly intensified, and he needed to rapidly reduce the sail area. Thanks to the roller furling system, he was able to conveniently unfurl the sail partially, maintaining control of the boat and navigating through strong winds. The convenience and ease of unfurling the sail on a roller furling system saved him from potential dangers and ensured a safe sailing experience.

Tips and Considerations

Get ready to set sail with our tips and considerations for putting sail on roller furling ! We will cover important aspects such as taking care of the sail and furling system, the significance of proper sail trim, and how to ensure a successful and safe furling experience. So, whether you’re a seasoned sailor or new to roller furling, these insights will help you master the art of seamlessly setting sail with confidence!

Taking Care of the Sail and Furling System

Taking care of the sail and furling system is crucial for maintaining performance and longevity . Here are the steps to ensure proper care:

1. Inspect the sail regularly: Check for signs of wear, such as tears or loose stitching. Repair any damages promptly to prevent further deterioration.

2. Clean the sail: Rinse the sail with fresh water to remove dirt, salt, and residues. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents that can damage the fabric.

3. Store the sail properly: When not in use, store the sail in a dry and well-ventilated area. Avoid tightly folding or rolling the sail to prevent creases. Instead, loosely bundle it for air circulation.

4. Lubricate the furling system: Regularly lubricate the furling system for smooth operation. Use a recommended lubricant and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Check the furling line: Inspect the furling line for fraying or signs of wear. Replace it if necessary to avoid accidents or malfunctions.

6. Maintain proper tension: Ensure the sail is properly tensioned when furled. Adjust the tension as needed to prevent sagging or excessive strain on the system.

7. Protect from UV exposure: Minimize UV exposure by using UV protective covers or sail bags when the sail is not in use. UV rays can degrade the sail and furling system over time.

8. Seek professional inspection: Periodically have a professional inspect the sail and furling system for potential issues. This helps prevent problems and ensures optimal performance.

By following these steps, you can maximize the lifespan and performance of your sail and furling system.

Importance of Proper Sail Trim

Proper sail trim is of utmost importance for sailing performance and safety . It is crucial to align and adjust the sail correctly to enhance boat efficiency and maneuverability . By maintaining the proper sail trim, you ensure optimal wind capture and reduce drag.

A significant aspect of sail trim is maintaining the correct angle of attack . This means adjusting the sail to have a smooth and even shape that generates lift and propels the boat forward efficiently.

Proper sail trim involves adjusting the tension of the sail. The appropriate tension allows the sail to maintain its shape and minimize wrinkles and distortion, especially in roller furling systems .

It is also essential to consider the interaction between different parts of the sail. The main sail , headsail , and any other sails must work together harmoniously to optimize performance. Proper coordination and adjustment of these sails ensure balanced handling and prevent excessive heeling or sluggishness.

Ensuring a Successful and Safe Furling Experience

Ensure to carefully inspect the sail before furling for any damages or issues to ensure a successful and safe furling experience.

Make sure to check for all the necessary tools and equipment such as a winch handle, winch, and halyard to ensure a successful and safe furling experience.

Position the sail and halyard properly to ensure a smooth and efficient furling experience.

Securely attach the sail to prevent any slippage or accidental unfurling, ensuring a successful and safe furling experience.

Take care to hoist the sail carefully to avoid any tangling or misalignment with the furling system and ensure a successful and safe furling experience.

Practice unfurling and furling the sail multiple times to become familiar with the process, ensuring a successful and safe furling experience.

Maintain and regularly inspect the sail and furling system to prevent any issues or damages and ensure a successful and safe furling experience.

Trim the sail properly for optimal performance, ensuring a successful and safe furling experience.

Always follow the safety guidelines and procedures provided by the manufacturer or sailing experts to ensure a successful and safe furling experience.

By following these steps and safety precautions, you can ensure a successful and safe furling experience.

Some Facts About How To Put Sail On Roller Furling:

  • ✅ It is recommended to take the jib/genoa off the roller furling and store it for the season to prevent damage during hurricane season. (Source: CommuterCruiser)
  • ✅ The steps for putting the roller furling jib back on the boat include gathering necessary equipment, attaching the jib halyard and lines, raising the sail, and rolling it up tightly. (Source: CommuterCruiser)
  • ✅ Rolling the jib tightly and finishing with at least 3 extra wraps of the jib lines outside the jib UV cover helps prevent unintentional unfurling. (Source: CommuterCruiser)
  • ✅ The process of putting the sail on roller furling takes about an hour, including setup and finding the necessary equipment. (Source: CommuterCruiser)
  • ✅ Each boat may have different requirements for jib/genoa lines, but in general, they should run outside the sidestays and through a pulley on the track before going back to the cockpit. (Source: CommuterCruiser)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i install a roller furling headsail on my 27′ cascade pocket cruiser.

To install a roller furling headsail, you will need to gather the necessary equipment, such as jib lines, jib, shackles, and an adjustable wrench. Then, follow these steps: 1) Take the jib out on deck, ensuring it is flaked and neatly folded inside the jib bag. 2) Put a shackle in the hole of the roller furling to prevent accidental spinning and release of the furling line. 3) Remove the shackle locking the roller furling and attach it to a nearby stanchion. 4) Attach the jib halyard to the top of the roller furling car. 5) Shackle the bottom of the jib just above the roller furling drum. 6) Attach the jib lines to the back of the jib. 7) Route the jib lines outside the sidestays and through the pulley on the track before proceeding back to the cockpit. 8) Tie a stopper knot in the end of the jib line and wrap it around the winch on each side to keep the jib centered on the boat. 9) One person raises the sail using the winch while the other feeds the jib into the track using a U-shaped feeder. 10) Center the jib and raise it slowly. 11) Tighten the halyard as taunt as possible before closing the halyard stopper. 12) Roll the sail up on the furling, putting tension on each of the jib lines to ensure a tight roll.

What should I consider before adding a roller furling headsail as a solo sailor?

As a solo sailor, adding a roller furling headsail offers convenience but also comes with potential cons. It is important to consider the additional moving parts and the risk of failure. The ease of use and the ability to handle the sail alone may outweigh the potential drawbacks. Evaluate the average costs, choose a reputable brand, and weigh the pros of convenience against the cons of added complexity.

What are the pros and cons of installing a roller furling headsail on a sailboat?

The pros of installing a roller furling headsail include convenience, ease of use for a solo sailor, and the ability to handle the sail alone. There are potential cons to consider, such as the risk of failure due to additional moving parts and the associated costs. Carefully evaluate these factors before making a decision.

How much does it cost on average to install a roller furling headsail?

The average cost of installing a roller furling headsail can vary depending on several factors, such as the brand, size, and type of headsail. Installation fees may apply if professional help is required. It is recommended to research different brands, compare prices, and consult with local sailmakers or marine suppliers to get a better estimate of the costs involved.

Can you provide step-by-step instructions for putting a roller furling jib back on a boat?

Sure! Follow these step-by-step instructions to put a roller furling jib back on a boat: 1) Gather all necessary equipment, including jib lines, jib, shackles, and an adjustable wrench. 2) Take the jib out on deck, ensuring it is flaked and neatly folded inside the jib bag. 3) Put a shackle in the hole of the roller furling to prevent accidental spinning and release of the furling line. 4) Remove the shackle locking the roller furling and reattach it to a nearby stanchion. 5) Attach the jib halyard to the top of the roller furling car. 6) Shackle the bottom of the jib just above the roller furling drum. 7) Attach the jib lines to the back of the jib. 8) Route the jib lines outside the sidestays and through the pulley on the track before proceeding back to the cockpit. 9) Tie a stopper knot in the end of the jib line and wrap it around the winch on each side to keep the jib centered on the boat. 10) One person raises the sail using the winch while the other feeds the jib into the track using a U-shaped feeder. 11) Center the jib and raise it slowly. 12) Tighten the halyard as taunt as possible before closing the halyard stopper. 13) Roll the sail up on the furling, making sure to put tension on each of the jib lines to ensure a tight roll.

How can I prevent unintentional unfurling of the jib on a roller furling system?

To prevent unintentional unfurling, it is important to roll the jib taunt and finish with at least 3 extra wraps of the jib lines outside the jib UV cover. This ensures that the jib remains tightly rolled and minimizes the risk of accidental unfurling while sailing. Tying the jib lines with a secure bowline and stopper knot can provide extra security to prevent slipping and unfurling.

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Installs on Deck  Alado Roller Furlers are designed to be installed from the deck with no climbing or expensive labor. Lifetime Warranty  Free Shipping  Customer Service Brand Comparison Main and Mizzen Ready Installation Manual Size your Boat  

Since 1992, Alado Furling Systems have only been sold direct to boat owners.

We don't feel the need to design "complex solutions for complex design flaws" such as halyard wrap and bearing failures

Our designs are based on common sense and the belief that keeping it simple at sea saves lives.

We're sailors just like you, and we make every roller furler  reliable as though our lives depended on it.

Customer referral is our most powerful advertising and with over 32 years under our keel, we have thousands of happy sailors to show for it.

Whether you are circumnavigating or day sailing, Alado is the perfect furler at direct prices for your entire rig.

small sailboat roller furling

Here are two photos of the Alado furling systems that I had on the Wharram Pahi 42 in Texas, the jib furler and the main furler. Awesome system and they both worked perfectly.

Tim W. Texas

small sailboat roller furling

I do love the simplicity of the Furler and positively promote it to the many people that ask about it.

Adam C. New Zealand

Thanks again for your support, really appreciate your efforts and have to say I'm a happy customer.

Dean C. Gibraltar

Great product/ great service

Jeff L. Honolulu, HI

" Built like a tank" is indeed the appropriate term for this furler. Shane from Alado USA was the perfect partner to upgrade. 

Will N. San Francisco

small sailboat roller furling

Hello. Just received my Furler this past Tuesday. Very surprised by the fast shipping and happy with the simplicity and durability I’m sure it will provide. Looking forward to installing it soon. 

Chris W. Newington, CT

Hey Shane. VERY happy with the Alado furler. My wife Christine is too! She actually controls that jib and finds it very easy. Getting ready for spring commissioning in April. Then hopefully putting some nautical miles under us. I’m recommending your Furler to everyone in the market. Thanks for a great product and great service as well!!!!

Chris & Chris

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Featured in Practical Sailor Magazine

Model A0 Alado 30 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 30 feet. For use with 1/8" to 1/4" diameter stay. Installs from Deck.

Model A0 Alado 30 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 30 feet. For use with 1/8" to 1/4" diameter stay. Installs from Deck. | 00007

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Model A1 Alado 35 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 35 feet. For use with 1/8" to 1/4" diameter stay. Installs from Deck.

Model A1 Alado 35 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 35 feet. For use with 1/8" to 1/4" diameter stay. Installs from Deck. | AD001

Model A2 Alado 40 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 40 feet. For use with 1/8" to 1/4" diameter stay. Installs from Deck.

Model A2 Alado 40 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 40 feet. For use with 1/8" to 1/4" diameter stay. Installs from Deck. | AD002

Model A3 Alado 50 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 50 feet. For use with 1/4" to 5/16" diameter stay. Installs from Deck.

Model A3 Alado 50 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 50 feet. For use with 1/4" to 5/16" diameter stay. Installs from Deck. | AD003

Model A4 Alado 55 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 55 feet. For use with 1/4" to 3/8" diameter stay. Installs from Deck.

Model A4 Alado 55 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 55 feet. For use with 1/4" to 3/8" diameter stay. Installs from Deck. | AD004

Model B1 Alado 55 Foot Roller Furling System. Using our largest foil, this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds, For Use with maximum forestay length of 55 feet. Use with 7/16" to 1/2" diameter stay.

Model B1 Alado 55 Foot Roller Furling System. Using our largest foil, this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds, For Use with maximum forestay length of 55 feet. Use with 7/16" to 1/2" diameter stay. | AD005

Model B2 Alado 65 Foot Roller Furling System. Our largest foil , this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds. Use with Max. forestay length of 65 ft. Use with 7/16" to 1/2" diameter stay.

Model B2 Alado 65 Foot Roller Furling System. Our largest foil , this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds. Use with Max. forestay length of 65 ft. Use with 7/16" to 1/2" diameter stay. | AD006

Model B4 Alado 80 Foot Roller Furling System. Our largest foil, this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds. Use with Max. forestay length of 80ft. Use with 9/16" diameter stay.

Model B4 Alado 80 Foot Roller Furling System. Our largest foil, this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds. Use with Max. forestay length of 80ft. Use with 9/16" diameter stay. | AD008

Model B3 Alado 75 Foot Roller Furling System. Our largest foil, this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds. Use with Max. forestay length of 75 ft. Use with 1/2" to 9/16" diameter stay.

Model B3 Alado 75 Foot Roller Furling System. Our largest foil, this system comes with Dual Luff Feeds. Use with Max. forestay length of 75 ft. Use with 1/2" to 9/16" diameter stay. | AD007

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Installing a new roller furling system

Upgrade your sailboat's rigging and sail setup with a new roller furling system, making it easier and safer to manage your sails while sailing short-handed or with family.

Installing a New Roller Furling System

Welcome to another informative article in our Boat Modifications and Upgrades section. Today, we will be discussing the installation of a new roller furling system on your sailboat. This article is perfect for those who are looking to upgrade their current rigging and sail setup, or for those who are starting from scratch with a new boat. We will cover everything you need to know about roller furling systems, from the benefits of having one to the step-by-step installation process.

Table of Contents

What is a roller furling system, benefits of a roller furling system, choosing the right roller furling system, tools and materials needed, step-by-step installation guide, maintenance and troubleshooting.

A roller furling system is a mechanical device that allows you to easily roll up your sails, specifically the headsail or genoa, around a rotating foil or rod. This system makes it much easier to manage your sails, especially when sailing short-handed or with a family. With a roller furling system, you can quickly and easily furl or unfurl your sails without having to leave the cockpit, making it a safer and more convenient option for many sailors.

There are several benefits to installing a roller furling system on your sailboat, including:

Ease of use : Roller furling systems make it much easier to furl and unfurl your sails, especially when sailing short-handed or with a family. This can be a huge advantage when you need to quickly adjust your sail area in changing wind conditions.

Safety : With a roller furling system, you can manage your sails from the safety of the cockpit, reducing the need to go forward on deck in rough conditions. This can be especially important when sailing with children or inexperienced crew members.

Sail protection : By keeping your sails furled when not in use, you can protect them from UV damage and prolong their lifespan. This can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for sail repairs or replacements.

Improved sail shape : Many roller furling systems allow you to adjust the tension on the luff of the sail, which can help you maintain a more efficient sail shape in various wind conditions.

Versatility : Roller furling systems can be used with a variety of sail types, including genoas, jibs, and even code zero sails, making them a versatile addition to your sailboat.

Before you can install a roller furling system, you need to choose the right one for your boat. There are several factors to consider when making this decision, including:

Boat size : Roller furling systems are designed for specific boat sizes, so it’s important to choose one that is compatible with your boat. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific boat model and size.

Sail type : Some roller furling systems are designed specifically for use with certain sail types, such as genoas or jibs. Make sure the system you choose is compatible with the type of sail you plan to use.

Budget : Roller furling systems can vary widely in price, so it’s important to choose one that fits within your budget. Keep in mind that more expensive systems may offer additional features or higher-quality components, but a basic system may be sufficient for your needs.

Ease of installation : Some roller furling systems are easier to install than others, so consider your own skill level and the complexity of the installation process when making your decision.

Manufacturer reputation : Finally, be sure to choose a roller furling system from a reputable manufacturer with a history of producing high-quality, reliable products.

Before you begin the installation process, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Roller furling system kit (including foil, drum, swivel, and all necessary hardware)
  • Halyard and sheets (compatible with your chosen roller furling system)
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw (for cutting the foil to length, if necessary)
  • Drill and drill bits (for drilling holes in the foil, if necessary)
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips)
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Allen wrenches (if required by your specific roller furling system)
  • Marine sealant (for sealing any drilled holes)
  • Safety gear (gloves, safety glasses, etc.)

Read the manufacturer’s instructions : Before you begin, carefully read the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer of your chosen roller furling system. These instructions will provide specific details and recommendations for your particular system, which may differ from the general steps outlined below.

Remove the existing headsail : If you have an existing headsail on your boat, remove it before beginning the installation process. This will give you better access to the forestay and make it easier to install the roller furling system.

Measure and cut the foil : Measure the length of your forestay and compare it to the length of the foil provided with your roller furling system. If necessary, use a hacksaw to cut the foil to the appropriate length. Be sure to file any rough edges and apply marine sealant to the cut end to prevent corrosion.

Assemble the foil and drum : Following the manufacturer’s instructions, assemble the foil sections and attach the drum at the bottom. Be sure to use the appropriate hardware and tighten all connections securely.

Attach the foil to the forestay : With the foil and drum assembly complete, attach the foil to the forestay using the provided hardware. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper attachment and alignment.

Install the halyard swivel : Attach the halyard swivel to the top of the foil, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This swivel will allow the halyard to rotate freely as the sail is furled and unfurled.

Attach the sail : With the roller furling system in place, attach your sail to the foil using the appropriate hardware and connections. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper sail attachment and alignment.

Install the halyard and sheets : Finally, install the halyard and sheets for your roller furling system, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to use the appropriate hardware and connections, and adjust the tension on the halyard and sheets as needed for optimal sail performance.

Test the system : With everything installed, test the roller furling system by furling and unfurling the sail several times. Make any necessary adjustments to the system to ensure smooth operation and proper sail shape.

To keep your roller furling system in good working order, be sure to perform regular maintenance and inspections. This includes:

  • Checking all hardware and connections for signs of wear or damage
  • Lubricating moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Inspecting the foil for signs of corrosion or damage
  • Checking the halyard and sheets for signs of wear or chafe

If you encounter any issues with your roller furling system, consult the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide or contact a professional for assistance.

Installing a roller furling system on your sailboat can greatly improve your sailing experience by making it easier and safer to manage your sails. By following the steps outlined in this guide and consulting the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific system, you can successfully install a roller furling system and enjoy the many benefits it offers. Happy sailing!

Vermont Sailing Partners

Understanding Roller Furling Systems

General sailing articles

The use of  headsail Roller Furling and reefing systems on sailboats has increased dramatically over the past fifteen years.  When they first became available, they were viewed as a novelty by most of the sailing community.  Today however, almost every cruising boat, and even many racing boats are equipped with roller furling.

There are may types of furlers available today.  Some work well, and some are more temperamental.  In order to simplify this article, I will categorize them into three different styles:  the most common “head swivel” type, the “internal halyard” type, and the “wire luff” type.

The basic set up of the “wire luff” type of furling system is a removable swivel drum at the deck that attaches behind the forestay, a headsail with a wire luff (no hanks or luff tape), and a head swivel that attaches to the top of the sail and to the halyard.  This is the oldest of the furling designs.  The most common of these types are the old Schaeffer system and small boat furlers used on racing dinghies.  The advantages of this system are low cost, ability to use other “hanked-on” headsails.  The disadvantages however, are fairly substantial; the inability to reef, the inability to furl when the halyard is fully loaded, and the huge amounts of headstay sag.

The “internal halyard” type of system goes over the existing forestay, but does not use the jib halyard.  It has an internal halyard that slides down one groove of the system, while the luff of the sail slides up the second groove.  The advantages of this style of system is typically lower cost, no head swivel – no potential halyard wrap problems, keeps halyard free for cruising spinnaker.  The disadvantages are difficult to change halyard tension for sailshape control while sailing, compression load on extrusions can make furling difficult in high load situations, and it is difficult to change sails.

The most dependable type of systems are the “head swivel” style that have a lower drum, metal extrusions, and a ball bearing head swivel.  The sail is tacked down at the furling drum fed up into the groove in the extrusion, attached to the head swivel, and the jib halyard is attached to the top of the head swivel.  This is the most popular style of system (and more expensive) and offers the best furling performance.  It also offers easier headsail changes, and some systems are equipped to remove the drum, by-pass the head swivel, and use the system as a twin groove headstay for racing with full hoist headsails.

Furling systems are great, except when they do not work correctly.  The majority of problems that can cause “furling failure” are easily preventable, and often easily correctable.

See Trouble shooting Article

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small sailboat roller furling

Roller Boom Furling: The Ultimate Guide for Sailors

by Emma Sullivan | Aug 12, 2023 | Sailboat Maintenance

small sailboat roller furling

Short answer: Roller boom furling

Roller boom furling is a system used on sailboats to easily roll and reef the mainsail. It involves a rotating boom equipped with a built-in roller mechanism, enabling quick and convenient sail adjustment. This method enhances safety, efficiency, and ease of use for sailors.

Roller Boom Furling: A Comprehensive Guide to this Innovative Sailing Technology

Sailing enthusiasts are always on the lookout for innovative advancements that can enhance their sailing experience. One such technology that has revolutionized the way sails are managed is Roller Boom Furling. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on this fantastic innovation, giving you a clear understanding of its functions and benefits.

So, what exactly is Roller Boom Furling? In simple terms, it is a system that allows sailors to easily furl and unfurl their mainsails with minimal effort. By utilizing a rolling mechanism integrated into the boom, this technology eliminates the need for crew members to manually handle heavy and cumbersome sails .

But how does it work? The Roller Boom Furling system consists of several key components working in perfect harmony. The primary elements include a hardened aluminum boom with an internal rolling mechanism, controlled by a powerful hydraulic or electric motor. Attached to this boom are specialized sail slugs that securely hold the mainsail in place while allowing it to roll up smoothly. Additionally, there is a control panel located within easy reach of the helm station, enabling precise control over the furling process.

Now let’s delve into the advantages of Roller Boom Furling. Firstly, its convenience cannot be overstated. With just the push of a button or flick of a switch, sailors can effortlessly furl or unfurl their mainsails in seconds. No more struggling with tangled lines or wrestling with stubborn sails; Roller Boom Furling takes care of it all.

Furthermore, this technology enhances safety on board by minimizing risks associated with sail handling . In challenging weather conditions or when unexpected situations arise, having full control over your main sail without requiring excessive manpower ensures quick reactions and smoother maneuverability.

Accuracy is another significant advantage brought by Roller Boom Furling systems. Manual furling methods often result in uneven roll-ups, leading to distorted shape and reduced performance . This technology streamlines the process, ensuring consistent and precise sail roll-ups every time. The result? Optimized sail performance, better boat balance, and improved overall efficiency.

However, it’s important to note that Roller Boom Furling is not limited to just convenience and safety benefits. This technology also has a positive impact on sail longevity. By exerting controlled tension throughout the furling process, Roller Boom Furling systems reduce wear and tear on the sails, extending their lifespan significantly. This translates into cost savings in the long run as sailors can enjoy their sails for many additional seasons.

Despite its undeniable advantages, it’s essential to consider a few factors before adopting Roller Boom Furling for your vessel. Compatibility with existing rigging systems, overall weight considerations, and budget constraints should all be taken into account during the decision-making process. Consulting with reputable sailing professionals or manufacturers can help you make an informed choice based on your unique requirements.

In conclusion, Roller Boom Furling is a game-changing technology that has transformed the way mainsails are managed while sailing. Its convenience, safety features, accuracy in sail handling, along with increased sail longevity make it an appealing choice for both cruising enthusiasts and racing crews alike. Embracing this innovative sailing technology promises to not only enhance your sailing experience but also elevate your performance on the water. So why wait? Join the revolution today!

How Does Roller Boom Furling Work? Exploring the Mechanics Behind this Game-Changing System

Roller boom furling has revolutionized the way sailing enthusiasts approach their craft. This innovative system has taken the sailing world by storm, offering enhanced convenience and ease of use. But how exactly does roller boom furling work? Let’s dive into the mechanics behind this game-changing system.

At its core, roller boom furling replaces traditional mainsail handling methods with a more streamlined and efficient mechanism. Gone are the days of wrestling with heavy mainsails or struggling to stow them neatly. Roller boom furling simplifies the entire process, making it a breeze for sailors of all skill levels.

The key component of roller boom furling is a drum-like device that sits horizontally along the boom itself. This drum contains a heavy-duty spring-loaded mechanism that can be activated with a simple pull or push. The mainsail is connected to this drum by means of an attached flexible panel commonly known as an “in-mast sail.”

Here’s where things get interesting: when you activate the roller boom furling system, this mechanism employs its internal gears and springs to smoothly roll up the in-mast sail around itself. This compactly stores the sail within the drum, creating a tidy and space-saving solution.

But what about unfurling? Well, fear not! Roller boom furling wouldn’t be complete without offering effortless deployment as well. By pulling on another control line connected to the drum, you can quickly release the bundled-up sail from its storage position . The inherent flexibility of materials used in modern sails ensures smooth unfurling without any hiccups.

Now let’s talk about some fascinating technical aspects that make roller boom furling so efficient and reliable:

1. Drum Design: The drum in which the sail is stored is carefully crafted using high-strength materials such as aluminum or carbon fiber composite to ensure durability while keeping weight down. This allows for optimal balance and performance on the boat .

2. Spring Mechanism: The internal spring-loaded mechanism within the drum plays a crucial role in achieving smooth and controlled furling. Its tension can be adjusted to accommodate different sail sizes, wind conditions, and sailor preferences, thereby providing customizable functionality.

3. Gearing System: To ensure consistent and reliable performance, roller boom furling incorporates a precisely designed gear system. This system allows for effortless rolling and unrolling of the in-mast sail while minimizing friction and wear on the overall setup.

4. Control Lines: The control lines connected to the drum are intelligently positioned along the boom for easy access and manipulation. By strategically locating these lines, sailors can effortlessly engage or disengage the roller boom furling mechanism without compromising their comfort or safety.

It’s important to note that roller boom furling systems have come a long way in terms of technological advancements over the years. Today, they offer improved reliability, ease of use, and durability compared to earlier iterations.

The benefits of roller boom furling are abundantly clear – it simplifies sail handling, reduces physical strain on sailors, enables quick adjustments based on changing wind conditions, and enhances overall sailing experience by eliminating hassle during maneuvers.

In conclusion, roller boom furling is an ingenious system that has transformed traditional mainsail handling into an efficient and elegant process. By understanding its mechanics and appreciating its various technical aspects such as drum design, spring mechanisms, gearing systems, and control lines – sailors can fully appreciate the convenience this game-changing system brings to their sailing adventures. So go ahead; embrace this innovative technology to elevate your sailing experience to new heights!

Step-by-Step: Understanding the Process of Roller Boom Furling for Efficient Sail Handling

Roller boom furling is an innovative technique widely utilized in sail handling for its efficiency and ease of use. If you’re new to the world of sailing or want to brush up on your knowledge, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process of roller boom furling.

Step 1: Understanding Roller Boom Furling Before we delve into the process itself, it’s essential to grasp the concept behind roller boom furling. Unlike traditional sail handling techniques that require manual effort and coordination, roller boom furling simplifies everything with a single mechanical device. By utilizing a rotating drum built within the boom, this system allows you to effortlessly roll and unfurl your sails regardless of their size.

Step 2: Preparing for Sailing The first step towards efficient sail handling with roller boom furling begins even before you hit the water. Make sure your roller reefing gear is well-maintained and properly installed . Inspect all components for any signs of wear or damage, ensuring that they are in excellent working condition.

Step 3: Unfurling the Sail As you approach your sailing destination, it’s time to prepare for unfurling the sail using roller boom furling. Begin by releasing any halyard tension or backstay pressure on your mainsail. This will aid in facilitating a smooth and controlled deployment of your sails as they roll out from inside the mast.

Step 4: Engaging Roller Boom Furling Once your mainsail is fully released from its stored position inside the mast, engage the roller boom furler by turning its control mechanism or operating button – usually located near the cockpit. This action sets into motion a series of interconnected gears designed to rotate and unwind your mainsail smoothly .

Step 5: Steering & Controlling Unfurled Sail With the sail now unfurled, pay close attention to your boat’s steering to ascertain a balanced and stable sailing stance. Adjust your sail trim by utilizing control lines and sheets, ensuring optimal airflow and maximum efficiency. With the roller boom furling system, controlling the unfurled sail is a breeze, enhancing the overall sailing experience.

Step 6: Furling and Stowing Sail As your sailing adventure draws to an end or if weather conditions change abruptly, it’s time to furl and stow the mainsail using roller boom furling. Gradually release any strain on control lines while simultaneously engaging the furler mechanism in reverse – typically done with a simple push of a button. The rotating drum within the boom will begin winding up the sail efficiently, neatly rolling it back into its stored position until you’re ready to unfurl again.

Step 7: Safety Measures & Maintenance Safety always remains paramount during any sailing endeavor. Regularly inspect all components of your roller boom furling system, including track systems, swivels, bearings, extrusions, and controls. Lubricate moving parts as recommended by manufacturers to ensure smooth operation. Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures specific to your roller boom furling gear in case of unforeseen situations while at sea.

In conclusion, roller boom furling offers an efficient and user-friendly method for handling sails. By following these step-by-step instructions and performing routine maintenance tasks on your gear, you can optimize sail handling performance while enjoying a witty and clever solution guaranteed to make your sailing adventures even more delightful. So get ready to embark on smooth seas with this innovative sail-handling technique !

Roller Boom Furling FAQ: Answering Your Most Pressing Questions about this Advanced Sail Control System

Are you a sailing enthusiast looking to take your sailing game to another level? If so, then roller boom furling is a sail control system that deserves your attention. This advanced technology has revolutionized the way sailors handle their sails, providing improved control and convenience on the water. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of roller boom furling and answer some of the most pressing questions surrounding this innovative system.

Q: What is roller boom furling?

A: Roller boom furling is a cutting-edge sail control system that allows sailors to easily reef or furl their mainsail while out on the water. It replaces the traditional method of manually lowering or folding the mainsail by incorporating a motorized mechanism within the boom itself. This clever innovation enables sailors to adjust their sail area quickly and efficiently, even in challenging weather conditions.

Q: How does roller boom furling work?

A: The roller boom furling system consists of several components working in perfect harmony. It includes an electric motor placed inside the boom that drives a series of gears connected to a flexible foil sail track attached alongside it. By engaging the motor, sailors can effortlessly rotate the boom and wrap or unwrap the mainsail around this foil track as needed. This mechanism eliminates cumbersome manual labor and simplifies sail management on board.

Q: What are the advantages of using roller boom furling?

A: There are numerous notable benefits to adopting this advanced sail control system. Firstly, roller boom furling greatly enhances convenience for skippers and crew members alike. Reefing or stowing your mainsail becomes as easy as pressing a button, saving time and effort while increasing safety at sea.

Secondly, by allowing quick adjustments in response to changing wind conditions, roller boom furling enhances overall performance under various sailing scenarios. Whether you need to reduce sail area during strong gusts or increase it for lighter winds, this technology offers unparalleled flexibility and responsiveness.

Additionally, roller boom furling provides improved sail longevity. By maintaining proper tension and control during the reefing process, it minimizes wear and tear on your mainsail while ensuring a consistently smooth sail shape. This extends the lifespan of your sails and reduces the need for frequent replacements.

Q: Is roller boom furling suitable for all types of boats?

A: While roller boom furling is highly versatile, its suitability depends on the specific design and structure of your boat’s rigging system. Smaller cruising sailboats with single-spreader rigs generally find it easier to implement roller boom furling due to their simpler setups. However, larger yachts with more complex rigging configurations may require additional customizations or adaptations to accommodate this system effectively.

If you are considering installing roller boom furling on your boat, we recommend consulting with a professional sailmaker or yacht rigger who can evaluate your vessel’s specifications and provide expert advice tailored to your unique needs.

In conclusion, roller boom furling is an advanced sail control system that combines convenience, performance, and durability in one brilliant package. By simplifying sail adjustment procedures while maximizing control over your mainsail, this technology allows sailors to elevate their sailing experience like never before. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a beginner looking to upgrade your boat’s capabilities, roller boom furling is undoubtedly an innovation worth exploring. So why not embark on this exciting journey towards effortless sail management today?

Pros and Cons of Roller Boom Furling: Is it the Right Choice for Your Sailboat?

Title: Pros and Cons of Roller Boom Furling: Is it the Right Choice for Your Sailboat?

Introduction: When it comes to enhancing ease and convenience on a sailboat, roller boom furling systems have gained significant popularity. This innovative technology allows sailors to furl and unfurl their sails effortlessly, making it easier to adapt to changing wind conditions. However, like any other system on a boat, roller boom furling also has its drawbacks and may not be suitable for every sailor or sailboat. In this blog post, we will delve into a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of roller boom furling, helping you make an informed decision about whether it is the right choice for your sailboat.

1. Convenience at your fingertips: The primary advantage of roller boom furling is how effortless it makes handling the sails. With a quick pull or push of a line, you can easily roll or unroll the mainsail according to your needs. This convenience eliminates the need for physically going forward to reef or deploy the sail manually.

2. Enhanced safety: Roller boom furlers contribute significantly towards sailing safety by reducing the risks associated with manual handling of heavy sails in adverse weather conditions . The ability to adjust and reduce sail area swiftly ensures better control over your vessel during sudden gusts or squalls.

3. Improved maneuverability: With roller boom furling systems, altering sail sizes becomes hassle-free while underway. If you encounter varied wind speeds or directions that require adjustments promptly, these systems allow you to quickly change from full sail area to partially furled with minimal effort – thereby enhancing your boat’s maneuverability.

4. Reduced wear and tear: Traditional mainsail flaking and folding methods are notorious for causing excessive creases in the fabric which lead to detrimental wear over time. A roller boom rig helps eliminate creasing issues altogether, ensuring longevity of your sail by reducing friction, chafing, and unnecessary stress on the fabric.

1. Costly investment: It’s important to address the upfront financial investment required for installing a roller boom furling system. These systems tend to be relatively expensive compared to conventional mainsail setups. However, if you frequently sail single-handed or with a small crew, the convenience and safety they offer might outweigh the initial cost.

2. Potential mechanical failures: As with any complex technology, there is always a risk of mechanical failure. Roller boom furlers consist of multiple moving parts – bearings, gears, and motors – that are subject to wear and tear over time. Regular maintenance and occasional repairs might be necessary, so it is essential to have spare parts readily available.

3. Added weight aloft: The installation of roller boom furling systems increases the weight aloft on your sailboat due to additional hardware components. This extra weight can potentially affect your boat’s stability and sailing performance in certain conditions. It is crucial to evaluate how this may impact your specific vessel before proceeding with installation.

4. Limited compatibility: Roller boom furling systems may not be compatible with all sail configurations or mast types. Retrofitting an existing rigging setup could be challenging or require significant modifications which can add costs and complexity to your project.

Conclusion: Roller boom furling undoubtedly brings numerous advantages in terms of convenience, safety, maneuverability, and reduced wear and tear on sails. However, it may not be suitable for every sailor or sailboat due to the associated costs, potential mechanical issues, added weight aloft dynamics, and compatibility concerns.

Ultimately, deciding whether roller boom furling is the right choice for your sailboat requires careful consideration of these pros and cons alongside an evaluation of your sailing style preferences and budget constraints. Consulting with marine professionals or experienced sailors can provide valuable insights tailored specifically to your situation.

Top Tips and Tricks for Maintaining your Roller Boom Furling System in Perfect Working Condition

Maintaining your roller boom furling system is vital to ensuring smooth sailing and maximum performance on the water. A well-maintained system not only prolongs its lifespan but also enhances safety and convenience while at sea. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or just getting started, these top tips and tricks will help you keep your roller boom furling system in perfect working condition.

1. Regular inspections: Begin with regular inspections to identify any signs of wear, damage, or malfunctioning components. Carefully examine all the parts of the roller boom furling system, such as the boom, furler, swivel, and control lines. Look for cracks, corrosion, rust, frays in the lines, loose connections or fittings that may affect overall functionality.

2. Lubrication: Proper lubrication plays a crucial role in maintaining a smoothly operating roller boom furling system. Apply a high-quality marine-grade lubricant to all moving parts such as bearings, gears, sheaves, and tracks. Ensure that you follow manufacturer recommendations for lubricant selection and application frequency.

3. Sail Care: Take care of your sails to prevent unnecessary strain on the roller boom furling system. Regularly inspect your sails for tears or frayed edges caused by wind stress or chafe against rigging components. Repair any damages promptly using sail repair tape or consult a professional sailmaker if necessary.

4. UV Protection: UV rays from the sun can cause significant damage to both sails and your roller boom furling system over time. Invest in proper UV protection such as sacrificial covers for both mainsails and jibs when they are furled away on the boom after use. This will help minimize UV degradation and extend their lifespan.

5. Tension adjustments: Maintain optimal tension in your roller reefing line according to prevailing wind conditions and sail size for smooth operation during reefing/unfurling maneuvers. Avoid excessive tension or slack that could lead to jams or increased wear on the furling system components.

6. Halyard Management: Ensure proper halyard management by having a dedicated topping lift to support the boom’s weight while at anchor or when the mainsail is not in use. This helps reduce stress on the roller boom furling system and prevents unwanted slippage of sail controls.

7. Regular Cleaning: Saltwater and environmental debris can accumulate on your roller boom furling system, leading to corrosion and impairing its functionality. Rinse your system with fresh water after each sail to remove salt residue before it has a chance to cause damage. Use a mild soap solution for thorough cleaning when necessary.

8. Service Intervals: Follow manufacturer recommendations for regular servicing and maintenance intervals, which often include professional inspections and parts replacement as needed. A periodic checkup by an expert will help identify hidden issues that can escalate into costly repairs if left unattended.

9. Operator Training: Lastly, ensure all sailors aboard are well-trained in operating and maintaining the roller boom furling system correctly. Provide training sessions, offer guidance, and create written instructions that cover operation procedures, emergency protocols, proper line handling techniques, and troubleshooting common problems.

By adhering to these top tips and tricks for maintaining your roller boom furling system in perfect working condition, you’ll be able to enjoy hassle-free sailing experiences season after season. Remember, investing time and effort in preventative maintenance will save you from unexpected breakdowns while ensuring optimal performance when you need it most!

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How to Choose a Furling System for Sailboats

We tell you how to choose a furling system for sailboats , what types of such systems exist, what are their advantages and disadvantages.

Sailing Problems?

On a cruising yacht, the number of "working hands" is normally limited: there are usually no more than two crew members on watch. But there are yachts on which the entire crew consists of four or even three people, not to mention those desperate brave men (or madmen) who take on long voyages alone! Meanwhile, working with sails takes a lot of time and effort.

How to Choose a Furling System

Any significant change in the speed and direction of the wind or the course of the yacht forces you to change the sails. If you, for example, will not be able to finish cleaning a huge genoa on time, not have enough time to reef or remove the mainsail, then a wind flurry flying in could rupture the sail or even break the mast. Couldn’t lay down and fasten the lowered mainsail on the boom in time - the wind will ruffle it, part of the sail may end up overboard and then it will be difficult to “tame” it.

If you add that at the same time, sometimes for a long time, crew members working with sails have to be outside the cockpit, on the open deck, often during a large heel and roll, that is, in far from always safe conditions, then we can safely say: any improvement aimed at speeding up and simplifying sail operations will be useful, save time and effort, and most importantly - make sailing safer.

What devices for facilitating the setting and cleaning of sails and reducing their area can be offered to yachtsmen sailing on cruising racers and tourist yachts?

One of these devices is the sail furling system.

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Who Solved the Problem and How

The glory of the invention of the first furling system belongs to the Englishman (who would doubt it) Major E du Boulay, who lived at the end of the 19th century. For the reliable operation of the staysail, he sewed a wooden rail into the luff, which later became known as the headstay pier. It rotated, winding the sail over itself, with the help of a line wound around a cylinder. At the beginning of the next century, Wykeham-Martin, a compatriot of Boulay, included roller bearings and a drum with cheeks in this spinning system. By the middle of the century, such a twist was already on display on many cruising yachts. After some improvements in the 60s, the furling system acquired the form familiar to modern sailors.

The very idea of changing the sail area due to the twisting of the sail was received with a bang by marine engineers. In modern yachting, the staysail furling system has spread to other sails: gennaker, mainsail, and even straight sails. Devices appeared that retracted the sail into the mast or into the boom.

Benefits of a Furling System

As far back as the 19th century, sailors of sailing ships appreciated all the advantages that this invention of Boulay provided them.

Modern yachtsmen know from their own experience that properly selected sail furling systems allow:

  • promptly reduce or increase the sail area in accordance with the meteorological specifics in the navigation region;
  • significantly simplify the management of sails, reduce the physical effort expended;
  • reduce the number of crew members involved in the management of a sailing vessel;
  • it is easy to manage a small sailboat on a voyage by yourself;
  • significantly increase the comfort and safety of sailing;
  • reduce the overall load on the spars in dangerous situations.

Types of Roller Furling Systems

The roller furling system makes it easier to control the front sail, its deployment and tension adjustment. The furler for the staysail is an example of the most common type of this system. It allows the helmsman to adjust the sail from the cockpit without the need for a large crew or excessive fuss on deck. At the same time, the skipper, using the furling system, can quickly reef the front sail in bad weather.

How to Choose a Furling System

A roller furler is a system of spindles that can be rotated through a cable to achieve the furling of the sail around the halyard. Modern yachts no more than half a century old do not even require forestay upgrades to install a roller furling system, the most common types of which are:

  • with the head swivel - ideal for universal use, the most popular;
  • with the wire luff - ideal for headsails, cheaper than the head swivel;
  • with the internal halyard - the most resource efficient.

Let us dwell in more detail on these three main types of furling systems for sailboats.

The Head Swivel Furling System

This is the most popular one because it is easy to install and operate and it’s quite reliable. The installation is standard with fastening immediately behind the stay and using a staysail halyard.

The head swivel includes a drum that sits at deck level and a smaller diameter spindle that attaches behind the top of the staysail. Ball bearings provide easy and smooth rotation.

The sail is attached to a wire halyard and then to a larger spindle - a drum at the base of the system. A cable is connected to the drum, which goes from the eye placed on the deck to the cabin.

If sailing conditions require the front sail to be unwound, untie the staysail hoist and pull the staysail sheet to turn the sail. To reef the sail, do the opposite: pull on the staysail, releasing the staysail sheet.

With the help of this system, you can act very quickly, moreover, it is intuitive and simple. Therefore, the system head swivel is often used on racing and cruising sailboats. The only downside of this product is its price, but as they say, you get what you pay for.

[vitrina]2234,2156,2161,2271,2164[/vitrina]

The Wire Luff Furling System

This furling system is most suitable for small sailing craft such as coastal cruisers. The installation of this type of furling does not impose requirements on the type of sail, since the system is universal, it can be used on a yacht with several types of front sails.

For offshore navigation, it is not reliable enough, especially in strong winds - it is impossible to reef the staysail. In addition, the sails sag a little, because the wire luff does not provide the necessary lateral support.

They are also not suitable for racing and offshore cruising, as they cannot withstand the loads. In other conditions, they can be successfully used.

Boaters appreciate this furling system for its ease of installation and operation. Installing this system does not require any changes to the sails and rigging.

Another important advantage: the wire luff models are half the price of the head swivel.

The Internal Halyard Furling System

To install this system, an existing forestay is used – that’s where it’s unique. The spindle drum, through which the forestay passes, belongs to the bottom-up furling system. Due to the location of the drum on the forestay, the deck is more convenient for movement, even though in this system the drum is larger than in other systems. The fact is that, compared to the wire luff and the head swivel, the spindle drum system of the internal halyard model is located further.

Advantages of the internal halyard system are the reliability and at the same time smaller price compared to head swivel ones. They do not overload the space on the boat, you don’t have to pick up special sails for them. They are simpler in design, have fewer parts and rarely break.

All of the above explains their popularity among skippers who equip the yacht for offshore navigation.

But keep in mind that with this product it is difficult to reef the sail in strong winds, as is the case also with the wire luff. The skipper will need to be able to handle standing rigging and manage tension on the halyard.

How to Calculate Furler Size for Spinnaker and Code 0

The choice of the furler for the so-called flying sails depends on several parameters: the length and type of boat (single-hull or multi-hull), area and type of sail, displacement. Depending on these parameters, the maximum working load in kg that the spinning system can withstand is selected. You can use a ready-made table.

  0,9 t 1,5 t 2,5 t 5,0 t 7,0 t 8,0 t 12,0 t
Boat length, m 6-9 9-12 12-13.5 13-15 15-21 20-23 21
Sail area, m² 35 60 80 150 250 300 350
Boat displacement, kg 2800 5000 8500 15000 18000 19000 20000
Safe workload, kg 900 1500 2500 5000 7000 8000 12000

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What are two types of furling.

Initially, all spin systems were ascending, that is, directed from the bottom up. In modern times, this system is perceived as traditional and is often used for the staysail and genoa. In such a system, the drum is spun at the base of the sail. When folding, the sail begins to twist also from the base.

The top down furler is a more recent development for the Code 0 and asymmetric spinnakers.

What size are furling lines?

Usually, you want the cable with anti-torsion and the correct length - the quality of the twisting system depends on this. To get the number, you should accurately measure the length of the luff of your sailboat, as well as the height of the lower reel and the upper swivel with a carabiner. Add 0.6 m to the total sum for clamps and thimbles and you get your size.

What is a top-down furler?

A furling system for more efficient placement of Code 0 sails and asymmetric spinnakers that has recently been developed. With this system, the winding of the sail starts from above and goes to the base, which is not connected to the drum, but is constantly in a free state.

Can you reef a furling mainsail?

The furling mainsail reefs even easier than the furling jib because it has no carriages. It also has reef markers that you can follow to reef the mainsail to the first reef, second reef and so on. To go on reef up, wind the mainsail furler and release the mainsheet until you are satisfied with the result. To go down a reef, you need to follow the reverse process: wind the mainsail and release the mainsheet until the mainsail covers the area you need.

Another thing is that the leech of the furling mainsail is not shaped as a sickle, since it cannot be equipped with non-furlable battens. Therefore, for the convenience of sail control, you have to pay with losses in aerodynamics.

If you have any questions about furling system for sale, contact the marketplace experts. The topRik team are practicing yachtsmen and ardent sailing sport lovers. They will help you choose the ideal furler for your type of sailboat.

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Jimmy Green Marine offer 3 different types of headsail furling system according to sail shape, each quite different but designed to achieve broadly the same outcome.

Headsail furling also known as roller reefing is a system designed to reef or dowse the headsail when the breeze freshens too much and for convenient stowage when not at sea. The reefing (furling) is achieved by rolling the headsail up so that it presents reduced or no sail area to the breeze

Select your furling system based on the type of sail to be furled:

Jib Reefing Systems

You can select and purchase your DIY furling system from Jimmy Green online, choosing from the leading brands: Plastimo, Profurl, Harken and Selden. These systems feature aluminium foil sections which you can fit yourself following the manufacturer instructions.

Straight luff furlers

Top down furlers.

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Selden Furlex 50S

Profurl cruising manual reefing system, colligo marine torsion rope clamp, selden anti torsion line, plastimo 406 jib reefing, plastimo 609 jib reefing, plastimo 811 jib reefing, profurl nex v2 flying sail furler, selden furlex 104s.

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roller furling conversion on small boat compac 16 legacy

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Will a roller furling conversion from hank on jib decrease perfomance on a compac 16 legacy? Ed  

small sailboat roller furling

Maybe a bit, I am not sure if you would really notice it. You probably aren't racing a Compac Legacy? Roller furling can be a nice thing to have on a small boat like that.  

That one time you don’t feel like sailing or don‘t stay out longer or don’t fly the headsail at all, because it’s too much hassle, all reduce performance. I say get the furler. On a different scale, I had a buddy with a 49 ft Taswell, without any electric winches. If conditions were marginal or variable, he would never go through the effort of raising all the sails, just to find out. We sailed 2-3x more than he. Make it as convenient as you can. Enjoy.  

small sailboat roller furling

Minnewaska said: That one time you don't feel like sailing or don't stay out longer or don't fly the headsail at all, because it's too much hassle, all reduce performance. I say get the furler. On a different scale, I had a buddy with a 49 ft Taswell, without any electric winches. Click to expand...

small sailboat roller furling

no it can increase your performance . the foil actually will improve the air flow over the leading edge of the sail the same as a round leading edge does on a low speed aircraft wing. creates a aerodynamic fatter airfoil out of a thin leading edge can also improve performance when the wind is up and you can reef a bit to keep the boat over the rudder and not heel so much.  

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Four small boat pvc-foil furlers.

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The development of reliable headsail furling must rank high on any list of devices that have significantly changed the way boats are sailed in the past two decades. Hanked-on sails, while having certain advantages, are disappearing in favor of roller furling jibs and genoas. Furlers keep the crew off the bow and reduce time spent sail handling. And thanks to improved designs, the sight of a tattered furling genoa flogging itself to death also is disappearing. Jams, once the bane of furlers, are much less frequent.

Four Small Boat PVC-Foil Furlers

Practical Sailor has tracked the evolution of headsail furling for many years. In 1988 we undertook a comprehensive evaluation of available models and followed that in the May 15 and June 15, 1995 issues with a follow-up evaluation backed by a reader survey, which showed marked improvement in performance, reliability and customer satisfaction. At that time, 77% of all survey respondents said they would buy the same furler again, led by Cruising Design Inc. (CDI) and Famet (an older system) at 100%, followed by Profurl, Schaefer, Harken and Furlex.

In the November 15, 1997 issue, we again updated the group, highlighting the new Hood SeaFurl 5 and redesigned Furlex.

The Small Boat Market Average boat size in the 1995 reader survey was 32′. The number was drawn down a bit by the 25′ average size of boats equipped with CDI Flexible Furlers. Indeed, CDI has made a living selling furlers to owners of smaller boats, especially so-called “trailer sailers.” And while the other major manufacturers, such as Profurl, Harken, Hood, Furlex and Schaefer, have long offered their standard furlers in small boat sizes, and even some simplified models such as Hood’s Line Drive, none tried seriously to compete with CDI’s PVC luff extrusion.

The advantages of the plastic luff are several. First, unlike rigid aluminum luff extrusions, which are shipped in lengths of about 6′, and must be connected with splices or link plates and fasteners, pliable plastic extrusions are one piece and require no assembly. More and more boat owners are buying furlers from mail-order houses and doing the installation themselves. Secondly, the PVC can take a fair amount of abuse and is not as easily dented as rigid aluminum extrusions, an important consideration for any owner when stepping and unstepping the mast. It is of particular concern to owners of trailerable sailboats who handle the mast a lot. Thirdly, cost is less, making furling more affordable for owners of small boats.

Plastic won’t corrode, of course, but is subject to ultraviolet attack. Nevertheless, the addition of UV inhibitors should give them adequate life spans.

Three years ago, CDI’s dominance seemed about to change when Harken announced its first Heli-Foil, which used a PVC luff extrusion with an inner polypropylene sleeve over a braided stainless steel core. There were problems with it, however, and they took a long time to solve. Undaunted, Harken persisted and the new Heli-Foil is now available.

Not to be outdone, Hood Yacht Systems introduced its economical Sea Flex and Schaefer developed its SnapFurl.

We obtained furler kit packages of each, roughly sized for boats up to 24′ with maximum headstay lengths of about 30′ and maximum turnbuckle pin size of about 3/8″. Exact specifications are given in the table on p. 14.

Considerations All four foils come tightly coiled with warnings not to start cutting the bindings willy-nilly. There is a lot of energy packed in these foils that could cause an injury if handled carelessly. Most tell you to make sure the air temperature is at least 70°F and to uncoil outdoors; if it’s colder than 70°F, warm the foil indoors. CDI urges installers to uncoil within 24 hours of receipt so that the foil doesn’t take too much of a set. Observe directions regarding which end of the coil to start cutting free first as there will be a feeder near one end.

While all are flexible, they should be stored flat in the off season (assuming you’ve unstepped the mast). Allowing them to droop deeply also can cause them to take a set. They can be removed and coiled again, but Harken cautions that repeated tight coiling can reduce the life of the foil.

Because PVC is temperature sensitive, the manufacturers warn against exposing the luff extrusion to high heat—around 130°F-140°F. Such temperatures might be found under a boat cover in hot climates.

Presumably to reduce costs, only one of the four offers a line guide attached to the drum; that’s Schaefer and it’s a $23 option. This makes proper placement of the first lead block critical so that the line doesn’t chafe on the cage as it exits the drum.

Four Small Boat PVC-Foil Furlers

The luff tape sewn to the jib or genoa will be #5 for Harken, Hood and Schaefer, #6 for the CDI Flexible Furler 2.

Ease of furling is affected most by the bearing surfaces, but also by the ratio of the foil diameter to the drum diameter; after all, the difference in the two is what gives you a mechanical advantage. The higher the ratio, the more advantage. We measured all four and developed these approximate ratios: Harken 2.5, Schaefer 2.14, Hood 1.65, and CDI 1.45.

Installation for any system will be easiest with the mast down but because you won’t have to completely remove the headstay for shortening the wire it is possible to do with the mast stepped. Nevertheless, you will have to unfasten the forestay from the stem to slide on the luff extrusion and torque tube/furling drum. Take a halyard forward to a strong attachment on deck, such as a toerail, to hold the mast while you work.

All four systems are fairly simple, with few pieces. The average do-it-yourselfer should be able to install his or her own with basic tools. The one critical job is cutting the luff extrusion to the right length. All manuals give explicit instructions—measure twice, or three times, and cut once.

Halyard restrainers may be necessary with any furler (except CDI with its internal halyard) if the angle of the halyard to the upper swivel is less than about 5°. A restrainer is a simple fitting that is screwed to the mast and through which the halyard is led to increase the angle. This is to prevent “halyard wrap,” in which the length of exposed halyard between the mast and the swivel wraps around the headstay as the sail is furled. You don’t want this!

Compared to larger boat furlers, these—especially the CDI and Sea Flex—are simpler and lack such features as integral adjusters.

CDI Flexible Furler 2 Joe Dahman bought CDI in 1984. At that time, Dahman said CDI was building furlers “on the floor” with metal luff extrusions and plastic links, which had a tendency to break. His first idea was to switch the materials. In the course of investigating and testing plastics, he came upon the idea of making the luff a continuous length, thereby omitting the link plates that trouble nearly every furler. If made of the right material, this single-piece luff extrusion would be much less resistant to damage when raising and lowering the spar, and enable CDI to ship the extrusion coiled in a box. He sold his first Flexible Furler in 1987 and since has delivered more than 10,000. He holds a patent on the flexible luff for which Schaefer is licensed by CDI; Harken and Hood are not.

Price is $515 list, and discounts through Defender Industries (800/628-8225) to about $300.

Unlike most furlers, the CDI uses an internal halyard, which eliminates the halyard swivel at the masthead. This places the furler in compression, not tension, and so the bearing is under less load. The halyard runs up inside one of two opposing grooves in the luff extrusion, through the Halyard Top Fitting, then back down to the head of the sail. The luff is not tensioned by this halyard, however, but by a short length of 1/8″ line seized in two to three parts between the tack of the sail and the downhaul shackle on the spool flange.

The standard furler comes with a UHMW polyethylene bushing as the bearing surface, though an optional bearing race is offered for $70 list. But instead of lots of small bearings, the FF2 model has seven 1/2″ Torlon bearings in a small race. Dahman says that a few large bearings work better and are more reliable than lots of small bearings, which have a greater tendency to get hung up on dirt or other debris in the race. The bearing kit is available as a retrofit; you can do the job in about five minutes.

Four Small Boat PVC-Foil Furlers

Dahman has refined the system over the years, adding a few parts here and there. In 1990 a thrust bearing was added and in 1994 he replaced the aluminum cup or cage with stainless steel. For 2000, he enlarged the center hole to accept 5/16″ turnbuckles, crimped a ferrule to the halyard to secure the core to the cover where the line has been decored, and uses a larger 1/4″ braided halyard. Because the 42″ x 40″ coil size of the FF2 requires some straightening of the luff, CDI now offers a 6′ large hoop that is slightly less expensive but costs $60 to ship air freight. It does not require straightening.

There is no stainless feeder, like the Schaefer and Harken, just a slot in the foil, same as the Hood Sea Flex.

The manual with photos and drawings is adequate, if a slight bit confusing to follow at a few points.

The 3/16″ furling line is small to handle; we’d upgrade to1/4″.

In answer to criticisms that plastic luffs twist more than an aluminum luff, Dahman counters that aluminum twists more than people realize, principally at the section links, and that some twist is beneficial in spilling air in gusts.

CDI makes eight sizes of the Flexible Furler, from the FF1 to FF8, which is for maximum headstay lengths of 47′, 5/16″ wire and 1/2″ pin size.

CDI offers a lifetime warranty to the original buyer.

Bottom Line: The least expensive of the four, the Flexible Furler is simple and has a good track record with PS readers. It would be our choice among non-ball bearing models.

Schaefer SnapFurl Schaefer Marine has been making headsail furlers longer than just about any other company, dating to the 1970s when it made simple upper and lower bearing swivels for use with wire luff headsails.

Schaefer entered the modern era with its 1000, 2000, 3000 line in the early 1990s. It has since refined those models and more recently added its SnapFurl small-boat furler. It discounts to about $365.

SnapFurl’s single-groove foil is made of round, extruded PVC in two parts that snap together and interlock, which probably helps it resist twisting. The opposing forces of this joint also help the PVC straighten itself; Schaefer’s Fred Cook nevertheless recommends laying the PVC out in the warm sun for a while before assembly. The foil coils in a 34-1/2″ box.

The torque tube and drum are also injection molded plastic, a “long-grain nylon composite with UV inhibitors.” Bearings are Torlon, with two races in both the head swivel and drum. The two-part cage is stainless steel as is the sail feeder. The fasteners are captive so they won’t fall out if you have to disassemble the feeder.

The six-page manual with drawings is adequate.

Cook said that his company’s intent was to design a furler that was price competitive with CDI but retained some of the features of its other furlers, such as Torlon ball bearings and the ability to fit over the existing turnbuckle. It was also advantageous to use the same foil material as their Tuff Luff racing foil. They also wanted to price the SnapFurl lower than the Harken 00 Heli-Foil. About half of all SnapFurls are sold in Europe—France, England and Germany—Cook said.

Bottom Line: Innovative snap-together foil; stainless cage, feeder and aluminum upper swivel, and ball bearings make this a premium system at a low price.

Harken 00 Heli-Foil The Heli-Foil uses a PVC foil but with a polypropylene interior for what it says is an improved bearing surface. The PVC is cored with braided stainless steel for greater torsional rigidity. Of the four examined, Harken’s looks like it will resist twisting the best. Also, Harken’s foil is the only one of the four that has double grooves; this enables you to hoist a new sail before completely dousing and removing the existing sail.

With racers in mind, the two-part drum also may be removed as well as the halyard swivel, though the latter is probably more trouble than most owners will want to endure (you must rig a temporary headstay and disconnect the turnbuckle).

Discount price is about $700.

The drum is made of plastic while the cage, torque tube and halyard swivel are black anodized aluminum. Double races of Torlon bearings are used in each bearing. A torque tube key locks the foil inside the torque tube. A special clevis pin is required for your turnbuckle, available from Harken when you order your furler. It is longer than your existing clevis pin and locks the lower bearing fork to the turnbuckle and stem fitting.

Like Schaefer, Harken manufactures a complete line of accessory hardware.

Harken’s manual is excellent, with clear step-by-step instructions and accompanying photographs—the best of the group.

Bottom Line: The most expensive of the four, the Harken 00 Heli-Foil is also the most sophisticated with its stainless braid-reinforced PVC foil and aluminum parts; it’s also more versatile, should removing the drum for racing be of interest. Ideal for a J/80 or F/24.

Hood Sea Flex Sea Flex’s one-piece PVC foil is flat, like the CDI Flexible Furler, but has only one slot as it does not employ an internal halyard. It is reinforced with a 1 x 19 stainless wire running its length. This is supposed to help keep the foil from twisting but probably won’t be as effective as Harken’s larger diameter reinforcement.

The torque tube and upper swivel bearing are injection molded parts. The upper bearing has two races of Torlon ball bearings. The lower bearing is simply the stainless steel fork (which attaches to the turnbuckle with a clevis pin) turning inside a Teflon-impregnated Delrin insert in molded grooves in the lower end of the torque tube. Obviously this isn’t going to be as friction-free as one with ball bearings. However, it turned fairly easy…until we assembled the cage.

Like Harken, Hood’s lower bearing fork fits over the turnbuckle so that the clevis pin locks both to the stem fitting. On CDI and Schaefer, the pin simply passes through the slot in the turnbuckle body, which could cause it to unthread if sturdy cotter pins are not used to prevent the studs from turning in the body.

The fork has a second set of holes in case one wants to raise the unit with link plates.

The torque tube is cast in two pieces with threaded brass inserts for the six fasteners. The top and bottom of the drum are also black plastic and snap into grooves in the torque tube. They are easily removable for racing. The cage looks just like those on the SeaFurl 5; it is stainless steel. Assembly is quick, intuitive and actually quite clever.

The cage is held stationary by two pins snapped into the fork and also fits into grooves in the top and bottom cage parts. Thus, the plastic top and bottom cage parts revolve around the stainless, creating what we felt was excessive friction—certainly the most of the four furlers examined. When we queried Hood Yacht Systems’ Mike Haber, he admitted it turns roughly at first, but said that as the system wears in during actual use, there will be no problems furling.

Like the CDI, there is no metal feeder, just a slot cut in the foil.

The 8-page manual has drawings and is adequate.

Bottom Line: Hood Yacht System’s aim was to price the Sea Furl close to the CDI FF2, and it has done that—$311 at discount. While cleverly conceived, friction is a concern.

Conclusion Between the two least expensive—Hood and CDI—the latter has a bushing bearing at the bottom, with optional ball bearings. Hood does not. In addition, CDI’s internal halyard reduces friction. While we like Hood’s clever design, the CDI is a bit less money and has a long track record of customer satisfaction. At least until more experience is gained with the Sea Flex, we’d go with CDI. Owners of the Sea Flex are invited to give us their comments.

Schaefer prices out not much above CDI and Hood. It has just about everything Harken does—ball bearings top and bottom, many stainless parts, and what appears to be a good two-part luff extrusion—at a much lower price. It rates a Best Buy, hands down.

The Harken Heli-Foil is top quality and its split drum and excellent double-groove foil makes it the clear choice for performance sailors.

Contacts- CDI, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 106F, Beverly, MA 01915-3056; 978/922-5936; www.sailcdi.com. Harken Yacht Equipment, 1251 E. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee, WI 53072; 262/691-3320; www.harken.com. Hood Yacht Systems, 7712 Cheri Ct., Tampa, FL 33634; 813/885-2182; www.pompanette.com. Schaefer Marine, 158 Duchaine Blvd., New Bedford, MA 02745-1293; 508/995-9511; www.schaefermarine.com

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Shop / Headsail Handling / Small Boat Furling

Continuous Line-Drive Furler

Harken Continuous Line-Drive Furler (Part number: 1134)

Part No. 1134

Maximum working load (kg) 431 kg

Maximum working load (lb) 950 lb

Drum Ø (mm) 73 mm

Drum Ø (in) 2 7/8 in

Maximum luff wire Ø (mm) 3 mm

Maximum luff wire Ø (in) 1/8 in

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small sailboat roller furling

The continuous line-drive furler is the perfect solution for high-performance skiffs and dinghies that use oversized jibs/gennakers and for staysails on larger boats. Unlike conventional furling drums, the low-profile line-driver never runs out of line, and can completely furl any sized sail. Offset holes in the drive sheave grip line securely, with the stripper arm and feeder working together to prevent line from jamming. The line guard adjusts in 90-degree increments to accommodate attachments to the boat.

Weight (g)154 g
Weight (oz)5.4 oz
Maximum line Ø (mm)5 mm
Maximum line Ø (in)3/16 in
Maximum working load (kg)431 kg
Maximum working load (lb)950 lb
Use with164
Clevis pin Ø (mm)6.4 mm
Clevis pin Ø (in)1/4 in
Drum Ø (mm)73 mm
Drum Ø (in)2 7/8 in
Pin-to-pin length (mm)68 mm
Pin-to-pin length (in)2 11/16 in
Maximum luff wire Ø (mm)3 mm
Maximum luff wire Ø (in)1/8 in
Jaw width (mm)8 mm
Jaw width (in)5/16 in

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Schaefer Marine

Batten and Receptacle

Schaefer batten end receptacle and sail luff tape are supported by Schaefer’s sailtrack, absorbing batten compression loads and reducing sail chafe.

Sail Articulation

Sail Track shown articulating on the system axis.

Track Head Fitting

Upper sheave assembly with two aluminum ball bearing sheaves further reduce friction.

Entire system articulates on the same axis, for easy hoisting, reefing and stowing at any apparent wind angle.

Open-view boom ends allow visual inspection of all internal parts for confidence while reefing and furling.

Furling Drum

Placing the furler drum at the aft end of the boom eliminates the need to drill large holes through the mast to mount the drum forward of the mast where it can foul lines.

  • Oversized Torlon bearings are set in angular contact races to absorb high compression loads and minimize friction
  • Torlon ball bearings reduce friction to make hoisting, reefing or furling effortless.
  • Aft drum perfectly aligns track with gooseneck, for easy furling and reefing on all points of sail.
  • Heavy duty fixed rigid vang for correct alignment and support.
  • Use our wide array of turning blocks, foot blocks, and mast-mounted bearing blocks for proper leads to the cockpit.
  • Furls any mainsail, even modern, high-performance, full batten mains.

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Harken Small Boat Furlers

Small Boat Furlers Harken® Small Boat furling systems allow the trailerable cruising or dinghy sailor to set and furl the jib from the cockpit. Drums and halyard swivels feature multiple stacked races of Delrin® or Torlon® bearings for smooth rotation under load. Small Boat units are for furling only, not reefing.

Hoistable Swivels An optional hoistable ball bearing halyard swivel can be installed on your headstay so you can raise or lower the sail without removing the headstay. Swivels are independent of the headstay, allowing you to tension the luff separately from the mast rake.  Hoistable swivels work along with your standard Harken Small Boat furler.  The high-load Small Boat furler with hoistable halyard is available as a kit.

Use for: 434 Dinghies under 16 ft (4.9 m) 435 Dinghies to 20 ft (6.1 m) Catamarans to 18 ft (5.5 m) 436 Cruising boats to 25 ft (7.6 m) Catamarans to 23 ft (7 m)

Harken Hi-Load Smallboat Furling System

P2 Marine 306 S Lake Dr Stevensville, MD 21666 USA

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Roller Furling Jib – Greiner Sailmakers

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Roller Furling Jib – Greiner Sailmakers

Elevate Your Sailing Experience with New Roller Furling Jibs

Welcome to Greiner Sailmakers, where innovation meets tradition to enhance your sailboat's performance and your overall sailing enjoyment. Our latest offering, the New Roller Furling Jibs, is designed to make sailing more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable.

Sail with Ease

Our New Roller Furling Jibs are engineered for hassle-free sailing. Whether you're a seasoned sailor or a novice, these jibs are designed for effortless deployment and adjustments. The roller furling system ensures smooth and straightforward sail handling, allowing you to focus on the joy of sailing.

Exceptional Performance

Greiner Sailmakers has a rich history of crafting sails that excel in performance, and our Roller Furling Jibs are no exception. These jibs are meticulously designed to optimize sail shape and aerodynamics, delivering enhanced speed, control, and stability. Sail confidently in a range of wind conditions, knowing your jib is fine-tuned for peak performance.

Built to Last

Quality is at the heart of Greiner Sailmakers' craftsmanship. Each New Roller Furling Jib is constructed by our skilled artisans using premium materials and time-tested techniques. This dedication to durability ensures that your jib will provide reliable performance for years to come, making it a valuable investment for your sailing adventures.

Customized for Your Boat

We understand that every sailboat is unique, and our Roller Furling Jibs can be customized to meet your vessel's specific requirements. Collaborate with our experts to create a jib tailored to your boat's dimensions, preferences, and sailing style. Whether you prefer a traditional Dacron jib or a high-tech laminate, we cater to your needs.

Set sail with confidence, convenience, and performance – choose Greiner Sailmakers' New Roller Furling Jibs for your sailboat. Elevate your sailing experience and make every voyage a memorable one. Discover the difference with Greiner Sailmakers today.

Why Choose Greiner Sailmakers

  • Personal service with every sail purchased.
  • Each new roller furling jib is designed and hand-crafted in the USA.
  • New roller furling jibs are always constructed using the highest grade materials available.
  • All new sails are constructed with a balance of technology and handmade craftsmanship.
  • Greiner Sailmakers is an established sailmaker with a reputation for producing high-quality roller furling jibs.

Get A New Roller Furling Jib Quote

Contact Greiner Sailmakers here to get a new roller furling quote.

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Racing Jib – Greiner Sailmakers

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IMAGES

  1. Harken Roller Furlers

    small sailboat roller furling

  2. Harken Roller Furlers

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  3. Buying guide to roller furling systems for your sailboat

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  4. How to Use and Wind Roller Furling Jibs

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  5. Harken Roller Furlers

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  6. Harken Hi-Load Smallboat Furling System

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VIDEO

  1. Horizontal Roll Cast

  2. Roller Furling 1

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  4. Sail Making (Pentex Tri Radial Genoa)

  5. XS 35 Catamaran

  6. 1980 Drascombe Lugger ONKAHYE 12 Jan 18 Jib Roller Furling

COMMENTS

  1. Upgrade your Sailboat to Roller Furling

    Dinghy, beach cat or small sportboat: Small Boat Furlers mount on the headstay on a sportboat or the jib's luff wire on a dinghy or beach catamaran. Most sportboats, such as my Ultimate 20, use a separate halyard and a jib that zips over the headstay. Trailer sailer: In general, we recommend furlers with a flexible extrusion, like Schaefer's SnapFurl 500 or SnapFurl 700 system, for a ...

  2. Headsail Roller Furlers

    The T26 is a small-boat furler meant for boats in the 16′ to 23′ range. The other models are the Basic, Classic, and Elite. The Basic model comes in two different sizes, the B29 and the B35 for boats of 23′ to 42′. The number refers to the diameter of the round foil extrusion. ... "Value Guide: Headsail Roller Furling Gear." ...

  3. Sailing made easy: Everything you need to know about roller furling

    A roller furling system allows you to roll or wrap your foresail around the headstay. This not only makes sailing easier, but also improves safety by allowing reefing without the crew having to go on deck in bad weather. To understand how to use a roller furling system, it's first important to know how it works, what specific steps to take when ...

  4. Harken Roller Furlers

    T here's no easier way to douse a jib than with roller furling, and Harken, with a line of small-boat furlers, has brought the ease and convenience normally employed by larger boats within reach of small-boat sailors. Unlike furlers on larger boats, which use a rigid foil that spins to furl the sail, Harken's small-boat series uses stainless wire for the forestay, simplifying the setup and ...

  5. New Twist on Furlers: New Generation of Roller-Furling Systems For

    In fact, it made gennaker handling on our Cape Dory 19 a snap. And by furling the sail before dousing it during a deep reach, it made single-handing in 20 knots of wind a smooth sailing experience. Bottom Line: A good small-boat furler that is priced right. Schaefer. This unit has a "Back to the Future" flair.

  6. How to Choose a Furling System

    The most common kind of roller furling system attaches to a jib sail and allows the operator to deploy and stow the entire sail from the cockpit. ... Best Furling for Small Sailboats. The best furling system for small boats (under 20 feet in length) is the wire luff. This is because it's easy to install, and it works well with basic sail plans.

  7. Small Boat Furling

    32 mm Big Boat. Windward Sheeting. CRX Roller. 42 mm Mini-Maxi. 64 mm Maxi. T-Track Genoa Lead. Access Rail System. Show All. 13 mm AA Battcar System. 22 mm A Battcar System. ... Harken Small Boat furling systems allow the trailerable cruising or dinghy sailor to set and furl the jib from the cockpit. All Harken Small Boat furling components ...

  8. Learn the Step-by-Step Process of Putting Sail on Roller Furling

    Step 1: Positioning the Sail and Halyard. To ensure proper functionality and overall sailing experience, follow these steps to properly position the sail and halyard on a roller furling system: Step 1: Securely attach the halyard to the head of the sail. Step 2: Make sure the sail is flaked and ready to be hoisted.

  9. Alado Roller Furler: Home

    For Use with maximum forestay length of 50 feet. For use with 1/4" to 5/16" diameter stay. Installs from Deck. | AD003. $2,425.00. View more info. Model A4 Alado 55 Foot Roller Furling System. Comes with Dual Luff Feeds. For Use with maximum forestay length of 55 feet. For use with 1/4" to 3/8" diameter stay.

  10. Installing a New Roller Furling System

    Upgrade your sailboat's rigging and sail setup with a new roller furling system, making it easier and safer to manage your sails while sailing short-handed or with family.

  11. Understanding Roller Furling Systems

    This is the oldest of the furling designs. The most common of these types are the old Schaeffer system and small boat furlers used on racing dinghies. The advantages of this system are low cost, ability to use other "hanked-on" headsails. The disadvantages however, are fairly substantial; the inability to reef, the inability to furl when ...

  12. Sailboat Furling Systems & Hardware

    Small Boat Jib Furling Kits. Available in 3 options. $345.95 - $704.95. In Stock. Harken Unit 1 Ocean Furling Drum Kit. SKU: 1028778 | Item ID: HAR 7511.10 WOF. $1,798.95. In Stock. Harken ... Fisheries Supply is your top supplier of sailboat roller furling kits and hardware from top brands. We have all the parts you need for your jib furler.

  13. Roller Boom Furling: The Ultimate Guide for Sailors

    Short answer: Roller boom furling Roller boom furling is a system used on sailboats to easily roll and reef the mainsail. It involves a rotating boom equipped with a built-in roller mechanism, enabling quick and convenient sail adjustment. This method enhances safety, efficiency, and ease of use for sailors. Roller Boom Furling: A Comprehensive Guide

  14. How to Choose a Furling System for Sailboats

    The roller furling system makes it easier to control the front sail, its deployment and tension adjustment. The furler for the staysail is an example of the most common type of this system. It allows the helmsman to adjust the sail from the cockpit without the need for a large crew or excessive fuss on deck.

  15. Furling Systems

    Headsail furling also known as roller reefing is a system designed to reef or dowse the headsail when the breeze freshens too much and for convenient stowage when not at sea. The reefing (furling) is achieved by rolling the headsail up so that it presents reduced or no sail area to the breeze. Select your furling system based on the type of ...

  16. roller furling conversion on small boat compac 16 legacy

    Minnewaska. 25920 posts · Joined 2010. #3 · Jul 25, 2020. That one time you don't feel like sailing or don't stay out longer or don't fly the headsail at all, because it's too much hassle, all reduce performance. I say get the furler. On a different scale, I had a buddy with a 49 ft Taswell, without any electric winches.

  17. Four Small Boat PVC-Foil Furlers

    The development of reliable headsail furling must rank high on any list of devices that have significantly changed the way boats are sailed in the past two decades. Hanked-on sails, while having certain advantages, are disappearing in favor of roller furling jibs and genoas. Furlers keep the crew off the bow and reduce time spent sail handling.

  18. Continuous Line-Drive Furler

    The continuous line-drive furler is the perfect solution for high-performance skiffs and dinghies that use oversized jibs/gennakers and for staysails on larger boats. Unlike conventional furling drums, the low-profile line-driver never runs out of line, and can completely furl any sized sail. Offset holes in the drive sheave grip line securely, with the stripper arm and feeder working together ...

  19. Boom Furlers

    OVERVIEW. Schaefer Marine's Boom Furling System is the result of years of research, design and sailing. Proven over thousands of miles of use, our unique Patented Articulating Sail Track enables you to reef or furl on any point of sail all from the safety of the cockpit. It is the most advanced solution for mainsail reefing and furling.

  20. Harken Small Boat Furlers

    Small Boat Furlers. Harken® Small Boat furling systems allow the trailerable cruising or dinghy sailor to set and furl the jib from the cockpit. Drums and halyard swivels feature multiple stacked races of Delrin® or Torlon® bearings for smooth rotation under load. Small Boat units are for furling only, not reefing. Hoistable Swivels.

  21. Sailboat Furler Systems

    Dynamic Dollies. Dynamic/Seitech Dollies Compatible Parts. Type 1: Boats up to 250 lbs Dollies. Type 2: Laser, Byte & Invitation Dollies. Type 3: Curled Gunwale Boats Dollies. Type 4.1: Small/Med Bowsprit Boats Dollies. Type 4.2: Heavier Sprit Boats Dollies.

  22. Roller Furling Jib

    Elevate Your Sailing Experience with New Roller Furling Jibs Welcome to Greiner Sailmakers, where innovation meets tradition to enhance your sailboat's performance and your overall sailing enjoyment. Our latest offering, the New Roller Furling Jibs, is designed to make sailing more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable. Sail with Ease Our New Roller Furling Jibs are engineered […]

  23. Small Boat Furlers

    sailing. reefing & furling. small boat furlers. CONTACT WEST MARINE. Live Chat. 1-800-262-8464. Store Locator. Shop the best selection of Small Boat Furlers from West Marine. Visit for products, prices, deals and more!