Jib Furling 101

Moderator: GreenLake

Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:04 pm

Hmmm ... good question. Never heard of a main downhaul, at least not on a boat the size of the DS. I guess it's because you can just let out the mainsheet/boom in a gust, and if it gets to survival mode, it's easy enough to either reef or drop/gather in the main altogether, from the cockpit. With the jib, on the other hand, if you just let the sheet out, it will flog violently (bad for the sail, not to mention the skipper's image! :lol: ), and it won't necessarily drop by itself when you uncleat the halyard, thus requiring a (possibly scary/dangerous) trip to the bow to pull it down, if you don't have a downhaul that can be worked from the cockpit ...
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Postby GreenLake » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:35 pm

It depends on your local conditions. I've never seen the need for a quick furl or quick downhaul, but occasionally it would have been nice to have some system to secure the sail in a furled (or downed) position without having to go to the front of the boat.

So I'd want to make sure its something you need, before deciding what system to rig.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:59 pm

GL: come on down and try some sailing in FL in the Summer! I will personally introduce you to conditions where you will want to drop everything FAST, let alone get off the lake RIGHT NOW in order to prevent yourself from becoming a human lightning rod! :P
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Postby GreenLake » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:12 am

Tim,

As much fun as that sounds...

Actually, I didn't want to contradict your experience, just point out that in many years of sailing in different conditions, I've formed other opinions on whether, why and how desparately I'd need certain modifications to my boat.

I think I mentioned that before, I've had the jib down - while sailing - perhaps three times total. However, if you add the times of motoring through a short section of canal and docking, then, yes, I could have used a furler or a downhaul more often.

Whenever the questions about optional equipment come from people who tell us that they haven't spent a long time sailing their boat, then I like to encourage going about it slowly.

I own another boat, with a furler, ad will make good use of it there.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby ChrisB » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:06 am

I would think a "pull down" line on the mainsail would be counterproductive. Since the DS uses a bolt rope inside the mast, using a pull down line fixed to the head of the sail would be akin to trying to "push" the boltrope down the mast and it would surely bind. Its much faster to pull in the boltrope from the bottom.

FYI on the jib downhaul. I didn't so much install this as a way of quickly downing the jib as much as enabling me to get the jib down without leaving the cockpit. I sail solo almost all the time and my chances of going for an unplanned swim are reduced if I stay in the cockpit.
Chris B.
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Postby TIM WEBB » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:06 am

No offense taken GL - just sayin' ...

Besides, the jib DH is a relatively easy thing to install, and can be easily removed, without irreversible changes to the boat. And, every time I rig the boat, I ask myself "Why do I bother to rig this jib DH?" Then every once in a while I'm on the lake saying "I'm sure glad I rigged that jib DH!" Same goes for the reef line on the main ...

Not to mention that even in "non-survival conditions" the jib DH does make a tidy pile of jib on the foredeck when it's down. It's even more tidy if you pass the DH line back through the clew and forward again on it's way down the luff ...

ChrisB: actually, when using slugs instead of the boltrope, the main really does just slide/drop down the mast quite easily/quickly. But, in any case, as you say, staying in the cockpit = less chance of "unplanned bathing" ... 8)
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Postby jdubes » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:23 am

I'm a big fan of the slug approach over the main sail down haul. I've found that with slugs releasing the main halyard almost allows the main to come down to fast. :D
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Postby jeadstx » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:35 pm

I too have slugs on my main sail. A downhaul for the main is not needed. Most times the main comes down fast. The few times I've had a problem, it was usually the main halyard caught on something, a downhaul wouldn't have made a difference.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Postby Alan » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:57 pm

I'm just about convinced to switch from a boltrope to slugs. I crewed on a Pearson 323 a few weeks ago, and helped to strike the main when we got back to the marina. It was a heck of a lot easier to lower and flake the Peason's mainsail, which had slugs, than my Daysailer's, which has a boltrope.

So, can my boltrope sail be converted? is this something I want to try myself, or would I be better off having a sailmaker do it?
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Postby jeadstx » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:05 pm

I had a sailmaker put the slugs on my mainsail. The bolt rope is still there, but the slugs are attached to be used in place of the bolt rope. I think it cost me about $85 to have the sailmaker put on the slugs. The price included the slugs. I had the work done about 2 years ago. It works a lot easier than the bolt rope. You put the slugs in the slot. When the last one is in, you lock down the stop. The sail is ready to hoist when you need it.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Postby Alan » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:36 pm

Thanks, John.

I need to have my battens fixed anyway, so another $85 or so would be well worth it for the peace of mind that the slugs were installed correctly.
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Postby TIM WEBB » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:51 pm

I put the slugs on myself, but at work I have access to the commercial sewing machines and materials needed. Yes, the boltrope remains: the slug attachments are simply "wrapped around it" ...

The slugs themselves were very inexpensive. My "main" problems are with *raising* it, not dropping it (as long as I clear the halyard running end 1st), as I'm usually hove to when I raise it, and if the boom is out too far, the topmost batten will get stuck under the area where the shroud meets the spreader. 'Course, that's an issue I had anyway before I put on the slugs and was using the boltrope. At least this way, I can use one hand to pull on the halyard and the other to guide the leech around the shroud/spreader area, and I don't need a 3rd hand to feed the boltrope into the slot ...

For anyone who's considering installing their own slugs, or just advice to the sailmaker if they're not familiar with the DS: the lowermost slug should go just above where the sailstop is, right above the feed slot in the mast. Also, consider where the slugs above that are when reefed.

AND, if you go the slug route, ALWAYS have a spare slug stop onboard, as those things are like Mexican Jumping Beans: when reefing, they'll get knocked out of your fingers, bounce off the cuddy roof, and fly overboard at the drop of a hat! Don't ask me how I know ... :oops:
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