When it comes to bluewater sailing, having a reliable sail furler is essential. Furling systems allow sailors to quickly and easily reef or unfurl sails as needed, even in adverse weather conditions. In this article, let us explore the different types of sail furling systems commonly found on bluewater sailboats and the factors to consider when choosing the right furler for your vessel.
But before we do that, watch our short video showcasing our sail furler and the troubles we’re having with it. And to give you an idea of costings, our Reckmann furler is 13,000 euros to replace and around 6,000 euros to get serviced. The unit is sealed and must be shipped to Germany for servicing at the manufacturer, making the repair costs expensive. To add insult to injury, the time to get a repair or even a new unit is months.
Sail Furler Video
Types of Sail Furling Systems
There are two main types of sail furlers: manual and electric. Manual systems are the traditional method of furling sails, and they require the sailor to physically crank a handle to roll the sail around the forestay. Manual systems are often reliable and straightforward to maintain, but they can be challenging to operate in heavy weather conditions.
Electric furling systems, on the other hand, use a motor to roll and unroll the sail. Electric systems are generally more expensive than manual systems, but they offer the convenience of being able to furl or unfurl sails with the push of a button. However, electric systems require regular maintenance and can be vulnerable to electrical failures.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sail Furling System
When choosing a sail furling system for your bluewater sailboat, several factors should be taken into account, including:
Size and Type of Sail
The size and type of sail will determine the appropriate size of the sail furler. Larger sails require more robust and more massive furling systems to handle the loads they generate, while smaller sails can use smaller, more lightweight systems. Additionally, different types of sails, such as genoas or staysails, may require specialized furling systems to accommodate their specific design and rigging.
Boat Size and Rigging
The size and rigging of your boat will also play a role in selecting the appropriate furling system. Larger boats with taller masts and longer forestays will require more substantial and more durable furling systems than smaller boats. Additionally, the type of rigging on your boat, such as a fractional or masthead rig, may affect the type of furling system you can use.
Climate and Weather Conditions
The climate and weather conditions in which you plan to sail will also impact your choice of sail furler. If you plan to sail in an area with high winds and rough seas, you may need a more robust and reliable furling system than if you sail in calmer waters. Additionally, some furling systems are better suited to certain climates, such as electrical systems that may be less reliable in very hot or humid conditions.
Cost and Maintenance
Finally, the cost and maintenance requirements of the furling system are essential considerations. Electric furling systems can be more expensive than manual systems, and they require regular maintenance to ensure their reliability. However, a well-maintained electric system can offer significant convenience and ease of use.
A reliable sail furler is an essential component of any bluewater sailboat.
Choosing the right system requires careful consideration of factors such as sail size and type, boat size and rigging, climate and weather conditions, and cost and maintenance requirements. Ultimately, the right system for your boat will depend on your sailing needs, preferences, and budget.
Other Articles or Videos of Interest?
- Rigging, Sails and Reefing Our Sailboat
- Sailing with a Gennaker
- Sailboat Hydraulic Systems & How Can Hydraulics Help You?
- Sailboat Mast Inspection
Become a Guest on Britican
The Britican Experience is a sailing and lifestyle program that provides participants with the opportunity to learn about sailing, explore new destinations, and gain valuable skills and experiences. Here are some of the benefits of going on the Britican Experience:
- Learn to sail: If you’re new to sailing or want to improve your skills, the Britican Experience provides hands-on training from experienced sailors. You’ll learn how to handle a boat, read charts, navigate, and much more.
- Explore new destinations: The Britican Experience takes you to some of the most beautiful and interesting destinations in the world. You’ll get to experience new cultures, try local food, and see some of the world’s most stunning natural beauty.
- Build confidence: Sailing can be a challenging and rewarding experience. By taking part in the Britican Experience, you’ll build confidence in your ability to handle a boat, navigate, and make decisions in challenging situations.
- Meet new people: The Britican Experience is a great way to meet new people who share your passion for sailing and adventure. You’ll make new friends from all over the world and build lasting relationships.
- Relax and unwind: Sailing is a great way to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy some time in nature. The Britican Experience provides a peaceful and serene environment where you can relax and unwind.
The Britican Experience provides a unique and unforgettable opportunity to learn new skills, explore new destinations, and make lasting memories. Our guests featured in the above video learned about sailing in low winds, sail furlers, whale and dolphin spotting, and much more.
What you don’t see in the video are learning the other systems, passage planning, sail maneuvers, meeting other sailing cruisers, and developing stronger skills. Come aboard and see for yourself. Full details here: https://sailingbritican.com/liveaboard-experience/
Well done comical sail furling video – humor helps maintain
When staying within the dynamics & planned sailing criteria
of the sailing vessel, manual systems are less costly in the long run
& good exercise ! W.W.