@Dave Mac wrote:
I would also say that the experienced cruisers that contribute here seem to go for roller-reefing.
I don’t think so. The majority of sea going cruisers use two head sails as I described. They don’t even use a furler in many cases. Their reasoning is “Why change if it works”. And they do have a point. Because the system is simple it is reliable and hence it is safe.
However, if a reliable (mind the word “reliable” here) reefing furler can be developed it would be preferable to changing sails, sheets and halyard. A simple pull will make the sail smaller and from a safety perspective that would be preferable over fiddling with two (or three) sails. The reason you see so much posts about it should tell you there is a lot of discussion going on. Discussion about the development of the systems, the quality and reliability and so on. The traditional way of changing sails isn’t discussed much, not because nobody uses it, but rather because it is so well known, simple and easy that there is not much to discuss.
AFAIK changing sails is still the most commonly used foresail reefing system used by the experienced, sea going cruisers. The second most popular system is probably a furl away (not reef) system. Reefing furlers are only just taking off in the Wayfarer community. There is still a lot of skepticism with the “ol’ hands” 😳 but I have a feeling they’ll come around pretty quick once they meet the Bartels system in real life, at one of the Wayfarer cruising events.