Latest News: Forums Cruising helyar mark 1 roller reefing Re: Re: helyar mark 1 roller reefing


I prefer to bring my sails home and dry them before storage to avoid the potential for mildew / rust etc. Even if storing the sail furled damp from sailing was not an issue I would not want to leave it on the boat for security reasons and prefer to inspect them so any other issues such as a loose stitch or two can be spotted and fixed promptly.

My boat is stored in a dinghy park rather than a mooring so I want to be able to remove the sail without lowering the mast hence a separate forestay to support the mast between sailing sessions and a flexible reefing system for ease of transport in the car are both required.

When touring with the boat I want the flexibility to lower the mast while underway and switch to using the Seagull outboard for shooting bridges. As a regular visitor to the Norfolk broads, low bridges are a common issue there, and even getting though the Great Yarmouth port out to the North Sea requires several low bridges to be negotiated. In less familiar inland waters and rivers in particular its not uncommon to find a bridge in the way. You can of course still shoot a bridge with a reefing system without a forestay by releasing the halyard however if a safety was attached from the mast head to the swivel it would not be possible to do this while underway unless of course this extra safety line was brought down the mast to the cockpit; in fact this arrangement would solve some the issues in my previous post although I note in your reply that your sailing is mostly at sea where these issues dont arise.

Also I take the point that lowering the mast with the sail furled is unlikley to cause any damage to the sail but there is an increased risk of treading on it or getting it caught on rigging or something else. One of the key reasons for me to use a furling system is not to have to carry three headsails ( genoa / jib / storm jib ) which in turn necessitates taking greater care of the one sail I do have on board, particularly when touring or cruising away from home. Hence I prefer caution and would aim to stow the sail prior to lowering the mast in most situations.

In summary, the removable nature of the reefing system without lowering the mast is important to me and tensioning the forestay is a minor inconvenience although I totally accept that leaving the sail in situ makes for getting on the water a few minutes quicker and the alternative is a tried and trusted approach for many much larger vessels. It seems to me to be a personal issue that depends on ones intended use as to which system is preferable.