Latest News: Forums Technical Jib Furling Systems – an enquiry! Re: Re: Jib Furling Systems – an enquiry!


@Swiebertje wrote:

Yes, while rolling (reefing) a Genoa the centre of effort goes down a bit but not as much as you may think. While rolled the foot of the sail goes up as well. Now have a look at a storm jib and notice that it is cut with a lot of clearance between the sail and the deck. This is to allow water coming over to drain quickly over the side rather than being led in to the cockpit by the sail. Because of this the centre of effort can’t be as low as we might wish it to be. You may find that a rolled Genoa actually looks a bit like a storm jib. Given, the Genoa’s foot is up in the air front to back while a storm jib is simply cut high and its foot still ends at the bow. It is not so much lowering the centre of effort but de-powering the sail and allowing water to drain.

With the main you are right, there the centre of effort clearly goes down.

An advantage of a roller reef is that it allows continues adjustment and hence allows very fine tuning of the balance of the boat. But most of the power comes from the main, a fore sail only makes the main more efficient. Try sailing with and without your Genoa, didn’t you ever wander why the combined centre of effort doesn’t move much? Taking the fore sail away seriously de-powers the boat and may be the safest and cheapest option.

Bottom line: If the going really gets tough, you only want to get home safely and on a Wayfarer that can be done with any configuration. A furler is only a convenience, it is not money but common sense that brings us home safely. Did I just hear someone say a boat is as seaworthy as its skipper? 🙄

Difference between a rolled genoa and a storm jib is, of course, that the rolled genoa has a much fatter luff and is likely to be baggier- both of which hamper windward performance.

I should mention that I regularly sail a yacht which has a furling genoa, and I thnk it’s great, but on the Wayfarer I don’t see the necessity unless singlehanding. I have frequently changed headsails underway on the wayfarer (when I have proficient crew) and don’t see it as a particularly difficult task.

Just dropping the headsail to reduce power is not always a great option, IMHO, as windward performance suffers as a result. This might mean a much longer trip home or, at wost, becoming embayed (not that a good sailor should ever let themselves into such a situation).

Of course you can avoid a lot of hassle by making sensible plans: on a day-sail, always try to head out upwind and have a broad reach back home. When in doubt, reef to suit the gusts, even if you end up underpowered in the lulls.