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


We bought a Selden furling drum and swivel which while functional for the purposes of mooring to quickly furl the headsail or to stop that annoying and sail wrecking flogging while setting the boat up for the day. We planned to add a flexible spar to turn it into a reefing system to add the flexibility of variable sail size but at the moment that project is on hold as we experienced problems with the Selden system particularly in high winds.

In very breezy conditions, the extra tight luff wire inevitable causes even a well tensioned forestay to sag significantly and always gets caught in the sail when furling. Under high loads the furler and more significantly the top swivel is no longer smooth to rotate ( in fact the top swivel quite often wont rotate under high load ) so its all but impossible to get the sail to furl evenly and one ends up with a baggy mess flogging in the wind. In addition the forestay spacer which forms part of the Selden top swivel is a short steel wire post that wraps around the forestay and screws into the swivel . This is far too short to provide sufficient spacing and of insufficient strength to avoid bending and so eventually snaps.

All that said we have had two seasons with the Selden furling system and in light to moderate winds is brilliant and saves a lot of faffing about rigging and de-rigging. However this year I bit the bullet and bought the massively more expensive Harken furling drum and high-load swivel, I have yet to sail it in sufficient breeze to test it thoroughly as the boat is currently undergoing its winter refit but the smoothness of these new fittings at the highest tensions I dare put the rig is awesome and induced virtually no twist on the halyard above the swivel whatsoever. I am convinced this will mean the sail will furl smoothly in any amount of breeze.

So to the remaining issue of the sagging forestay, as I am convinced removing it would be a bad idea, I am thinking about a secondary tensioning system that is either automatic and consist of some shockcord attached between the mast and the forstay or a tensioning line led back to the cockpit. Either of these would attached to the forestay roughly level with the top swivel and the positioning on the mast would be such that it gently pulls the forstay away from the luff and prevents sagging. I have done a rough sketch and invite riducle / serious comments from other readers: [attachment=0:1u00c9h0]forestay tensioner.JPG[/attachment:1u00c9h0]