Latest News: Forums Technical Helyar genoa reefing

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  • #3993

    I have been trying to find more info, and where i can buy a helyar reefing kit. Does anyone know where i can find info on this?



    Dave Bevan

    Thanks Dave.


    The contact details are under “how it works”, a phone call to Rob Helyar would be worthwhile.

    I inherited a Mk1 system with my boat (but without purpose cut genoa) and replaced it this year with a Mk2, complete with purpose cut sail. It has been a success.


    Does anyone know if the Helyar reefing system is best for our Wayfarers, is it the most commonly used? Or are there any bad opinions?



    Bob Harland

    Thank you Bob, but the topic only covers the Bartels system, and I am actually interested in feedback on the Helyar.




    Hi Tempest.
    Holman and Bartels can be viewed as the Ferrari and Bentley of systems. Helyar as the Toyota pickup. Helyar is used by most(?) Wayfarers.
    When fitted with Harken High Load Drum and swivel, £200ish ouch! but well worth the money, it works well. It can be furled to any size under load without problems. It is probably the cheapest solution
    Fitted with karabiners top and bottom it can be lowered while at sea should that be necessary. It can be rolled away and stored under the foredeck. The forestay is retained so even the mast can be lowered.
    However, according to the experts it does not sail as efficiently to windward as the rigid spar.
    My boat came with a Plastimo rigid aluminium spar which needed to be handled with care. I changed to the Helyar system because it seems more simple and less likely to be damaged.
    This subject has been discussed elsewhere on the Forum and much more extensively on the Yahoo Wayfarer Forum.
    As usual there is no ‘best’ method. Genoa reefing is probably better than furling and changing sails.
    Hope this opinion helps.


    Thanks John, very helpful.



    The helyar system looks very similar to that offerred by Trident UK at ~£460. How does the Helyar systems compare on price as well as performance?


    After the exhilarating but challenging rally to Gurnard (see WNews 117) when we had only one set of reefing points and a furling genoa we took action! Using the Seasure swivel and drum already fitted we opted for the Mk 11 Helyar spar and a second line of reefing points. Banks Sails could not have been more helpful as indeed was Rob Helyar. The spar and sail alterations were extremely reasonable at £168 +VAT and postage. A few small items were needed to enable me to fit the reefing line inside the boom.

    The system worked well this summer and gives a zone of comfort that is most welcome as we age and become less mobile. Time will tell if the Seasure fittings last, but might as well wear them out in the meantime.

    Nick ‘n Mary LizzieB 9922

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