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  • #3738

    Hi Everyone.

    I am going to buy a reefing spar (and new genoa) and have seen two popular types being the Plastimo and Dave Barkers stainless Bartells. Can anyone help with the part numbers for these, then I will sit down with a stiff drink and see who is getting the money !!.





    I have recently fitted a Bartels spar. I contacted Brigitte Zettler-Kufner: and just asked for a ‘wayfarer genoa reefing system’ and she supplied a quote with a list of part numbers.

    They do have a cataloge on-line, and I extracted a few pictures to provide info for making a new genoa. There are several parts in the Bartells quote, but you can find the sketch that Bartells provided, togther with some notes & pictures of the asspciated parts at:

    (If you can’t get this, I’ll email it to you privately if you send me your address – I don’t know how to attach pdfs to this forum)

    By the way, I’m very pleased with the spar, but yes, it did take a stiff drink.


    @howard wrote:

    By the way, I’m very pleased with the spar, but yes, it did take a stiff drink.

    As always, you get what you pay for. 😉 Here is another happy user of the Bartels system.

    There are some pictures of the Bartels system posted here:

    Do not order the extension (fork) below the drum as shown in the pictures. It is not needed. It was an option to try out that I discussed with Mr. Bartels, in case the drum wouldn’t fit. It brings the sail up to a higher position, something we don’t want if it is not really necessary. The extra fork from Bartels will set you back for about 15 pounds!

    If you have one of these “spinnaker sheet catchers” that insert into a (Holt) bow plate, you may want to file two flat sides to the bottom drum pin. That will allow the spinnaker thingy to fit the bow plate together with the Bartels drum.

    When I bought mine I also looked at the spar by Holmes, the Plastimo spar and the one from Bartels. The Plastimo was dismissed quickly for it had too much plastic parts that could break easily. Also the huge drum just doesn’t look right on a W.

    FWIW, I found yet another manufacturer of small boat reefing systems: They seem to have nice stuff but I have not looked in to this one because I already had my Bartels installed when I discovered them.

    Did I mentioned Holman yet? Some of the UK cruisers seem to be very happy with it. Personally I do not like the big drum for aesthetic reasons. AFAIK the spar is not a closed profile with a separate sail groove but but just a tube sawn open. This allows the spar to twist more then Bartels’s closed profile. I am not sure about the construction though, you better ask Matt773 who sails a Holmes spar.

    Dave Barker

    I must give Swiebertje full credit for the fact that I now have a Bartels system on “Cockle”, and reiterate my thanks for your help and patience with my tedious requests for information, Ton. Thank you!

    Good luck with your choice, Laurie.


    @Dave Barker wrote:

    I must give Swiebertje full credit for the fact that I now have a Bartels system on “Cockle”, and reiterate my thanks for your help and patience with my tedious requests for information

    Thanks Dave, I had a “deja vu” feeling when I wrote my contribution 😕 . I finally figured it out 💡 . I seem to have written a small essay about it about a year ago. It is on the WIT:

    We have not mentioned yet to Laurie that special sails are required. Sails are described in the essay too. Dave, I believe your sail was made by a different sail maker then mine (P&B)?

    I suppose it has the same features:
    – Lowered clew (compensation for the higher tack position)
    – luff rope to fit the sail groove in the barterls furler (also allows the Genoa to be used as a try sail instead of the main.
    – Asymmetric foam added to the luff to help keep a good sail shape while reefed. (center of the sail rolls more then top and bottom).
    – Slightly flatter cut, also to help keep a good shape while reefed.

    P&B saved the dimensions they took after measuring my Bartels spar that I supplied to them. Actually I visited Alan Bax and Dave Wade (Wayfarer specialist P&B) in Northampton to discuss the particularities of a Wayfarer reefing spar and allow them to take measurements directly from the Bartels sparr that I took with me to Northampton. I must say the outcome is excellent. That is at least one sail maker where you can mail order a W-Genoa for a Bartels furler. I am curious as to what Dave has to say about his Genoa. I may be able to compare the two during the Poole W50 rally?

    Dave Barker

    My genoa was made by Mike McNamara. I don’t know for sure whether the clew is lower than usual, although naturally I did mention to Mike the need to allow for the higher tack (because of the furling drum). If I were being really critical I would have to say that the absolutely ideal sheeting angle is not quite achieved with the sail fully unfurled and sailing close-hauled, because of the height of the drum and the gap caused by the short webbing loop between drum and sail, but I may be able to improve this a bit by moving the drum forward slightly. In any case it is a fairly minor criticism of my setup.

    The luff rope (not wire) is required for the groove in the spar. If anyone wants a McNamara genoa for their Bartels spar make sure to specify that the rope is no thicker than mine (perhaps ask for one 1mm thinner – mine is a snug fit!). I spent a little time with a fine file smoothing and rounding the lower end of the groove in the spar to minimise the risk of sail damage. I don’t think I have had the sail off the spar more than once in the last year, but I did roll it the other way around when storing it for a few weeks.

    The luff foam is something I’m not sure about. I had it fitted, but I don’t know if it’s strictly necessary with a flatter-cut sail. My concerns are that the foam has taken on a permanent curve (which works better on one tack than the other!) and that in any case it disturbs the air flow over the very important leading edge of the sail. The slender luff spar is one of the best things about the Bartels system, and it is a shame to compromise the sail by thickening it. I have been thinking of removing it, but haven’t plucked up the courage to do it!

    Mike indicated that he would cut the sail flatter then usual, so I assume this is what he did, although I haven’t tried to compare it with a standard MM sail.

    Another point to consider is a breathable cover for the sail and spar if you’re going to keep them on your boat for more than the odd day or two. It’s useful for trailing too, and can be slung under the mast.

    Having enjoyed just over a week in the Hebrides sailing every day in a variety of conditions I have had some opportunities to compare it with other systems, and to windward (when the luff is arguably most critical) it has performed nicely. I believe Bartels are likely to receive at least one order soon, more or less as a result of this trip, so that says something about the system.

    I’m afraid I have no current plans to attend the Poole rally, but I agree that a comparison would be interesting.

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