Page published: 28 June 2020
Discussion on the site's forum suggests that a number of owners find having gear to furl the jib useful. For some the speedy stowing of a sail eases the approach to a swinging mooring or preparing to drop the mast to pass under a bridge. For others, it's the ability to reef speedily from the cockpit. Here two types of furling geaqr are described.
The first system described here is not suitable for reefing and was supplied as a kit.
In essence it consists of a deeply grooved pulley which is attached to the foot of the jib and a swivel that connects the top of the sail to the halyard. A line is taken around the pulley and held tight, so that when one end is pulled the line grips the pulley sufficiently for it to twist the luff, causing the sail to roll up around itself. It needs to be cleated firmly afterwards to keep the sail furled.
At the top of the sail the owners chose to fit a larger disc than that supplied with the kit (an ashtray!). They found the original was not big enough to prevent the forestay getting twisted into the sail as it was furled.
Some might argue that a furling system with a pole for the sail to coil around would produce a sail with a more efficient shape, but having one has disadvantages for those who sail on the Broads. A stiff pole is awkward to handle when the mast is dropped to pass under bridges and makes stowing the jib in the cabin more difficult. It is also much more expensive to buy.
An alternative approach is used in another furling system. This example allows reefing.
Above we see the top of a tube (foil) through which the forestay passes. In this system the standard jib halyard is dispensed with completely. Instead the jib is hoisted using a block mounted at the top of the foil.
The foil is fixed to a drum that is mounted on an arm on which it can revolve. Pulling on a line wrapped around the drum rolls the sail onto the foil. This line is led back to the cockpit where it can be cleated this allowing reefed at any desired point.
The arm is prevented from turning as it is shackled to a short link line fixed to the port side bow. The length of the line also prevents the foil from rising further than desired up the forestay.