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Author Topic: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?  (Read 2333 times)

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Mark Sutherland

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Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« on: August 14, 2016, 09:01:10 PM »

I'm considering a top-down furler for my Asym, and was wondering if anyone has any experience and maybe a recommendation of a particular brand or model?
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Dunrobin II, 1986 C34 MK1 #170

jkar

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 08:07:15 AM »

I put one of my a-sails on a Selden GX10 and absolutely love it.  Makes racing and short handing off sailing a breeze.  I also added new spin sheets for it, bridle style, so that it rolls all up together.  I went with Selden because of other bits of theirs that I have used and the price was right as well.
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George Bean

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 10:27:44 AM »

Jkar, can you provide more details on how you set up and operate your furler?  Are your spin sheets permanently attached?  If so, what is your process in setting up?  i.e., bring the bag to the bow, run the sheets and furling line back, then raise the furler etc?  Do you do this all at the dock or can you do it under way on the water?  How to you keep the spinnaker gear from fouling when rolling the genoa in and out?  What is the clearance between top of the furler and top of the headstay furler?  Would I need to extend my spinnaker crane further out, ahead of the mast?  I, too, like the idea of a furler, but havenít figured out the operational details yet.
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George Bean
s/v Freya  1476

Ted Pounds

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 07:14:17 AM »

FWIW I used an ATN sock on my A-sail and it worked very well.  Cheap, simple and reliable. 👍  One or two times I flew the spinnaker by myself using it.
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Ted Pounds
"Molly Rose"
1987 #447

Jim Hardesty

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2016, 08:57:13 AM »

FWIW   Cruising World  September issue has an article on top-down furlers.  They review several brands and give a few tips on using them.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

Roc

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2016, 11:44:42 AM »

I have the Bamar Rollgen RLG-EVO.  Got it a couple years ago and picked that one because at the time, they were the only one I was aware of that had an adjustable tack.  Now I think others have added that option.  However, the Bamar adjustable tack is self contained (the tack line is still attached to the drum).  On the other types, you need to mount a block outside of the unit because there is no attachment point within the unit.  The other thing I liked was that the torsion line has a rubber "gaiter" between the sail and the line itself. This protects the sail from the abrasive torsion line.  Other units mount the sail against the line, so I figure there might be a possibility of chafe. Also, Bamar has been making these for over 10 years.  If you look at prices, I believe they are pretty much in the same ballpark for a boat our size (also, the size is determined by the sail area of the A-sym). 

Using it does take some practice and finesse.  Maybe it's just me, but it's not as easy as rolling up the Genoa.  You need to be careful not to back-wrap the sail.  Happened to me a couple times and I had to bring the sail home, stretch it out between two fences, and manually unwind it and then wind it up properly.  I continue to get better at things with practice.

Some important points........  The unit needs to be quite a distance away from the Genoa wrapped on the forestay.  The crane on the C34 is way too small.  I had to have a custom made top plate, which initially wasn't long enough, so I had to get an extension to bring it out even further.  It has to come out at least 8-10 inches.  Also, the spin. halyard needs to exit outside the fore triangle.

Related to that is the tack attachment point.  Many people put the A-sym tack on the anchor roller bail.  Although this may work, and for an A-sym with a sock, the upward force may not be that great.  However, anchor rollers aren't meant for upward forces, so mounting an A-sym isn't really the thing to do (although many people do it).  But with a top down furler, I would definitely not use the anchor bail.  Reason is you need to crank the halyard very very tight with a winch to get the torsion line as straight as possible (minimal sag).  I crank mine up as hard as I can with the port side winch.  I developed a small "tack fixture" that I mounted on the steam head.  It protrudes out, again to stay away from the furled genoa. This fixture, as pictured, is the original length.  I had to have an extension welded on that also in order to bring it out past the furled genoa.

One more item to mention.  If your sail has rigid patches at the head, tack and clew, these won't bend easily around the furled A-sym sail, and will hang up on the furled genoa (reason why you need to get the top down furler as far away out from the genoa).  Over the winter, I massaged the patches to work bends into the them so now their softer and will curl around easier.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

Wayne

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2016, 03:01:08 PM »

I added a simple bobstay to counteract the upward pull of a spinnaker.  I bolted an attachment point for a turnbuckle to the bottom bolt of the stainless bow fitting.  A longish (12"? 14"?) turnbuckle runs from this point upward and forward and is bolted into the bottom of the anchor roller (there was even a hole there already!).  Very simple, very seffective.  I have a code 0 so the force (both upward and sidewise) are pretty great.  I've observed the stainless roller/fiberglass deck joint when sailing and when tensioning my halyard.  Rock solid.
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2006 MKII Hull # 1762
San Francisco, Ca

Roc

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2016, 04:27:58 AM »

As you can see from the picture, I have an attachment for a bobstay turnbuckle (turnbuckle is not shown) that I have between the tack fixture and stem head.  My anchor roller is off to the side an the angles didn't look right.  I did see a write up on the C380 site about a fellow that put a bobstay off the anchor roller.  However, in looking at the C380s at my dock, the anchor roller comes off the bow just about straight forward, rather than off center pointed to Starboard like on the C34.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

jkar

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2016, 11:08:02 AM »

George, I will take some pictures this weekend.  Basically, yes, take the bag to the front, hoist, run sheets.  Sheets are "fixed" on a 8' piece of spectra with a loop at both ends.  I can take them off, but don't need too.  I also have a small sprit that rests in the in anchor roller to extend the tack out about 12".  I found that it was too short with the stock Catalina bow pulpit.  I could not simply pull the sheet to unfurl the sail.  A couple of "reverse" tugs on the furler exposed enough sail to then let it come out/clear the pulpit.  Next step is to build an 18" sprit or bend the pulpit down and out of the way.  I did not have to extend the crane, but I like that idea as then I might not have to bend the pulpit?  Mine is cut for more of a reacher.  Anything above 130, I drop the halyard about 6" to let it project more in front.  Selden makes an adjustable tack, which can be added after, which I might do, but the halyard ease is working.  The big thing was remembering to set it up to gybe on the outside and then remembering to do it.  I found since I couldn't remember all the time, it was so much faster to pull the furler 7-10 to partial furl, gybe and then unfurl.  It was speedy and controlled.  Joel
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Clay Greene

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2016, 12:46:13 PM »

We had a Selden GX spinnaker furler on a Selden sprit.  It worked well but I don't think it was much less work than a sock.  They are not meant to be left up all the time, so that meant you had to mount the sprit, raise the furler on the anti-torsion line at the dock, and then run your spinnaker sheets.  That is just about as much work as a sock but it is done at the dock rather than under way.  It was cool once that was all set up to just unfurl by pulling out the sheet.  It made it much easier to race with it but that also was a mixed bag because our fleet does a lot of windward-leeward courses and an asym is a reaching sail.  There was an advantage versus a sock in that you don't have to send anyone up to the foredeck under way for hoisting, setting and dousing.  And the furled sail stores much more compactly as well (ours fit into the shelf in the forepeak of the v-berth).  So, there are some advantages but you have to weigh that against the cost and the hassle of the installation.  So far, I have come down on the side of staying with the sock on our new boat. 
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Wayne

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2016, 07:09:59 PM »

I have had a both a sock and new a continuous line furler, and like Clay says the amount of work was about the same.  Both have been efficient and effective.  The big difference for me is being able to set it up and break it down at the dock.  Once it is up it stays up the whole day and it is there for immediate use whenever needed.  For me not needing to run back and forth to the foredeck, nor to put it up and take it down more than once makes it my preference.
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Roc

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Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2016, 11:42:29 AM »

Here are the advantages I see.
Set up and take down at the dock. Takes me 20 minutes.
Stays up so you can use it when point of sail changes
Made my own permanent "bowsprit " so I don't have something else to set up
One quarter the size for storage in the bag compared to sail with a sock
I use one sheet. Less to set up. Rarely jibe continuously to have two sheets mounted
If you unfurl and conditions not great. No big deal just furl it in.
Can do it from the cockpit.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD
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