Tech Wiki

Furling Control

by Ron Hill, Apache #788

I’ve seen a number of modifications to secure the furling line other than just a cleat. I’ve seen them for both the line drive and the drum drive. The whole idea is to be able to let out (under YOUR control) as much or as little of the line as you want. Of course the higher the wind pipes up the harder it is to control the amount of line - without some help.

Last week Ken Morton posted an article on the message board "Furling Control". He also sent me a picture of his addition to his MKII. Ken has an outside genoa track. On that port side track well aft (opposite the cockpit), he mounted a Spinlock rope stopper on a car, which can be moved on the track. Just aft on his "Rope Stopper Car" he mounted another car with a single sheave swiveling block. So the furling line tail first goes thru the stopper, then thru the block and the tail is finally secured (for tidying up purposes) to the cleat.


On a MKI, I saw another nice arrangement for the Hood 915 (continuous) line drive. On the port side deck, Charlie Copeland mounted a short piece of track on the deck outside the cockpit and added a moveable low profile Johnson winch on a car. He then cut the line and respliced it so it would just go around the winch. Because the "winch car" was moveable it kept the continuous furling line taunt. Charlie cranked in as much line as he wanted with a short winch handle.

On my MKI, I added a small #16 Lewmar ST winch. It’s mounted about 2 ft. aft of the primary genoa winch on the port side. I mounted it after I changed my furling system to a drum drive (single control line). I also use that little winch to adjust the tack control line length when the spinnaker is flying. I use a short winch handle to crank in line when I want to "reef" the 150genoa. I also have the moveable (from the cockpit) genoa cars to get the best "reefed" sail shape. All I do is head up into the wind, move the car and crank in line. I repeat this until I get the sail to the fraction desired.

Most of us have also moved the furling line/lines to the outside of the stanchions so the deck is clear of "trip" hazards. I have a couple of the Schaefer "stanchion type" ball bearing blocks for that furling line to run thru. You need to remove the lifelines to install them. BTW, Garhauer also has these type stanchion blocks.

I’m sure that other owners have found some clever ways to control their furling line, so maybe we’ll hear what some others have done.