Furling system recommendation...

Tuning the rig of the Nicholson 31 and chat about sails.
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Bruce Z

Furling system recommendation...

Post by Bruce Z »

Hi there,

I'm finally investing in a furling system for Altair's head sail. What are common ones installed on Nic 31s -- any that I should stay away from?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

--Bruce, Altair, CN31-6


Post by SailingCirce »

Hi Bruce,

I have a Profurl on Circe and it has been really great. Most of our sailing since adding the Profurl has been in fresh to strong tradewinds. It has worked flawlessly every time. We often reef and unreef the headsail as conditions change or we need to speed up or slow down. We just finished rigging the spinnaker pole to use on some downwind legs as we sail back to the USA from the Caribbean. It will be nice to have the pole in a set postion and just roll up the jib if the wind pipes up without having to go forward. The harsh Caribbean climate also has not seemed to have any ill effect on the furler. I installed the next size larger than the one recommended for our boat length in 2001. I ended up with an extra foil section but the benefit was a bigger drum for the furling line .

S/V Circe:cool:
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Joined: 19 Nov 2004, 07:58
Location: Newton Highlands , ( Boston), Massachusetts, USA

Re: Furling system recommendation...

Post by blueprintbill »

After 40 years, I’ve been thinking of converting my hanked on headsails to a roller furler and Im wondering about various alternatives.
1. Any recommendations as to manufacturers,.. Profurl, Harken, Furlex, Reckmann etc?
2. Does the furling drum have to be raised to allow the anchor well hatch cover to open completely?
3. Should the head stay track allow for two sails ( downwind), or is a single track ( smaller diameter ), a better alternative?
4.Is there a preferred side of the boat for the furling line lead back to the cockpit ?
5. Any other suggestions / considerations/ preferences / details / thoughts that I might benefit from ?
Thanks/ Cheers.
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Posts: 18
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 23:13

Re: Furling system recommendation...

Post by Mitch »

I have a Furlex system that came with Seal Morning and has given little trouble over the last four years. There is the occasional jamming of the line (Maybe 1/2 times per season) but this is generally due to not tending the sheets when rolling the sail out or away.
The furling line originally went down the port side, and of course I tied up port side to. I transferred the line to the starboard side (where it still is) but then got moved in the marina to a starboard side to berth, you can't win - it always seems to get in the way.
The drum sits up to allow the foot of the headsail to just clear the pulpit (along with a short strop) which keeps chafe down; it also gives some room for the anchor locker lid which is a pain from any side but worse on the starboard lead. Taurus has a hinged lid mentioned and photographed in his splendid article. I just twist the whole furler out of the way and along with a 'small' accomodation of the lid that seems to work.
I have a twin track, and I think if you would like to run a twin headsail system that would be good - I have no experience. A larger sized foil gives a greater diameter for the sail to roll round which I think is a good thing - less turns in total. Make sure you have a sacrificial leech cover if you are adapting your sails from the old hank-ons, UV is murderous (some people even have a lace on cover).
I have two sails that can fit on the furler, there is a 'number 1' size and a slightly smaller adoptee from another boat that was used extensively by the previous owner; I have one of those dreams that involves a furling asymmetric for aft of the beam and probably a smaller sized (no 2) as a working jib and for upwind - we have an 'all or nothing' climate in Ireland. I use the roller quite a lot to balance the helm for the self steering, a roll can make a lot of difference.
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