Headsail Furlers and Headfoils
Headsail furlers are used as a quick storage solution for a jib or genoa. Especially useful when shorthanded, this system furls the headsail around an metal extrusion at the pull of a furling line. Deploying the sail is just as easy as only the furling line needs to be released and the genoa sheets need to be pulled. A headfoil is installed by sliding over the current headstay. The purpose of the headsail foil is to provide a low friction track for the head sail luff rope to hoist on. The headsail foil allows the headsail to be hoisted smoothly and makes it possible for quick and easy sail changes.
Selecting your Headsail Furler
Furler systems are not solely for cruisers. All furlers can be used for cruising but when searching for a racing furler system, recommended features are that the foils have a double groove for a quick sail change, an independent swivel to improve sail shape and a removable split drum. After choosing the style of headsail, the next step is to determine the size of the furler system you need. The size of a furler system is based on the headstay length and diameter as well as the diameter of the pin. Some furler systems are offered with an additional extrusion if the stock length is too short. The next component for the furler that needs to be selected is the connection, which can be a toggle or leg kit depending on how low you want the drum and clew to be. The last thing component needed of a furler system is the blocks needed to lead it back to the cockpit, the ratchet to assist in pulling the furling line in, and the cleat to tie the furling line off to. To prevent an override in the furler drum, the ratchet block is needed to keep tension on the furling line.To replace the line, remove the old line from the furler system and run the new line through enclosed window in guard and into hole in bottom plate of spool.Tie a small overhand knot and pull it up under drum assembly. Note location of sun cover and prepare the system by rotating the furler extrusions to wrap line on drum while maintaining tension on the furling line.
Maintaining your Headsail Furling System
It is recommended to periodically to rinse the furler extrusions, drum and swivel with fresh water. In salt water environments, it will need to be done more frequently. An issue that may occur with your furler system is that the bearings won't turn as easily due to dirt and salt buildup. It is
recommended to flush the furler system out with a very mild detergent and water. This process is also necessary if the furler system extrusions are not turning. If you need to replace your furling line, the standard line diameter is 5/16" line at double the boat length.
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