furling line blocks

Galatea is about to get a furler! After about 15000 miles, the jib is showing wear and I’m ready for a furler (but that’s another story). I would like some feedback on where to locate the ?first furling block aft of the furler. Have most of you mounted it on the bowsprit? Thrubolted or screwed? Does it interfere with your drifter or spinnaker there?

I’d like to avoid more holes in the bowsprit, so is it possible to mount it on the whisker stay? Good or bad idea? I’ve looked through the gallery and noticed a variety of arrangements. FWIW, we don’t have a bow pulpit, so that option is out.




Thanks for the info about your SSB radio installation.

We lashed a 40 mm Harken Carbo Ti-Lit block (# 2651) to the whisker stay to lead the furler control line into the drum of the furler. I have a series of photo showing our furler control line setup. I need to resize the images before I post them at the forum. I should be able to post them sometime today.

We also lashed 40 mm Harken Carbo Ti-Lit blocks to our stanchions to lead the furler control line back to the cockpit.

I will write more when I post the photos.

Fair Winds,



Please find attached several images of IDUNA’s furler control blocks. All blocks shown are 40 mm Harken Carbo Ti-Lit blocks. These are lashed to the stanchions and one is lashed to the whisker stay. I use two types of twine for lashing and whipping. The black colored twine is tarred nylon seining twine, whereas the brown colored twine is “tarred” marlin. Before I lash a block to the stanchion, I whip the base of the stanchion in a manner referred to as “French whipping.” The block is lashed to the stanchion per Harken’s instructions.

The ratchet block is also a Harken Carbo block. We installed this at the suggestion of AO Halsey who sails a Falmouth 26. This helps take the load off the hands when furling the sail. The Tufnol cam cleat is fitted to a silicone bronze custom bracket.

The images are in the next post.


Images attached








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Hi Tom:

Looks like Rod has the block on his whisker stay in a good place. I would be sure to locate it as near the turnbuckle as possible. I find that if I walk on my whisker stays, I can skew the sprit in the gammon iron. The load on the furling line can get pretty big and it might have the same effect if your block is very far down the stay.
I have had a furler on my headsail since the beginning and am truly glad I have it during those fast moving, Great Lakes squalls. I’m now such a wimp that my staysail is also on a furler. I use it a lot more and, again, am thrilled not to be up to my knees in water while deploying the hanked on version anymore.
If you’re looking for more projects, I also installed a #6 winch on a mahogany block, through-bolted on the outside of my port coaming, just aft of the jib winch. It’s very handy to shorten sail on those days when you’ve let the wind build a bit much on a big fat reach with all the jib top out.

                              Best regards.........Tom

Thanks, Rod, for sharing the photos. They were really helpful.

What do you think about Tom’s comment about the load on the whisker stay? At such a shallow angle, I wouldn’t think it would be much.


White Wings III raised an interesting and valid point. I met Tom (WW-III) at the Annapolis boat show and know his postings at this forum are technically sound and well thought out. I might add, Captain Tharrer is a fine gentleman. I can only write about my observations aboard IDUNA.

IDUNA’s whisker stay is deflected upwards when furling the head sail but I have observed no bending of the bowsprit nor deflection to one side of the gammon iron. As you would expect, the amount the whisker stay may be deflected, is very dependent on the strength of the wind. I built IDUNA’s bowsprit. It is tightly fitted through the gammon iron and Samson posts. When I built the bowsprit, I left a little more wood on the end where the cranse iron rests against the bowsprit. IDUNA’s sprit is tapered from a cross-section of nominally 4.5" just forward of the anchor roller to 4" before it is necked down to accept the cranse iron. Even when I step on a whisker stay to go out on the bowsprit, I have observed no bending or deflection of the bowsprit. The bowsprit may bend slightly when furling the sail under very heavy loads. IDUNA was caught by a sustained heavy gust that buried her starboard bulwark and held her there. The windvane was steering at the time. Sail combination was reefed main, staysail and jib-top. Lenora handled the jib sheet and I worked the furling control line. Under these conditions it took all my strength to furl the line and we were rather too preoccupied to take any scientific observations of the bowsprit. Under these conditions the bowsprit may have bent or deflected to one side. At the moment all this was happening, I had but one thought, “Bear a hand and get that sail furled.”

My suggestion is to mount the furler lead block to the whisker stay and test it. Position the block such that the lead into the furling drum is 90 degrees to the drum. This will help ensure, the furler line wraps evenly around the drum. If you do not like the setup, move the furler lead block to the bowsprit. Instead of drilling holes in the bowsprit, you may want to lash a round rope thimble to the sprit then attach the lead block through the thimble. We use a round thimble on the second stanchion from the bow, to lead the furler control line aboard the boat. I will take a picture of this thimble today and post it. Should you decide to use lashing on the bowsprit, I would use “tarred marlin” which is available at www.hamiltonmarine.com . You may not find it on their web-store pages, hence telephone.


Please find attached two images of the furler control line ring guide on IDUNA. The ring guide leads the furler control line from the lead block on the whisker stay (see image) to the boat, i.e. furler drum > whisker stay lead block > ring guide > 1st Harken Ti-Light block on stanchion.


DSC03229 Ring Guide 1.jpg

DSC03227 Closeup Ring Guide.jpg

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