Ok…I have been going out on a Lyle Hess bow sprite for 17 years now. First with my Falmouth Cutter and now with a BCC. Of course the Falmouth was easier since you could reach between the two stays. And of course age makes apples or grapefruits kinda rot. So I’ve been thinking of roller furling … OMG!
There have been a few factors that have kept me from doing it before now.
- Ease of changing sails, as I have 3 different head sails I can use. A yankee,lapper and a drifter. plus the modifications to them I would have to make. Ever try to feed a frayed luff tape into the foil? What a PITA.
- Reliability. Running charter boats here in the Caribbean for 14 years I had the opportunity to use a number of furlers with the problems of halyard wraps, drum overrides and bearing failures.
- Just more weight aloft. I’m a BIG proponent of less weight aloft.
- I have never really cared for the shape of roller reefed sails, even with a luff pad. So I have always preferred individual sails for prevailing conditions. Of course part of this mindset comes from my Falmouth with “no engine” sailing.
So along comes Facnor Furlers and their STG 4T wire furler. Oh this baby is sweet! Quality of construction looks outstanding. This is an in/out furler - no reefing. Although they have the same thing that you can get with a foil so those that want to reef also can. That is the RC180.
Ok…why do I like the Facnor STG 4T so much.
- You can use your present wire head stay. looks like I could use my head stay with wire splices.
- you use hanked on sails.
- Continuous line furling. No overrides and more leverage for ease of furling.
Most of the time I use my yankee here in the Caribbean. So I can just furl that puppy up when I’m done sailing for the day or unfurl it when I go out. If it is going to be a day with wind on the light side and I need to beat up to Anagada I can hank on my lapper. If a squall comes through I can just roll it up. So I will still need to go out on the sprite at times, but that will be in fairly light air and not that often.
This furlers are pricey. But you most always get what you pay for.
I know Mauri sells these at about a 10% discount and they are in Texas.
here are the links:
The STG 4T
Continuous line furler with foil for reefing
Distributor for Facnor:
Now I just have to find my piggy bank!