- Doug Dunmire and Mark Banker
Genoa Furler Fails
Previously, we had an issue with the Spinnaker sail furler. A few days ago, we had problems with the furler for the Genoa sail. It took a few days to resolve this issue.
Each of the Great Lakes has charged a tough toll. None of them, so far, has a free pass for the inexperienced. Our latest, Lake Erie, decided we needed to be tested by the snapping of our headsail furling line. A good adventure challenges me and this is a good adventure.
A seasoned sailor told me as I was embarking on this journey that he believed every problem has a solution. I have found this encouraging and I've found the trip satisfying in ways I hadn't anticipated. It’s not what I expected but I think that's a good thing.
The first image is when the sail is furled (or rolled). At the bottom of the image you see the drum that holds the furling line.
The second image is a close up of the drum itself. The furling line wraps around the drum when the sail is unfurled.
The third image is when the sail has been unfurled. Notice that the sail is attached to an aluminum pole. When the sail is furled it will wrap around this pole by virtue of the pole turning.
It's difficult to say exactly what caused the furling line to break. But, it was likely the result of two things:
When the sail is unfurled, tension must be maintained on the furling line while it is unfurled. If tension is not maintained the furling line inside the drum is prone to overrides of the line. Overrides are the same thing as backlash in fishing reels. They make a mess of the line and it comes to a point where you can't furl or unfurl the line.
Poor routing of the furling line when it was setup on the boat. There was a pinch point for the line that had sharp edges as well as awkward turns of the line in the routing path. These things caused repeated wear and stress on the furling line.
This video snippet shows the new routing of the furling line. Thanks to Elias, a local Leamington sailor, for challenging the force required to furl the head sail. The new rigging approach will avoid running against the sharp corners of the Bimini stanchion, give a straight shot through the guide, and avoid a sharp turn out of the clutch to the winch. Overall, it's a much better routing path with much lower friction. Elias is a sailor's friend.