Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Roller Vs Hanks"
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Post: "Roller Vs Hanks"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Kevin Kuper


There are a number of personal considerations to make here. Ease of handling and stowage are benefits of having R/F though there are disadvantages as well.

You are much better off not reefing a furling headsail(s) because of the very good chance you will blow out the belly of the sail and need multiple re-cuts on a frequent basis. There are R/F sails that have reinforcements throughout the body to compensate but under full canvas you are sacrificing performance with these. Also, R/F tends to lead people into complacency when it comes to regular servicing and cleaning of your sails. Water, UV, mold, salt, etc... Sails should be treated kindly and stowed in dry, shaded environs when not in use. How many of us have seen the R/F headsail with green snot all around the wrap?

From a safety standpoint I will take the opposite tack from Norm. Heavy seas and winds can compensate the head swivels of a R/F rig. Headfoils and lufftape on the luff of a R/F sail are all you have. Should your headfoil crack (uv exposure, age, physical damage) or your lufftape rip, headswivel break or foul, tack pin/drum/swivel foul you are in major trouble with no recourse for an at-sea fix. Hanked on sails are just plain simple mechanical contact points. You can always re-sew on a hank at sea. If your planning offshore sailing I would seriously think of reasons why you wouldnt want hanked sails with twine, scissors, needle and spare hanks.

There is no argument that hanking on a sail is more work. Sail changes are more work and all in all hanked sails = more work. But part of the experience of sailing is a bit of salty work.

All said, I have worked as a sailmaker for a few years and can tell you that R/F is the way most sailors are heading. The best units on the market in my opinion are the Harken systems and the Profurl.

Think about it some more. Talk to your sailmaker. Good luck.

Either way youve got a Westsail so your doing better than the rest.


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