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 -

Don and Margaret Lacoste

It's an interesting question Terry. For ease of sail handling and storage, it seems that the roller furler has now become the norm for most "cruisers". I think that is where Kevin's comments become very applicable for long distance sailors who may be better served by the simplicity of hank on sails.

Rollers have come a long way since 1974 (yes, my old 1974 Pearson had a roller furler which came with the vessel). Surprisingly, that old roller still worked in 2003 but not nearly as well as the more modern furlers.

When rollers fail, they are REALLY a problem and it usually happens when all hell breaks loose out there at sea. It's the same reason engine's fail when coming to a dock. I believe reliability has greatly improved but it's just another "system" on your boat that must be closely watched and maintained. When they work, and usually do, they are a fabulous member of your crew, as are autopilots and windvanes.

In some ways they can provide a level of safety for the crew. When wind and waves make it difficult and dangerous to go out onto that pitching bow sprit, the roller does all that work for you.

To answer your question, if you intend to cross oceans and circumnavigate, hank on may be the best choice. If you are a cruiser, roller is the way to go.

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