TECHNIK - ROLLGROSS
HOW TO OPERATE
An in-mast furling mainsail in an increasingly popular
option. The advantages of such a system are clear:
easy handling of the sail when setting, recovering and
reefing. And once in harbour after a nice sail, there is no
need to flake and cover up the mainsail on the boom.
Once rolled up in the mast, it has stowed itself away. Easy!
The disadvantages, on the other hand, became less and less over
the years as the furling systems developed. This concerns the
mechanics in the mast, but also the cut of the sails themselves.
A modern furling mainsail, especially one with full-length vertical
battens, sets as well as a conventional sail. And modern sailcloth
also ensures that they can always be rolled up and unrolled
HOW TO OPERATE AN IN-MAST FURLING SYSTEM CORRECTLY
Let's start with furling the sail. Only a tightly rolled up sail can be
unfurled easily without jamming. The sail should be rolled up firmly
and without creases. We achieve this by setting the boom vang
tightly when furling and at the same time keeping tension on the
outhaul line. We can see it often when furling a headsail: Without
tension on the sheet, it rolls up loosely, with many creases and
will become baggy. This does not look nice but otherwise it will not
matter. With a mainsail in the mast, however, it can cause the sail
First, we turn the ship head to wind and then bear off a few
degrees. If the sail in the mast is rolled up counter-clockwise, we
bear off to port. This keeps the sail free from the edge of the mast
when furled. If it is rolled up clockwise, we bear off a few degrees
to starboard. Then we set up the kicker so that the sail becomes
flatter. Then we loosen the mainsheet and finally furl the sail,
always maintaining some tension on the outhaul.
Unfurling works in the same way, only the other way round, with
one difference: this time the boom vang or kicker should be loose
so that the boom can rise as the sail is unfurled, to make it easier.