When the sail is fully unfurled, the sail profile
can be perfectly adjusted by the tension of the foot
(using the outhaul) and boom vang.
When the sail is fully unfurled, the sail profile can be perfectly
adjusted by the tension of the foot (using the outhaul) and boom
If the sail gets jammed during furling, it is probably due to the sail
being rolled up too loosely, as mentioned above. In this case you
should try to pull the sail tight on the roller profile inside the mast.
To do this, hold the outhaul and roll up the sail again a bit, keeping
the outhaul well under tension. Then unfurl again; if necessary,
repeat this manoeuvre several times.
Another reason can be a backstay that is too tight. If the mast
bends, the rolling profile inside will not be able to turn freely.
Likewise, if the mainsail halyard is set up too tight it can cause the
sail to throw horizontal folds and these get jammed. Rarely does it
happen that the furling profile in the mast is too loose and has to
be tensioned - but this is a job that you cannot really do yourself
with on-board equipment.
Reefing a furling mainsail is of course very simple and works like
furling. Ideally, you should also make sure that you reef the sail
on the "right" tack (depending on the direction in which the sail
is furled, as explained above). Some sails have strips to indicate
reefing points but it is entirely up to you and the wind conditions
how far you reef.
The mechanics of a modern furling system are robust and reliable,
but it certainly doesn't hurt to remove the salt from the moving
parts and also the blocks of the lines from time to time or to make
it all nice and smooth again with a small drop of oil. It becomes
more problematic when the sail itself is already old and blown
out. If the cloth has been stretched a lot, it becomes more and
more difficult to roll it up smoothly. In this case a new sail would
certainly work wonders - for the smooth operation of the in-mast
furling as well as for the performance of your yacht!
Text / Text: Dtelef Jens
Fotos / Pictures: Bavaria Yachts
- powering your dream
Elvstrøm Sails / firstname.lastname@example.org / elvstromsails.com