W32 roller furl and drifter

  • December 24, 2018 12:42 PM
    Message # 6971563
    Deleted user

    Quimera presently has all hanked-on sails including a drifter/cruising spinnaker.  I'm planning to switch to roller-furled yankee but wonder how I can still use the drifter.  One idea I had was to make loops of small line that would go around the furled yankee and attach to the hanks.  Once the halyard (hmm, add another?) is tight that should be sufficient.  Some people fly these completely loose but I like to keep the center pulled in a little better than that. 

    Any other ideas?

  • December 25, 2018 10:51 AM
    Reply # 6972055 on 6971563
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    On Pygmalion - W32 - I have the same issue - without a tidy solution. 

    Twice I've tested flying my 150% Genoa (?) after removing the hanks - loose footed and while it does fly well off the wind (but not well dead down wind) - managing the sail up and down is a challenge especially single handed w/o an auto pilot. 

    I'm hoping others will have a working solution for you... 


  • December 25, 2018 1:01 PM
    Reply # 6972153 on 6971563

    Hello Mitch and Jay,  

    I've been thinking about this for a couple of days now.  Three pictures would certainly be worth 3000 words here.  First off I believe,Mitch, you have a Drifter, not a cruising chute, as you implied a straight luff. The sail can fly without hanks and the luff should be able to fly as straight or curved as desired, short of perfectly straight, hard on the wind.   There are 2 good ways to do this.  If you DO NOT have 3 halyards then disregard the 1st:

    1)  Flying the Drifter inside the Head stay:  Install a Harken Jib halyard restrainer about 6" below the mast head exit sheaves.  Run the Drifter halyard down, inside this restrainer.  On the bowsprit install a method to attach the tack of the Drifter.  For many years, ( To the present),  I have simply tied a 7/16" line around the sprit, just aft of the Head stay.  The loop of rope should allow the Tack to fly about 12" above the sprit.  You could also install a permanent SS eye right to the sprit.  To fly, simply attach the Tack of the sail.  Attach the Head and hoist, then sheet.  This method will allow you to tack the Drifter just like any head sail.   BUT! the furled sail sheets will be in the way unless you corral them and tie then down tight against the furled sail, down low.

    2)  The better way.  Using a Spinnaker halyard on a spinnaker bale.  Install a SS eye to the very front of the bow cap.  Mine is welded on but big, threaded, screws should be strong enough.  Tack the sail to the SS eye, using a block on the eye, and attach the spinnaker halyard to the head.  Hoist and sheet.  This method does not require corralling the jib sheets.  It also does not allow a normal tacking procedure.  It will require a gybe procedure.  That is, passing the sail around to the outside of the Headstay.

    NOTES;  A snuffer, or sock, can make this whole operation easier.  But it is a "Jekyll and Hyde" kind of thing.  A sock takes about 12" to 18" of distance at the Head.  You may not be able to add a sock if you are using method #1 because there may not be enough distance between Tack and Head to get a tighter luff.  If ordering a new sail and you want a sock then be sure to mention that fact and insist on a shorter Luff for the sail.  Also note that a 1.5 ounce sail and a sock will be a very large sail bag - though not heavy.  

    I had my Harken Halyard restrainer modified by a welder. to help prevent chafe on the lower supports.  I had him add some material to those lower supports to make them bigger so as to create a bigger radius.  I have used method #1 for literally thousands of miles, using a 3/8" halyard.  I am using method #2 more now.

    The picture in the upper left shows Saraband flying a 3/4oz Drifter using Method #1.

    I hope this excessive verbiage has been of some help.  Feel free to ask for any clarification.

    Good Luck,       Dave

    Last modified: December 25, 2018 3:11 PM | Anonymous member
  • December 28, 2018 10:52 PM
    Reply # 6975929 on 6971563
    Deleted user

    Thanks guys.  You both sorta bypassed my first concern but answered it too.  With the wire luff I should just fly it free.  Now I've got some experimenting to do.  I can even try it before the furler arrives.  I do concur about the 6-8 knots for dousing. The only time I flew it so far (just bought the boat in April) it was probably only blowing 5 knots and the boat took off like a rocket once the sail was up.  I do have an old wooden whisker pole but plan to replace it hopefully with a telescoping one.  I don't race anymore.  I'm trying to set up for long distance cruising, much of it single-handed. 

    Dave, I may have questions once I start getting set up.  I'm a visual learner so trying to visualize from written descriptions is more difficult for me. 

    I'm going to reread both your comments several times before trying this.  I'm excited to be able to use the drifter with the furler.

    BTW I suppose I should remove the old hanks once the furler is up. 



  • December 28, 2018 11:07 PM
    Reply # 6975947 on 6971563
    Deleted user

    More questions!  When I flew the drifter the first time I used the whisker pole.  Is this the standard method or is it better flown free.  I know the sheets can drag the clew down unless you use the light weight ones. 

     When below a beam reach I assume Daves number two method requires turning the gybe into a pseudo tack by pulling the sail in and through the fore triangle when dead downwind and then letting it back out on the other side.   

    More to come ;-)

  • December 30, 2018 4:43 PM
    Reply # 6977305 on 6971563

    Hello Mitch,

    I use spinnaker poles on Saraband as I do not have a Whisker pole.  The discussion which follows is the same however regardless of the pole used.

    Generally the Whisker pole is only used Dead Down Wind (DDW) or a very deep broad reach.  That is when the wind is between  160 to 180 degrees aft of the bow.  You can get away with the pole up to about 145 degrees off, but you must avoid carrying it past 180 degrees.  Apparent Wind.  

    In the ocean I seldom use a whisker pole for 2 reasons:  1)  "Dead Down is dead slow".  That is an old racing saying that is often an exaggeration, but it is much faster, usually to reach off,  The VMG (velocity made good) will almost always be better.  Store these  numbers away in your file:  If you change from a DDW course to a course 20 degrees different, then your increased distance will only be 6.4% more.  Your speed increase could easily be 20% more.  If you change 30 degrees the increase is only 15.4%. Again, your speed increase will easily exceed that.

    2)  The boat will most likely be much more comfortable.  It will roll DDW but probably not on a broad reach.

    Your other question:  I do not Gybe in the manner you suggested.  When I am running , or on a deep broad reach, I will ease the sheet as I am passing the stern through the wind.  As the sail flies forward I will pull in the Opposite sheet (the lazy sheet).   In reality, like Norm suggested also, This maneuver is not done that often.  Again, this is for Method number 2, not method number 1.

    During one very easy 16 day crossing to Hawaii, Ruth and I were gybing about once every 3 days or so.  No pole, no rolling, just easy and comfortable, broad reaches.

    Good Luck,  hope this helps.  Keep us informed.       Dave

  • December 30, 2018 4:44 PM
    Reply # 6977306 on 6971563
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I've found images of flying the large sail.  I used the spinnaker bail at the top of the mast... 

    Tacking is tough  though so not much use on the SF Bay.


    The verticle images are displayed 90 off -- can't change this sorry. 

    3 files
    Last modified: December 30, 2018 4:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • January 01, 2019 8:39 PM
    Reply # 6979448 on 6971563
    Deleted user

    Jay, it looks like you do have an attachment for the tack similar to what I originally suggested.  Is this a stock or homebrew piece?  Thanks for the pix. 

    Dave, Your sail shift (gybe/tack) sounds like what I would call a pseudo-tack.  And yes I, as a long retired racer, do agree that no boat belongs DDW unless you purposely want to go slow.  I don't like the motion and potential for problems with the main.

    Thanks both for your advise.

  • January 05, 2019 11:50 AM
    Reply # 6984824 on 6979448
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Anonymous wrote:

    Jay, it looks like you do have an attachment for the tack similar to what I originally suggested.  Is this a stock or homebrew piece?  Thanks for the pix. 


    If you click on the pictures you should see the full sized image... 

    That is an ATN tacker - http://www.atninc.com/atn-tacker-sailing-equipment.shtml - but tacking is tough with the staysail stay... I could use a pelican hook to move the staysail stay from time to time... 

    PS I've removed the hanks on the sail you see above. 


    Last modified: January 05, 2019 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)