Bristol Channel Cutter "Angelsea" (Shanti)

Lions and tigers and furlers … oh my!

Another big change to Shanti besides the rigging will be a furler for the headsails.

Using a second sail like a drifter or storm jib etc with a foil/furler is not an easy solution. You either have to change the sail on the foil, set it flying or just use your engine (ugh). That is one of the reasons I have stuck with hanked on sails for so long. But the sprit on the BCC is just a tad to long to work out on easily, particularly in heavy weather. Of course I don’t see other boats changing out their sails on their furlers on a regular basis either.

I was on a cruise in the Sea of Cortez with my engineless Falmouth Cutter years ago. I had a jib, tri-radial drifter and a cruising chute. It was a great combo for just about any wind situation. I remember all the “cruisers” grumbling about there was not enough wind to sail. A number of us were going further north, about a 20 mile sail. Of course the next morning the winds were light and everyone took off under power. Except me. I set my drifter and was off on admittedly slow sail. The beer was cold and the trip was easy. I arrived last by about only an hour and a half, and got to sail the whole way on a beautiful day. I like to sail, thats why I have a “sail”boat. The sail all the cruisers had on their RF were to heavy for the light air. And I didn’t see anyone change or set flying a drifter.

I’m lucky that I don’t have a “standard” furler yet. So the cost of dumping it will not prevent me from doing something a little different. Although it’s not really that different, just different from todays norm.

This is going to be another example of a “new/old paradigm crossovers”. I will be going back to using a bowsprit traveler (ring, this one here ). On this traveler I will be mounting a code zero continuous line furler (something like this but by Precourt ). Also I will be have a torque luff rope sewn into the luff of my sails, this will be out of the Dynex also as this line under load is very torque resistant. The torque rope helps the flying furler (code zero) work better. This will all be topped off with a 2/1 halyard purchase and a #16 halyard winch. I should be able to set the tension on the luff at somewhere around 1200lbs. This way the sail will perform well to weather.

A gaff rigged cutter using a bowsprit traveler.

A gaff rigged cutter using a bowsprit traveler.

The way this system will work is: I attach the tack to the traveler (ring) and the head to the halyard. Haul the tack out to the end of the sprit, then haul the halyard up tight. Go sailing. At the end of the day I can elect to leave it set and just furl the sail, or I can douse it. The sail will be all rolled up and easy to put in a sail bag. If while I am out sailing and the wind goes light, all I need to do is drop the sail or furl the sail and drop it. Attach the drifter in the same manner and continue to sail. At the end of the day I can just furl the drifter or drop it and stow. All of this from the relative safety of the deck. I think this system will give me the best of both worlds, namely hank/furler. Oh ya,  when I get my new asymmetrical and can just furl that also instead of using a sock. 🙂

I hope to have this system up and sailing in 4-6 weeks. At this point a lot depends on how fast the traveler gets here from the UK. This weekend I remove my sprit to round and refinsih her.