Installing a top down furling sail

p.gazibara

Member III
Hey all,
Back in NZ on Cinderella and looking at upgrading her sail management systems.

As luck would have it, I have a-spinnaker and a facnor furler that used to be on Web Chiles’ one toner.

I’m hoping to add a sprit ( I also have a length of carbon tube I got with the furler)

I’m looking for any advice/gotchas before I go through the steps.

Sure would be great to get rid of that big aluminum tube we have carried around forever for the light sails...

Do you guys think I need bobstays? Cinderella’s fine bow does not lend itself to adding supports with very efficient angles. I already have a sizeable backing plate at the bow that should handle the shear stress of the compression loads. Just need to come up with some sort of fitting that the carbon tube can butt up against.

From the looks of things, if I take the roll bar off my mantis anchor, it should fit up there quite nicely still.

Mark? I know you fitted something similar on Lotus Flower, what’s your take?
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Hey Pajo,

I "Frankensteined" the top down furler on Lotus flower from an old continuous line furler I got on E-Bay, a 3" spinnaker pole with one frozen jaw from Craigslist and an old crusty main halyard shoved inside a piece of vinyl tube (torque line). At the time I was putting mine together torque line was hard to find and what was available was expensive.

For the stowed position there is a deck chock aft and another deck chock forward for the deployed position. After seeing what Shelden was selling for a bow hold down bracket for the sprit I was confident I could come up with something strong enough. I got a piece of ABS (plumbing pipe) that the spinnaker pole would slide through and had a metal fabricator make up a bracket that was sized to the ABS.

For my setup the sheets are always on deck as is the furling line.

I think this would be an excellent addition to Cinderella, having an easily deployed light-air sail for an electric boat is a good thing.

spin4.jpgspin4.jpgspin8.jpg
 

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p.gazibara

Member III
Are there any tricks to deployment/retrieval? How tight does the torque rope need to be? It looks like your setup is unstayed, so that makes me feel better.

Thanks for the photos it really helps!
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
With my home-built system I have to keep an eye on the spinnaker back furling on the bottom when deploying. I think this is because the furler never goes to "free wheel" mode like most of the top down units that are sold. I have to manually unfurl the spinnaker. It's not a big deal but I do have to watch it. Torque line should be very tight. The "real" torque line you can buy at a reasonable price now might not need to be as tight.

As long as you don't get too carried away with how far you project the sprit you should be fine without a Bob-stay.

Is the furling unit you have a top down furler?
 

nquigley

Member III
I'm sure you'll consider everything else before even thinking about a bobstay - they can become a huge hassle when anchored if the boat turns due to current, resulting in the rode lying tightly across the bobstay, making it almost impossible to haul the anchor (especially for an all-chain rode)
 

p.gazibara

Member III
Mark,

Thanks for sending the photos. I’m going to look around and see what I can come up with here. I like the simplicity of deployment.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
You may have already seen these, but a couple of links I've filed away for this "maybe someday" project. Some discussion about need for bobstay, or lack thereof. The one guy just replaced the bottom screw on his forestay chainplate with an eye-bolt and ran a short piece of wire to it.

A couple of boats in my marina have had these made, which appeal to me because of their use of existing hardware and compact design. Just pull a pin to swap the sprit for the roller. One has a bobstay, one doesn't:


bowsprit J42 in HR.png
This guy described the construction in a thread on Sailing Anarchy, from which I stole this photo, for my file, but I can't seem to find the thread right now. It's heavy wall aluminum. The local machine shops would probably charge about $150 for something like that. I think the other one down the dock may be carbon fiber.
On the other hand, finding some way to make the spinnaker pole do double duty also seems appealing.
 

p.gazibara

Member III
Looks like a very robust anchor roller, much more than mine. I think the idea to pull a pin (or bolt) and it goes away is very key to the whole thing. Let’s face it, we don’t want to spend anymore at the dock than we have to and maybe it solves the anchor issue, nothing for the rode to tangle on, and it’s stowable.

The key really is making deployment far easier than the current pole situation (pretty low benchmark). Bonus points if it’s possible to interchange a slightly windward sail like a code zero with an assym on the sprit.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
For the example above, it seems like the bracket would have to be custom-made for each specific boat. For example, to get something like that to fit on my much smaller boat (I think that's a J/42, IIRC) the bracket would probably have to point down, so the tube rides on top of the roller frame. I also have a pull-the-pin style chain stopper mounted on the deck behind the roller, to which a second rear bracket could be pinned. And maybe a clip-on bobstay would be needed for strength. I think I have a shroud quick-release from my old Hobie 16 around somewhere, that might do the trick to tension the bobstay. Or maybe just one of the turnbuckles from the old rigging. Hmm... or maybe there's a way to rig it so that the sprit itself is the tensioning lever. Just thinking (typing?) out loud.
 
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