View Full Version : AFFF = All Foresails Free Flying

11-10-2010, 06:12 AM
Thinking about the heavy weather, I am am sitting on the foredeck, struggling to get the no.3 genoa down, it has partly escaped from the slit in the forestayprofile and jammed. 30kn wind, we are pounding into the waves, suddenly I am under water and floating up, leaving the deck as safe platform... Other times: Change sails , hank on sails, I have to go forward, unclip - remove - clip on new. Wet story again. Small boat, big boat? They both get nose in the water. To get entangled in big sails is not so fun. Solo sailing on foredeck, mr.Raymarine is on work, but I have to rely on him.....

News from the canary isles: Furling genoa reefing line brakes in a gale, unrolles, mast brakes.

A thought stuck me, what works? My gennakers on bowsprit works well from cockpit. My cunningham on the foresail gives the tension I need in the fore leach. Why not just sail with the sails unclipped. Then I can set them and retrieve them from cockpit, easy. When the wind is strong, the best is to remove sails from deck, dancing blocks and metal pieces can make :Dhole in the hull!

The only problem is: how to get enough tension in the halyard? Other problems, anyone who have tried this ideaB:?

11-10-2010, 06:49 AM
can you tell me of an around the world boat that races without roller furling?

I would not base 1 failure out of a zillion furling systems to do as U suggest.

Stay off the deck.

As to will it work yes if you never want to go upwind.

Peerie Maa
11-10-2010, 07:17 AM
The working boats around here set the jibs flying, the forestaysails were hanked on and made with one or two rows of reefing points.
The jib hallard on the inshore trawlers (one man boats 25 -32 foot, two man boats 36 to 45 foot) had a double block at the mast head, a single on the head of the sail. One fall of the halyard was belayed after hauling the sail up, the other fall of the halyard had a tackle for cranking up the tension.
If the staysail had to be struck, it was not taken below but lashed into a "sausage" and tied down.

Ian McColgin
11-10-2010, 07:35 AM
You need a strong luff wire and even then you may have to cut the sail allowing for a more hollow luff than most boats like nowadays.

It's really hard to beat the merriman type roller furler. Once rolled up, the sail comes down in a snake. You still need the upper bearing to have a bale over the head stay to keep it from winding up, but there's a great solution if you don't want to go out which I worked out for Goblin. We had two jibs, the big and the little. So I made a sort of sliding cranse that could be pulled out the bow sprit and carried with it the jib stay. It was long enough that the drum at the tack was positioned nicely. Goblin's foremast was fine both under sail and bare with just the head stay to the bow so this worked for us. That way I could wind up the sail, pull the sliding cranse back to just ahead of the stem, and lower the jib with the snake coming down in a big bight. Easy to take off and hook up the next. Yes, it did mean being on the very bow but briefly and well protected by the lifelines and pivot post for the forestaysail boom.

On Granuaile, by contrast, I built a hanked on sail. Granna had a great round bowsprit that I made with seven teak strips covering a total of a 60 degree arc so I had great foot traction at all angles of heel. The bowsprit also had fairly tight hip level lifeline rails to a super pulpit, so walking out was safe. To bring the sail down in a gale I'd let off the halyard. Of course, in the way of jibs with a wind it would stay up until I used the downhaul to get it down. Then with it laying inside the lifelines I'd use the downhaul to apply a sweedish furl to keep the jib on the lower rail. Easy. Clean. Safe.


11-10-2010, 07:44 AM
You need a strong luff wire

Along those lines today with the Spec12 and other hi tech lines wire is not needed

Samson, AmSteel, Running Rigging, Line, Spectron 12, Spectra 12 Strand Single Braid Rope

Spectron 12 yields one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios available
Stronger than steel, it floats and will not absorb water
Easily spliced (much like splicing 12-strand hollow braided ski rope)
Extremely light weight and almost no stretch
Use for tapered sheets, halyards, lifelines, or running backstays

Also see Pro furl (http://www.profurl.com/rubrique-Flying_sails_furlers-0202000000000000-theme-UK.html)

11-10-2010, 08:16 AM
can you tell me of an around the world boat that races without roller furling?

I would not base 1 failure out of a zillion furling systems to do as U suggest.

Stay off the deck.

As to will it work yes if you never want to go upwind.

The problem is, that I have to many boats, and it will be to costly to make them with roller furlers. The other is that I hate complex solutions, and love to have it simple and handmade. I like WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get. You can buy some fancy hitech, and then complain afterwards when it does not work. Its much more fun to make something work and remake it stronger when it brakes.

The issue is more upvind advantages. How to get enough tension.

Presuming Ed
11-10-2010, 08:53 AM
IIRC, Ocean Planet (the Open 60) had a free standing rig and all foresails were free flying for both her circumnavigations.

IIRC, foresail luff tension came from running backstays/checkstays.

Probably even easier now with the development of Code zero furling systems, and now the emergence of top down furling systems for assymetric spinnakers.

Google "Torsion luff cable". State of the art is carbon or aramid.

11-10-2010, 07:33 PM
We fly all our jibs free, drifter,light air jib, working jib and storm'sl. But they were built with proper wire luff and cuts. We now don't have to get out on the bow sprit to change or hand in a sail. It takes some getting used to, to get them in properly, but much easier than the former set up. No hanks to clip in and with a double halyard set up from the mast truck, we can have one on deck to change over or run dual headsails.
I use a soft shackle for the sheet attachment to the sail clew. Having seen them advertised in a magazine, I built some of my own of 3 strand Dacron. They work great!

11-11-2010, 04:43 AM
Here we have set stormsail free flying. I have a double block for tension and backstays/checkstays for crancing up on a winch. Look at the pcts. if you do not understand norwegian.
I an making a 26foot wreck to be our new touring boat. I am thinking about removing all stancions and lifeguards. Therefore the AFFF questions.
For other nice picts of our sailing area:

11-14-2010, 11:40 PM
I have been using a free flying 150 for a couple of years on my Lapworth-36. It has a wire luff. I fly if off a spinnaker halyard as mostly we use it down wind and it is flying in front of the forestay. I have difficulty getting tension for sailing on the wind as I am afraid of breaking the bronze ring off the mast. I don't use the jib halyard because the angle of the sail out of the sheave without a hank on the forestay would damage the sheave. It is also very difficult to tack and gybe and takes a lot of practice to get it right. My sail maker says the way to tack such a sail is to furl it and then unfurl it. Not much help for someone without a furling system. The problem with tacking is that you can either tack the sail in front of the forestay since it is on the spinnaker halyard or tack inside the foretriangle and have the halyard rub on the forestay. Basically there are a lot of things that make this complex other than ones you think about before actually using it. I guess if we were not racing and if it didn't blow 25 knots all the time things would be easier. Basically, we do this and it works, but it takes a lot of practice and figuring out. I am still trying to find a better solution.

One thing we did was to add one single hank at the head. With this clipped on, we can use the jib halyard. We want to do this for light wind conditions. Much more difficult to take the sail down with the hank on. Oh, and taking the sail down, it is best to have it backwinded and let it fall on the deck. The other way we take it down is to raise the smaller sail first and take it down under the small sail. I like grabbing the luff as high as I can to take the sail down, my crew likes grabbing the foot mid way. Dropping the sail in the water by cutting the halyard works too. :-)

I am very interested in this topic and hope some good ideas are put forward.

11-15-2010, 08:24 AM
I am thinking about setting the sails inside the forestay and use the foresail halyard, and use a cunningham and winch for tension. I am rebuilding a boat now. If I use my old hank on sails, I also think about having an ekstra forstay which I can let loose at the bottom. Than I can hank on the sails from cockpit. That will work, and will give good control when taking down a sail, but I like better to try them free flying. That would give more simplicity to the rig. Another thing I did not think about is: How much tension is good for the halyard system? Maybe the loose bottomed ekstra forstay is a good idea.

Ian McColgin
11-15-2010, 08:42 AM
Before you get all carried away with flying jibs, try taming one in a gale.

For simplicity it is really hard to beat hanked on, especially if you get used to using a downhaul aggressivly. Once you have the luff held down and one jib sheet tightened, the jib will lay along the rail just as docile as you please and you can put stops on (I use the downhaul's fall with a sweedish furl) at your leisure. Whether you have the halyard at the cockpit or the mast, this works finastkind.

Another advantage of the downhaul is that you'll have laced it through each hank. Otherwise it flogs when the sail is set. With the downhaul thus laced, it acts as a sort of magazine when the sail is off the stay, keeping the hanks in nice order. I found it handy to make my sailbags with a hole in the bottom big enough for my hand to get through. If I was to bag the sail, I'd start with the sail down stretched along the rail but not stopped and let the sheets loose. Then with the bag insideout I could reach reach through the hole, grabbing the sail a little ahead of the middle and start oozing the bag back right side out over the sail, pulling it into a bight as I go. When done, the clew is near the top of the bag and once the luff is unhanked that can be stuffed in. When you go to put the sail back on, everything you need is right at hand in the bag and all in the right order. This makes headsail changes in a dark and stormy night safer and more convenient.

The hole in the bag and the downhaul are not used much for reasons I don't understand since it's an old and simple winkle.


11-15-2010, 07:59 PM
The reason I use a free flying sail is so I can put it up before I take down the smaller jib. We race in a non-spinnaker class and it is how we change jibs. I like it for day sailing when the wind is light as it is a very light sail and easy to put up. If my goal was to have a sail that I could put up and take down in a storm and I was not racing, I would go with hanked on or roller furling. There are many issues with the free flying jib. They are not easy to deal with in strong winds. That said, cutting the halyard and then pulling the sail out of the water works surprisingly well. The way we put the sail up is I tie it with yarn every 6 feet or so. That allows the sail to get up without filling. Then the sheet breaks the yarns. If you get it half way up and it fills, that is another problem. In light winds, it is easy.

wizbang 13
11-15-2010, 09:32 PM
The blue thing is a flying jib. I set it and bring it in from behind the shrouds. Once 90% up, it gets tightened on the windlass.
It requires lots of searoom, I always go off the wind to set and strike. It comes down before the wind comes up.
It can be a dangerous SOB. The little orange storm jib from #9 scares me, as Ian sez, they can get un-tamed.
The worst I ever shook my 8 1/2" mast, was that thing flailing around!http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4054/4647215955_5924f08acf_z_d.jpg

donald branscom
11-18-2010, 09:23 PM
can you tell me of an around the world boat that races without roller furling?

I would not base 1 failure out of a zillion furling systems to do as U suggest.

Stay off the deck.

As to will it work yes if you never want to go upwind.

I personally met several around the world sailors, ( one young man from South Africa), and some of them told me they would NOT use roller furling.
It can easily get fouled up. Not worth the risk. Especially when sailing alone.
Every winter the liveaboards have to go out in the middle of the night, and try to tie down a roller furling sail beating itself to death.
When you are sailing out in the ocean you can just leave the sail hanked on. No one around to steal it.
The weekend racers shlep sails back and forth to their cars. That is why some like roller furlers . Hard to steal. Can't get to the top of the mast.

11-19-2010, 12:31 AM
We have used a combination of downhaul and tricing line. We started out with them being one and the same. Now they are separate. The tricing line is run through two rings which are placed on the jibstay midway up the jibsail luff. The line runs from one of these rings around the port side of the sail through the clew and back forward on the starboard side of the sail through the other ring and then down to a block attached to the bowsprit near the tack then back onto deck and in our case it can run all the way back to the cockpit. I have triced the sail from the cockpit by slowly easing off the sheet while pulling in on the tricing line. It scandalizes the sail by pulling it forward against the jib stay. Once the sail is scandalized, you still must get it down but being scandalized it may be possible for you to continue sailing in a gale for a bit. If you want to do all from the cockpit, then your halyard and jib downhaul would have to run back to the cockpit. We do not run the downhaul through the hanks as Ian does though. If you've used a tricing line and then downhaul, your jib will make a little package out on the end of the sprit that you really don't have to attend to.

On our boat, (if we don't use the tricing line) we just keep the sheet tight as we use the downhaul to pull the sail down into the bowsprit netting and then leave the jib there until we're in a good place to take it off. This works for our 100% jib and the yankee but the larger jibs won't fit there well. It's not a small package though and if we're putting the sprit into the waves its not a good place for the jib to be even if it is sail-tied onto the bowsprit shrouds and netting.

We can use the tricing line to pull an oversized jib forward around the staysail/forestay on the stem. It's a poor man's furl. I've heard it called sea furling, btw.

Ian McColgin
11-19-2010, 07:21 AM
redbopeep's experience shows that different things work differently on different boats. When I experimented with a tricing line on Granuaile one blustery day when we went from a Gale (Force 8, wind about 40kt) to a Storm (Force 10, wind over 50 kt) and I wanted the jib down for a little bit while I got rid of the mizzen and took the fore down to two reefs. Dang it flogged out there. For Grana, it was best to pull the jib's luff down and then use the sheet to stretch the jib out along the lee rail. The shape of the jib and rail and lifelines and the jib clew being ahead of all foremast shrouds harmonized such that just a flick on the sheet as it was pulled back would flip the jib inside the lifelines, where it would lay quietly so long as we didn't tack before securing it.

I have more often than this seadog would admit to the uninitiated found that cool winkles that work on one boat must be at the least modified if not abandoned on another. I say "admit to the uninitiated" because deeply and diversely experienced sailors know that the horizon of the unknown expands and receeds with knowledge. Good captains can share what they don't know with other captains, but it's better to remain both decisive and cryptic to green hands.

Different boats, different longsplices.

11-23-2010, 05:27 AM
Ian, I believe that a tricing line used in a gale would not sufficiently scandalize a larger jib than our smallest ones. There's too much sail that can catch the wind. Though it doesn't "flog" the small jib we have used the technique on, it isn't exactly reassuring in the manner that it moves about on the stay either. Our preferred method of momentarily dousing the jib in high winds is to use the tricing line for "a bit" and the preferred method of dropping the jib for more than a few minutes is to do as you do--downhaul and sheet taut to have the jib stretched down in the netting next to the bowsprit. We have yet to sail in sustained force 10 winds but the associated seas would press me to think that leaving our jib tied next to the bowsprit in the netting is not appropriate and we'd have to do the tricing line then downhaul technique to make that small package on the end of the sprit or we'd have to do the downhaul only technique and then get someone out on the sprit to either remove the hanked on jib or to tie it tight to the sprit itself. Though our jacklines go 4' out our 11' bowprit, I don't like anyone on the sprit in rough seas.

Ian McColgin
11-23-2010, 07:08 AM
A bowsprit in plunging seas is indeed a dreadful place. When I've had to get out alone to completely secure the jib, I'd either heave-to, lie a-hull, or even let her drift downwind for a bit under bare poles. Even with a crew, I'd often do one of those since a little "lost" ground is far more affordable than lost crew. It always amazes me how people raised on coastal "cruising" racing don't think of how to be comfortable and safe.

With Grana, as we got into Storm conditions I'd have main and mizzen all the way down, double reefed fore, forestaysail up, and jib down. I just use the fall of the downhaul to put a really secure "sweedish furl" (essentially a chain knot cast over the jib) to keep the jib tightly wound against the rail. Even though Grana was 55' and 20T, each individual sail was basicly small and she was very easy to adjust to severe conditions. By the way if you're looking at the Marco Polo sail plan, Grana departed most felicitiously from LFH's plan in that she had a bow sprit for that jib. The forestaysail was a smidge smaller than the drawn jib. Gave more sail and took out the typical LFH weather helm when the jib was up and a wonderfully snug rig in bad air.

The forestaysail was a camber-spar sail - a bent and rotating spar in a sleave running from the clew to the luff and landing normal to the luff. A wonderful sail and incredibly safe for the foredeck crew. Not just safer than a clubbed jib, which is a real menace when you're off the wind, but also safer than a loose conventional jib on the wind and tacking as you don't have the heavy clew cringle flogging about looking for a scalp to lacerate. Screw "charactor" - if you can install a camber spar jib or forestaysail, you'll be a happy sailor.


11-23-2010, 08:12 AM
The problem that I have with sails set flying is that some areas where I sail can have pretty violent squalls, where you can get a 90 and the wind goes from 18kt to 50kt almost instantly. Unless you have a big crew that's had a lot of practice, handling a flying sail in that situation can be a real adventure.
I recently sailed on a 34' boat that was built in 2003. It had a Charleston Spar "in the mast" furling main, and a Schaeffer "System 2100" roller furling jib. I didn't much care for the main, but the roller jib worked a lot better than any other I've been around. In particular the luff feeder worked really well- enough so that we raised a 135% jib in more than 20kt of wind with no trouble.
I don't have one on my boat, primarily because of money, and also because the typical arrangement of a 125-135% jib that's built heavy enough to work in strong wind when it's 2/3 rolled up is not going to also make a good light-wind sail, or a really good heavy-wind sail. Which gets you into changing sails.