So I wrote about our new sail plan, one of the key features is that we will not have any “traditional” roller reefing headsails. That decision has been mostly driven by wanting Dyneema rigging which can be inspected and changed by us and which reduces weight so we will heel less. Also it is going to save us a lot of money and should be more reliable.
There are more benefits though. Although it is perfectly possible to leave our furled sails (yankee jib and code zero or asymmetric spinnaker) hoisted ready for use, it is also easy to lower them and take them down below while still furled. There are 3 key benefits to doing this:
- Longer sail life (less exposure to UV and wind)
- Better anchoring. Something I’ve learnt from Attainable Adventure Sailing is that reducing windage forward means that you lie more consistently at anchor rather than sheering from side to side. Not only is this more comfortable but you are also putting less angled strain on the anchor which is therefore much less likely to get pulled out of the the seabed.
- This great video from Ran Sailing Tie everything down🌪 Winds of 60 knots are coming! – Ep. 248 shows another. When you see them safe, but a bit uncomfortable, in a marina side on to very high winds you that they are heeling more due to the windage on their two rolled heasdsails. They can’t do anything about this as the sails would have to be unfurled in order to lower them (impossible, dangerous and probably destructive of the sails in those winds).
At almost the same time Delos had strong winds while alongside, this time being blown onto the dock. Again reducing the windage would have made things less uncomfortable (but is not possible with roller reefing).
Of course we recognise the disadvantages. We will have more foredeck work. We think it is worth it (at least if you can have a cutter rig which reduces the individual sail sizes). We don’t have to swap between different headsails (except in light winds) which makes it a lot easier.