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Ask SAIL: Coming Unfurled

I have a Code Zero-type headsail with a torque-rope luff I’ve been flying with a continuous-line furler on my 40-foot cutter
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Q I have a Code Zero-type headsail with a torque-rope luff I’ve been flying with a continuous-line furler on my 40-foot cutter for three years now. It works very well, except when it suddenly gets too windy. Then when I try to roll the sail up, it keeps unrolling again about halfway through the furl. Is there any way to stop this from happening?

Dan Fullerton
Mobile, Alabama

WIN FOWLER 

AIt sounds as though the furling line is slipping in the furler. First, it is important to keep tension on both parts of the furling line as you furl. The aft end of the line should run through a block that is cinched aft so as to keep the furling line taut. It could also be the line is slipping where the ends were spliced together to form the loop. Sometimes the splice is thinner than the rest of the line. If that’s the case it can be made thicker with a sail needle and twine; a rigger can show you how. If the furling line is taut and slipping somewhere other than the splice, you may need to substitute a larger diameter line.

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