Ask SAIL: Converting a Jib with Hanks to a Furler

Author:
Publish date:

Q: My headsail has hanks and I am thinking of buying a new roller-furling unit. Can I convert the sail to a reefing headsail?

Hancock Head shot

Paul Warren, Burlington, VT

BRIAN HANCOCK REPLIES

The short answer is, yes. However, you’ll need to really give this some thought, because it’s not a simple process and it’s going to cost you some money. If it’s a new sail in great condition then perhaps it’s a good idea, but don’t spend the money converting an old sail. First of all, the luff length has to be shortened to allow for the furling drum and swivel. This means that the head patch has to be removed and lowered down the luff and the leech has to be faired in—a big job. Also remember that the sail was designed to be hanked on, which means the luff curve will be different from that of a sail on a furling unit. Specifically, there is usually a lot more sag in a headstay with a furling unit, so the modified sail will have to take that into account. Lastly if you are planning to use the sail reefed, you need to make sure that the fabric, in general, is up to the task, since the original sail was not designed with that in mind. So, yes, you can convert a hanked-on sail, but at the end of the day you will end up with a compromise that may well cost almost as much as a new one.

Brian Hancock is a sailmaker, whitbread race veteran and creator of allaboutsails.com

Do you have a question for our experts? Submit it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

August 2015

Related

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! We set sail from Chicago on a crossing to Saugatuck, ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Let her breathe When the wind’s so light your cigar smoke goes straight up (or it used to, before having fun was banned) any well-designed yacht with a clean bottom will somehow keep on sailing if you ...read more