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roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:19 pm
by LulaBelle

I have a Westerly W21 which is my first boat and I have not sailed before so while the boat is out of the water I have been playing with the sails.

The Mainsail worked great however when I unfurled the jib I noticed the lines at the top of the jib which were tied to the mast started to get entangled (wrapping themselves around the jib. I untangled them (See attached photo), but when I started to roll the jib back in the lines started to wrap themselves around the jib again.

Any ideas what could be wrong? I've tried to compare my setup with others and some web sites suggested a swivel thing could be seized however mine appears to be slightly different.

I'm a novice so any advice would be great, thanks

Jib.JPG (64.66 KiB) Viewed 4094 times

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:49 pm
by mikebuggy
I think for anyone to answer, you might need to be a bit more specific, as "the lines at the top of the jib which were tied to the mast" wont mean very much to most people. Usually, but not always, the jib is tied to a kind of sliding collar which can travel up and down the alloy extrusion 'foil' which holds the jib. The collar is tied to to the top of the jib. When the sail is first put on the foil at the begining of the season, a halyard (= a line or rope) coming from a sheave (=pulley wheel) at the top of the mast is tied to this collar and is used to pull the collar, and the sail with it, up the foil. The metal foil itself is installed around the wire forestay that holds the mast up. The foil is free to turn around the forestay. The sliding collar has got a swivel bearing in it so that the foil is free to turn in it. Once the sail is up, the only line going towards the top of the jib from the top of the mast is the jib halyard. If the bearing in the sliding collar is dirty and stiff, or if the halyard at the top is close to the foil, it can sometimes wrap on the sail. At the top, the halyard needs to come away from the sail at quite a good angle and not be parallel or alongside the last bit of the forestay.
The other lines at the top may just be other halyards and lines for other purposes, spinnaker etc. You simply need to angle these away as much as possible from the forestay and tighten them on deck or at the mast so they dont catch the rotating forestay. It would help you a lot to ask someone else in your area for a practical demonstration and even better to go out on someone elses boat to practice sail handling and hoisting because there are many more surprises in store for you than just wrapping jib halyards!!

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:14 pm
by LulaBelle
Thank you so much for the detailed description. You described it so much better than my 'Idiots guide to sailing' book. :D

After reading your post, it does look like that I have either let the line hang too close to the sail when reefing it in or the swivel at the top is jammed.
I believe the boat has been out of the water for over a year so I've had to do quite a bit of cleaning which might mean the bearings are gundged up.

I don't think the sail has been taken down for quite a while so it might be worth me doing that first.

If I pulled the sail down would the collar thingy with the bearing come down with it? I watched a video last night made by Dylan Winter (Keep turning left) on installing a roller jib and mine looked just like the collar he had up the top of the jib.
You have probably guessed by now that I am trying everything before I started thinking about going up the mast in a bosun chair (one came with the boat) or go through the expense of lowering the mast.

I would love to get some local help however it's out of season and I am based at Holy loch, dunoon... so I don't see many people!



Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:10 pm
by philipstevens
Looking at your photo, I think the two lines to the top of the mast, are above your furler, and have nothing to do with the headsail. Have you tried to pull those tight?

Again, I think your sail could be tensioned at the bottom of the furling foil, on the drum. It could be like the one I had on a previous boat, that was an early unit - later furlers were tensioned on the mast, with a swivel at the top of the furler.

Try tightening the two lines (possibly one line for a cruising chute or spinnaker) and unfurl your headsail to see how it is tensioned. A good time to then take it down for cleaning and a good dose of looking at!

Keep us posted.

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:25 pm
by aquaplane
I agree with Phil, I have the Rotostay furler on my Centaur and it was always fouling on the shute halyard.


I found that I had to lead the lines aft and hook them behind the spreaders before attaching them to the chainplates to keep them away from the top swivel.

Nice place to keep a boat, I like Holy Loch.

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:33 am
by LulaBelle
Thanks for the advice guys and yes, Holy Loch is a great location and I hope will be ideal for learning to sail... as long as I keep clear of the local nuke subs :wink:

I found another pic and apart from the sail looking a bit lower than it should be it might just be the chute lines tangled up. I did let the line hang down loose when I was reefing.
lulabelle1.jpg (135.36 KiB) Viewed 4047 times

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:33 pm
by Uncle Albert
I have a similar issue (Colnbrook furling) which mean that the top swivel does not go up and down the foil and the sail is hoisted by what amounts to a continuous wire halyard made off at the drum at the bottom. Early in my ownership of my Centaur the top swivel picked up on the cruising chute halyard and the result was a new forestay required as the twist in the wire was unravelled significantly weakening the rigging.
My solution is as has already been mentioned route the chute Halyard behind the speaders. Its a bit of a faff but saves in the long run.

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:44 am
by aquaplane
You won't get near the Subs, a polite but firm gentleman in one of the black RIBs will approach to suggest that you keep clear. His friend with the machine gun will back him up on this :D

I may see you about, I'm thinking of having a Clyde cruise this season. Look out for Chiron or Seminole especially if you get to Tarbert.

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:23 pm
by LulaBelle
Thank you for all your replies.

I'm back up to the boat on Saturday so I will have plenty of things to try and hopefully get it fixed.

Thanks for the advice about the subs... man with a machine gun! I did wonder who would have the right of way... now I know :D


Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:22 am
by sentoray
Hi on my centaur, when I first purchased it, I found the previous owner had the same problem. I looked at it and it seemed rather simple to me but can't really tell from the photos. I have a swivel at the top of my roller reefing which the Uphall and the genia is cliped onto. The uphaul is fed through a guide below the pulley at the mast head and then it goes back down to the base of the mast. This guide is what holds the top half of the swivel steady whilst the bottom have rotates.

I found our spinnaker halyard still got caught on the shackle which attaches the genoa to the swivel but I simply brought the spinnaker halyard to the base of the mast to get it out of the way. It was previously clipped to the push pit.

Looking at your photos couldn't you utilise the spair pulley at the top of the mast. I know it's for the spinnaker but if you move the loose pulley to the other side and feed the tail of the spinnaker uphaul down the mast the loose pulley will push the halyard forward and away from the rigging so you should be able to fly the spinnaker without problems but making sure you tie the working end if the spinnaker halyard to the guard rail next to the port or starboard shrouds. This will keep it away from what looks like a pulley on the end of the foil.

Hope this helps

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:58 am
by peteware
I have done a basic diagram hope it helps

Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:27 am
by LulaBelle
Thank you for all your replies and the very nice diagram (Peteware). I was up at the boat yesterday and after a bit of playing with the jib everything is now sorted.

The issue was correctly solved by forum members. :D

When I bought Lula Belle (my first yacht), it came with the spinnaker ropes tangled up with the jib (At the time, I didn't realise this!). So it seamed this is how it should be! I think that was the start of my concerns. So, yesterday I pulled out the jib sail all the way... untangled and pulled hard on the ropes and... hey presto, everything looks normal.
I've put the spinnaker ropes to the stern side of the mast spreaders so they don't get caught up again. I then spent an hour pretending to sail (on dry dock) with the jib so I know how to use it without getting anything tangled up. :wink:

For the experienced members, I'm sorry for bringing up a trivial problem like this on the forum. At the time I was just about to book the marina for getting her back into the water after nearly three months of fixing and cleaning. I was think thinking the worst and a big delay in the launch.



Re: roller furling jib tangled problem

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:33 pm
by peteware
hi lulabelle thanks for the kind words to us all
there not trivial problems THEY'RE the same problems EVERY sailor on here has had at one time or another none of us were born sailor we all have to learn some the hard way and some like you have the sense to ask
its like when we run aground in Conwy scared the Be'Jesus out of me but looking back we were in no danger and we learned a lot out of it we worked like a team and with the help of the RNLI and again looking back we only had to stay onboard and have a coffee and we would have sailed off in a couple of hours Fin keel might be why we went out and bought the centaur with bilge keel LOL
and as to ropes don't get me started on them when we had the centaur delivered to ABC marina we had never seen the same setup as your roller reefing we had a snap furl on the last boat we had with the spinning bearing at the top so when we tried to put the front sail up we like you tangled it all up tried for about 1 hour and thought there must have been something wrong went and got the people at ABC marine to ask advice
only to be told CONNED BY THEM that there was a problem and it would cost £150 to fix
then something clicked in our heads and we figured out the system it was like yours TOOK US
5 min and its still working perfect to this day