Features September 2009 Issue

Headsail Furlers Sans Swivels Face-Off

Testers compare four integral jib furling systems for mid-size sailboats.

A follow-up to our evaluation of jib furlers with head swivels, Practical Sailor reviews roller furlers that use no swivel. For many years, the Flexible Furler from Cruising Design Inc. (CDI) was the most prominent player in this category, but some new products and innovative designs are offering more options for sailors looking for easy-to-install furling. Along with the CDI furler, we look at four roller-reefing systems: Alado A-2, Spin-Tec Triumph 2000, and Reefurl. Having no upper halyard swivel, these furling systems put the foil sections in compression and use an external halyard system to attach the head of the jib to a built-in halyard or a fitting at the top of the foil system. Although PS regards conventional roller-bearing furlers with top swivels (tested in August 2009) as the most sensible choice for serious offshore cruisers, these alternative jib furlers offer a cost-effective, easy-to-install option.

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