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Last Updated: October 14, 2018

Buying New Cruising Sails Changing Profurl Bearings
Roller Furling Code Zero Sail

Sail Makers

Catamarans have a completely different rigging setup, and of course our rigging on the 2004 St. Francis is quite different than what was on our 1980 CSY.  This section is currently under construction to reflect those changes.  The old CSY rig page can still be found here.

Best Rigging Reference Book:  Brian Toss's The Complete Rigger's Apprentice

Boom Mainsail Control Lines

We have 6 sheaves in the end of the boom to handle the outhaul and 3 reefing lines with two spares. Our outhaul comes out the forward side of the boom to a cleat. The three reefing lines run inside the boom and then out under the forward end of the boom through line stoppers to a self tailing winch on the back of the mast.

Reefing lines for the clew reefing cringles (large gromments in the leech of the sail) should start with a slip bolon tied around the boom directly under each cringle. From there each reefing line should go up through its respective cringle and then down and aft to one of the sheaves in the end of the boom. Each reefing line will then run forward inside the boom, exit at one of the exit plates on the side of the boom and then through the cam cleat to hold it in place. A cleat forward of each cam cleat would be much more secure than just a cam cleat.

The other grommets in the sail forward of each clew reefing cringle are called reef points and are used to tie off the foot of the sail around itself using a square/reef knot (no grannies). This keeps the reefed foot of the sail from flopping in the breeze and chafing your bimini/dodger.

The outhaul should go from the fully hoisted clew cringle around the center sheave and then forward inside the boom as do the clew reefing lines. Using the center sheave helps keep the boom upright and from laying over on its side.

For security most sailors tie a separate short line through the active reefing cringle and around the boom so that if the reefing line breaks you won't end up tearing the sail at the reef points.

Either way of securing the bitter end of the reefing line will work. However, I believe that tying it around the boom is more secure as then there is no danger of the padeye pulling out or breaking or the line breaking at the sharp turn of the padeye.

The "reef points" are best secured around the foot of the sail if it is loose footed in order to control the bulk of the reef sail. If yours is not loose footed then I guess you will have to tie them around the boom also.

If the reefing line breaks all the load of the reefed sail will go on the reef points and the sail will rip, so we (and most racers/cruisers) tie another line around the reefed clew cringle and the boom just to make sure it is secure.

Roller Furling Code Zero Light Air Sail

This post is from the original CSY rigging section.  However, we moved the Code Zero from the CSY to the St. Francis.  We had a sailmaker friend show us how to cut down the sail to fit the St. Francis rig, and Sherry did the sewing.  We now use a "prodder" on the bow (a removable bow sprit) for the Code Zero.

Since we have arrived in the light-air tropics, and diesel fuel has gone up over $4/gallon, we decided we needed a light air sail.  We have recently purchased and installed a new Code Zero sail with a Facnor Continuous Furler.  After getting quotes from various sailmakers, we again went with Super Sailmakers in Ft. Lauderdale.  We talked at length with Peter Grimm and told him what we were looking for.  Here is what we ended up with.

- 988 Sq Ft (Luff 55.83', Leech 52.23', Foot 30.97')
- 4.18 oz Challenge Performance Cruise Dacron
- Vectran Luff Rope
- Leech cord
- Head and Tack Stainless rings suitable for the Facnor Furler
- Double rows of three step stitching, with corner reinforcements
- Optional light-weight stick-on UV cover (an additional $800)
- Bag

We asked Peter to have it cut a little fuller than the normal Code Zero (which is really designed to be a close reaching sail), so we could use it off the wind as well.  It is designed to sheet to the back of the genoa track, where we have added a second lead block.

We did a few measurements for them (by then the boat was in Panama) and they shipped the finished sail to us in Panama via Marine Warehouse.  It fit perfectly and will last us for many thousands of miles of light air sailing.

When not using it, it is lowered and coiled into the bag, and completely detached from the bow, including the Facnor furler.  We use the spinnaker block at the top of the mast (be sure your block is a strong beefy block, because we have blown out 2 cheap plastic blocks already, due to the large sail area).

A roller furling Code 0 sail is a specialty sail optimized for upwind light air sailing (5-12 knots apparent).  But it will also work well reaching and off the wind.  We wanted to be sure we could go both up and down wind and thus were willing to give up a little down wind efficiency, that a fuller cut lighter spinnaker sail has, in order to do that.  It is made of heavier and different cloth than a traditional spinnaker made of rip stop nylon.  There are more expensive cloths made for this purpose, like Contender's Stormlite or Mylar, but we chose a light weight Dacron based on it being nearly as effective, comparatively UV resistant and at significantly less cost.

Some good reading material includes the following, all from the May 2005 Cruising World:
-Breaking the Code, Kenny Wooton
-Heavy Hitters for Light Air, Carol Hasse
-Ghosting Across the Tasman, Evans Starzinger
-Also Doyle's Phamplets on light air sails, UPS and APC

Here are the specifications:

Dimensions: Sail area maximized to move boat in light air 10 knots apparent and below, while still able to furl in a hurry.  For our  I of  57.00' and J of 20.25' the Luff is 55.83', leech is 52.23', and foot is 30.97' (CSY Dimensions).  Total square footage is 988.  Based on having the foot of the sail just clear the bow rail to prevent chafe we could have added another 2' to the luff.

Shape:  This sail is basically a large light weight Genoa but with some refinements.  It is cross, not radial or miter, cut. The draft is set at 15% instead of the traditional 18% for asymmetrical spinnakers. This makes it a flatter sail, better for up wind work.  The clew is positioned about 5.5' off the aft deck so that we can still see under the sail at a moderate heel. 
The sail is designed to sheet at the back of the Genoa track so that we will have sheeting to all the track forward when the sheet is eased.

Cloth:  4.18 oz Challenge Performance Cruise cloth.  This is a great cloth for the job as it has some give like nylon which helps keep it from slatting too much or bouncing around in choppy conditions.  It also has much better strength, chafe/tear resistance and UV resistance than nylon 

Stitching:  It will have two rows of three step stitching which is appropriate over over kill for this type of sail. 

Corner details:  The head, tack and clew have beefy welded external stainless steel O rings suitable for the Facnor furler and 2 rows of three step corner patches commensurate to the sail's task.  The clew also has four 1" nylon webbing straps sewn on to spread the ring load onto the patch and a Doyle 'Clew Trimline' strip of colored cloth attached on both sides to indicate the proper trim angle line up. 

Edges:  The luff rope is made of doubled 3/8" Vectran to reduce stretch and inhibit twist when the halyard is tight and the boat is going up wind.  It is sewn into the luff in two parallel strands beside each other from the tack ring up through the head ring and back down.  There are leech and foot cords with the adjustable ends attached at the clew with a knot to sewn in nylon webbing.  Thus no plastic or metal hardware to chafe or corrode.  There is a light weight 2 oz UV sun cover so the sail can be left hoisted and rolled while underway without sun damage.

Sheet lead:  Here are our notes to the sail maker re where to sheet the clew of the sail: 
To clarify the sheet lead we think it best to sheet the sail to the jib track rather than the old and possibly weak bail on the front of the jib turning block or an additional pad eye aft of that.  One other complicating factor, not previously mentioned, is that we have a lifeline stanchion on the toe rail that may be in the way of a sheet led directly to that area.  It could be moved if necessary.  But if there is no other over riding reason to sheet the sail further aft than the jib track, let’s sheet it to an appropriate spot on the track so that we can move the car, if needed, for the wind conditions.  We will attach a turning snatch block to the front of the jib turning block bail and keep a close eye on it.
A turning block shackled to the forward bail/pad eye on the jib turning block would put it about 20” behind the aft end of the jib sheet track.  Since it is so close it might be better to just run the Code 0 sheet through a lead block at the aft end of the track and then to the jib turning block as I currently do with the jib sheet.  The current bail is now 30 years old and of 5/16” SS, so maybe a little weak for a 1000 SF sail.  

Size:  Here are the notes we gave the sail maker re sail size: 
Regarding size, we will take your recommendations, keeping in mind that we may be rolling it in and out a lot in the tropics where light air often mixes with violent squalls.  We want to keep the boat moving, but also it needs to be of a size that we can handle it easily when furling in a hurry.  We certainly don’t want to risk tearing the sail or having an accident just to get a few extra square feet.  Harmon’s (Dutch Love) 4 oz Dacron miter-cut older light air sail measures 58x35x54 with about the same rig and boat size.  He says it works well if that’s of any help to you in determining approximate square footage. The halyard top (bottom of halyard knot under pulley sheave) to center of pin at tack pad eye (on anchor roller tray in front of bow rail and jib tack pad eye)  = 60’-10”.

Tack of sail should be up no less than 3’ from the tack pad eye to clear the bow rail and allow room for the Facnor roller furler.  Head of sail should be down no less than 1’ from the halyard knot to allow room for the Facnor upper swivel.  Allow about another 1’ for stretch and slop.  Total sail luff I figure should be no more than 55’-10” (CSY Dimensions).  Photos below from CSY installation.

Port tack

Starboard tack

Facnor furler and Vectran luff rope at tack

Clew details

Sheet lead through sliding block on jib
track to turning snatch block on bail
to primary winch

Head showing upper swivel


Buying New Cruising Sails

(Topica Post 02/01/2004)  Just finished contracting with Supersailmakers in Ft Lauderdale for three new sails. Thought some of you on the list might benefit from the following information and specifications that I worked up for our new sails. It was quite an enlightening experience and well worth the effort.

Over the course of four months I sent out 10 sets of basic specs and received quotes from Calvert, Mack, Atlantic Sailtraders and Super Sailmakers in the US and Lee and Hong Kong overseas. The quotes ranged from $7.5K to $10.5K. Sails ordered direct from overseas firms are subject to about $1K in shipping, duty, and customs agent fees and may require finishing full batten construction in the US. After including all costs for equal sails the least expensive overseas sails from Hong Kong were only about $1.2K less than Super Sailmakers with a slow season and commercial discount. I considered working with a local sail maker that would measure my boat and provide other personal advice and services well worth the difference.

I found the following to be some of the major discussion/decision points:
--Batten length and details
--Cloth quality and weight-look very closely at quality
--Layout and cut
--Mainsail reef details
--Corner construction
--Chafe and sun protection
--Use-Seasonal, coastal or blue water
--Leech and foot construction
--Jib and staysail clew positions
--Measurement procedures
--Mainsail luff construction and hardware

My file of reading material is now a full 2 inches thick and includes many good recent resources including:

--Sailrite Catalog
--Sail Care catalog
--Sail Warehouse catalog
--Practical Sailor articles from 1 Oct and 1 Nov 2003
--Dashew's Cruising Encyclopedia
--and a host of various magazine articles

Recent info from the past three years is generally better as cloth and sail making technology is changing rapidly. The two major US sail cloth manufacturers, Challenge and Contender, also have excellent info on their websites.

I recommend you do your homework well as this is one of the most expensive and important projects you will do, and one with which many of us are not well acquainted. In the end I found myself shopping more for an experienced sail maker I could trust to advise me well than one who would do it my way at the best price.

24 Sep 09 Hull Rig, Buy New Sails 44
I bought new cruising sails about 4 years ago for my tall rig 44, after a substantial amount of research, from Supersailmakers. Since then several other CSY owners, including Jim Dill, have bought from them also. Their sails are superb.

Our main is full batten which I would highly recommend. Most of the others have done the same. Just pay attention to how the full battens are done as there can be a chafe problem sailing down wind.

My jib is 120 pct, 720 sf, but if I had to do it over again I think I would buy somewhat smaller like around 110-115 pct. (Note, for the record, we have a Tall Mast CSY 44)

We have since then purchased a 1000 sf light air Code 0 so we don't really need such a large sail. Don't buy a sail with a low clew. A yankee works well on a cutter, especially up wind. If you are not going to use a yankee just make sure it is cut so that you can see under it when heeled. Ours is cut with the clew about 7' above the deck which gives plenty of height to see under.

Not all cloth is created equal and each cloth maker has several levels of quality. It is worth reasearching this a bit so that you know what cloth is being quoted when you go to buy sails. Cheap cloth won't hold it shape as long as the more expensive cloths and will deteriorate quicker in the sun. We bought the best cloth because we wanted it to last a long time.

There are lots of other things to consider when buying new sails, so be a knowledgeable buyer and do some reasearch, ask lots of questions of sailmakers and make sure you have done a good job of comparing the quotes. Each sailmaker has his own idea about how things should be done when building a sail. Also, there are lots of ways for sailmakers to cut costs, so make sure you know exactly what you are getting before you buy.

(6 Oct 09 CSYO Post):8 oz cloth is probably the minimum you would want to use for a 44 cruising main. Heavier cloth will last longer in the sun and hold its shape for longer. It will also give you better chafe protection. Before you sign up with a sai maker be aware of the quality of the cloth you are getting and how the sail is constructed. Better cloth, construction and chafe protection will cost more. You could also ask sailmakers to quote you several grades of cloth so you can see what the difference in cost is. Our main was constructed with 9.77 oz cloth, and although heavy it is bullet proof. I initally wanted only two reefs but later Tom Service and some additional reasearch convinced me that 3 'gears' was better

One other thought. If you are considering using a foreign sail maker, like Hong Kong or Lee, be sure you know exactly what they are doing for you and exactly what the shipping, customs and agent costs are going to be. I contacted both directly by email, not through their US agents, and they were not able to give me the extra costs. After a bit of research I found the costs to total near $1000. The other way you can buy from overseas sailmakers is to use their US agents. In this case they add extra for their costs to import the sail plus a markup. When I discussed my new sails with Hong Kong and Lee I found the following disadvantages to using a foreign sailmaker:
-they will not come to your boat to measure your rig and discuss your needs.
-they will want to construct your sail their way and will not offer many options compared to most US sailmakers
-they cannot ship full battons and may not be able to construct a full batten main
-they offered only one grade of cloth
-if there was a problem with the sail due to the measurements I had taken the fix was on me

So the bottom line on using a foreign sailmaker is be careful and know exactly what you are getting.


General Specifications for All Sails

Boat & Crew: a heavily constructed 21 ton CSY 44 tall rig walkthrough cutter, my wife and i are preparing for a 10 year trade wind circumnavigation commencing winter 2004/2005

Sail Construction: extra heavy duty for long term blue water cruising, maximum uv resistance throughout, maximum chafe protection and minimum long term stretch

Cloth: Challenge Marblehead premium high tenacity high modulus polyester

Layout: jib, staysail and main crosscut, generally shaped with full entries and straight exits with draft well forward

Stitching: triple stitched, uv resistant v-138 or better thread, extra wide seams at least 1.5" wide to allow for future repair without stitching over existing stitches, webbing and acrylic sun covers stitched with minimum same thread

Corners: heavily reinforced extensive layered patches with at least 6 layers of cloth to spread loads and support corner rings and webbing, acrylic on jib and staysail to be doubled over edges as both chafe protection and sun cover, no leather

Corner Rings: use #35 hydraulically pressed rugerson all stainless steel rings at jib and staysail clews and main head and clew, use heavy welded ss exposed rings at jib and staysail head, tack and main tack, exposed rings to be attached with heavy webbing and sun protected

Chafe Protection: for jib and staysail use 4" 3 oz tape over all chafe points on seams including shrouds and spreaders, mainsail chafe protection described under mainsail specifics

Tell Tales: full complement on all sails, made with yarn

Maximum Dimensions: indicated are approximate maximum edge distances ring to ring available, loft must take own exact measurements and deduct appropriate number of inches in each dimension, especially luff, to allow for heavy weather tensioning and ultimate stretch due to aging
 -leech and foot construction: two ply leech and foot tablings, install extra thickness of wider tape under the doubled leech tabling and leech line, heavy duty leech lines centered in the tabling with stitching on either side, leech lines adjustable at clews and at all leech reef cringles with cam cleats to hold adjustments

Sail Lettering: not required

Repair Kit and Spares:  Provide repair kit consisting of extra batten and leech end fitting, 5 awlslip slides, webbing for slides, and misc strips and squares of 9.77 and 10.77 oz cloth, telltale material

Jib Sail Specifics:
Maximum Dimensions: tbd


Cloth: 9.77 oz Challenge Marblehead polyester

Reefing: Roller furling/reefing for profurl nc 42 (with heavy nr 6 luff tape), stitch in best quality closed cell foam in luff enclosed in polyester cloth to maintain sail shape during roller reefing

Clew Position: Near boom height about 6' off deck and so reefed sheet leads remain nearly same as unreefed, ensure matches up with pole end approx 2' longer than J dimension

Sun Protection: Charcoal grey sunbrella acrylic, sewn on port side, cover entire length of leech and foot and head and tack corners back approx 2' along both edges, sew acrylic around edges and corners and over cloth and all strain relief webbing, install sun cover so easily replaced without removing any webbing or cloth

Chafe Protection: Sew in generous sized spreader patches of UV resistant polyester p & s

Tack/Head: Cutbacks for Profurl NC 42

Telltales: Place three telltales 12" aft of Luff at 20/40/60% up from tack
Mainsail Specifics:
Maximum dimensions: tbd.

Size/Shape: Loose footed cruising main with full entry and straight exit, easily flattened for heavier wind with outhaul and cunningham, maximum draft well forward, design with 12" roach that does not touch backstay

Cloth: 9.77 oz challenge marblehead polyester

Reefing: 2 reefs at approx 31 and 58 percent of sail area, 9' and 19' up luff, second reef should leave head near inner forestay junction, use hydraulically pressed large SS Rugerson #25 luff cringles with hand sewn webbed rings port and starboard, positioned to reach reefing hook at gooseneck over stacked sail, leech cringles same construction but larger #35 Rugerson cringles, extra cloth layering opposing strain at all reefing cringles, extra cloth layer under reef point eyes

Chafe Protection: Sew in heavy chafe protection port and starboard over batten pockets and sail where they contact shrouds or spreaders, accommodate full hoist and both reefed positions, goal is to protect sail on long down wind runs with boom fully out and sail in contact with rig for long periods of time, chafe material to be further discussed

Luff: all intermediate mainsail slides to be hand sewn on with 1" heavy tubular webbing, use PTFE Awlslip internal slides, double up at head and major stress points, use full length 3/8" New England spun Dacron boltrope with 9 oz tape over along entire luff

Telltales: Position top two at leech end of top two battens and bottom two at max draft 25 and 50% up from foot

Corners: Use #35 all SS hydraulically pressed Rugerson ring at head and tack, use heavy welded SS exposed ring with strong webbing strain reliefs at tack, use extra thickness reinforcing patches at corners as necessary to ensure extra strong attachment

Cunningham: Place Rugerson all SS hydraulically pressed Cunningham ring along luff above tack

Battens: Install five full length batten pockets in sail consisting of 3 layers of 9 oz cloth (27 oz total) producing a tube for the batten sewn on a separate heavy cloth slab,
- Leech ends to consist of 4 layers of 9 oz cloth to hold the protected batten end,
- Use Bainbridge Aqua Batten A305 hardware at forward ends to tension the batten and provide a universal joint with the Awlslip internal slides
- Provide four 7/16" and one 3/8" full length round pultruded fiberglass battens with glued on leech end fittings

Sail Makers

(Posted 4/23/2004) Mack Sails of Stuart FL is a high quality sail maker specializing in cruising sails. Both Tom Service/SV Jean Marie and Ron Sheridan/SV Memory Rose have had or are having sails made by Mack. My current Yankee Jib and Staysail are old Mack sails probably 15 or more years old. I have checked Mack out carefully and they are top notch but also not inexpensive.

That said, I chose Super Sailmakers of Ft Lauderdale for all the reasons I mentioned in my post of a couple months ago. They are starting to construct my new sails next week. My Mainsail is also full batten and loose footed but with a different batten/slide system and a recent change to 3 reefs. We too are planning a circumnavigation and I believe either sail maker can properly advise you and construct suitable sails for that kind of service.

Be sure to check out all the features each offer, especially the quality of sail cloth before you sign up. Also, it is most important to have any sail maker you choose come and personally measure your boat with you present so you can review with him the myriad of details that will require your attention. That may be difficult if you are on the West coast. I sure was glad I was there when Peter Grimm measured my boat.  (top)

Changing Profurl Bearings

(9 Sep 09 CSYO Post): Below is information on how to change out a Profurl Roller Furler frozen bearing.

I've had my two Profurl NC42s now for about 10 years with no problems. I have, however, heard of one or two bearing problems in the past. If you figure out how to take yours apart look closely for any sign of water intrusion into the bearings and where it might have come from.

I believe the Profurl manual says to wash them off with fresh water after use. So if you haven't been doing that and salt water got inside that may be the problem. It could also be a problem with the extrusions and their connecting pieces that ride around the headstay. Or a bent extrusion. You might want to look around carefully for other things that might be causing the problem before you launch into the bearings.

(29 Sep Jackson CSYO Post): Ok, I removed the system and found that the bearings in the main swivel unit had started rusting up.  The double lipped seals had let moisture in.  Taking them apart is pretty much the same as any mechanical seal, I first drilled a small hole into the seal in order to get a scratch awl into the seal without damaging the bearing surfaces in order to pry out the seal (you are going to destroy the seal any way you do it). I have pictures and a diagram of how they are assembled in case anyone needs it.  Once the seal is removed, there are three snap-rings in the interior of the swivel, both internal and external types. The first one is mainly a stop for the seal, then on some there is an aluminum spacer that needs to come out before you can remove the next snap-ring that holds the bearings.  After removal of the second one you can press the center section of the swivel out of the carrier which will push out the other seal.

I found info on the bearing sizes from Profurl and went to Miller Bearings in Tampa and they ordered the correct sizes for me. The old bearings are carbon steel, open faced, as an extra precaution I ordered sealed bearing as well as outer seals as before. Assembly is a little different than removal, you must install the first seal onto the center section and put on the first snap-ring before pressing it into the carrier, unless you have some very long snap-ring pliers.

The system is back up and working smoothly at a cost of less than $120. I also found that this is a more common problem than we thought. Most riggers do not even bother replacing the bearings, they just order new assemblies. Don't want to think about how much that would have cost.

Profurl of course advertises their systems as having lifetime seals, but they don't warrant them that long.  There are some of their furling units that they no longer make parts for, my particular one is in that category as it is a mainsail furler unit. replacing the whole assembly was not an option.

(27 Oct 09 Jackson CSYO Post): This diagram shows the difference between the larger and smaller furler units. The smaller one has a spacer installed for some reason, and if you don't remove it you cannot get the snap-ring out:


View these on the original CSY Owners Forum post here