This is the first time petersfreeman has posted — let’s welcome them to our community!

  • Creator
  • #89550

    The Hunter 38 manual quotes different sail areas for a furling headsail versus a non furling one. How is the non-furling type designed? Is it hanked on or does it fit into a bolt rope slide as is used for racing?

    Thanks you,

    Peter Freeman

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #89551
    IMG 1724PaulK

    How jibs attach to the forestay depends upon the forestay. If it’s just a wire or rod, the sailmaker will use hanks. If the forestay has grooves (like a Tuff-Luff, which doesn’t roller-furl)- there will be a luff rope that slides up the groove. The sail areas are different because the r/f sail’s foot has to be cut higher, to enable it to roll up without bunching and jamming the r/f fitting. Non r/f sails don’t have this problem, so they can go all the way down to the deck, adding more sail area and creating an “end plate” effect.


    Thanks Paul K.

    Do you know about the Hunter 38 in particular? It seems that Hunter offers either “Roller Furling” or “Non-Roller Furling”. I was wondering how the Hunter 38 Non-Roller Furling option was engineered. My guess is that it would be hanked on sails as that would be the default. I thought they might offer a “racing version” with the Tuff-Luff type of forestay you mentioned.

    Is the Hunter 38 “roller furling” or “roller reefing”? I mean, could you reduce sail area as the wind speed increased by shortening the headsail area by partially furling it? I recognize that a half-furled sail would be baggy and I have read that some sailors strategically place towels or rope at the luff before they start partially furling to take out some of that bagginess. I’m not that familiar with “roller furling” vs. “roller reefing” systems. I thought that “roller furling” systems only give you the option of full sail or no sail as the gear was not strong enough to allow for the headsail to work in thirty knots of wind (for example). Whereas a “roller reefing” system was engineered to do be strong enough to be used in thirty knots of wind and even had padding built into the luff area of the sail to compensate for bagginess.

    The reason I am asking is that I am a novelist working on my latest book, “Escape!” which features a Hunter 38. Right now, the story is assuming the Hunter 38 is fitted with roller furling and supplied with a reaching spinnaker. I was toying with the idea of having it kitted out for racing with a tri-radial spinnaker, spinnaker poles and multiple headsails. I may stay with the simple arrangement of furling headsail and reaching spinnaker however if I can’t reduce the sail area of the headsail, I might have my story’s Hunter 38 fitted with hanked on headsails.


    Hi Peter, Here are my thoughts…

    The Hunter 38 was designed to be a cruising boat. Standard equipment for the H38 includes the roller furling jib. I believe the differences in furling vs non-furling sail area you are seeing in Hunter documentation refer to the mainsail, not the jib. It’s possible, but unlikely, that someone would purchase an H38, remove the jib roller furling system and also replace the jib itself with one you manually hoist and douse. Then add multiple headsails including a reaching sail. Doing that will help with performance. But that’s not why you buy the boat. There is also a downside. In doing that there won’t be a way to reef the headsail. In reefing conditions, at some point, you’ll have to replace the sail with one that is smaller. Not easy. With the furling jib, when the wind picks up, you can lessen sail area by simply furling in the jib to any point you want. Jib furling sails are designed to keep their shape for about the first 25-30% of furling. After that, sail shape is too full. But then you can just furl in more.

    If you decide to keep the furling jib, you might want to consider the optional symmetrical spinnaker and pole instead of a reaching sail. The reaching sail will need a second tack point which I’m not sure the H38 has.

    So, regarding your story, you can reduce the area of a furling jib. You can’t reduce the sail area of a hanked on jib. In that situation, you have to replace the sail with a smaller one.

    Realistically, because it’s a Hunter 38, I would keep the furling jib.

    Hope this helps.

    IMG 1724PaulK

    Your question about roller-furling and roller-reefing gets into some technicalities. The terms can be confusing. Boats can have roller-furling mainsails, jibs, and spinnakers. Mainsails and jibs can be designed and built to be used partially rolled or unrolled, which makes them roller-reefing sails. If they’re not designed and built to be used partially rolled, the sail shape will become too baggy to perform well in heavy winds, even if the exposed sail area is reduced. With the relatively small jib on a Hunter 38, using it partially rolled in heavy air might not be overly effective. Depending upon the point of sail and wind strength it might simply be better to furl the jib entirely.

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by IMG 1724PaulK.
Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.