New Furler

Ever since the beginning of the year we had been having problems with the furler on Elektra, the genoa had been down a number of times but each time we still had the same sort of problem, sometimes the sail wouldn’t unroll and other times it wouldn’t furl away.

For a few years I had been thinking of ordering a new set of sails and this year in July after getting prices from a few sail makers had placed my order with Crusader Sails who had made a mainsail for our last yacht.

We were invited over to our sailing friends yacht Robert and Mandy for drinks one evening near the end of July, talk got around to new sails and then on to our problems with our furler. Robert said the best furler make was Profurl, he had one fitted on his last yacht and also on their yacht now, a very nice Sadler 34. Robert and Mandy are great company and the evening passed by very quickly.

I came away thinking of getting a price for a new Profurl, the next week I asked Mylor Rigging for a price and was shocked by their quote, they said we don’t normally fit them, we fit Harken. They quoted for for 4 different furlers 3 Harken and 1 Profurl, prices ranged from top £4,388 to 3,162 for the Profurl. Telling Robert about the quote, he suggested AllSpars in Penryn so I got another quote from them. I also asked A2 Rigging but they never got back to me. Matt from AllSpars got back to me with a quote before the end of day, his price was £2,340, still a lot but quite a bit cheaper than the Mylor Rigging. It didn’t take me long to decide and so I ordered from AllSpars. Matt would have fitted the very next week but we had planned a weeks sailing.

Getting hold of AllSpars the Monday after our return from holiday, Matt said he could fit Thursday-Friday, and so it was agreed, I would take Elektra to AllSpars in Penryn on Thursday morning. I hadn’t ever been that far up the Penryn River and the depth was my consern, we were moving towards neap tides with a max depth of 4.6m at HW, Matt thought we could get in an hour before HW.

So I planned to arrive at AllSpars at 0900hrs so had to leave Gillan at 0730hrs, I needed to be more ready as I would be taking her alone to Penryn and Vicki would pick me up by car from the boat yard after mooring up. My problem is I don’t like being late! So found myself motoring Elektra out of Gillan in almost no wind at 0700hrs which meant I got to AllSpars early too. Going up the channel I didn’t know were I was going but Matt was there to take my lines and all was OK, against the quay Elektra still had 0.3m under her keel almost 2hrs before HW. She would possibly float here in 3.7m of depth. Matt contacted me later in the day to say all went well and Elektra was ready to take away. I said I would be over around 1100hrs tomorrow.

Vicki drove me back to Penyrn and dropped me off just before 1100hrs, after a little chat about other jobs I wanted Matt helped with lines and cast off back out into the river in reverse into the fairly strong wind. All went well and I thanked them. Out in the channel now I used the tiller pilot so I could walk forward and coil lines and remove fenders. Only in low revs but the wind was pushing Elektra along quite quickly, I was glad went that job was done and I could get back to the cockpit. With the wind in the west it seemed a good idea to sail but I wasn’t sure if that was allowed in Falmouth Harbour, so it wasn’t until a Sadler 25 came out between the mooring and started sailing that I unrolled a little genoa. Elektra picked up to 5kts very quickly. Coming east out past the harbour I could see the pilot boat and a tug towing a barge coming south down the Carrick Roads, not being sure where they were going I continued east. When I was satisfided they were continuing south towards Falmouth Bay, I turned Elektra south also towards the bay. There were lots of other yachts coming our way, a Hurley 22 under full sail and a ketch with main and genoa up. I had the feeling the wind out in Falmouth Bay was going to be a lot stronger so sailed on with just the genoa out.

I was correct in my thinking and once past Pendennis Point things hotted up. When the ketch which was following got out into the wind they very quickly turned around and headed back into the Carrick Roads. Elektra was very quickly making 5.8-6kts she just left the Hurley standing, out to the south was a large old gaffer 50ft? Motoring into wind while she rasied her sails, not wanting to get in her way I sailed Elektra to pass her astern. This didn’t turn out too well as we got closer she also turned onto a starboard tack. Getting steadly closer to one another, the old gaffer wanting to go south and my heading was south-southwest, when I thought I was far enough ahead I cut across her bow releasing us both to go on our own course. The wind was 17-21kts from the west, Elektra was handling it well, this was the stongest wind I had sailed Elektra in while alone, the tiller pilot just couldn’t cope with the wind as Elektra was pushed over on her ear so I was mainly helming. It was lovely to be out sailing, as we neared the shelter of Gillan I started the engine and when the wind eased rolled the genoa without any problem, before motoring in and picking up the mooring. What a sail, Elektra had covered the 7nm in 1.25hrs just sailing on her genoa.


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