Why do you want a furler on an Infusion?
Removing the S hook is the least of your issues.
With a furler, the downhaul – halyard, must be run down the forestay and inside the swivel at the top and furler at the bottom and tied or cleated so that all can spin around the forestay. Due to this, the downhaul on the jib can’t be adjusted on the fly.
To be able to furl, you must have a jib with partial or no battens. Furling the jib with partial battens tends to come undone and normally does this from the top down and beats the jib like crazy while shacking the whole rig. It’s not like a hobie 18 jib with no battens that furls nice and flat.
Rigging the jib sheet is the biggest issue, it takes a lot of line to be able to furl. Extra sheet flopping on the tramp, getting tangle in the Cunningham, spin sheet, spin halyard and sucked into spin blocks can really screw up a nice day sailing.
All this being said, it can be done, it just takes a furler, shorter forestay, different jib halyard, jib cut to be furled, maybe different bridle wires, a different support for the spin pole under the furler, some cheek blocks to mount on the spin pole for turning blocks for the jib sheet, traveler block for jib sheet and cleat for furler line. I'm sure I forgot something. It just doesn’t work very well when the breeze comes up.
Reservoir Sailing Assn.
DISCLAIMER - I have never been on an infusion but don't understand these issues
unless racing stock - the benefits to having a furling jib are great (IMHO) - mostly to depower your boat if your caught in heavy air
There are ways- using a h18 style furler, and a swivel you can reeve a line through the furler, around a turn block and to a cleat - PITA, and not practical, but possible
- i have a mystere 5.5 and mystere 6.0 - both have furlers, and battened jibs - never once has it been an issue in the ways you mentioned - battens are placed at an angle for furling (these do get a little beat up with age, i have to get the batten pockets repaired occasionally but the jib is pretty much stretched/shot at this time anyway)
- yes, more jib sheet - never once got caught in a downhaul, or spin blocks (but has been fouled on mast base/ easy fix - tie a line from mast to something forward to prevent jib sheet going near mast-ball) - more often my downhaul lines get caught in a spin/jib block
not sure what doesn't work well with wind - my jib works perfect - furls, unfurls, NEVER comes unfurled (unless i break the furling line)
Furlers have their places, specifically distance racing and pleasure sailing. They have been removed from the Infusion, Nacra 20 One Designs, F20's and Nacra 17's for several reasons:
1) Inability to run full length battens which in most conditions result in better sail shape, faster speeds, and longer jib life.
2) Lack of high tension capability on the jib luff with a furler. This is critical for getting a flat entry angle upwind in breeze, but it is a solvable problem.
3) Weight aloft, furling parts are heavier.
4) Complexity, more parts to fail.
5) The mast rakes being run require the jib up to avoid excessive weather helm and potential damage to your rudder system
6) The size of the jibs is relatively tiny compared to the main sail. You can drop a main on the water if required, just don't go hoisting the spinnaker.
7) These are high performance race boats with associated demand in skill. I'm not saying the furlers are bad even for these sailors in certain conditions, i.e distance racing in heavy heavy air, but the cases where that happens are low enough that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
I am not a racer - and i sail solo most of the time: I typically leave the beach furled. I like to sail a little bit to make sure everything is secured, running correctly and I can handle the conditions before I unfurl.
During regular sailing, i am typically un-furled but where i sail, the conditions change by the minute. Typically our sea-breeze kicks in around 1pm and the wind either turns, or just builds for hours. If i am over powered, i simply furl, or if pulling out my spin - i furl - or if we are "racing" to the next island stop - when i get there: i furl
I wouldn't purchase a cat without a furling jib
Old thread, but to me furling on my modified Tornado is a must. I often sail with inexperienced crew, and we always furl 100 yards from the beach. By furling, I can leave the boat at anchor while grabbing lunch, taking a break, etc. With the main locked in hard at the center, downhaul released, and the rudders up, the boat sits pretty under anchor. This saves trips back up to get the wheels just for a 1/2 hour stopover.
The jams of the extra line can be prevented with a bungee preventer tied in a a triangle between the mast and the sides of the cross bar. It floats the lines over the mast base tangle area.
With battens turned in line with the luff my (old rig) jib is still pretty much flutter free.
Having the ability to quickly douse the jib, either on shore, or underway is a critical thing for me. It stops the flailing on land, and gives an option to substantially depower when things get unruly. I rarely use it underway, but when I have it was helpful.
Not being able to set the jib tension is a drawback. This could be worked around, but it would be complicated.
Randy Smyth designed a beautiful furling jib for my friend's Nacra 5.0 a while back, and it was spectacular. Furled perfectly, and was very powerful.
I definitely see the appeal of roller furling sails for cruising, but generally speaking for race boats you are going to have a harder time find a good roller furling jib these days...they exist but tend to exhibit higher leech flutter and short lifespans than fully battened jibs. I would also be hesitant to leave a boat on a mooring with the sails up, but it does work okay in some locations and in fariness the AC72's/AC45's/AC50's did the same with their wing sails (though under constant supervision). I have also left boats on the beach in Florida with sails up as the sea breeze is steady. Not something I do where I sail, especially after experiencing at least 2 on the lawn capsizes.