For years, short-handed crews have managed cruising spinnakers by using the dousing sock. The sock takes the place of several long-armed crewmembers, but sailors still have to leave the cockpit to raise and lower the sail. Recently a new tool has been perfected to help cruising sailors control the cruising spinnaker from the safety of the cockpit.
Cruising spinnakers - hoist and recover from the cockpit
The Top Drown Furling system rolls up a cruising spinnaker as if it was a roller furling jib. Once the sail is rolled up, just drop the rolled up sail to the deck and stuff it in its bag.
This system works differently than a jib furler, where the whole luff of the jib is attached to the luff extrusion. The only part of the cruising spinnaker that gets rotated by the top down furler is the head.
The tack of the chute is attached to the drum, but it is on a free-floating swivel that does not turn with the drum. Instead the drum turns a very stiff high-torque rope that acts as a drive-rod that turns the top swivel, which starts furling the spinnaker from the top to the bottom.
These furlers can be used on most existing cruising spinnakers.
To see this type of furler in action, click on this link to see a video by Karver Systems showing their Top Down Furling system:
Demonstrating the Karver Top Down Furler on a J105 with Marlow Pro-drive anti torsion cable. More info at www.karver-systems.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was contributed by http://www.uksailmakers.com!UK_Sailmakers