Reefing furlers were designed to facilitate reducing the surface area of a foresail and are now commonly installed on production boats. They are typical equipment for the genoa or the staysail on cruising boats.
Reefing-furlers are permanently rigged and fit on or around a stay (forestay or babystay), being connected to a chainplate on the deck and a tang on the mast. It is composed of a drum, which integrates extrusions (also known as foils) and a top swivel. The extrusions are designed with a groove (single or double), where the luff tape of the sail will slide into to be hoisted. The top swivel is designed to enable the halyard to stay in line with the exit point on the mast when the sail is being furled.
When pulling on the furling line, the torque would be transferred through the extrusion from the drum along the luff, enabling the sail to be furled. When the sail is not used, it will be furled around the stay (rather than being lowered, removed and stowed away).
Extrusions can be of different shapes (rounded or oval) and manufactured in different material (aluminum or carbon), depending if you are cruising or racing.
The choice of a reefing furler will often depend on the length of the yacht and the forestay diameter. Often, the manufacturers offer different sizes of clevis pin for one model to fit the attachment point on deck.
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