Last autumn I attached a fan up preventer line as designed and promoted by junk-rig Arne from Stavenger Norway. Having had problem with fan up on a few occasions I thought it would be worth the effort.
I discussed fan up and examined Arne’s preventer line in this post: the-dreaded-junk-rig-fan-up/
So, how did it work in practice?
There was only one occasion when I sailed deeply reefed in brisk winds where the fan up preventer line would have potentially prevented a fan up. It was sailing out of Campbelltown harbour on the Kintyre peninsular on my way to the Isle of Bute.
As the winds picked up I reefed down. I then went to tighten the preventer line for it to work and discovered it had become buried in the folds of the sail, unable to budge.
The only way to activate it would have been to raise the sail again and this time pull the preventer line in as the sail is lowered – which would have required 3 hands – one to let down the halyard, one to bring in the sheets as they slacked, and one to keep the preventer line taunt as the sail was furled.
If I didn’t have wind vane steering that would have required 4 hands.
So I can’t say it wouldn’t work if there was a 3 handed co-ordinated lowering of the sail, but the fact that the preventer line gets trapped in the furled sail renders it useless if you opt for a quicker furling in demanding conditions.
I still think it is a useful extra line to have but requires some forethought and co-ordination in using. I’d like to say that I will be more thoughtful and organised next time I reef the sail in strong winds, but I know I can’t be sure of it. Handling a rig in rough conditions can be more gut-based than rational.
I’m currently finishing a new gallows for the foresail. This one will be slopped and rounded enabling fore sheets slip up and over the gallows when slack sheets come up against it in a gybe. Taking it up to Bute next week to mount it. I will take a picture of it and post it later so you can see what I’m talking about.
Below is a short clip of our sail from Port Ellen, Islay, down around the Mull of Kintyre, up to Campbelltown and then off to Bute for the winter.
I took clips of the reefed main. If you pause the video at seconds 31 to 34 you can maybe make out the preventer line starting at batten 2 going down the leech into the furled folds.
It comes with a soundtrack from an old Newfie sailing song, Up She Rises, by Bob Porter. Either that or silence, as I don’t have a specialized mike to block out ‘wind thunder’.
Yes this post is 6 months after the date. What a procrastinator!!