Wykeham warning

Henrik Nor-Hansen
Bika's picture
Joined: 27 Oct 2013

One evening we were anchored in gusty winds, maybe 30-35 knots, when suddenly the upper half of the furled jib unfurled, with lots of commotion. It was secured. This could have been really bad in stronger winds or if we were ashore. Has it happened to anybody else? Regardless, we don't trust the Wykeham furling anymore, and have made it a habit to take it down.

Graham Benson
Graham's picture
Joined: 02 Sep 2009

I have had this problem on my Heard 23. I never leave the jib up furled unless I'm on the boat. If at anchor and high winds expected I drop it and lay it along the bowsprit.

David Patuck
David P's picture
Joined: 03 Apr 2017

We also had reservations about the Wykeham Martin furling gear on our recently acquired Heard 28 "Susan J".  Her jib is left more or less permanantly on the bowsprit except when the latter is run in (a 30 + minute excersise each way!).  However we have learnt several tricks, some courtesy of Bonita's skipper, to keep it "sweet", which might help?

Her WM gear is large (size 3), which probably helps.  We try to ensure that the sail is neatly furled, by the crew keeping tension on the sheet as teh furling line is pulled, with about 6 further turns of sheet around the sail.  If in any doubt, these sheets are tied together and to the furled staysail (that has a modern roller reefing system), with a piece of light line (thanks Mike!).  It has withstood 50+ knots alongside Falmouth Yacht haven in an easterly, soon after we arrived in Cornwall, with out the securing tie!

One problem we also had, not directly related, was the furling line being washed of the drum of the Wykeham Martin, when the bow sprit goes under when sailing to windward in a strongish wind.  This we have solved with a length of shock cord on the tail of the furling line (which is at the bowsprit at present) looped over a mooring cleat.  So far this has been very effective.  The next project is to guide the furling line to the cockpit, so that the sheet can be tensioned at the same time as furling, by one person alone.  


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