U.S. Sailboat Show 2016 – Annapolis, MD

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We’re looking forward to another year at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD. We’ll be hanging out at our usual spot by the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel.  This year we have added a few more headsail furlers to our display including a Seldén top-down furler as well as a complete Leisure Furl System.   Jimmie, Brad and Aaron will be dispensing valuable advice and giving away our Rigging Company swag to anybody that can impress us with a rigging related question.  As we do every year, we’ll be giving away complimentary rig inspections.   If your boat is local (within reason) and you’d like to get one of our techs up the mast for a quick once-over, just stop by the booth, mention this blog and let us know that you need a “Check up from the deck up.”  

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Where we are….





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A Whisker Pole System

Forespar Whisker Pole

Using a whisker pole that is sized and configured properly, can make sailing by the lee stable and comfortable. Usually downwind sailing, specifically in light air, can feel a bit sluggish and sloppy. Some of us feel that flying a spinnaker is too much work and that a lot can go wrong quickly.  So what can we do when we have to do the inevitable, and turn the bow down wind? One option is to try and fly the head sail wing-on-wing with mainsail.

Forespar Whisker Pole On-the-mast System by The Rigging Company. Peterson 44.

Flying the headsail downwind with the mainsail can be a bit tricky without a very important tool, a properly rigged whisker pole.  Bracing the fore sail out to weather with the whisker pole, and the boom out to leeward, preferably via a preventer (a.k.a wing-on-wing), can allow for hours of adjustment free downwind sailing, even in moderately heavy conditions. Taking the time to ensure that the system is strong enough to manage various wind conditions;  is rigged properly for ease of use, and is easily stowed while not in use, is of utmost importance and well worth the extra effort. There are a good bit of details to ensure that a system like this is set up in a dependable and functional manner. Make sure you seek the assistance of a professional rigger for this.

New Lewmar Evo Halyard Winches, Winch Bases. Track System for a On-the-mast Whisker Pole. Peterson 44

Forespar is definitely the only choice when it comes to whisker poles of any kind. For boats over 30′ we always recommend on of our “On-the-mast Whisker Pole Systems” for ease of use (see image below). Forespar’s whisker poles come in a few different sizes, materials, and configurations: twist lock, line control and pin lock (completely collapsible for easy storage below decks). Tubing materials can be chosen between carbonaluminum, and hybrid (half carbon, half aluminum). Finishes can be satin, gloss or painted for carbon fiber options. Aluminum poles are available in painted or anodized clear finishes.

Forepsar’s latest product, The Velocity Series, is an all carbon fiber pole at a budget price. They’ve been able to drive the weight AND the price down by utilizing an external line control system and keeping the carbon finish without gloss…storage bag recommended.


Execution is also a BIG portion of keeping this effortless. Above is a video I found online so that you can get the gist of how the system is intended to be used……. Very Helpful.

See what we have to say about even more downwind sail options for cruisers, here.

….and please let us know if you have any questions for us below. Thanks for reading.


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Schaefer Furlers, Quality…..

Schaefer Marine headsail furlers

……and reliability, that has withstood the test of time. Schaefer Headsail Furlers are definitely in a class of their own. Boasting some of the similar features of the Harken units, but to only improve upon them (see our archives). Don’t get me wrong I love Harken furlers, but if you want to spend some extra bucks for heavy duty quality that you can rely on time and time again, look no further. Schaefer delivers a strong and robust design that will meet the requirements of any blue water cruiser. Although, these furlers may not be for the ‘weight wienies’ out there .

Schaefer furlers have been around for a long time (30+ years) and the design has been relatively unchanged. For all of you that own older models, Schaefer continues to prove their “stand behind our products” mentality by offering an upgrade to the drum hub itself…

 This upgrade promises improved bearing races and  flushing holes in order to make servicing the furler easier, which should be done every few years depending on conditions and use. The upgrade addresses the issue of a sticky or a frozen furler drum (usually caused by lack of use). The replacement drum hubs are available for a very low price directly from Schaefer Marine. I think you’ll find this a worthy upgrade that you won’t want to pass up given the great price. If you own an older Schaefer unit (it is probably time to give it some attention anyways), take advantage of this great offer and call Schaefer directly.

Schaefer headsail furler, Jimmie Cockerill early days

I’ve personally never seen a Schaefer Furler that was no longer serviceable, unless it was badly damaged of course. If you look at any older unit, the sticker will have worn and faded away a bit, but you will not find neither old grease, u.v. degraded plastics (there is a plastic swivel bearing inside the halyard swivel that will need to be replaced every 7 or 8 years or so), nor any cheap plated metals. Schaefer headsail furlers are made of anodized, high quality, aircraft aluminum and 316 grade stainless. The only real ‘tiff’ I have is that the connections along the foils are made using rivets. This isn’t the end of the world but from an installers point of view; in order to break the unit down or make any repairs to the connectors or foils it requires a bit more tooling then if they just used regular screws. If you’re interested or even just curious about what is the best line drive furler, you can read more on that here.

Posted in Cruisers, Modern Yachts, Multihulls, Product Review, Rigging, Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment