fulling twin headsails

Sailing downwind with furling twin headsails

When I crossed the Atlantic westbound  first time in 2011, I started sailing downwind flying a spinnaker. After a week or so, while having dinner, the winds picked up to the point I knew I had to take it down. I decided to finish dinner first and of course that was a bad decision. When you think about reefing, you should reef right away. This lesson I learned the hard way loosing the spinnaker.

For the remaining of the trip I flew a second genoa which worked really great. More comfortable and more forgiving then the spinnaker.

The problem was though, that I used my spinaker halyard for this second genoa and therefore I couldn’t furl them in anymore. I didn’t like that for the nights so every evening I dropped the second genoa.

Much later I came across a video of Dolphin Sails, showing to rig a second genoa in a way you can furl them both in together whenever you feel the need to reef.

On our latest crossing this year (2022) we rigged the second genoa as shown in the video and it worked perfectly. Reefing, furling them both in, was very easy and didn’t take more than a few minutes.

We did however added some adjustments to make it even more stable and safe. Apart from the uphaul and downhaul, we also rigged the pole with a guy/barberhauler. This guy has a snatch block on the pole side through which the genoa sheet runs. So when you furl in the genoa, the pole would still be secure and in a fixed position, instead of swinging forward. That makes it also easier to bring the genoa out again when the winds drop.

Also we rigged a barberhauler attached to the boom to trim the sheet of the ‘leeward’ genoa out and get a much better wind angle and help it to stay full all the time.

It takes two extra lines and some fiddling before it’s all set fine but in the end, you can just leave it the whole trip.

I attached a diagram, some pictures and a short video of our rigging sailing from Las Palmas to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia (the diagram is mirroring the pictures and the video, sorry :-/)

I also attached the video from Dolphin Sails.