Some of the biggest gains in development in recent years have come from top end yacht racing, as the IMOCA 60 Class. Designed to be sailed single or double handed, these boats needed sail handling and sail changing when shorthanded to be simple, efficient and safe.
Ten years ago the IMOCA race boats were using a conventional snuffer system on their downwind sails. The development of top down furlers enabled the sail to be handled from the cockpit apart from the initial attachment of the tack and clew.
Selden GX Top Down furler – How it works
This technology has filtered down to the cruising market with affordable and reliable furling systems, such as the Selden CX and GX, designed for the needs of the cruising sailor.
The sail can be attached and set up whilst still in the marina. You then simply hoist the furled sail, release the furling line, pull on the sheet and you have added power to your sailing creating a positive and enjoyable on water experience.
The Selden GX and CX are operated with an endless furling line running over a line driver drum. The furling line can be lead all the way back to the cockpit and Seldén offer a purpose built double fairlead and twin cam block for this specific set up.
Selden CX Code 0 furler
The key to the performance of a top down furling system is dependent on the torsional rigidity of the anti-torsion cable that connects the drum and the halyard swivel and transmits the rotation of the drum enabling the furling to start at the top and work its way down.
Imagine a figure skater spinning – they are taut and keep their limbs as close to their midline as possible so that they can turn quickly and fluidly – they are not limp.