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Wayfarer dinghy sailors

"For cruising, a reefing genoa is pretty essential. Like many, I originally bought what I thought I could afford. This was a much bulkier and more cumbersome device, which also made my boat less efficient when pointing. Having decided to take the plunge and fit the new spar I certainly have no regrets. It's a joy to use. My boat points better than it has ever done and it's reassuring to know that if the wind picks up suddenly, I can lessen the foresail area instantly. A really useful piece of kit"

- Wayfarer 8598

Wayfarer Sailing'
Wayfarer dinghy sailors

"I generally sail and cruise single handed and being based on the West coast of Ireland it certainly blows a lot. I have found the Aero Luffspar furling system invaluable for this type of sailing and am able to reef or reduce genoa very quickly and easily. I also have the boat on a mooring and in 5 seconds flat the genoa is put to bed. The system is strong, neat and very efficient and does not interfere with sail shape. Well done Aero Luffspars."

- Wayfarer 3885

Wayfarer 2013 National Championships in Poole
Wayfarer 2014 European Championships at Weymouth
Wayfarer 2014 European Championships at Weymouth

"We used the Aero Furling spar system for 2013 National Championships in Poole, and the 2014 European Championships at Weymouth coming. Our overall position in the fleet was down to tactical errors and other mistakes, and nothing to do with boat speed, which we were very happy with our throughout the events.

We found tucking the sail away on a run gave much improved visibility of the spinnaker and the course to be sailed, though the main advantage of the furling spar was during the periods between races, to give greater comfort and improved visibility for collision avoidance. It’s feasible to furl the genoa to slow down just before the start and then release it on the start gun to power away, but I didn’t yet have the confidence to try it!

The furling system will certainly remain part of the permanent set up on my racing boat – it even makes de-rigging easier as you can just detach the carbon spar with the genoa neatly wrapped around it."

- Wayfarer 10739

Acknowledgements: Sailing Scenes and Peter Newton Photography

Wayfarers at Ullswater

Wayfarer dinghy

"Having now put the AeroSpar reefing system through its paces at the Ullswater Gathering, I must say I am delighted with the way it performed. Typical of Ullswater, we had very changeable winds, both in strength and direction and sailing single handed, I had quite a lot with which to contend. However by going out with either a single or double reef on the main, I could use the reefing system to keep the boat well balanced by finely adjusting the genoa. Also, coming into a busy anchorage, beach or jetty was made much more simple with the improved visibility afforded by having the genoa fully furled. This took literally no more than a couple of seconds to do on the final approach.

With regard to the other bits and pieces you did on the boat, they also worked well. The modification to the main reefing system worked particularly well as most cruises involved putting in or shaking out a reef in the main, and this was done with minimal effort. Several other Wayfarer owners admired the work you had done, and photographed the system, so there may be a little plagiarism ensuing! Very many thanks again for all the work you did."

- Wayfarer 9380

Wanderer reefing furling systems

“The weather during both the Salcombe Regattas was volatile to say the least and not generally inviting – even with an Aero Luffspar.

However, yesterday at a three race one-day event Wimbleball SC, on Exmoor, sailing conditions were perfect.

W1024 “Presto” is my Wanderer based in Salcombe and for racing and cruising in Devon and Cornwall, whereas W1541 “Black Mischief” is based at my home and used for the main racing events."

- Wanderer 1024

Photo by Saffron Gallaher.

Wayfarers at Ullswater

“The new reefing system works brilliantly, and so very smoothly, with the disc spacer at the top preventing the forestay from tangling in the genoa. It is so much neater than our previous system. We did well when we tried it out for racing for the first time. Many thanks for your personalised service."

- Wayfarer 1989

Wayfarer dinghy

"For a relative beginner like myself, who over the years, has had too many short bouts of sailing practice and no consistent, regular hands on activity with my boat, the purchase of an AeroSpar furling system has given me one essential component – CONFIDENCE! I also doubt that I would have got the service I received from Ralph Roberts had I bought another system elsewhere. I took my boat up to Ralph, and he helped me – or I helped Ralph! - fit the spar and set it up, as well as make a number of other improvements to the rigging system. The very next day I was sailing from Hickling to Horsey on my own. Everything worked a treat! Thanks Ralph."

- Wayfarer 9616

Wayfarers at Ullswater

“I have used the luff spar with my young family in winds up to 21 knots and the Aero luff spar has been superb. It has given us much more confidence and control and has been an invaluable addition to the boat. I would unreservedly recommend it - perfect for family cruising and racing alike."

- Wayfarer 507

Hafren's 'Wayfarer round Britain'

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

Fitting the AeroSpar is like having a dimmer switch on your genoa, giving a seamless transition from completely furled through just enough to take the bows off the pontoon while I am hanging over the transom pushing the rudder down, up to full power to get underway, then trimming back as things get a bit too exciting.

Sailing with a nervous crew it is good to not have the genoa flogging and thrashing around their ears and the return to the pontoon at the end of an adventure is controlled, not having to judge the moment to “let all fly”, instead reducing the sail area and the drive until I can just trickle in under total control, magic.

I am fussy about caring for my sails and a system that does not involve hand rolling or folding, stuffing the sail into a bag gets my vote. I absolutely recommend getting the genoa made by Mike McNamara; a perfect fit and excellent quality of the cloth, unlike my first attempt when I bought from another sailmaker not familiar with the Aero Luffspar system.

It all just works.

- Wayfarer 4137

Photos by capturaimages

Osprey roller reefing furling systems.

Osprey roller reefing furling systems.

"I am particularly impressed with the design of the AeroSpar carbon fibre spar, as it simply swivels around the solid eye ends of the luff wire when the drum is rotated. The loading on a normal furling system is always a concern to owners of a boat like the Osprey with no forestay, where due to the size and power of the boat, everything is highly loaded and any standing rigging failure is likely to result in a very expensive breakage for the carbon keel stepped mast.

The spar happily copes with having a carbon spinnaker pole bent around it on those occasions when the stop knots aren't quite in the right place - or when flying the kite at a reaching angle that we really shouldn't try, but do anyway due to the close company of a deadly rival whilst racing in highly competitive mode!

The new McNamara genoa (with its slightly modified luff sleeve for the spar) fits perfectly and is as low on the deck as my previous non furling system, with the thin 8mm spar having no detrimental effect on the entry shape of the sail. Having the ability to pull a single rope and instantly roll a crispy new racing genoa away, rather than watch it flog itself to bits on the beach with pound notes flying off the leach is another plus point!'  

- Osprey 1327

Hafren's 'Wayfarer round Britain'

Hafren's 'Wayfarer round Britain'

"The AeroSpar worked faultlessly on our round Britain attempt, allowing us to quickly and easily adjust the genoa to suit the conditions. For Hafren, it was a must-have item

The AeroSpar is the result of the designer's many years of cruising experience and his analytical approach to the problem of being able to sail to best advantage when the genoa is set full, as well as when reefed. What this new spar does really well is provide a good sail shape when it is 70% furled."

- Wayfarer 10022

Jeremy Warren and Phil Kirk (pictured) on their sail around the Isle of Wight.

Hafren's record breaking 'Wayfarer round Britain' sail

Wayfarer dinghy roller reefing furling systems.

"It has been a terrific addition to the boat. The arrangement that was previously fitted was unreliable and not designed for reefing. The Aeroluff Spar has proved itself totally reliable and the ability to reef the foresail is a real plus, especially as I do mainly single handed sailing. It offers great control when conditions get up, and if circumstances are improved by furling it away completely, it's done in seconds. I've done three 'mini cruises' with overnight stops out from Poole Harbour, amongst plenty of other trips during the last season and it's been great having the new system. Hard to put a price on being confident with your kit."

- Wayfarer 1170

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"It was my wife Patsy who insisted I get a furling jib - to ease marital tensions in the boat! I have now used the Aero Furling Spar in both racing and cruising situations.

Racing: I sailed the 2013 Wayfarer International Championships using a McNamara racing genoa fitted to the spar, which swept the deck just as a conventional racing foresail would. The spar enabled us to point as high as normal and was sufficiently flexible to allow the luff to sag off for a better entry shape in light wind conditions, but could still be tensioned as much as desired in heavy air. We initially used the furling system to get rid of the foresail before the start of the race, but as our confidence increased we also used it on the downwind runs. The increased visibility for the helmsman in this situation was a real plus. What I really like is the smooth and quick operation of the system - there appears to be no friction to speak of when furling the sail - even in strong winds.

Cruising: I put the Aero Spar through its paces in 20+ knot winds a month later whilst cruising the North Channel in Georgian Bay, when for the first time ever, I was able to put a deep reef in the main and balance the rig with a deep reefed genoa. What a treat!"

(CWA Membership Secretary) - Wayfarer 994

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"We wanted our cruising boat to still have the responsive feel and balance of a racer with the ability to club race, so opted for a carbon spar, with one of our old racing McNamara genoas being adapted for it.  Fitting it to the boat was very straightforward as virtually everything is on the spar itself - rather than the boat. It sets beautifully, every bit as good as it did before, albeit with more practicality as it furls away in a matter of seconds.  Perfect.

The Aero Furling system enables us to use the boat in a different way - it's so much more flexible. We have even furled it away when going downwind while flying the spinnaker, which provides excellent visibility and was perfect whilst planing downwind amongst inquisitive seals last week. We are chuffed to bits – it’s one of our best mods yet."

- Wayfarer 8888 and Wayfarer 9033

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"Using the Aero furling spar during the Shannon raid made furling the genoa incredibly easy and very efficient. Setting off or coming along side docks was so much calmer and controlled without a flapping foresail. Furling the Genoa gave us an unobstructed view which was especially helpful when entering and leaving locks. Along the 220km route we had to lower the mast on numerous occasions to get under low bridges, this was where the Aero furling spar really excelled. With the forestay permanently released we were able to quickly furl the sail and then to lower the mast by just releasing the halyard and allowing the mast to be swivelled on the mast pin. With the spar and shrouds still attached it meant we were always in full and total control of the mast as it was being lowered, once under the bridge we just pulled the mast upright and were ready to unfurl and sail away without any fuss or bother."

- Wayfarer 10562

Photo by Kathy Mansfield

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"I am racing 100% with the Aero furling/reefing system. I like to furl away the Genoa when on a dead run as it gives a much better view and is an advantage in light conditions because my spinnaker will fly when others' are collapsing. The Wayfarer Zeeland Championship last week was eventually cancelled before the start because of very strong winds. I was the last boat out there and over a 200m behind the next Wayfarer, with a beat all the way back to the harbour. We reefed 1/3 of the genoa and gradually closed the gap. The other boats were struggling, and had to ease the mainsail every time a heavy gust hit them. The gap was eaten up before reaching the harbour. It was fun."

(Denmark) - Wayfarer 239

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"Just back from our cruise in Scotland where the Aero furling spar and racing sail worked very well. The difference in performance was astounding. The tacking angle was less compared with my Plastimo system and the increase in performance was very clear to see as I gradually pulled away from the other four boats. In light winds I gained over 10 minutes in an hour. Reefed in stronger winds the sail shape was excellent."

(UKWA Chairman) - Wayfarer 1162

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"I’m absolutely delighted with the Aero Luff Spar. I was initially sceptical about installing it as I felt it might be some disadvantage to sail performance when racing, but this concern has proved to be unfounded. Furling the genoa at the start of the race gives me a clear vision of the start line and freed the crew to concentrate on calling out the countdown. There is also the convenience of being able to furl the sail away after rigging to stop it flogging, as well as after or between races. A really great piece of kit that I would always add to any boat I owned in the future."

- Wayfarer 10188

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"The Aeroluffspar works very much better than the aluminium tube arrangement that I used extensively on a previous Wayfarer. I particularly like the way the sail stays on the spar for storage. Rigging and de-rigging is very quick and easy. No flogging sails when rigging, and the design of the spar means that the sail is stored perfectly without any folds or creases each and every time I put it away."

- Wayfarer 10512

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"The Aero Luff Spar has proved invaluable when sailing on our local river Yare with the family. The wind strength varies considerably throughout a passage in the gusty conditions on the river and the ability to shorten sail quickly and securely gives us the ability to carefully tune the balance of safety and excitement for our children. Of course, this also means they get to take part as active crew because the genoa can be set to their individual physical strengths."

- Wayfarer 10508

Wayfarer dinghy sailors have their say.

"We gave the spar a good test last weekend in gusts hitting Force 8 with pretty solid 6's the rest of the time. We single reefed the main and the genoa was reefed to about the size of a jib. My crew and I are heavy sailors but I suspect a lighter crew would need to take in more sail in the same conditions. The rig was balanced and controllable and a joy to sail in these heavy conditions, as the winds eased later we let a little more sail out to keep the fun factor roughly equal.

- Wayfarer 1820