How Do You Straighten Out A Furler If It Becomes Twisted Or Kinked?

How Do You Straighten Out A Furler If It Becomes Twisted Or Kinked?

As a sailing expert with countless hours spent on the open seas, I know better than anyone that a furler can be a tricky apparatus to manage.

A furler is an essential tool on any sailing vessel, and when it becomes twisted or kinked, it can cause a lot of disruption to your sailing experience.

Fortunately, with some know-how and a few simple steps, this issue can straightened out in a jiffy.

In this article, I will discuss how to quickly and efficiently straighten a furler when it becomes twisted or kinked. So batten down the hatches, cast off the lines and let’s get to it!

What Is A Furler?

A furler is a device used in sailing which is attached to the sail’s luff and can be used to control the shape of the sail. It is typically made of a spool of stainless steel cable that runs along the luff of the sail and is connected to the halyard and tack.

It allows the sailor to quickly and easily furl or reef the sail without having to go on deck. Furlers are especially useful for larger sails, as they make it easier to reduce the sail area when conditions become windy or when you need to reduce sail area for other reasons.

In order to maintain an optimal sail shape and reduce chafing, it is important to ensure that a furler is always properly tensioned and free of twists or kinks.

A. Definition

A furler is a mechanism on a sailing vessel designed to enable efficient hoisting and furling of a sail. It consists of a drum, or foil, that holds the sail in a roll, and a line, usually called a halyard, that is used to raise and lower it.

When not in use, the sail is coiled around the drum, and when deployed, it is tensioned by a series of lines, called sheets, that attach to the sail and are pulled to keep it taught and filling with wind.

If the furler becomes twisted or kinked, it can prevent the sail from releasing correctly, and can cause the sheets to become tangled.

B. Types Of Furlers

Furlers are an integral part of a sailing setup and come in many different shapes and sizes.

There are two main types of furlers:

  • Traditional Furlers: Traditional furlers are designed with a drum at the base and a wire that’s attached to the boat’s bow. The wire is used to wind the sail up and down the drum. Traditional furlers are often used on larger boats, as the drum is typically heavier and is designed to handle a larger sail size.
  • Roller Furlers: Roller furlers, also known as jib furlers, are typically used on smaller boats as they tend to be lighter. They utilize a cylindrical roller that wraps around the sail and is attached to the bow of the boat. With a roller furler, you can easily drop and raise the sail with a simple line that’s attached to the furler.

Both types of furlers are designed to reduce the workload of hoisting, dropping, and reefing sails. When a furler becomes twisted or kinked, it’s important to straighten it out as soon as possible to ensure it functions properly.

C. Benefits Of Furlers

Furlers are a great way to ensure a quicker, easier sail setup and adjustment. They provide an efficient method of controlling the sails without having to manipulate lines or the sail itself.

This makes them ideal for sailors who want to reduce the amount of time spent on sail preparation, or for those who want to keep their hands free when adjusting their sail setup.

Furlers also allow for more precise adjustment of the sail shape and trim, allowing for more comfortable and efficient sailing.

Furlers also use a variety of furling systems, such as in-boom or in-mast furling, which provide a more compact solution for sail management.

This helps to reduce the overall weight of the boat, increasing the boat’s performance and maneuverability. In addition, these furling systems can be adjusted while sailing, providing sailors with an easy way to adjust their sail shape even while underway.

Furlers also make it easier to reef the sail, allowing for smoother and faster sail reduction in changing weather or sea conditions.

This can increase safety when sailing in difficult conditions, allowing for faster sail adjustments when needed. Finally, furlers are generally easy to use and maintain, which makes them a great choice for sailors of all levels.

Causes of Furler Kinks and Twists

Furler kinks and twists are caused by a number of issues and often occur when the halyard is not properly adjusted. Without the halyard tension, the furling line can get twisted and cause the furler to become kinked. When furling lines are improperly coiled, it can also lead to furler kinks and twists.

Another possible cause of furler kinks or twists is when the furler is in too tight of an angle for the furling line, resulting in the halyard being too tight or too loose. This can also cause the furler to be twisted and makes it difficult for the furling line to be unfurled.

Finally, leaving the furling line loose for long periods of time, especially in strong winds, can cause the furling line to become twisted and cause kinks in the furler.

In summary, furler kinks and twists can be caused by improper halyard tension, improper coiling of the furling line, the furler being in too tight of an angle and leaving the furling line loose for long periods of time.

A. Improper Installation

If the furler has become twisted or kinked, it is likely that it has been improperly installed in the first place. This can occur due to incomplete furling instructions, inadequate maintenance, or a lack of understanding of the principles behind furling a sail.

Improper installation of the furler equipment can lead to the furling line becoming twisted and therefore kinking, resulting in the sail becoming tangled and unusable.

In order to rectify the incorrect installation and help straighten out a furler, the first step is to inspect the furler system, including the furling line, the halyard and the furling drum.

It is important to ensure that all connections are correctly fitted and secure, and that the furling drum is correctly positioned on the mast or boom. It is also important to ensure that the furling line is correctly tensioned, and is not looped around the furling drum or halyard.

If the inspection reveals that the incorrect installation is the reason for the twisted or kinked furler, then the furling equipment should be dismantled and re-installed correctly. If this isn’t possible, then a professional should be consulted to determine the best solution.

B. Poor Maintenance

Poor maintenance of a furler can lead to a twisted or kinked furler, which can be difficult or impossible to straighten out. In order to prevent this problem, it is important to inspect and service the furler regularly.

Start by checking the swivel and bearings to ensure they are properly lubricated. Additionally, inspect the furler for wear, especially in the areas where the lines and sheets run. Pay attention to any fraying or broken strands in the luff tape, and check the furler drum for any signs of cracking or damage.

In order to keep the furler in good condition and to avoid it from becoming tangled up, it’s important to wind the furling line evenly and consistently around the furler drum.

Additionally, be sure to use a soft line for the furling line, as a stiff and rigid line can cause the furler to jam. Lastly, keep an eye on the line’s tension when furling or unfurling the sail. Too much tension can cause the line to become kinked and twisted.

C. Incorrect Use

Unfortunately, due to the complexity of furlers, there are some common mistakes that can be made when attempting to straighten out a twisted or kinked furler.

It is important to note that too much force should never be applied while trying to straighten out furler as this can damage the furler or the furling line.

Additionally, the furler should never be untwisted or unkinked by hand. As the furler is a mechanical component, it is best to rotate the furling line in a controlled manner to avoid overstressing or damaging the furler.

Snubbing the furling line can also cause damage to the furler, and should be avoided. If the furler becomes too tight, it should be released instead.

Finally, the furling line should never be forced through the furler, as this can damage the furler’s swivel and cause further complications.

D. Environmental Factors

The temperature of the water and air can have an effect on the furler, as well as wind speed and direction. If the wind is particularly strong or comes from an unusual angle, it can cause the furler to become twisted or kinked up.

In some cases, the furler may be twisted due to the buildup of sediment around the furler, especially if you’re sailing in an area with a lot of debris.

Even if the wind and water temperature are optimal, you may still need to address the buildup of sediment around the furler. In any case, it’s important to be aware of your local environmental conditions in order to properly maintain your furler.

How To Straighten Out A Furler

If your furler is twisted or kinked, the best solution is to remove it from the sail and lay it flat on a hard surface. You can use a piece of wood or a block of non-skid material to hold the furler in place while you work.

Once it is in position, you should begin by gradually and gently tugging in both directions along the length of the furler. This will help to loosen any knots or kinks and get the furler back into shape. If you encounter a particularly difficult-to-untangle section, try using a marlinespike or a small rigging knife to work through the furler.

Next, you can use a soft cloth or towel to rub the exterior of the furler. This will help to smooth out any remaining bumps or kinks in the furler and make sure that everything is even.

When you have finished, you should rinse the furler with fresh water and dry it off with a soft cloth. You can then re-install the furler on the sail and check that everything is in proper working order.

By following these simple steps, you should be able to quickly and easily straighten out any furler that has become twisted or kinked.

A. Step 1: Inspect The Furler

If your furler has become twisted or kinked, it is important to inspect it before attempting to fix it. Start by checking the furler unit itself for any signs of damage or wear.

If the furler unit is damaged, it should be replaced before attempting to straighten it. If the furler unit appears to be in good condition, then inspect the furling line.

Ensure that the line is not frayed or broken and that the swivel and end fittings are securely attached. If any of the fittings are loose or the line is frayed or broken, then the line should be replaced before attempting to straighten the furled line.

Finally, inspect the sail itself for any signs of damage or wear. If the sail is damaged, it should be repaired before attempting to straighten the furler.

B. Step 2: Unwind the Furler

Once you have identified the source of the twist or kink in the furler, it is time to unwind it. This can be done by securing one end of the furler and then sliding the rest of the line along the furler in a controlled manner.

To do this, start by securing the furler at the base with a cleat. Take the bitter end of the line and place it over the furler. Begin to slide the line around the furler in a circular motion.

It is important to keep the line loose so as not to put any strain on the furler or the line. As you unwind the furler, be sure to regularly check the line for any damage or frays.

Once the furler is unwound, be sure to inspect the line thoroughly to ensure it is not damaged in any way. If the line is damaged, it must be replaced before it can be used again.

C. Step 3: Check for Damage

It is important to carefully inspect the furler before beginning to straighten it. Check for sign of cracking, splitting, or deformation in the furling line. Look for any permanent kinks in the line which may indicate damage.

Additionally, check any swivels, cleats, or blocks to ensure that they are secure and functioning properly. If any damage is found, the furler will need to be replaced with a new one before continuing with the straightening process.

D. Step 4: Re-Install The Furler

Once the furler is unkinked, it is time to re-install it onto the boat. With a few simple tools, this is an easy process.

Begin by connecting the furler’s swivel fitting to the forestay. Loosen the forestay and insert the swivel fitting through the forestay’s pin hole. Tighten the swivel fitting’s nut, ensuring the forestay is secured in place. Make sure the furling line is connected to the furler on one end and the winch on the other.

Next, attach wires to the furler’s drum and attach the other ends of the wires to the boat’s chainplates. Take care to ensure the wires are taut and connected securely.

Once all wires are in place, trim off any excess line and secure the ends with knots. With the furler in place and the lines trimmed, you are ready to set sail.

Before setting out on the water, check the furler for any slack or tension, making sure it is not too loose or too tight. Double check the wires and line connections to ensure everything is securely in place. A furler that is not securely attached may cause a lot of stress on the boat and its components.

Now you’re ready to unfurl the sails and enjoy a day of sailing!

E. Step 5: Adjust The Furler

Once you’ve identified the issue, the next step is to adjust the furler. This is when you will want to apply some of your sailing expertise.

First, adjust the sail tension. You may need to loosen or tighten the sail halyard to ensure the sail is properly tensioned. This can be tricky and requires careful adjustment as too much tension can damage the furler.

Next, adjust the furler line. This is a critical step as the furler’s luff and leech tension governs how the sail is aligned. Adjusting the furler line requires knowledge of sail trim and sail shape. This is a common area where increased sail tension can cause the furler to twist.

Finally, adjust the furler-to-mast connection. This is an area where you will want to be extra careful. If the furler is too close to the mast, it can cause the furler to twist and kink. Make sure your furler-to-mast connection is at the correct distance for optimal furler performance.

When you’ve completed these steps, your furler should be back in proper working order. Take your time and make sure the furler is properly aligned before going out on the water. Your sailing performance will thank you!

Tips For Preventing Furler Kinks And Twists

Properly maintaining your furler is the best way to prevent kinks and twists. Grinding and sanding the furler swivel and drum on a regular basis will ensure that the mechanism moves freely and that the furler line is running smoothly. Additionally, making sure that the furler line is free of debris, salt, and sand will aid in avoiding kinks and twists.

It is also important to check the furler line for chafe or damage that may have occurred over time. Make sure to inspect the furler line from time to time and replace it when necessary. Using a high-quality furler line that is designed for the specific model of your furler will also reduce the possibility of furler kinks and twists.

Finally, it is important to avoid over-tightening the furler line when rigging or tuning the furler. This can cause the line to rub against the furler mechanism, which can lead to chafe and damage, ultimately resulting in kinks and twists. If you need to adjust the line tension, make sure to do it gradually and check the line often.

A. Proper Installation

When installing a furler, it is important to ensure that all components are properly fitted and that the furler is not twisted or kinked.

To install a furler, the furler must be securely mounted in order to ensure that it is not pulled out of alignment when the sails are deployed.

Additionally, the furler line should be guided in a straight line from the drum to the furler’s swivel at the head of the sail so that the line does not twist or kink as the sail is furled or unfurled.

In order to ensure that all parts of the furler are installed correctly, use a fid or marlinspike to guide the furling line through the furler and secure it before use. It is also important to check for any damage or wear to the furler line, as this can cause the furler to twist or kink when deployed.

B. Regular Maintenance

To ensure the furler remains unkinked, it is important to practice regular maintenance. Regularly check all components of the furler, such as swivels, pins, pins, and halyards, to ensure they are in good working order and that there is no corrosion or wear.

Additionally, examine the furler for any signs of damage or corrosion. If the furler does become kinked or twisted, it is important to address it as soon as possible to reduce the risk of more serious damage occurring.

If the furler is a furlable drum furler, it is necessary to ensure the drum turns freely. To do this, first clear the halyard and reefing lines from the drum.

Grease the swivel and the headstay, then rotate the furler to ensure it turns freely. If the furler is a vertical or horizontal type, it is important to check the swivel, pins and track to ensure they are all in good condition.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the furler is essential to ensure it remains unkinked. Doing so will help to keep the furler in good working order and reduce the risk of more serious damage occurring.

C. Correct Use

The best way to straighten out a furler is to ensure that it is used correctly in the first place.

To do this, it is important to pay attention to the following:

  • Ensure that the furler is tensioned correctly, as this will reduce the risk of it becoming twisted or kinked
  • Before furling, make sure that the furling line is evenly loaded and that the sail is not too full
  • When furling, operate the furler at a consistent speed to prevent the line from becoming twisted
  • Prior to furling, it can be beneficial to release tension on the furler to make the process smoother
  • Make sure to inspect the furler and furling line regularly for signs of wear and tear
  • If the furler is being stored for any length of time, ensure it is loosened off and the sail is fully furled.

D. Environmental Considerations

When attempting to straighten out a furler that has become twisted or kinked, it is important to be mindful of the environment. If a boat is not at a dock and is instead in open waters, it is important to be aware of any local regulations that may come into play.

Boating in certain areas may require the use of biodegradable oil or other environmentally-friendly lubricants, and the use of certain materials may be restricted due to environmental considerations.

Additionally, disposing of old or worn-out parts must be done in accordance with any local regulations. It is best to consult with the local environmental protection agency before attempting any repairs on a furler in open waters.


Straightening out a furler that has become twisted or kinked is a relatively simple process that can be done in a few steps. In order to complete the task, the sailor must first identify the source of the problem and then use a series of tools to carefully remove the twist or kink.

Depending on the severity of the twist or kink, the sailor may need to use a winch handle or other mechanical device to help them turn the furler in the direction needed to release the tension.

Additionally, a furling line may be required to help re-wrap the furler in the correct direction. Once the furler is straightened out, the sailor will then need to ensure the furling line is re-tensioned and that the furler is properly secured before getting underway.

With a little patience, the sailor can ensure their furler is working correctly and that their voyage is free of any complications.

Summary: How Do You Straighten Out A Furler If It Becomes Twisted Or Kinked?

For the sailing expert, untangling a furler is a straightforward process. First, check the furling line for knots, kinks, and twists, and clear them out if necessary.

Then, loosen the furler’s halyard to allow it to be freed from the mast. Next, use the furling line to rotate the furler’s sail down the forestay, freeing it from any twists or kinks.

Finally, double-check the furler and the sail for any further twists or kinks, and furl them both up as normal. With a bit of patience and the right know-how, any sailor can easily untangle a furler and get back out on the water in no time.


What Type Of Furler Do You Have?

The type of furler you have depends on the make and model of your boat and the type of sail you are using. Generally, there are two types of furlers: manual and electric.

A manual furler is a relatively simple device that is manually operated and is often used for smaller sails such as jibs and genoas.

The manual furler usually consists of a drum with a line running through it and a swivel that is connected to the sail. To furl the sail, the line is wound around the drum and the sail is pulled in.

An electric furler is a more complex device that is operated by an electric motor. It is often used on larger sails such as mainsails and gennakers.

The electric furler typically consists of a drum, a line, and an electric motor. The motor is used to wind the line around the drum, which pulls the sail in.

No matter what type of furler you have, it is important to take proper care of it and inspect it regularly. This will help ensure that your furler is operating correctly and prevent it from becoming twisted or kinked.

Is The Furler Jammed Or Just Twisted?

As a sailing expert, I can confidently say that it is important to differentiate between a furler that is jammed and one that is simply twisted.

If the furler is jammed, this means that the furler is not able to rotate freely and is stuck in place. This is usually caused by a furler that has not been properly maintained and can usually be fixed by doing some basic maintenance.

On the other hand, if the furler is just twisted, this means that the furler is able to rotate, but the luff of the sail is twisted and needs to be straightened out. This is usually caused by the sail not being properly tensioned during the furling process.

To fix a twisted furler, the first step is to identify the cause of the twist. If the sail is not tensioned properly, the twist can be fixed by properly tensioning the sail.

However, if the twist is caused by an improper furling technique, the furler needs to be unfurled and re-furled.

This can be done by releasing the halyard and unfurling the sail until the twist is gone. The sail should then be re-furled using an appropriate furling technique.

Once the furler is straightened out, it is important to ensure that the sail is properly tensioned and that the furler is free-running. This will ensure that the furler is able to rotate freely and that the sail is able to unfurl correctly.

Are There Any Visible Signs Of Damage?

Yes, there are visible signs of damage when a furler becomes twisted or kinked. If the furler is twisted, you may notice that the furler line is twisted and the furling line has a corkscrew appearance.

You may also notice a reduction in the furling line’s strength or a kink in the line. If the furler is kinked, the furling line will be bent or folded at a sharp angle, indicating a obstruction in the furling process.

In either case, it’s important to inspect the furler and furling line for signs of damage, as this will help you determine the best course of action to take.

Is The Furler Still Attached To The Boat?

Yes, the furler should still be attached to the boat. However, it is important to make sure that the furler is properly secured in place. If the furler is not properly secured, it can be a safety hazard and can lead to further damage to your boat and the furler itself.

To straighten out a furler, the first step is to check the furler and make sure that the halyard is still securely attached to the boat. If the halyard has come loose, it will need to be reattached. Once the halyard is secure, you can then proceed to straighten out the furler.

To do this, you will need to lower the furler, and then use a winch to pull the furler out straight. Make sure that the furler is pulled out evenly and that there are no kinks or twists. Once the furler is straight, you can then raise it back up and secure it in place.

It is important to remember that when handling a furler, safety should always be your top priority. Make sure that you use the right equipment and take all the necessary safety precautions. Additionally, make sure that you are familiar with the furler before attempting to straighten it out, as it can be dangerous if done incorrectly.

Are There Any Obstructions Preventing The Furler From Being Straightened?

As a sailing expert, I can answer the question “Are there any obstructions preventing the furler from being straightened?” with a definite yes.

Depending on the type of furler, there can be several factors that prevent the straightening of the furler. The most common obstruction is a jammer or block that is preventing the furling line from moving freely.

The jammer or block could be caused by a knot or tangle in the line, a block that has seized, or a worn sheave in the furler. The second most common obstruction is a problem with the furling drum itself.

If the furling drum is bent, cracked, or twisted, it will not allow the furling line to move freely. Finally, a worn or stretched furling line can also prevent the furler from being straightened. In this case, the line will need to be replaced or adjusted.

Ultimately, the best way to determine what is preventing the furler from being straightened is to inspect the system carefully. If all of the components are in good condition, then the problem is likely due to a jammer or block that needs to be cleared.

If any of the components are damaged, then the affected parts will need to be replaced in order to restore the furler to its normal operation.

Is The Furler Still Connected To The Sail?

Yes, the furler should still be connected to the sail. The furler is an essential component of the sail, and the sail is typically attached to the furler itself.

As such, the furler should remain connected to the sail at all times, and the sail should not be disconnected from the furler during the straightening process.

If the furler has become twisted or kinked, the sail will have to be unfurled to some degree in order to access the furler and straighten it out.

However, the sail should not be fully unfurled, as this could cause damage to the sail or the furler. Instead, the sail should be partially unfurled, so that the furler can be accessed while the sail remains attached. Once the furler has been straightened, the sail can be furled back up and the furler should remain connected to the sail.

Are There Any Knots Or Tangles In The Furler Line?

Yes, there are knots or tangles that can form in a furler line. This can be caused by over-wrapping the line around the furler, or simply by not taking the time to untangle the line when you’re done using it.

As a sailing expert, I would recommend taking the time to inspect the furler line before using it and after using it. This will help you identify any knots or tangles that have started to form.

Also, when wrapping the line around the furler, be sure to do so in a clean and organized way. This will help to reduce the chances of knots or tangles forming.

If knots or tangles do form, the best way to straighten them out is to take a pair of pliers or a line-grabber tool and gently pull the line until the knot or tangle comes undone. Be sure to do this slowly, and with care, to avoid damaging the line.

Finally, if it does become necessary to cut the furler line, it is important to use a line cutter designed for use on mooring and furling lines. This will help to ensure that the line is cut in a clean and even fashion, with minimal damage.

Is The Furler Line Still In Good Condition?

It depends on the severity of the twist or kink. If the furler line is only lightly twisted or kinked, then it is likely still in good condition and can be used after it is straightened out.

However, if the twist or kink is more severe and the furler line has been stretched or damaged, then it should be replaced with a new line before resuming sailing.

When inspecting a furler line, look for any signs of fraying, discoloration, or other damage that could indicate the line is not suitable for further use. If the line appears to be in good condition, then it can be straightened out.

To do this, start by running the furler line through a winch or cleat and then slowly and carefully pull the line taut, unwinding any twists or kinks. Once the line is straight and free from any twists, it is ready to be used.

For more tips on caring for and maintaining your furler line, consult with your local sailing expert. They can provide advice on how to keep your furler line in good condition and help you determine if the line is still in good condition or if it needs to be replaced.

Are There Any Other Components That Need To Be Adjusted Or Replaced?

Yes, there are other components that may need to be adjusted or replaced when straightening out a furler. Depending on the age and condition of the furler, the swivel and sheave may need to be cleaned, lubricated and adjusted.

Additionally, the bearings and drum may need to be replaced if they are worn or damaged. It is also important to check the furling line for any fraying or damage, and to replace it if necessary.

Finally, the furler should be checked for any corrosion or loose connections, and any necessary repairs should be made. All of these components should be checked and adjusted or replaced as needed to ensure that the furler will operate properly and safely.

What Tools Are Needed To Straighten Out The Furler?

Straightening out a furler can be a tricky process, but with the right tools and a bit of knowledge, it is possible.

Generally, you will need the following tools to straighten out a furler:

  1. A winch handle: This will be used to loosen the furler’s tension and to rotate the furler in the opposite direction of the twist.
  2. A mallet: This will be used to tap the furler in the opposite direction of the twist.
  3. A spinnaker halyard: This will be used to apply tension to the furler in order to stretch it out, and to help you pull the furler in the opposite direction of the twist.
  4. A line cutter: This will be used to cut off any excess line that may be present on the furler, as well as any tangled or kinked lines.
  5. A pair of pliers: This will be used to tighten or loosen any lines or hardware on the furler.
  6. A knife: This will be used to cut any excess line on the furler that may be too tight or difficult to remove.

By following the steps above and using the appropriate tools, you should be able to straighten out your furler. Remember to be careful and patient, as it can take some time to get the furler back in perfect condition.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *