Finding the Best Cruising Furling Lines
Updated: Jun 11
Note: I/we are not sponsored by any companies mentioned in this article. We cruise full time on our test bed, SV Confianza, and we enjoy sharing our tests and opinions to give back to the community.
When our original furling lines aged and got stiff, they started to cause a lot of issues. Multiple binds from twists would happen at the spinlock on each unfurl and required lots of detangling while unfurling. We also started having binding at the drum itself. I'm sure this was the indication that they were far past the point of needing replacement.
It's Time for New Furling Lines
I was already ordering some new jib sheets, so I just went with the same New England Ropes Sta-Set (albeit smaller diameter) for the furling lines. I replaced the jib furling line as well as the screecher furling line.
It took less than two years for these new lines to start binding up on me again. The Sta-Set got stiff with a consistent twist in it, especially on the jib furler. The screecher furler twist would cause the line sometimes to start winding around underneath the screecher and foul up the whole furling process.
This was a terrible problem when we were trying to get the screecher in in a hurry to avoid gusty winds. We would have to quickly drop the whole sail partially furled and get it stored in a hurry. Definitely a safety issue.
It's Time for New Furling Lines...Again
Even though these lines were not that old, I gave up on them (for furling purposes anyway). I was browsing through New England Ropes website and came across their Regatta Braid.
The claim that caught my eye: "This soft and supple line runs freely and does not kink." Under applications, furling line is listed, which gave me a little more confidence in trying it. Alright, I'm intrigued, let's give it a go.
The New Solution: New England Ropes Regatta Braid
The breaking strength was 15% lower on Regatta Braid than Sta-Set, but I figured that was an acceptable risk, especially since I had let the original lines go so long without an issue.
After 3 years with the Regatta Braid and regular use (3+ times a week?), many 35+kt wind conditions, and a few thousand miles sailing, I can confidently review the Regatta Braid with wholehearted enthusiasm. What an upgrade it has been!
The line just does not kink when unfurling. No twists have formed. And it spins perfectly into the drums every time. It's completely as advertised.
As an added benefit, these lines grip the self-tailer on the winches even though they are much thinner than what the self-tailer was designed for. This made furling incredibly easy and a huge upgrade that I hadn't anticipated. Previously we had to juggle tailing and winching, but this stuff just magically grips and works.
We used to have encounter stressful furling situations on Confianza, but the Regatta Braid has reduced those to zero!
Upgraded the Davit Lines as Well
As a final note: we also replaced our davit lines with Regatta Braid as well. Eliminated the kinking problems at the spinlock and blocks as expected. And they are much nicer on the hands when pulling up the dinghy with the engine on.