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Genoa Furling Gives Way - Houston we had a problem

This blog is for sailors, but might be of interest to others.

At 4:30 am the winds freshened to 24-26 knots and I prepared to bring in the genoa and put out the jib and then take a first reef in the main. When furling the genoa, the furling line parted at the furling drum. How to get it furled now? Dropping the huge genoa to the deck and placing it below did not seem like a good option in the dark and with those winds - my being alone - not safe. Here is what I did.

I tacked thru the wind and then that placed the genoa against the shrouds and back winded. I then put out the jib to give some stability. Next I headed down wind with one sheet controlling the genoa against the shrouds. I took a four foot long rod (hydraulic handle) and placed it between the tack of the genoa and the rod right at the drum. Then, I manually furled in the genoa running back to the winch to ease the sheet and then forward to wind in some more. Repeated this at least a dozen times but finally got the genoa furled, tied off and then the boat was off in the SW direction, which was necessary to do my work. Still more work to do in placing the furling line back into the drum and stitching the knot so it does not untie again.

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