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Tuff Luff Head Foil
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Instead of a roller furling I put on a Tuff Luff headfoil (#1206, about a 30' length) for about $400, and another $100 to put a luff tape on each of my headsails (3 of them). The Tuff Luff has twin grooves and uses the same luff tape as a roller so I could switch over someday without additional expense on my existing sails (except a uv strip for the one I leave on). The leading reason I got the Tuff Luff was so I could do running headsail changes. The P26 main is pretty small and the boat is typically underpowered without a jib. I can raise the new sail on the inside of the old, tack and drop the old sail on the inside of the new one. In some situations I can raise the new sail on the outside and drop the old one without tacking. This is all done with lots of control and little loss of speed. I can also run double headsails for downwind sailing. The Tuff Luff may not be right for everyone but it works well for me.

To do running headsail change typically I would get on the tack to raise the new sail in the leeward groove then drop the old inside the new. That seemed to work best for me. Sometimes I would raise the new inside, tack and drop the old. Once new is raised I would switch lazy sheet to new sail. I also had occasion to lower old sail on outside. That worked too. And it worked to do the change while hove too. All-in-all it was an excellent system. I had four headsails - 90, 130, 150, 170. There is no substitute for having the right sail up for the conditions. Far superior to partial rolling. It's called roller furling not roller reefing for a reason?

The downside to the foil is that the sail is not as well contained on the foredeck as it is with hanks. This was part of my thinking in not going this way on my 10M. But on the 26 I did not find it to be a problem. I had a length of shock cord that ran from the forward pulpit base back to the first stanchion. There was a hook on it and I would secure the sail under that by hooking it over to the other lifeline or a small padeye on deck. It was actually a loop of shock cord so I had two lengths to use on the sail. You can see the shock cord in this photo of the bow cleats:
Bow Cleats

I don't have a good photo of the tuff luff on my web site but you can see it in some of the photos here:
If I had another P26 I would go this way again. I thought it was great. Maybe I'll switch my 10M someday. Doubtful but I could have bought the foil and a new headsail for the price of the furler (harken).

To make the most of the Tuff Luff you really need two jib halyards. I converted to internal halyards and added a second jib haluard. See details here:
Conversion to Internal Halyards

Main & Working Jib
Main & 130% Genoa
150% Genoa
170% Genoa
Asymmetric Spinnaker

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