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Ubi Maior Italia - The Unique Jiber Furling System

by Kerri Robson 27 Feb 09:00 GMT
Ubi Maior Italia - The Unique Jiber Furling System © Ubi Maior

Florence-based Ubi Maior Italia are breaking boundaries with their patented Jiber Furling System a structural furling forestay system with the benefits of a traditional furling system.

But first, who are Ubi Maior Italia?

Producers of 'first-class sailing' deck equipment, Ubi Maior Italia have over 50 years experience in designing blocks, sheaves, furlers and connectors that improve the performance of your boat. Reliable and long-lasting, Ubi Maior combine advanced production techniques with time-tested traditions, harnessing the expertise of professional sailors into the manufacture of a wide range of high-quality products.

The Jiber Furling System is no different.

Typically, there are two distinct routes for a jib furling system: traditional or structural.

A traditional furling system is popular for cruising sailors and utilises aluminium extrusions which are fitted over the forestay, transmitting the torque up the length of the luff. The furling system rotates around the static forestay. The sail can be hoisted and lowered in the luff grove in the foil, and can also be used when partially furled (reefed).

In comparison, a structural furler is a lightweight, performance option, popular with offshore racers. Instead of aluminium extrusions, a structural furling system uses a rod or composite forestay which is connected between the furling drum at the bottom and a swivel at the top, allowing the forestay itself to rotate during furling.

As the whole forestay rotates, in order to allow the sail to be hoisted/lowered on the existing halyard requires the use of an additional halyard swivel. This double swivel sits on the forestay and acts as a link between the jib head and the halyard shackle. This allows the sail to be furled, relative to the fixed halyard system. The downside of this system is that it cannot be used with the sail reefed, because the head of the sail is free to unwind when tension is applied to the leech.

Ubi Maior Italia's Jiber Furling System changes all of this: although it is a structural forestay furling system, the revolutionary design means the furler also reaps the benefits of a traditional furling system.

To begin, the Jiber does not utilise aluminium extruded foils within its design. The absence of foils means the furling system has a significant weight advantage - up to 70% lighter than competing, traditional furling systems.

Instead of foils, the Jiber unit consists of a rod or composite forestay - which transfers the torque between the drum and the upper swivel. At the top of the forestay there is a short section of foil, which Ubi call the "Javelin". This foil section has a vertical channel which is used to rotationally lock the bottom half of a Halyard swivel (which Ubi call the "Shuttle") in line with the forestay when it is raised to full hoist position, on the javelin. As a result, the forestay rotates during furling and you can still use the existing halyard BUT the head of the sail is held in position which allows it to be used when reefed.

In addition to the massive weight saving, there are other advantages to the Jiber furling system:

  • Because there are no foils, switching from cruising to racing mode is very quick and a number of different hanked headsails can be hoisted onto the forestay without furling.
  • Upwind performance is also improved due to the smaller forestay diameter and reduced windage.
  • Faster to hoist/lower sails that traditional furlers.
  • Low profile drum means there is more space available to maximise luff length.

Ubi Maior Italia's Jiber is available in several specifications. Choose from the Jiber which utilises a rod forestay or the Jiber TX which utilises a textile/composite forestay. Both are available as an under deck, flat drum, continuous line or discontinuous line furler.

Are you looking for racing performance, combined with the ease of a furler? Explore the range on, or if you have any queries contact us using the 'Structural Furling Enquiry Form'.

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