Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

Tuff Luff head foils - Care and Maintenance

by Prinal Shah 2 Jan 09:00 GMT
Tuff Luff's twin-grooved headfoil allows for easy and fast headsail changes © Schaefer Marine Inc

Tuff Luff's twin-grooved headfoil allows for easy and fast headsail changes. It is a must-have system for any club or competitive race boat. Tuff Luff is owned by Schaefer Marine Inc. who has been in marine hardware design since 1966.

Although Tuff Luff has been around for many years there have not been many significant changes to the product, which is a testament to its simplicity and quality. In this blog, we discuss its benefits and key tips on maintaining your Tuff Luff headfoil. You could also check out our previous blog where we compare Tuff Luff with the other main contender for the headfoil market; Harken Carbo Racing Foil.

Benefits?

  • Simple
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install and use
  • Rugged
  • Durable

For 95% of sailors the choice is simple: Harken or Tuff Luff, however for the other 5% there are a limited number of Grand Prix alternatives. For example, Gorilla Rigging's G-Foil which utilises a fabric wrap around the forestay with a polycarbonate plastic extrusion hung behind it. This provides weight, aero and impact resistance advantages, however, it should be noted that this is a fully custom product with a price tag to match!

So, how do you get the most out of your Tuff Luff head foil?

As it is such a simple system, there is a limited amount of maintenance work required, however, there are a few key tips to ensure reliable performance:

  1. Always use Chafe Tape on the bottom quarter of the front of the foil - this is to protect against rapid chafe from sheets running around the headfoil.
  2. If you are using a symmetrical spinnaker you should also consider some Kevlar reinforced, impact resistant tape in the area where the pole sits on the forestay on a close reach.
  3. As your Tuff Luff ages, the unstoppable effect of UV degradation gradually makes the extrusion more brittle. Impact damage is always a risk but you should take extra precautions against impact, the more seasons you have your headfoil.
  4. Always use a pre-feeder to minimize the risk of the luff tape jumping out of the extrusion.
  5. Regularly check the stainless feeder for damage. If the feeder is bent or damaged this can also lead to the luff tape jumping out of the foil.
  6. Make sure all your sails have the correct luff-tape for the foil, and regularly check your luff tapes for damage.
  7. Finally, always remove and store your Tuff Luff under cover over the winter.

A properly-maintained Tuff Luff will give you many seasons of reliable service.

If you have any questions about your headfoil please contact upffront.com using the contact form or if you need spare parts you can find them online too.

Related Articles

Morf Block merges into Morfrac Systems
Upffront.com speaks to the inventor, Nicolas Goldenberg At upffront.com we're big fans of the Morf Block. The lightweight, 3D-printed block started as a DIY kit and has expanded into two ranges: high performance and high load. Posted on 8 Jul
The Low-Down on High-Load Dinghy Blocks
Allen, Harken, Ronstan and Morf compared At upffront.com we love looking at the data and comparing products to gain insight. In this blog we look at the rapidly evolving world of high-load dinghy blocks and compare leading products on the market from Allen Brothers, Harken, Ronstan and Morf. Posted on 26 Jun
Spinlock's XTX available at upffront.com
The latest innovation in rope holding Widely known as experts in rope holding, Spinlock is the go-to solution for many sailors when it comes to clutches and jammers. We've been looking forward to the launch of their new product, the XTX Clutch, ever since we got our first look at METS 2019. Posted on 19 Jun
Ubi Maior X3M Flight Blocks
The compact high flyer reviewed by upffront.com Where does the Ubi Maior X3M Flight range sit relative to other blocks? Posted on 12 Jun
Allen Brothers overview from upffront.com
Dedicated to manufacturing excellence We are pleased to introduce the Allen Brothers 20mm and 30mm Dynamic Block ranges on the website and decided to take the opportunity to have an in-depth look at this fascinating UK manufacturer of performance dinghy hardware. Posted on 5 Jun
nke - Finding Their True Course
Upffront.com look at these high quality, precision navigation instruments nke is a specialist marine electronics manufacturer which has built a reputation, over 35 years, for high quality, precision navigation instruments for sailing yachts. Profiling companies like this is part of Upffront.com's raison d'être. Posted on 28 May
Ewincher - An alternative to electric winches?
A power-assisted winch handle requires no installation Electrification of winches can be a great benefit; reducing the strength and manpower needed on your boat and allowing many to sail short-handed or continue sailing longer in life. Is the Ewincher a viable, cost-effective alternative? Posted on 11 May
Extend your reach with Ronstan
The Battlestick is the self-professed 'next generation of sailing weaponry' Ronstan is an Australian born company who has developed hardware for both small and big boats since 1953. In this article we will look at their extensive range of tiller extensions which have become a brand in their own right: the Ronstan Battlestick. Posted on 30 Apr
Bamar's got your back... stay!
Looking to upgrade from a block and tackle system to a backstay tensioner? Looking to upgrade from a block and tackle system to a backstay tensioner? This blog will look at the Bamar BTV and BTM mechanical backstay tensioners and compare them with alternatives on the market. Posted on 23 Apr
PROtect Tapes SPK: Wooling spinnakers
An environmentally friendly and innovative system for solving an old problem PROtect Tapes provide solutions for the owners, boat captains and race teams who recognise that protecting the boat and reducing maintenance plays an important role in enhancing performance. Posted on 15 Apr