The latest from UBI Maior Italia – an electric headsail furler
The Jiber furling system by UBI Maior Italia has helped revolutionise the dependable deployment of furling sails that are so common now on all racing and racer-cruiser yachts. Its clever design to ensure reliable top-down furling has removed any excuse not to realise the significant increase in performance offered by this new generation of sails.
Jiber is innovative for its elegance in design, light weight and use of high-quality materials and fabrication standards. As a structural jib or genoa furler system it works without the usual aluminum extruded foils, saving many kilograms in windage and weight, which translates directly into improved performance. The rod forestay is linked to the drum and swivel and rotates to transmit the torque and furl the sail. The sail can be hoisted up and down, while the halyard tension can be adjusted at any time. The shuttle locks in position and unlocks automatically, enabling faster, safer sailing and better boat handling.
UBI Maior Italia has just made a great thing even better with their introduction of a new electric version of the Jiber40. This is designed for the wide range of boats that are in need of a high-performance furling system that can operate reliably with push-button control. The loads found on headsails of boats 45-60ft in length are often too great for easy manual operation, so the first product in this new line of electric furlers is being introduced with this market in mind. Plans are already under way to develop similar electric furlers for boats both smaller and larger in size.
The designers and engineers at UBI Maior Italia have developed this new product line with the following features:
- Under-deck installation for a clean low-profile footprint
- DC power requirement in either 12V or 24V format
- Fast max rotation rate of 60 RPM
- Powerful furling strength, with maximum torque of 270 Nm
- Automated cut-off for when this torque is exceeded so that the sail is not damaged
- Small weight footprint: only 15kg
The electric Jiber40 is easily installed to an existing manual Jiber system by simply inserting the actuator below deck without changing the forestay, the javelin (shaft) or the top swivel.
The system is also easily adaptable so that if the intended installation is an upgrade from another brand of furling system, the team at UBI Maior Italia just needs the pin-to-pin dimension to assess the length of the new forestay, the dimensions of the installation holes in the mast and fitting holes in the boat to assess the size of the new toggles.
Throughout the system the materials and fabrication methods employed in the electric version of the Jiber system are at UBI Maior Italia’s usual high standards: parts are machined from a single piece of 6082T6 aluminum then anodised, with the use of Torlon ball bearings and cylindrical roller thrust bearings to reduce friction in rotation even at high loads.
Some fail-safe features are also built in to the new electric Jiber: in case there is not enough voltage power available to operate the actuator there is a pin to be released which allows the motor to be detached from the forestay. This then allows the sail to be unfurled, making it is possible to lower the sail easily since it is only attached to the forestay by the soft hanks on the luff.
This new electric version of the Jiber system thus retains all the advantages of the manual Jiber that so many UBI Maior Italia customers have come to enjoy: better aerodynamic performance due to the lack of a heavy headfoil on the forestay with its weight and windage aloft. The reduction in pitch gyradius from the lighter sleeker system design also makes a substantial improvement to performance.
Having this feature now with the ease of electric power can be a game-changer, especially in short-handed racing and cruising contexts. Once available for boats in the 30-40ft range, for example, UBI Maior Italia’s electric Jiber could be a must-have system for the growing and highly competitive fleet of offshore double-handed racers – the ease of operation and simplicity would contribute hugely to not only greater efficiency in sail handling but safety as well.
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