In the Sieve Valley countryside among the blocks, whips and reels, the guys at Ubi Maior never stop squeezing their brains! After the introduction of the innovative Re-Wind reel, they decided to start 2015 on a high note by introducing a product to the market that aims high. (
Text and photos by Simone Pierotti, cover image: photosequence by Fabio Taccola
JIBER, STRUCTURAL SPOOLER
This is a clever structural furling that uses a rod cable instead of the classic aluminum extrusion, this being integral to the drum rotates the moment the sail is opened or closed. At the head, the cable is connected to a “lance” that drives a shuttle to which the sail’s feathering point is attached and the halyard, which is obviously released from rotation by a bearing system. By means of two snap-on guides, the shuttle, once hoisted, becomes integral with the lance, which rotates together with the forestay allowing the sail to close properly.
THE ADVANTAGES OF THE SYSTEM
The system, therefore, provides significant weight relief in the bow and drastic reduction of the catenary effect due to the elimination of the extrudate. Unlike a traditional furler, the sail can be hoisted and lowered in a matter of seconds, also allowing adjustment of halyard tension. The sail can be infierced with either textile garrocci or zipper pocket, there is also provision for using the Tuff Luff for racing. This avoids having to replace the furler in the transition between cruising and racing. Ubi Maior also provides scrupulous service and follow-up, with a recommended three service coupons to be performed within five years of Jiber’s installation.
We tried Jiber in Cala De’ Medici with 10 knots of sirocco. The system was rigged on a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44i and on a Vismara 40 both with laminated sails, one with pocket-zip the other with textile garroons. The latter definitely seemed to us to be the smoother solution than the pocket-zip, performing well in racing but a bit “delicate” for normal cruising. Overall, we really liked the excellent finish of the product and the visible quality of the materials chosen.
In sailing Jiber operates exactly like a furling reel, opening is fast and smooth as is furling. The absence of catenary and the lack of interference from the extrudate on the sail profile resulted in a 10-degree increase in the upwind angle on the Sun Odyssey. We then tried to shorten the genoa, in which case the lack of the luff showed a slight twisting of the sail during the first four or five closing turns after which it tightened smoothly around the spar.
This led us to consider that, in challenging weather conditions, precisely because of the flexibility of the system, we would opt for a quick change of sails rather than a partial furling of the genoa, just as would be done with a classic forestay.
During the return to port a silly failure of the genoa furling sheet highlighted a major safety factor of Jiber. In the impossibility of furling the sail, the system allowed us to furl it in seconds, which would have taken much longer with a classic furler especially in high wind conditions.
JIBER IN PILLS
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages: significant weight savings in the bow (20-30kg) due to the absence of the extrusion, possibility of fast sail changes even while sailing, improved upwind performance, possibility of adjusting the headsail halyard, increased flexibility and safety while cruising, exceptional Ubi Maior assistance and extreme quality of materials.
Disadvantages: opting for Dacron will require provision for reinforcement on the canvas to support the twisting stress in the event that you sail with a reduced sail.
On what boats?
The system is designed for boats between 30 and 52 feet. The forestay supplied by Ubi Maior is made of overdimented rod, this is to support the torsion load transmitted by the system. Two versions are available, one with an exposed drum and one with a drum mounted below deck.
Regatta or Cruise?
Jiber suits both the owner who alternates seasons of racing with periods of cruising and the discerning cruiser who is attentive to his or her boat’s performance and safety under sail.
Where and How.
For the installation of Jiber, Ubi Maior provides a list of authorized riggers scattered throughout Italy who, in addition to installing the system, can perform any periodic maintenance.
One thing we really liked about Ubi Maior is the ease of access to the price list, which can be accessed directly from their site. Prices range from 2,100.00 euros for the basic version suitable for a 30- to 37-footer up to 7,250.00 euros for the super-tiered version suitable for a 52-footer.