Roller furling is wonderful! At the end of the day, you can roll up your sails and be done with them! There are no sails to flake and bag, and the sheets are carried up to the clew where they can be kept clear of the deck. The deck of a sailboat with roller furling can be quickly transformed from a sailboat to a private escape in just a few short moments!
While roller furling does provide a clear deck, the clutter is typically transferred to the mast. The halyards of the roller furling sails are coiled up and hung from any available winch or cleat horn. The clean crisp mast soon becomes a rope storage area! These coils will soon collect dirt from the air and rain and begin to look less attractive as time passes. Worst yet is the fact that these halyards will not be touched for a long time, as the sails are raised once per season! Soon these coiled lines will become stiff and unwieldy.
This system works beautifully to maintain the clean look of a roller furling yacht. The halyards are merely small lines that run the needed length and terminate with an eye splice. When the sail is removed, a messenger line can be attached to the halyard and the sail can be lowered as the halyard runs into the mast. When the sail is going to be re-installed, the messenger line will feed the halyard through the shiv, mast, and out the side of the mast where it can be tensioned.
The cars on the mast allow easy tensioning of the halyards as well. Once the eye splice has exited the mast, the loop can be installed on the car and another line can be attached to the bottom of the car. The lower line can be set up on a winch to achieve the desired luff tension. Once the ideal setup is reached, the car can be locked off and the tensioning line removed. This leaves you with a very clean and crisp look at your mast to match the clean and clear look of the deck.
It can be argued that this setup will not allow you to adjust your luff tension as easily, but lets be honest about who would want this setup! I am certain that someone who wants this look is not concerned about moving the draft fore or aft in the sail to adjust the angle of attach of the luff of the sail while beating or reaching. They simply want a cleaner deck with less clutter and more open space, and this delivers exactly that while still providing the necessary equipment to properly tune the sails.