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Old 02-23-2010, 07:26 PM   #15
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Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum so i hope i don't step on too many toes too quickly. I have sailed on a hunter 33 with a selden in mast furling system with vertical battens on the mainsail. Granted this boat is on the small side but the vertical battens increase roach size (shape) and square footage and help with sail shape. The furling line did slip off once but was easily remedied at the mast with a winch handle in the furling winch. The unlimited reefing points is also a plus, especially if you just want to putter along while you eat lunch. I am sure there are better and worse furling systems but i personally find it to be a great benefit to sailing. Once, as we approached the mooring one of my friends furled in the mail said it felt like cheating. I am OK with that.

Fair winds to all.

Jack
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:04 PM   #16
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When I talked about changing the aspect of the sail, this is what I was talking about...lowering the Center of Effort for the sail.
No, actualy I meant lowering the centre of gravity, although your point about the centre of effort is also very valid.

We all want to avoid weight aloft so why go for a reefing system which depends upon an axel in the mast and, even when reefed, keeps the weight of the sail up there too?

Aye // Stephen
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #17
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Ahhhh, Jaxon, step on our toes? No problem with the steel-toed boots we put on before logging into the forum.

Not to worry about a contrary opinion. That's how we all learn.

I can understand and admire an in-mast furling system for coastal cruising and day sails, though you didn't comment on how noisy it was when the sail was rolled up (in?) and the boat was in its marina slip.

I just am not comfortable considering them for blue water cruising, though I've seen a few out there. But, that's me.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
No, actualy I meant lowering the centre of gravity, although your point about the centre of effort is also very valid.

We all want to avoid weight aloft so why go for a reefing system which depends upon an axel in the mast and, even when reefed, keeps the weight of the sail up there too?

Aye // Stephen
Oh, I though you'd just mixed up CG and center of effort--but your point is equally valid! Every pound that can be moved down to boom level makes a HUGE difference in the improved righting moment of the boat. Thanks for bringing that up
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:34 AM   #19
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

We spent nearly seven years berthed right next to a charter base in St Thomas and I saw at least two boats per season return to base with shreaded mainsails. I saw a slightly bent 70 ft mast complete with rigging and knotted bits of sail, laying in the weeds near the dock in the Grenadines with a tale of a rich guy who'd dumped the rig and had a new mast & rig shipped down from Miami. The sail had apparently been taken down with a knife! The biggest mess was when I saw a new Swan motoring into a Greek port with a mast broken at the spreaders, streaming ribbons of torn sail from the mast slot. All had in-mast furling... and none of the skippers were happy with the system.

I once made a cheap living as a pro skipper for a charter fleet that only used Island Packet yachts and every one of them were equiped with in-mast furling. They worked okay in fair conditions but my biggest concern was that they always required heading up into the wind to be able to reduce or furl the sail... and that can sometimes be difficult to down-right dangerous when out on the high seas and you're forced to come about and head-up to just reduce sail!

Me? I'm a conventional slab reefing & lazy jacks kinda sailor simply because it's next to impossible to jam and it ALWAYS works... even when I'm trembling with fear I can pull in a reef, at all points of sail and in the dark. Ease the halyard, hook the reef tack, pull in the aft reefing line, harden the halyard... done.

One thing that makes it easier is I rig a piece of line with a small loop tied through the fwd cringles (with a Reef Knot, naturally) with enough line left dangling to easily grab and pull the reef point down to the horn. Then I simply loop the loop over the horn. I have three reefs and the next cringle line is always within reach... which is a lot easier than trying to pinch the sail between your finger-tips and wrestle the cringle down and around the horn! Newer versions can do all this with just one line!

In my opinion, nothing beats the convenience, reliability and ease of handling of a conventional track-mounted main with simple slab reefing, lazy jacks & pack system... a proven method that always works in all conditions.

Maybe they're alright but, personally, I'd be reluctant to purchase a boat with in-mast furling.

Keep it simple.

To Life!

Kirk
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:36 AM   #20
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Salty friends,

In my years-long study before actually sailing off, one of the issues I´m looking at is whether it´s worth for us as a middle-aged couple to think of a mast-furling main sail as opposite to dropping it down every time you need to reef. I know of different takes on this issue but would welcome opinions from people with first-hand experience with main sails on mast furling, and whether I should look for particular issues/characteristics when buying/deciding.

Thanks once again!

José
Hey there guys, many of the points the other fellow forumers are very valid but with my experience with these furling mainsails I think yes they are very handy for the short handed sailor but in saying that i think the cons outweigh the pros with not only the expense but also i have worked on and repaired many of these self furling mains and I can say nothing beats the durability of a fully battened mainsail.Yes u can have vertical battens on these but are only there to provide a bit of twist and exit on the leech.

U can not have a fully battened main on a self furler which should be desired for durability, shape and less chance of anything getting jammed in the course of bad weather. another fact is these furling mains tend to crease in the same spots everytime it is furled which creates weak spots and can affect trim. Just a few things for u to keep in mind I hope you find it usefull in your search.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:09 PM   #21
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Hey, many thanks everyone for all these thoughts. Will take all of it into consideration, as with every opinion I read here in our forum.

When we finally set sail I´ll have to make a list of all the decisions that were positively informed by our friends here!

All the best,

José & Nalu
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:02 AM   #22
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OK so I am a day late and a dollar short yet again....

I wouldn't have a roller furling main ( boom or mast ) on a boat in a purple fit.... more string more stuff to go wrong... maybe Ok for the Solent set.

Being in early middle age myself... 64 in April.. I find it no big deal to slab reef a main as long as you follow the maxim.. reef early reef often. Lazy jacks are also a must IMNSHO..

Speaking of a 39 foot boat here where I have to go to the mast to reef ... this in an area where the weather is best described as 'changeable'.

Roller furling jib? Now that is a different story.... I wouldn't go to sea without one
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:40 PM   #23
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Roller furling jib? Now that is a different story.... I wouldn't go to sea without one
It IS possible to safely trice and douse a regular hanked on jib from the cockpit, you know. You can even set up multiple reefing lines which can be used to reef a large jib rather than changing it out for a smaller sails in heavy weather.

Our hanked on jib which resides 11 ft forward of the stem (wayyyy out there on the bowsprit!) is rigged with a tricing line that can be used from the cockpit to de-power the sail in an emergency. The jib halyard end is also rigged through a block at the tack and up to the head as a downhaul so that we can pull down the jib and keep it down from the base of the foremast as well. Before doing any serous offshore work, I will sew a reefing cringle and change around the lines so that we will have a reefing point on the jib rather than just the ability to trice and pull down the entire jib.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Gallivanters View Post
I'm certainly no expert, but...

We spent nearly seven years berthed right next to a charter base in St Thomas and I saw at least two boats per season return to base with shreaded mainsails. I saw a slightly bent 70 ft mast complete with rigging and knotted bits of sail, laying in the weeds near the dock in the Grenadines with a tale of a rich guy who'd dumped the rig and had a new mast & rig shipped down from Miami. The sail had apparently been taken down with a knife! The biggest mess was when I saw a new Swan motoring into a Greek port with a mast broken at the spreaders, streaming ribbons of torn sail from the mast slot. All had in-mast furling... and none of the skippers were happy with the system.

I once made a cheap living as a pro skipper for a charter fleet that only used Island Packet yachts and every one of them were equiped with in-mast furling. They worked okay in fair conditions but my biggest concern was that they always required heading up into the wind to be able to reduce or furl the sail... and that can sometimes be difficult to down-right dangerous when out on the high seas and you're forced to come about and head-up to just reduce sail!

Me? I'm a conventional slab reefing & lazy jacks kinda sailor simply because it's next to impossible to jam and it ALWAYS works... even when I'm trembling with fear I can pull in a reef, at all points of sail and in the dark. Ease the halyard, hook the reef tack, pull in the aft reefing line, harden the halyard... done.

One thing that makes it easier is I rig a piece of line with a small loop tied through the fwd cringles (with a Reef Knot, naturally) with enough line left dangling to easily grab and pull the reef point down to the horn. Then I simply loop the loop over the horn. I have three reefs and the next cringle line is always within reach... which is a lot easier than trying to pinch the sail between your finger-tips and wrestle the cringle down and around the horn! Newer versions can do all this with just one line!

In my opinion, nothing beats the convenience, reliability and ease of handling of a conventional track-mounted main with simple slab reefing, lazy jacks & pack system... a proven method that always works in all conditions.

Maybe they're alright but, personally, I'd be reluctant to purchase a boat with in-mast furling.

Keep it simple.

To Life!

Kirk
Ya, I agree. A slip mate of mine has a 40' Wauquiez with in-mast furling. I admit a bit of jealousy as he can solo sail-just push a button. But I don't like the heaviness aloft and plus just plain don't like the look of it. Also very damned expensive. Having said that, I do like my slab-reefing, simple hoist/drop main too, but I am looking for ways to make it easier if I would like to solo sail. My boat is not rigged too well for solo sailing. Wondering what to do.....

Positive Vibrations!

Heidi
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