Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-20-2010, 04:55 PM   #1
Ensign
 
truda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 30
Default

Salty friends,

In my years-long study before actually sailing off, one of the issues Im looking at is whether its 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!

Jos
__________________

__________________
truda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
Moderator
 
redbopeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,185
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by truda View Post
Salty friends,

In my years-long study before actually sailing off, one of the issues Im looking at is whether its 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!

Jos
I've sailed aboard a 43 ft sloop which has the in-mast version of a mast-furling system. Haven't any experience with the ones that sit abaft the mast and roll up on the outside. One benefit of the mast furling systems (and rolling boom furling systems as well) is that you can considering using some of the new tech-y sail materials which require the sail to be rolled rather than folded/flaked. Most cruisers aren't interested in those materials, but some folks are...

The in-mast reefing systems may entail more maintenance that you'd like.

The rolling boom reefing systems have been around for um...centuries...but are out of favor now largely because of maintenance so you won't find them on new boats for sure.

Also, depending on the aspect of the rig, in-mast reefing may not be as desirable as in-boom, rolling boom, or traditional slab along boom reefing. Good reefing keeps as much sail area up as possible while reducing the rig's aspect by reefing. The lower aspect sail area will be able to handle higher winds with increased stability (all other things being equal on your boat).

You know, you don't have to completely drop the mainsail every time you reef. Many boats are rigged like mine where the leech cringles are pre-rigged forward to a winch on the boom. To reef, you just have to stand at the mast, work the main halyard to drop the sail down to your desired reefing line, nab the cringle at the tack and then haul in the leech cringle... cranking in with winch or by hand... and you're done. All those pretty little reefing pennants between the two cringles just keep the foot of the sail neatly along the boom (and out of your way in the cockpit!) but aren't to be loaded so if you're in a bad way and can't get to them, you don't have to feel to bad about it!

Reefing early is the key to easy reefing. If you THINK you might need to reef--just go ahead and do it. You can always take out the reef later if need be

When you go looking at boats, you may really like the benefits of a multi-masted rig like a ketch or schooner. With the sail plan broken up among multiple sails, your reefing options range from traditional reefing on each sail to dropping a sail completely. Lots of flexibility there. We have a schooner--one difference between ketch and schooner is that the ketch mainsail is on the foremast with a smaller (mizzen) sail on the aft mast; the schooner carries a large main sail as the aft most sail and the foresail is of course smaller. Two weeks ago, we sailed about 40 miles during a Small Craft Advisory with wind speeds of 20 knots steadily and gusting to 30 knots. We had 3 of the 4 working sails up: Yankee Jib (smaller high cut jib), staysail, and mainsail. The foresail was not rigged. We did not have to reef the mainsail because of the missing foresail. The boat flew along at 9.5 knots with very little leeway and hardly any heeling. Lovely sailing and not a reef was taken. Normally, on a schooner, one would have the foresail up and would have likely reefed both foresail and mainsail but the flexibility of simply taking down (or not putting up!) entire sails instead is sometimes nice.

Fair winds,
__________________

__________________
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

redbopeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
Ensign
 
truda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 30
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
I've sailed aboard a 43 ft sloop which has the in-mast version of a mast-furling system. Haven't any experience with the ones that sit abaft the mast and roll up on the outside. One benefit of the mast furling systems (and rolling boom furling systems as well) is that you can considering using some of the new tech-y sail materials which require the sail to be rolled rather than folded/flaked. Most cruisers aren't interested in those materials, but some folks are... [...]
Hey, MANY thanks for such a comprehensive reply. It has broadened my view of the issue (eg I was discarding the two-mast option a priori as being too cumbersome, maybe its not if you consider it in the light you just mentioned). Im really happy to have this forum to help me study way before we embark on our journey!

All the best,

J.
__________________
truda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
Admiral
 
Nausikaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Default

What has not been mentioned so far are in-boom reefing systems. The type I favour is the Danish Hi-Low system by John Mast. The great advantage, according to my way of thinking, of this system over in-mast systems is that:

a. even if the system should jam you can still let go the halyard and get your sail down which is not possible with in-mast systems

b. the reefing gear is in the boom rather than all the way up the mast thus having a lower C. og G.

Each to his or her own but in-boom reefing gets my vote.

Aye // Stephen
__________________
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2




WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?

www.nausikaa.org.uk

= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 11:55 PM   #5
Admiral
 
MMNETSEA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067
Default

Having had the experience of a mainsail only 10% furled but jammed with a line squall looming. With 2 of us up the mast , had to turn and run to avoid the main impact. Eventually got the sail out of the mast - then slowly slowly managed to furl the sail until 75% was back inside with another jam. Later the boat's owner added a conventional track to the mast and bought a new sail with battens etc.

I too would go for an 'in-boom' system.
__________________
MMNETSEA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 04:55 AM   #6
Admiral
 
Nausikaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Default

Forgot to mention in my previous post; with an "in-boom" system one can still have a fuly battened sail. Impossible with mast reefing.

Aye // Stephen
__________________
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2




WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?

www.nausikaa.org.uk

= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 09:31 AM   #7
Commander
 
edsailing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 120
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
Forgot to mention in my previous post; with an "in-boom" system one can still have a fuly battened sail. Impossible with mast reefing.

Aye // Stephen
Have to disagree with that - you can have a vertically battened sail furling in-mast. That said I have only experience of one and it was a pain as we needed to get the sail off to repair the clew. Getting the battens out was difficult and there are miles of them!

There's a lot to be said for keeping it simple - either slab reefing ideally or a single line system. As soon as you start adding complications, the potential for problems rises exponentially!
__________________
Regards

Ed

Delivering boats for a living

+44 (0) 7932039727
edsailing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
Admiral
 
Nausikaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by edsailing View Post
Have to disagree with that - you can have a vertically battened sail furling in-mast. That said I have only experience of one and it was a pain as we needed to get the sail off to repair the clew. Getting the battens out was difficult and there are miles of them!

There's a lot to be said for keeping it simple - either slab reefing ideally or a single line system. As soon as you start adding complications, the potential for problems rises exponentially!
I have never seen vertical battens although I have heard of them. The thought alone is scary.

I completely agree with the concept of keeping things simple but have to acknowledge that, with increasing age, in-boom or in-mast reefing systems might keep an elderly sailor on the water. There is a lot to be said for being able to reef from the cockpit.

Aye // Stephen
__________________
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2




WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?

www.nausikaa.org.uk

= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 09:48 AM   #9
Admiral
 
MMNETSEA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067
Default

Ed, that does it for me! Having vertical battens included in the mast as well as the sail. I would not leave the dock!

An idle question what would vertical battens do in terms of producing shape and lift ?

Richard
__________________
MMNETSEA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #10
Ensign
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6
Default

I am on my second Jeanneau with in-mast furling. Both boats (a 43' and a 49') have performed flawlessly in many different conditions and I've not had a single malfunction. I do take care when furling the mainsail and ensure that the boom isn't pulled too far up or down and always leave a bit of tension on the outhaul. I sail almost exclusively singlehanded and freely admit that I sail with the equivalent of a reef or two in the mainsail much of the time, since the large genoa balances the helm when less than full mainsail is out; with both sails fully extended in 20 knots of wind there is a lot of weather helm. For this reason I've not missed the mainsail performance that battens can bring since in the trade wind conditions I sail in I can't use the perfect sail shape a battened sail can bring (plus I don't race and am not in a hurry).

I have seen quite a few boats with in-boom furling and full battens and might go that route, given a choice. All in all I consider inmast furling to be a great benefit for single- and shorthanded sailing. I can vary my square footage of sail quickly and simply from the cockpit and am not restricted to 3 or 4 discrete reef points.
__________________
SV Zanshin
Zanshin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 10:20 AM   #11
Commander
 
edsailing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 120
Default

The boat I was on was a Moody 64, furling was factory fitted in-mast, - there must have been 150' of batten in the sail.

Sail set well with good shape but, as the problem arose after less than 10 miles (on a brand new boat), I can't really comment on the amount of lift produced.

The one comment I would make about In mast furling is that I have never come across an unbattened main that set decently or which gave good lift. Shape is generally poor and you are dependent on the jib/genoa for much of the drive.
__________________
Regards

Ed

Delivering boats for a living

+44 (0) 7932039727
edsailing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 11:30 AM   #12
Admiral
 
MMNETSEA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I have seen quite a few boats with in-boom furling and full battens and might go that route, given a choice. All in all I consider inmast furling to be a great benefit for single- and shorthanded sailing. I can vary my square footage of sail quickly and simply from the cockpit and am not restricted to 3 or 4 discrete reef points.
Thanks Zan Shin for a very positive contribution !! Can you give the maker/model of the the mast ? Was the mainsail part of the package ?

Regards and thanks

Richard
__________________
MMNETSEA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 12:19 PM   #13
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

Back when Dodge Morgan set out to break the record for non-stop solo circumnavigation on his state-of-the-art every expensive everything boat, he discussed his fall-back systems should things break or go wrong. He had everything including in-mast furling. I shuddered when he showed the interviewer his shotgun and called it his "emergency reefing system."

Most of us aren't ever going to sail the Southern Ocean and round the Capes, but that image is wedged firmly in my mind, of being tossed around in a nasty storm with the smell of gunpowder and a sail in shreds above my head.



*

My greatest complaint about in-mast furling is the noise it makes when the main is furled into the mast. In a marina on a windy night the noise could keep you awake all night. That and snapping halyards could make the most dedicated marina denizen leave the dock to anchor out.

*Note: the image above is of a boat that was anchored in St. Martin during Hurricane Hugo and none of its sails were removed. The first +50-knot gust and the sails flew out and immediately shredded.
__________________
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 06:39 PM   #14
Moderator
 
redbopeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,185
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
What has not been mentioned so far are in-boom reefing systems. The type I favour is the Danish Hi-Low system by John Mast. The great advantage, according to my way of thinking, of this system over in-mast systems is that:

a. even if the system should jam you can still let go the halyard and get your sail down which is not possible with in-mast systems

b. the reefing gear is in the boom rather than all the way up the mast thus having a lower C. og G.

Each to his or her own but in-boom reefing gets my vote.

Aye // Stephen
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. Also, I think the in-boom furling is probably a very good thing. It is the "update" of the old rolling boom furling which required the entire boom to roll with big gearing and was subject to failure. Newer, better, in-boom furling seems nice.

However, regular reefing works for me

P.S. We know a fellow who DID shoot his sail with a shotgun in a bad blow. He was a handicapped sailor who didn't reef soon enough and well, he couldn't do anything else. It worked.
__________________

__________________
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

redbopeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
In Need Of A New Main Sail Francis Rigging & Sails 10 07-29-2010 12:29 PM
Roller Furling Mainsail Balance Rigging & Sails 7 09-24-2008 11:57 AM
Roller Furling Experience matan Rigging & Sails 1 08-17-2008 10:40 AM
Roller Furling Boom Bajamas General Cruising Forum 12 01-24-2008 12:53 PM
Roller Furling?? Bajamas General Cruising Forum 4 05-27-2006 05:55 AM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0