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Old 29-06-2011, 04:37   #16
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
Thanks Doodles. That is impressive.
Do you know anyone who is using the Battcar system? Any feedback?
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Old 29-06-2011, 05:08   #17
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

Nothing first hand VV, but here's a couple threads that discuss it. There are some competitors like the Tides Marine system which a lot of people seem to like as well. I'm thinking of one for my boat but haven't done much research yet, just know the theory, etc. Like anything there are pros and cons but definitely cheaper than a furler and they seem simpler.

Mainsail Track Systems

Mainsail Slide Systems Choices

Batt-car systems for the main
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:50   #18
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
Nothing first hand VV, but here's a couple threads that discuss it. There are some competitors like the Tides Marine system which a lot of people seem to like as well. I'm thinking of one for my boat but haven't done much research yet, just know the theory, etc. Like anything there are pros and cons but definitely cheaper than a furler and they seem simpler.

Mainsail Track Systems

Mainsail Slide Systems Choices

Batt-car systems for the main
Any idea of the cost?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:57   #19
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Any idea of the cost?
I kind of like what I'm reading about the Tides Marine system. It doesn't stack so high and sounds simpler in design.

$27.50 per foot

Tides Marine - Track and Slide System
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:46   #20
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

VV,

I was faced with exactly the same options about eight and a half years ago for my 42-foot sloop.

I did a LOT of investigating, asking, looking, and figuring. In the end it came down to just two options:

1. behind-the-mast furling; or
2. in-boom furling.

I discarded any notion of in-mast furling both to the cost and, especially, to the problems of added weight aloft and the propensity -- on smaller boats -- for in-mast furlers to jam at the worst time, with no way to reduce sail.

In boom furlers, by contrast, can be dropped just like a normal mainsail. However, the hardware and the conversion isn't cheap and you must use a dedicated (purpose-built) mainsail.

Behind the boom furlers (like putting a ProFurl headsail furler behind the mast) are much less expensive and are virtually trouble-free. They also can usually work well with a slightly modified main sail (you don't need a new one). There may be some slight performance loss, but this isn't too important for cruisers, and the ease of operation and relatively low cost and reliability make them an attractive option.

In the end, I chose the LeisureFurl in-boom system, with a new North Sails main and a Lewmar electric windlass. This wasn't inexpensive, but has served me very well for the past. It has full-length battens, a big roach, and is very quiet underway. Virtually no flapping about, even in strong winds.

The cost was $20,720 in December 2002 including the LeisureFurl boom, Forespar rigid boom vang, hardware, unstepping and modifying the mast (normally not necessary but in my case it was due to an unusual built-in electrical track system), electric windlass, testing, etc.

Additionally, it cost $4,700 for the new main sail. Thus the total cost was over $25K.

In sum:

Behind-the-mast furling: relatively inexpensive, reliable, very easy to use, maybe a slight loss in performance.

In-boom furling: relatively expensive, can use full-batten main with large roach, a bit tricky to get used to, requires electric windlass and new purpose-built main, very quiet.

Bill
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:13   #21
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

VV,
Sorry for the delay in answering your question. My behind mast furling (and Genoa) system is Hydes Streamstay. 33 yrs old and still going. This system uses the solid alloy foil.
Intenet search will show that Hughes in Ontario, builders of my H40, must have made this an option on many of their production yachts at the time. It was considered the first really successful furling system. Not sure if Hydes are still in the business.
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:45   #22
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

Thanks guys.
Really helpful info and exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping for.

Vic
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Old 09-07-2011, 16:26   #23
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

I am a bit late to respond but I won't let that stop me.

Three years ago we bought a CS36 with behind the mast furling (Schaefer 1100). I thought that it would make life easier with the larger boat as we tend to cruise short handed. I am sure the orginal owner spent quite a bit $$$ to retrofit the boat as there was custom SS welding for the gooseneck plus the furler and new mainsail. I think it was only a couple years old when we bought it.

The furling unit was okay but when it came to behind the mast furling: I hated it

It was great when unfurling but that was about it. Close reaching or beating in light air was impossible to make any decent headway (and as I am a cruiser I suspect that says a lot). The furling was installed on a "stay" wire and thus would flex and bend when under load which I believe was negatively affecting the sail shape. Plus the sail didn't have any battons.

Our main complaint was when furling. Furling it in light air was easy but in anything more than 15Kts we had extreme trouble getting the sail in. It was very difficult to get a tight furl and as a result, a strong wind would catch the upper leach of the furled sail and blow it out which would cause the sail to jam, making it impossible to furl or unfurl. We tried various techniques but never solved the problem. It was then suggested that we recut the sail to have a concave leech (instead of a straight leach) which we did but that didn't fix the problem either.

For me the final straw was once when we were anchored in a 25Kt+ wind and the furling would resononate (flop back and forth) making a "wompa, wompa..." sound, all night long.

In retrospect,we may have been able to resolve these issues by tightening the stay that the furling was installed on but due to the Schaefer furling system the turnbuckle was not easily accessible and I didn't see how to do it. At that point, I had given up on the technology so I didn't persue it further.

IMO, when it comes to behind-the-mast-furling all I can say is "Just stay Away" There may be others who like the system but don't count me in that group.

We now spent a chunk of change to un-retrofit our boom by restoring the original gooseneck and buying a new mailsail.
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Old 09-07-2011, 17:16   #24
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

ADMPRTR, thanks for your input.
I didn't realize behind the mast furling systems are on a cable. I assumed it was on a rod of some kind.
Do you think a rod would have helped?
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Old 09-07-2011, 19:29   #25
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

Getting the right sail is as tricky as the right furler. I'd first find a local sailmaker who knows these systems and buy the furler, sail, and installation as a package. But first, look at a mainsail he's built for the furler your considering -- under sail.

I have a Schaefer boom furler system that I love but I'm sure that's because I used a sailmaker who has built dozens of sails for the Schaefer furler. The leech is a thing of beauty. This is impressive since the boom is at a fixed angle to make sure the sail rolls properly.

The problem with the behind the mast systems is that - as with in-mast furlers - you have no battens (or not very good vertical battens). The mainsail will have less drive than you have now. With a boom furler you can have full length battens, lots of roach, and a very powerful sail.

Carl
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:15   #26
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
ADMPRTR, thanks for your input.
I didn't realize behind the mast furling systems are on a cable. I assumed it was on a rod of some kind.
Do you think a rod would have helped?
It is a good question, one which I can not answer.

I was also surprised when I saw it had wire and would have thought a rod would improve it although there is a lot of force on the unit so I wonder about durabilty.

BTW, In the latest addition of Good Old Boat magazine there is a picture of a behind the mast furling system. When you look closely at it you will see a arc in the luff of the main sail indicating the same flaw that I experienced so it isn't just only system that has this "feature".

I "briefly" considered switching to a furling boom but I had heard they were difficult to manage.

One thing that maybe a knowedgable CF member can say is how to coordinate droping the sail while furling the boom?
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:34   #27
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Re: Adding a Mainsail Furler

One of the advantages to a in-boom furling system, in addition to being able to have battons, is that if there is a problem like what I experienced once can always drop the sail in a traditional manor, something any mast furling system cannot guarrantee.

However, I am not entirely clear what boom furling offers over sail handling features like dutchman reefing and stakpacks (aside from being able to more easily reef the main).
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