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Old 28-06-2011, 19:56   #1
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Adding a Mainsail Furler

I'm casting a line in this vast pool of experience for thoughts on adding a mainsail furler.

Assume an older boat over 45ft, limited budget, and the time has come to make sailing a little easier rather than going to a trawler.

The 2 obvious options are fitting a behind the mast furler, or in boom furler. Replacing the mast for an in mast furler would be cost prohibitive, I'm assuming. Both will require a new sail, so sail replacement cost should be similar.

I'm looking for experiences, comparative costs, features, brands, warnings and recommendations.

What have you got?
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Old 28-06-2011, 21:03   #2
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

I have a 40' Sparkman & Stephens with a behind mast furler. Being in NZ it gets funny looks (I've only ever seen two others there) and everybody is quick to point out potential failings as a performance issue. Those failings, if any, are hard to quantify without putting two similar vessels side by side.
The advantages are certainly there for me though. Always shorthand sailing, and often single handed, the convenience and safety of never leaving the cockpit are great. I never hesitate in putting out or reducing sail as it is no big deal. I see many yachts sailing around under genoa only. I guess that's because it's too much hassle to bother otherwise. Not so for me.
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Old 28-06-2011, 21:15   #3
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
I'm casting a line in this vast pool of experience for thoughts on adding a mainsail furler.

Assume an older boat over 45ft, limited budget, and the time has come to make sailing a little easier rather than going to a trawler.

The 2 obvious options are fitting a behind the mast furler, or in boom furler. Replacing the mast for an in mast furler would be cost prohibitive, I'm assuming. Both will require a new sail, so sail replacement cost should be similar.

I'm looking for experiences, comparative costs, features, brands, warnings and recommendations.

What have you got?
My research showed the Scaheffer and the Leisurefurl as the brands to buy although I know there are others that have served well. However, in speccing my new boat (still not in the water), I found that the Schaeffer agent in Sydney seems totally disinterested in his own product. There are none in Australia and if his attitude is anything to go by, that will remain so for a while. Another owner of a similar boat to mine has just bent 2 Leisurefurl booms and he reports that the backup from the manufacturer has been dismal. Basically it's your problem mate, and they're happy to sell him a third boom without finding out why the previous 2 have failed. It's convinced me to stay with a standard 3 reef main and lazy jacks.

Greg
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Old 28-06-2011, 22:56   #4
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

Is Leisurefurl the NZ mob?
If so, up until now I'd heard they were pretty good.
Was the bent boom guy racing or putting the booms under stresses greater than would be experienced in normal cruising?
Vic
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Old 28-06-2011, 23:56   #5
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Yes, in-mast furling mains are a silly thing as far as performance goes. In-boom can solve that issue. But is it really that hard to lower and flake the main? And why ask the forum? Do as you please. It's only your priorities that are important.
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Old 29-06-2011, 00:25   #6
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

Had two friends at our recent marina with one of each. The guy with a Cheoy Lee 41 with a in-mast furler hated it ... complained about the sail shape and performance, plus too much weight up high when furled. The other guy had a Ovni with in-boom furler ... he loved it, no complaints whatsoever. Not sure of the manufacturers and models on either, sorry.

If it were me I think I go for the in-boom. Probably cheaper too.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:05   #7
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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Had two friends at our recent marina with one of each. The guy with a Cheoy Lee 41 with a in-mast furler hated it ... complained about the sail shape and performance, plus too much weight up high when furled. The other guy had a Ovni with in-boom furler ... he loved it, no complaints whatsoever. Not sure of the manufacturers and models on either, sorry.

If it were me I think I go for the in-boom. Probably cheaper too.
I would think in boom is cheaper than in mast, not sure how it compares with behind mast.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:18   #8
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Yes, in-mast furling mains are a silly thing as far as performance goes. In-boom can solve that issue. But is it really that hard to lower and flake the main? No, it's not, when conditions are good, and a sometimes dodgy shoulder is behaving, and I'm not trying to get some sleep while my partner is on watch, at night, and she needs to reduce sail a bit.
And why ask the forum? I thought I made that clear... there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here. Isn't that what forums are for? Or am I wasting valuable bullshitting time by asking a few perfectly reasonable questions?
Do as you please. I will, but then you really knew that didn't you?
It's only your priorities that are important. At last!
Sheesh daddle, did your wife burn your toast this morning?
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:34   #9
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

How about a double halyard and a Battcar or similar system? The combination of those two should make raising the main a lot easier. And it would be cheaper yet.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:43   #10
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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Originally Posted by EBCAU View Post
I have a 40' Sparkman & Stephens with a behind mast furler. Being in NZ it gets funny looks (I've only ever seen two others there) and everybody is quick to point out potential failings as a performance issue. Those failings, if any, are hard to quantify without putting two similar vessels side by side.
The advantages are certainly there for me though. Always shorthand sailing, and often single handed, the convenience and safety of never leaving the cockpit are great. I never hesitate in putting out or reducing sail as it is no big deal. I see many yachts sailing around under genoa only. I guess that's because it's too much hassle to bother otherwise. Not so for me.
Thanks. Good points. Do you know what brand your furling system is?
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:46   #11
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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How about a double halyard and a Battcar or similar system? The combination of those two should make raising the main a lot easier. And it would be cheaper yet.
The only Battcar I know belongs to a guy in black lycra with a sidekick called Robin.
Tell me more...
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:50   #12
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Sheesh daddle, did your wife burn your toast this morning?
Heh. I didn't intend that to be negative. But I see how you might think so. I'm all supportive. I think you should get one or the other. But that shouldn't make any difference.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:54   #13
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

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Heh. I didn't intend that to be negative. But I see how you might think so. I'm all supportive. I think you should get one or the other. But that shouldn't make any difference.
Thanks daddle. We're good

I probably shouldn't have been so snappy either.
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Old 29-06-2011, 02:43   #14
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Quote:
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The only Battcar I know belongs to a guy in black lycra with a sidekick called Robin.
Tell me more...
http://www.harken.com/mainsail/Battcar_Systems_Q-A.php
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Old 29-06-2011, 03:05   #15
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Re: Adding a mainsail furler.

Daddle is probably right If you have a performance yacht with a gorrilla crew on the rail then inmast reefing is probably a silly idea. Back in the real world with hubby and wife combination then either inmast or inboom reefing has a lot going for it.

If the sail plan was designed from the outset with this in mind then the loss of sail area from the mainsail roach will have been compensated for or be so marginal that the loss is insignificant.

Personally I am not sure about bolting on an inmast reefing system on an existing mast, lots of extra weight. If an in boom system can offer a good reefing system that could certainly be worth looking at.

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