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Old 18-09-2009, 16:48   #1
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Behind Mast Mainsail Furler Experience?

I would really appreciate learning of the experiences of any sailor that has owned or been on a boat that has one of the "add on" behind the mast furlers being offered.

Specific behind the mast furlers that I am aware of are the CDI Mainsail Furler Systems and the FANCOR Mainsail Furler.

I would probably fit such a furler to my 33 foot monhull if such a system provides satisfactory performance for Cheseapeake Bay type cruising, primarily due to the convenience such a system would seemingly provide.

Thanks Much!
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Old 19-09-2009, 01:01   #2
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Haven’t tried one Big C....but welcome to the forum!
You would loose the possibility of horizontal battens.
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Old 19-09-2009, 01:45   #3
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Opinions on these are very mixed, with dire warnings of loss of performance and jams etc.

They certainly add a significant weight to the mast, and if your boat is an easy tipper, I would warn against adding this weight.

As far as sail shape - if you have full length vertical battens you can get a good shape.

Jams - yes they do happen. I had a set routine for reefing and if tried to take any short cuts there was always a possibility of a jam. For example, if I was reefed and needed to reef some more, the only way to guarantee that I did not have a problem was to allow the sail to unwind completely, and then reef to the desired position. Part of this was the vertical battens and is a disadvantage of them, but the advantage of better sail shape outways the problem. Paying attention to the sail as you reef or set means that even if you do have a jam, it is simple to unjam. Having the reefing lines on a winch and just grinding away leads to jams that are almost unsolvable.

I had an easy reef add on. I also had a maxi roach main, and did not like they way the sail was cut. The clew was much too high, and the additional roach was significantly less sail material than was lost under the clew.

Would I do it again. - no - not because I didnt appreciate the advantages, but because I think you can get those same advantages plus more, without some of the disadvantages by use of a boom roller such as leisurefurl or profurl. However, dont go this route if you have a low boom, as it adds volume and weight to the boom.
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Old 19-09-2009, 02:00   #4
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Never tried it, but have read about it a bit.

You lose horizontal battens as mentioned, affecting performance (20% less sail area, I've heard). But, there's lots of positives. You can find vertically battened sails, but I think they're quite ugly. :-)

I have heard a story or two about instances where in-mast furling jammed in heavy weather or at night. In one case, they just held on tight with a full main all night until they could get into lighter air to unjam the furling, in the other, they had to go up the mast to cut the sail loose in a storm. Fun. I'm not sure if the behind-mast furling has a release to drop the sail if it jams. A stuck main is much more serious than a stuck headsail.

But, if it's well maintained and checked out often, it would be a nice tool.

I've also hear more positives about boom-furling as it doesn't have most of those drawbacks, other than having a heavy boom. But, I don't think I've seen an "above boom" furling. :-)

Sorry if that's all vague. Just talking out my a__ here
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Old 19-09-2009, 03:59   #5
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Fancor behind mast furler

We had the above Fancor on our Yamaha 33 monohull. We sailed approx 2000miles up and down the Caribbean from St Maarten to Tobago, stopping and anchoring at nearly all islands in between during a 2 year cruising period.The Fancor was tops, we never had a jam and cruising performance was still excellent. It also made for easy reefing when sailing towards a squall, both foresail and main were reefed from the cockpit, and let out again when the squall was passed. If you are not into racing I highly recommend it.My wife appreciated the fact that all could be done from the cockpit.
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Old 19-09-2009, 04:31   #6
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I have a forspar EZ Furl behind the mast furler.
I like the way I can easily handle the sail from the cockpit. I'm OK with giving up a half knot for the convenience.
It did take some tinkering to figure out optimum settings for furling. And it is more tricky with higher wind loads. That means furl early to avoid issues. I've never had a jam but do get excess creasing sometimes.
My boat likes to sail with headsail only or little mainsail in heavier air so furling early is not a big deal to me. But again, I don't mind giving up some performance for convenience
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Old 19-09-2009, 05:17   #7
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I have behind the mast Profurl Reefing System for both masts and headsail.

PROFURL - sail reefing systems for boats (headsail, mainsail)

Used in all kinds of weather and never had a problem with jamming. All ours are manual and my petite girlfriend has no problem furling or reefing the sails.

The only sail that is hanked on but rarely used is the staysail. I have 2 heavy sails for storm conditions and on longer passages, one is always on standby to keep the forces closer to our pivot point for easier control.

As others have said, they are not performance rigs, but very convienient and we are happy with them.
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Old 19-09-2009, 18:31   #8
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Folks,

Thanks much for your time and the information provided.

These are exactly the type of insights I'm seeking.

If anyone else that has used or owned an "add on" behind the mast mainsail furling, type system, and would be so kind to share their experiences, I would certainly appreciate it.
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Old 19-09-2009, 19:33   #9
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Used it. Hate it. Jammed.

For me only slabs.

But, if you are NOT going offshore, and if the winds are light where you sail then perhaps it makes a lot of sense to have such a unit if you can afford a new one, a new sail and the manufacturer provides fitting it on your masts.

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Old 19-09-2009, 20:28   #10
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I have a behind the mast CDI which I like. I have never had problems with jams and I honestly can't see how an open system like this could jam. I is very simple and works very well. I am sure that I lose some performance but cruising is not racing. I still get decent speed and the main is used whenever I want. I see a lot of boats not using their mains because they are singlehandling and don't want the problems of raising and lowering their sails. All the lines come into the pilot house to one electric winch. I call my 44ft motorsailer senior friendly. lol
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Old 19-09-2009, 22:08   #11
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I really don't understand it. What does it matter if you pull a furling control line or a halyard. It's the same amount of work. I think it must be some kind of SM.

cheers,
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Old 19-09-2009, 22:48   #12
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I really don't understand it. What does it matter if you pull a furling control line or a halyard. It's the same amount of work. I think it must be some kind of SM.

cheers,
Nick.
Well I have done both and I do prefer the furling system, it didn't seem like it was as much work. Especially when your sail is being put away.
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Old 20-09-2009, 03:55   #13
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A lot of the problems with jams can be traced to using a sail that has been re-cut, or to ignoring the normal procedure for reefing or hoisting.

It certainly makes things a lot easier for the ladies as it doesnt need as much effort, and avoids the need to go to the mast.

Yes Jedi you can have single line reefing but they have also been known to jam, and will normally only cover the first two reefs - so what do you do with the third reef?
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Old 20-09-2009, 10:33   #14
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Ah, it's the reefing that's the worry. I though it was about hoisting & dropping the main.

For both, I think investing in a smart cover (stack pack, cradle cover etc.) & lazy jack system is better. I do not like single line reefing systems either and actually prefer to reef at the mast. One can make the standard reefing much easier by putting marks on the halyard for each reef: lower sail until mark for desired reef in position, winch in the reefing line and tighten the luff using a cunningham, ready. The reefed part of the sail is automatically stowed in the cover.

When reefing is needed, the winds are up and this is where in-mast/behind-mast/in-boom systems fail more often. That is exactly when you need it to work flawlessly. Also, after reefing, you want a sail shape that helps you cope with the increased wind conditions. Only the normal reefing and in-boom reefing provide that.

cheers,
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:21   #15
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We have inmast reefing which was fitted as original equipment rather than an after market kit. Mast section is exactly the same shape as an identical boat with slab reefing. the only difference is ours has twin spreaders.

In use we find it excellent and easy to use. All reefing carried out from the cockpit simply by pulling on a rope but without the yards of rope from slab reefing. Normally we would come nose to wind before rolling the main away however it can be done down wind. Worth noting it winds in easier on a port tack down wind as apposed to starboard because the roller rolls in clockwise when viewed from above. On starboard the sail has extra friction of the mast edge.

We have reefed in F7 without problem and would now prefer inmast reefing to slab for cruising. We loose some performance without the extra roach of a batterned sail but this is minimal and only in light wind conditions. Once we are in F3 -4 then I am watching wind speed carefully. We will reef at 16 knots offshore and 19 knots in sheltered waters.

Naturally the sail is loose footed which helps with lower sail shape. Interestingly although there is some weather helm when hard on the wind in a F4 it isn't a problem so extra material in the main would only increase this (remember our boat was designed for this rig, including mast location).

The main finishes about 2 foot before the end of the boom, this allows the slider and 2:1 pull space to aline properly.

The one key lesson we have learnt though it to ensure the boom is at 90 degrees to the mast when rolling the sail away, best achieved with a solid kicker.

Since the sail is stored inside the mast when not in use we find the main is in much better condition and doesn't suffer mildew which the genoa had when we first bought her requiring a genoa wash.

I wasn't sure when we first viewed her so took her for a sale and saw just how easy to use it was. Not for racers perhaps but excellent for cruisers in our opinion. Would I have an add on kit? probably, but would want to take it for a good sail to see it working properly first.

Pete
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