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Old 24-01-2010, 14:43   #16
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Summer Wind has an older Forespar E-Z Furl system which rolls the entire mainsail inside a mast extrusion (No howling). Makes for a very "thick" mast. Forespar now does boom furling instead of mast.

When we pulled the mast to re-rig after we bought the boat a few years ago, we debated whether or not to keep the furling system. While we were in the yard, one of our area's most respected sailors brought his mast in for a paint job - it had the same system & he really liked it. This older guy frequently single-hands his 50-footer. So, we kept it.

Well - IF the sail rolls in tightly at exactly the right angle, it comes out quite nicely. IF not, any sag in the sail fabric will wrinkle and cause all sorts of jams. Irritating in calm conditions. Dangerous in any other kind of weather.

We had a few too many issues last season. We do need a new main & that, we hope, will improve this situation.
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Old 24-01-2010, 22:43   #17
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No experience of a behind mast furling main, but I did have an in mast furling main when I first bought the boat. Some may be relevant

1- The sail shape was awful and there wasn't much you could do about it - no roach, no battens. I'm a bit of a tweaker when it comes to sail shape and so it drove me insane not getting to anywhere near acceptable. I've seen some attempt vertical battens, but without tremendous gain in my opinion.

2. Clunk, clunk, clunk every night at anchor - I have a pullman berth with my head next to the mast. every time the mast went over the vertical, in the smallest of ripples, the rolled sail clunked against the inside of the mast. A sound at about the same annoyance level as a slapping halyard.

3 - I didn't actually find it all that much quicker / easier to reef than normal slab reefing - it was certainly more temperamental. It saves you putting on a sail cover I suppose - but I don't find that a huge chore

4. I did actually get in the position where it wouldn't roll in when I needed it to. Then the worm that the furling line winds around sheared off and then the whole sail came out. Which was a good thing because I could finally get rid of it.

So now I have a conventional, slab reefing main and I am a happy man....until I sail downwind in some decent wind, then the furling main comes back to haunt me with a eerie howling from the slot in the mast that used to be its lair.
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Old 25-01-2010, 15:10   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bewitched View Post
No experience of a behind mast furling main, but I did have an in mast furling main when I first bought the boat. Some may be relevant

1- The sail shape was awful and there wasn't much you could do about it - no roach, no battens. I'm a bit of a tweaker when it comes to sail shape and so it drove me insane not getting to anywhere near acceptable. I've seen some attempt vertical battens, but without tremendous gain in my opinion.

2. Clunk, clunk, clunk every night at anchor - I have a pullman berth with my head next to the mast. every time the mast went over the vertical, in the smallest of ripples, the rolled sail clunked against the inside of the mast. A sound at about the same annoyance level as a slapping halyard.

3 - I didn't actually find it all that much quicker / easier to reef than normal slab reefing - it was certainly more temperamental. It saves you putting on a sail cover I suppose - but I don't find that a huge chore

4. I did actually get in the position where it wouldn't roll in when I needed it to. Then the worm that the furling line winds around sheared off and then the whole sail came out. Which was a good thing because I could finally get rid of it.

So now I have a conventional, slab reefing main and I am a happy man....until I sail downwind in some decent wind, then the furling main comes back to haunt me with a eerie howling from the slot in the mast that used to be its lair.
Interesting!.. I had thought of chaging to a non-furling main because of the (for me, potential) problems that you described - until I came across an article about the Neil Pryde PBR (vertical batten) sails and decided to give that a try. I have used them through occasional heavy weather (30+) to typical (10 to 20) for SE US for over a year and have not had any issues - in fact, the battens provide a great reference point for (amount of) reefing and add just enough roach to allow the main to work well. For me (as a singlehander), the biggest 'pro' was not to have to hoist the main everytime and be able to reef with relative ease and still have decent shape for the main (definitely NOT as powerful as a std main, however )

My Beneteau came with US Spars system - what is it that the Catalinas use? I haven't had any noise to date except for the 'singing' topping lift when under load that I 'subdue' with a bungie cord...

BTW, I used to keep Layla at a marina in Georgia (US) where the majority of the boats were late model Catalinas - many with furling mains - and I don't remember any noise generated by them - I wonder if yours was a different type... I do remember that the furler slot on the Catalina masts were a lot larger than the Beneteaus, however.

When I had entertained switching to a non-furling main, I checked the US Spars catalog and discovered that the furling masts are considerably heavier than the non-furling mast sections - not wanting to replace the mast itself, I decided against the whole conversion.

Fair winds!

Sailndive
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Old 25-01-2010, 15:35   #19
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We have the Selden/Kemps inmast reefing system. Wasn't sure when we bough the boat until we came to the sea trial and decided it was so easy to use we would go for it. Now 3 years on I think its excellent.

We have a masthead rig so large genoa and small main. The loose footed main sets well with a flat sail. Since we can reach hull speed quite easily in F3-4 there would be little to gain by having a large roach and batterns and only then in say F2-3.

However the ease of putting in a reef singlehanded from the cockpit is the major selling point. The one rule you need to obey is to keep the boom horizontal when furling the main so it rolls in correctly, a solid kicker helps with this.

Pete
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Old 25-01-2010, 21:53   #20
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My Beneteau came with US Spars system - what is it that the Catalinas use? I haven't had any noise to date except for the 'singing' topping lift when under load that I 'subdue' with a bungie cord...

BTW, I used to keep Layla at a marina in Georgia (US) where the majority of the boats were late model Catalinas - many with furling mains - and I don't remember any noise generated by them - I wonder if yours was a different type... I do remember that the furler slot on the Catalina masts were a lot larger than the Beneteaus, however.
Not sure what the name of the system was - now gone. The boat is the Mk1 1994 and the slot is about 20mm I guess. I don't keep my boat in a marina so can't say whether it would howl there, but certainly does when the main is up and and apparrent of say 15+ knots is coming from behind. Could be an interaction between the conventional main and the slot I suppose.
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