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Old 26-06-2016, 12:43   #1
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Cal 34 roller boom

I am considering future options as my 67 cal 34 with the original long boom will need a new mainsail shortly. Is anyone familiar with the Cal style roller furling boom? Is that a worthwhile system to just stick with or is considering a modern boom with better reefing options the only path forward?
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Old 26-06-2016, 15:05   #2
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

The old style roller furling was an abomination invented by the devil. Terrible system that results in a baggy mid point with a very tight leach that ends up stretching into a bag. Too much sheet tension soon ruins the sail. They are tedious and slow to wind in and limit where the sheeting for the main and new style vang can be placed. You end up with a big lump of bolt rope and sail at the tack. Hard to believe this system had such a wide adoption as it really is a crap system. This is speaking from experience sailing in the strong gusty trades which usually required rolling a reef in. After ruining the shape of the main trying to use the roller furling just went to dropping the main if a reef was required.

Install cheek blocks and the necessary hardware on the boom and go with slab/jiffy reefing. Way easier to reef and a good setting sail when done right. Better yet, buy a new boom with internal slab reefing. Did that on my new old boat and the new boom along with running the reefing lines to the cockpit has made reefing a pleasure.
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Old 26-06-2016, 21:29   #3
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

Thanks for that reply, that's where I thought this would lead. I like the idea of a new boom with mid boom sheeting that got it out of the cockpit. Potentially it would be a shorter boom which then would lessen my total sail area. I can't see that replacing the entire rig makes sense though to replicate the taller mast and shorter boom of the later versions. I have 8000 dollars into what I feel like is a very solid boat. Spending money on needful upgrades doesn't scare me. Is it ever possible to have a sail made that works better with the current roller system? My plan doesn't include racing as much as it includes my love of simplifying things. I love that I currently don't have anything overly complicated and I can't easily take care of everything on my own.
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Old 26-06-2016, 21:37   #4
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

here she is.
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Old 27-06-2016, 09:21   #5
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

I have a 68 Cal-40 that had the boom roller furling system and I hated it. I found it hard to keep good sail shape and I also wanted to install a modern boom vane. I found a very good deal on a used boom and mainsail as the seller wanted to go with in boom roller furling. I'm very happy to have made the change. It's a good idea is a 4th reef in the new main for heavy weather
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Old 27-06-2016, 09:45   #6
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

I have a 1976 Albin 7.9 meter. Came with a roller furling boom and I, too, hated it. The main was a mess. Nice idea, maybe, but did not work in the 'real world. I kept the boom, but ordered a new main and went with slab reefing. I have much better sail shape now. I had to rebuild the main sail cover because it fits much differently now, but wouldn't roll it again for anything. Dump the roller! You owe me 2 cents....
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Old 27-06-2016, 17:30   #7
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

if you are used to a roller furling main they are excellent
recent modification on the modification
upgraded to ronstan furler on front of mast instead of push bike peddle handle
to rig for cock pit controls once the main is set it is loose footed gunter style but still attached to the boom after one wind the main is solid foot/the main was made from a headsail gifted by rolly from north haven yc Adelaide /no 3 from 40ft swanson with rust stains /looks like crap sails beautifully/ dont worry about people staring if it is reliable safe and works for you enjoy your boat
with out all that boring slab reefing gear
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:47   #8
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

If you are on a budget just go with putting the hardware on your existing boom and enjoy. You can go the whole route of running the halyard, and reefing lines back to the cockpit, or just put a couple of RAMS HORNS at the goose neck and reef at the mast. Reefing at the mast will save you the cost of a couple of turning blocks, rope clutch and maybe a cabin top winch and a new longer halyard. That can add up to several hundred dollars, maybe a grand if you need a winch. I am trying out single line reefing in my new (to me) small boat and so far I really dont like it. Too much friction and clutter in the cockpit, but so many boats use the system now, that it must work for them. Possibly try the less expensive way first and if you dont like reefing at the mast, then go with the extras for reefing from the cockpit. The new sail will be your biggest expense, and that will work with either style of reefing. That is one beautiful boat for only having $8K into it. Best of luck. ____Grant.
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Old 27-06-2016, 22:48   #9
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Re: Cal 34 roller boom

Thanks for the advice! She needs some new sails and a few other things but in her current form she's doing awesome just cruising around the bay of green bay. I went back and forth between saving more for a boat that's more cruising ready but even with baggy sails and pretty stripped down she's been a real blast. Slowly upgrading just seemed to make more sense here.the great lakes are pretty amazing!
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