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Old 17-04-2012, 10:16   #31
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Re: Furling mains

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The Furling main on my Passport 47 came new on the boat, whether the rig was redesigned by Mr. Perry , or Passport just did it , I have no idea. The boat was a real dog. By all measures.... it should have been a fast cruiser for sure. Long waterline, long fin and skeg, low freeboard/aft cockpit. Sure you can design more length on the foot of the sail to some extent, but bunching of the sail is already an issue on in mast furlers.
There's a reason the Americas Cup boats, Hobie cats etc have huge roaches on the mainsails... it's called DRIVE! Adding to the foot of a main will do nothing compared with adding a roach. Still, it is a convenience....
This is the reason in-boom performs better. Full battens, full roach.
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:26   #32
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Originally Posted by DRS
I've got Profurl in boom and a fully battened main. Its way to easy! and if things go bad I can always dump it on the deck like a regular sail.
How about when things go bad in 30kts plus?

I have delivered a 45' boat with a selden in mast furler and a 54' boat with in boom furler. Both jobs had light and heavy weather. The selden was a pain in the ass due to the fact you needed to have the boom exactly perpindicular to the mast to prevent it from walking up or down and jamming. Not easy to do in heavy weather without also flogging the main which also prevented easy furling.

The in boom furling was even more sensitive to boom angle.

I will freely admit that i am inexperienced using these tools but as a veteran delivery skipper i feel that if something if finnicky or takes a degree in rocket science for an experienced sailor to use than one must question it.

The other concern for in mast furling were the verticle battens and weight aloft.

Why not invest in an beautiful fully battened maind with cars and lazy jacks? High performance, can reef at any wind angle, easy. Maybe even consider the dutchman system.

Edit: read carlf post on utilizing a rigid vang with furling systems. We had spring and line vangs on the two boats and i will conced that with a rigid hydraulic vang the furling issues would likely vanish. But with a rigid vang you introduce further performance degradation since upwind trim requires the ability for the boom to move vertically to control twist.
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:30   #33
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Originally Posted by Factor
Quick point on sail handling

you can have a stackpack system with single line reefing that means you don't have to leave the cockpit to reef, my boat has such a system, so there are alternatives if you want coclpit sail handling convenience.
Single line reefing rarely properly tensions the new "clew" properly and can actually damage the sail due to unbalanced tensions in the system
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:46   #34
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Re: Furling mains

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
How about when things go bad in 30kts plus?

I have delivered a 45' boat with a selden in mast furler and a 54' boat with in boom furler. Both jobs had light and heavy weather. The selden was a pain in the ass due to the fact you needed to have the boom exactly perpindicular to the mast to prevent it from walking up or down and jamming. Not easy to do in heavy weather without also flogging the main which also prevented easy furling.

The in boom furling was even more sensitive to boom angle.

I will freely admit that i am inexperienced using these tools but as a veteran delivery skipper i feel that if something if finnicky or takes a degree in rocket science for an experienced sailor to use than one must question it.

The other concern for in mast furling were the verticle battens and weight aloft.

Why not invest in an beautiful fully battened maind with cars and lazy jacks? High performance, can reef at any wind angle, easy. Maybe even consider the dutchman system.

Edit: read carlf post on utilizing a rigid vang with furling systems. We had spring and line vangs on the two boats and i will conced that with a rigid hydraulic vang the furling issues would likely vanish. But with a rigid vang you introduce further performance degradation since upwind trim requires the ability for the boom to move vertically to control twist.
Ours has a rigid hydraulic vang and a limiter wire. The wire must be taut when furling, as that gives the perfect furling angle.

Ours also runs up a track about 6" behind the mast - an additional performance improvement (no wind shadow from the mast).

And yes, if I were doing this again (it came withe the boat) I'd put lazy jacks in, instead.
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:21   #35
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Re: Furling mains

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Here's a primmer: Unlike a full-battened main, where one tends to set the outhaul and then leave it for the day, thus relying on batten tension to shape the draft, the outhaul on a furling main must constantly be played, adjusted for both wind angle and speed. On my current main, the optimum distance between the boom and foot at the point of maximum draft is five inches when going to weather. On a broad reach I tend to ease the downhaul so that the shape of the main duplicates the shape of the jib. Yeah. Really.

Every time you trim the mainsheet, you should also check the outhaul and the vang.
Yes, my experience with in-mast also -- you must get accustomed to working the outhaul in combination with the sheet. Took me a bit to sort this out the first time I sailed an in-mast -- the new owner was not yet familiar with how to trim it properly -- we gained quite a lot of windward performance once it was properly trimmed.

However, I still prefer in-boom or stack-pack.
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Old 17-04-2012, 12:11   #36
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Re: Furling mains

We have been using a Leisure Furl (Forespar) Boom furler since we had Camelot commissioned 5.5 years ago and would not own another sailboat without one.

I was a US Sailing Cruising Instructor before we started fulltime cruising. In my Cruising Instructor course, we were sailing a 43' mono hull with a in-mast furler. It took us about 30 minutes on the SF Bay to foul the furler. It was so badly jammed we had to return to the dock, go up a bosons chair and pry the sail out of the slot. I would not want to do that 35 miles off shore.

I would choose Leisure Furl over Shaffer for two reasons:
Schaffer uses a ridged vang, which several of my friends have reported bending. Second Schaffer uses a sail tack system that is hinged... which may be better than
Leisure Furls bolt rope, but it is something else that has to be bolted on the mast and something that has to be maintained.

The positives are: Sail shape, complete control from the cockpit, unlimited reef points, full horizontal batons, no sail covers and Leisure Furl uses an adjustable boom vang.

The negatives are: The boom is very heavy and a topping lift should be used to obtain the proper boom angle for furling , it requires some experience to use one, so usually it is easier just to raise, reef and lower the main by the owners or long time crew and finally retro fitting one on an existing mast is expensive, since you have to purchase not on the furling system, but a new sail.
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Old 17-04-2012, 20:45   #37
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Re: Furling mains

You'll find both Leisure Furl and Schaefer boom furler folks are extraordinarily happy with their system. Both are great. A few comments on Schaefer -

You can use an adjustable spring loaded boom vang with the Schaefer if you remember to set the boom angle before furling. In fact, the Schaefer's boom mounted feeder allows the boom to furl when quite far off the ideal angle.

Both Shaefer and Leisure Furl furl best when the angle is very close to the ideal (about 87 degrees). I think Schaefer suggests a rigid vang to keep people from messing up the angle but it's not required (at least not when I got the furler 3 years ago)

To date I haven't done any maintenance to my track beyond an occasional squirt of Sail-Kote. It is an extra installation step but not a hard one as it just slides up the mast groove.

Carl
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Old 17-04-2012, 21:00   #38
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Re: Furling mains

I believe the strongest argument for furling mains on cruising boats (either in-mast or boom) is the safety of a short-handed crew.

1. You don't have to leave the safety of the cockpit at sea. Ever. I also have never seen a slab system that doesn't hang up once in a while and require a trip to the mast. I've never had a jamb.

2. It is so easy to reef that you don't delay putting in a reef as weather deteriorates. I'll reef for any threatening thunderhead. Only takes a moment.

3. It is easy for my wife to reef or douse the mainsail alone.

I'll take safety any day.

Carl
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Old 18-04-2012, 08:26   #39
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Re: Furling Mains

I’ve been making masts and booms for 26 years, and you will find advantages and disadvantages with any furling system. Most people go with a new in-mast furler if you need a new mast and a furling boom if your mast is fine. The booms are expensive….for your boat you are in the 25-30k range, which is more than a new furling mast with boom, the question is do you spend that type of money then bolt it to an ageing mast with ageing rigging (remember rigging must be replaced every 10 years) or you could get a new standard mast and add a furling boom, but that gets even more pricey......if you need some firm numbers please let me know. Cheers
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Old 18-04-2012, 08:50   #40
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Re: Furling Mains

Here is the Practical Sailor review of in-boom sailing systems from Feb 2011...

Practical Sailor - In-Boom Furling: Five Systems - Tips Article

Their conclusions were:

Leisure Furl still strikes us as the most-rugged, best-proven unit. To match up to a 50-foot luff length you will need to pay $9,300. Installation, boom vang, and a new sail will boost that price a lot. If you're willing to pay the freight, that reefer will render good service and excellent convenience, but our feeling is that Leisure Furl's competitors have closed the gap and make attractive alternatives

The John Mast reefer is an older design, and the company has yet to establish an aggressive sales presence in North America. Its unit for a maximum P (mainsail hoist) of 42 feet is $6,850. This includes a boom vang, but not a sail.

ProFurl gets high marks for convenience and quality. A 42-foot P unit retails for $7,920, including a solid vang and boom brake.

Schaefer's promising unit looks like it will fill the need for a simpler system that people with small to mid-sized boats can use and afford. A reefer to accommodate up to a 44-foot P retails for $7,500. The boom vang is not included

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Old 18-04-2012, 08:52   #41
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Re: Furling Mains

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Originally Posted by Sparmanusa View Post
The booms are expensive….for your boat you are in the 25-30k range
And folks thought my $20-25K range was high!
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Old 19-04-2012, 13:47   #42
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Re: Furling Mains

The steep refit price certain makes a good case for a stack-pack.
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Old 19-04-2012, 16:27   #43
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Re: Furling Mains

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
(...) Why not invest in an beautiful fully battened maind with cars and lazy jacks? High performance, can reef at any wind angle, easy. (...)
Well, methinks there may be a couple of good reasons NOT to go for a beautiful fully battened main with all associated bells and whistles.

Sometimes we are out for performance but at other times we may be out for convenience.

I would not worry with 'weight aloft' - after all when the sail is hoisted the weight is up there whatever the system. Somehow it does not seem to bother anybody.

I would also not bash the in-mast furling for performance (or the apparent lack of it). After all, e.g., the in-mast furling sail does not have a slot between the sail and the mast (as is the case with the cars and rails).So, some performance may be lost while some may be actually gained.

My personal preference is with the slab reefing and full battens. But I am still young (at heart) and we have a small boat here. I can equally imagine that with a bigger boat or else as we get older, I will reach for in-mast (or otherwise) furling main!

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Old 19-04-2012, 16:47   #44
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Re: Furling mains

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I believe the strongest argument for furling mains on cruising boats (either in-mast or boom) is the safety of a short-handed crew.

1. You don't have to leave the safety of the cockpit at sea. Ever. I also have never seen a slab system that doesn't hang up once in a while and require a trip to the mast. I've never had a jamb.

2. It is so easy to reef that you don't delay putting in a reef as weather deteriorates. I'll reef for any threatening thunderhead. Only takes a moment.

3. It is easy for my wife to reef or douse the mainsail alone.

I'll take safety any day.

Carl

Alll great reasons I totally agree with. I also think there are many advantages to a rig like mine for cruising, which is an all furling ketch rig. It makes it easy to balance the helm on any point of sail. I just watch the rudder angle indicator and furl the main, mizzen, or genoa as needed with the autopilot locked on course until the boat is doing best possible speed with the rudder angle as near zero as possible. This makes the autopilot work much less than it would otherwise. In the right conditions you can just turn the autopilot off. This setup also allows you to do things like unfurling a little bit of mizzen at anchor to keep the boat head to weather, or unfurling a bit of main when motoring to act as a steadying sail and counteract roll. Once you've had a rig like this there's no going back-too many advantages for short handed cruising. And as far as performance goes you make up for any deficiencies by having and knowing how to use some good chutes, asym and sym. I have a mizzen staysail as well. Totally makes up for any speed deficiencies on any point except sailing to weather.
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Old 19-04-2012, 17:06   #45
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Re: Furling mains

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I believe the strongest argument for furling mains on cruising boats (either in-mast or boom) is the safety of a short-handed crew.

1. You don't have to leave the safety of the cockpit at sea. Ever. I also have never seen a slab system that doesn't hang up once in a while and require a trip to the mast. I've never had a jamb.

2. It is so easy to reef that you don't delay putting in a reef as weather deteriorates. I'll reef for any threatening thunderhead. Only takes a moment.

3. It is easy for my wife to reef or douse the mainsail alone.

I'll take safety any day.

Carl
+1

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