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Old 13-11-2014, 15:31   #211
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

> Here in the US, we have a politcal party that acts like this.

Please keep your petty, parochial political opinions out of this sailing discussion. I'm not interested in them and I doubt that anyone else here is either.
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Old 13-11-2014, 16:02   #212
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

StuM - you're probably right since only about a third of us showed up to vote this election.

I think the point is that factless blowhards are everywhere, and we pay too much attention to them.

They are certainly entitled to their opinions, but others need to weigh in when it comes to facts. If you are making a decision on what boat to buy, or what equipment to select, you're only going to do as well as the facts allow. You could do poorly if you just listen to opinions.


For my money I want to go with facts, not opinions or beliefs. I think a lot of people can't tell the difference.
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Old 13-11-2014, 18:10   #213
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Re: Who has the facts????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
It seems to me, from reading this entire thread one afternoon, that the loudest voices against in mast furling mains are the same people who have never had them. Meanwhile, the market share for in mast furlers has gone thru the roof.

The detractors quote lots of techno babble about sail shape, roach, center of effort, blah blah blah. Then their analysis of how the in mast furlers detract are pretty much disqualified by equally technical responses, with pictures.

Here is an observation....if in mast furling is so god awful bad and dangerous, where is the evidence? So many boats have it now. You'd expect that if it was as bad as Jedi et al make it out to be, there would be lots of bad accidents to talk about. Lots of stories about near death disasters. Lots of stories about bad equipment and switching out equipment. Where are all of these stories? Where is the evidence?

Facts are important. They should be the basis of any "opinion" because when they are not, the opinion is as worthy as an *******. Everybody has one, and they are just not that worthwhile to pay attention to.

Here in the US, we have a politcal party that acts like this. The republicans deny science, they deny math, the deny voting rights to millions. They have no interest in facts, just beliefs and opinion. Yet they have the loudest voice in the room.

In this debate, it seems clear that the facts are on the side of the in-mast furler crowd. Slab reefing is like buggy whips. They worked great. Everyone who learns to drive should have to start in a buggy, with a whip. Me? I live in the post 1990 world.

The FACT remains that while very handy, an in mast furling main is only a portion of a real main sail... and missing the most important part for "drive"... if you motor a lot etc , maybe it doesn't matter. I've had both, and would never have in mast furling unless it's a motor sailor etc...
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Old 14-11-2014, 15:01   #214
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

By "drive" I presume you are referring to roach and battens. Many boats derive a majority of drive from the headsail, not the main. In fact the move to high aspect ratio mains was about handling and upwind performance. The high aspect ratio main is more about steering than drive. Some old salts will even refer to the main as the "steering sail" and the headsail as the "driving" sail.

On a cat the headsail is usually a jib, ie smaller Than the foretriangle. Solent rigs are common on cats. One tends to find bigger roach mains on cats. Is this because they lack the headsail drive on most genoa rigged monohulls ?

How much speed (drive) do you lose by having a roller furled main versus a big roach? And what about reefing performance.

A long term cruiser has different needs from a weekend daysailor or racer. Mainly ease of use.
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Old 15-11-2014, 05:52   #215
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

The last 30% of the sail area, the roach, is where the bulk of the drive is going upwind. Those sails that are made with an exaggerated roach are adding a lot of drive to the sail, much more than a % of total sail area. Comparing a sail with a large overlapping roach with an in mast furler sail cut with a hollow leech or negative roach area is simply a no brainer.
I had up until this point in my life always had the biggest roach I could put on the boat which meant in light air I had to push the mainsail over the backstay when I tacked, those sails are so much more effective in light air that its not even due a discussion HOWEVER this time out my WIFE insisted that we have a roller furling main and I mean insisted so here we are. Its easy peasy to operate and I have to admit that reefing is a nothing exercise on any point of sail. I have grown to like it until I try to sail upwind in light air and then I curse it but only to myself, LOL. Getting older sucks!
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Old 15-11-2014, 06:11   #216
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
> Here in the US, we have a politcal party that acts like this.

Please keep your petty, parochial political opinions out of this sailing discussion. I'm not interested in them and I doubt that anyone else here is either.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
I think the point is that factless blowhards are everywhere, and we pay too much attention to them.
Factless blowhard here... I've sailed plenty of both...
1. When they work, furling mains are simplistic...
2. When they don't work they are dangerous, expensive or both...
3. When the do work, they will NEVER have the drive of a battened main
4. When the don't work, they will NEVER have the drive of a battened main
5. Neil and most others here are not factless blowhards...

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Its like evrything in a boat, with proper use they work, in the wrong hands they jam!! take this example, last year we get a old couple with a Zspar in mast furling jamed, they come to us asking for help to unfree the sail in the slot, truste me if i say we even use block purchases and brutal forcé , nothing, we give it 2 options , rip the sail in pieces to clear the jam or unstep the mast and remove the furler by the mast head and clear the mess trying to save the sail, they choose to unstep the mast, 1500 U$ later they have the mast in place with the furling unit working again, lesson learned, keep tensión when furling the sail....
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Old 15-11-2014, 13:48   #217
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

RobertSailor - Thanks for the balanced input. I guess location becomes important. Where I live, in the SF Bay area, we don't get light winds. My intended cruising ground, in the caribbean, gets decent winds (the trades). When does the roach become overpowering? You can't sail comfortably without reefing where I live. Unless you want to live on your ear.

Happy MdR - I have no doubt about Neil's story and about the downside. The question is how often the downside happens. My point was that, given that in-mast roller furlers have taken dramatic share over the past 20 years, you would expect to hear about failures all the time. IF problems occur often. You'd also probably hear about alot of people taking them off their boat. You would expect to hear alot about this on Cruisers forum, in particular from people who have/had roller furling.

If the problems occur rarely, you'd expect to hear stories, but not a ton of stories, and you would not expect to find people removing them from their boat. You would expect lively debates on cruisers forum, but you would also expect the naysayers to not be the same people who have the roller furler mains.

My observation is that, based on the evidence, the situation appears to be the latter. There just are not enough stories, and the naysayers seem, for the most part, to be the people who don't have it (and never have).

Old timers will argue that wood masts are far superior to aluminum masts. They will give you all the arguments. In most cases they've never owned an aluminum rig. Aluminum rigs have >99% market share today. For alot of good reasons.

I'm not saying in-mast roller furling is everybody's answer. But I think the downside is less frequent of an occurrence than some would like to assume.
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Old 15-11-2014, 14:20   #218
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

You might google the pro's and con's. Some good comments by professionals, delivery skippers etc as well as just cruisers. Many of those have at least one story of a jam.
Nearly everyone I know who has/had in mast furling has a story about jamming. Doesn't mean anything really.... but to say it's rare... hmmm not sure I agree with that.
It's really just another trade off: good sail vs minimally good sail. The convenience is worth it to some, not to others. It's nice to not have to put a sail cover on for sure.
I always felt more "out of control" in a strong wind situation with the in mast furler, but obviously some don't.
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Old 15-11-2014, 14:20   #219
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
RobertSailor - Thanks for the balanced input. I guess location becomes important. Where I live, in the SF Bay area, we don't get light winds. My intended cruising ground, in the caribbean, gets decent winds (the trades). When does the roach become overpowering? You can't sail comfortably without reefing where I live. Unless you want to live on your ear.

Happy MdR - I have no doubt about Neil's story and about the downside. The question is how often the downside happens. My point was that, given that in-mast roller furlers have taken dramatic share over the past 20 years, you would expect to hear about failures all the time. IF problems occur often. You'd also probably hear about alot of people taking them off their boat. You would expect to hear alot about this on Cruisers forum, in particular from people who have/had roller furling.

If the problems occur rarely, you'd expect to hear stories, but not a ton of stories, and you would not expect to find people removing them from their boat. You would expect lively debates on cruisers forum, but you would also expect the naysayers to not be the same people who have the roller furler mains.

My observation is that, based on the evidence, the situation appears to be the latter. There just are not enough stories, and the naysayers seem, for the most part, to be the people who don't have it (and never have).

Old timers will argue that wood masts are far superior to aluminum masts. They will give you all the arguments. In most cases they've never owned an aluminum rig. Aluminum rigs have >99% market share today. For alot of good reasons.

I'm not saying in-mast roller furling is everybody's answer. But I think the downside is less frequent of an occurrence than some would like to assume.
My opinion is similar to RobertSailor's. I didn't want it, got it anyway (no choice), and have come to like it -- most of the time.

I sail in an area of very strong wind (above 50N). The lack of roach hurts in strong wind as well as light wind. You don't get as much lift as a proportion of drag, so you have to reef it. Upwind a normal slab reefing main will always be better.

But where you have a lot of wind, the in-mast furling main comes into its own with regard to reefing. Which is why large cruising boats in these waters are almost never found with normal slab reefing.
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Old 15-11-2014, 14:21   #220
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Funny how most of those against in-mast furling don't own boats with in-mast furling. I own a boat with in-mast and one without. I now much prefer the in-mast furling.

When I bought the new boat in 2003 it came with in-mast furling. If I'd been given a choice I would not have opted for in-mast because, like most sailors, I'd heard the horror stories and seen the odd horror story (charterers in BVI). But the boat the dealer had came with in-mast so I took it rather than ordering and waiting for a boat from the factory.

In ten years of sailing my B393 I have jammed the sail once. It was all my fault because I became cocky after eight years and started furling the sail on all points of sail, including ddw. The sail also was a bit baggy after eight years. It furled alright but a few days later when I set out, the sail jammed. I managed to furl it back into the mast and continued on headsail (roller furling) only. It took me half a day going up the mast foot by foot to undo the jam. I have learned my lesson and now only furl on the wind a bit, usually with the wind on starboard.

Now when I'm sailing on Lake Ontario with my CS36 and "traditional" main I pine for in-mast furling.
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Old 15-11-2014, 14:24   #221
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
RobertSailor - Thanks for the balanced input. I guess location becomes important. Where I live, in the SF Bay area, we don't get light winds. My intended cruising ground, in the caribbean, gets decent winds (the trades). When does the roach become overpowering? You can't sail comfortably without reefing where I live. Unless you want to live on your ear.

Happy MdR - I have no doubt about Neil's story and about the downside. The question is how often the downside happens. My point was that, given that in-mast roller furlers have taken dramatic share over the past 20 years, you would expect to hear about failures all the time. IF problems occur often. You'd also probably hear about alot of people taking them off their boat. You would expect to hear alot about this on Cruisers forum, in particular from people who have/had roller furling.

If the problems occur rarely, you'd expect to hear stories, but not a ton of stories, and you would not expect to find people removing them from their boat. You would expect lively debates on cruisers forum, but you would also expect the naysayers to not be the same people who have the roller furler mains.

My observation is that, based on the evidence, the situation appears to be the latter. There just are not enough stories, and the naysayers seem, for the most part, to be the people who don't have it (and never have).

Old timers will argue that wood masts are far superior to aluminum masts. They will give you all the arguments. In most cases they've never owned an aluminum rig. Aluminum rigs have >99% market share today. For alot of good reasons.

I'm not saying in-mast roller furling is everybody's answer. But I think the downside is less frequent of an occurrence than some would like to assume.
Quite frankly it is always better to have a good sized roach on the main even when it is reefed but you say good bye to that when you go to inmast furling. I would stay away from the vertical battens as they have had to many problems. Maybe if you are day sailing in your local area they might be OK but for cruising stick with the basic sail. Don't let it get too baggy because thats when you will start to have problems furling. Often you don't need to replace the sail, just take it to a sail maker and have it recut if necessary. In the bay area you have lots of wind, I'm from Vancouver and have sailed in your Bay, no shortage for sure but these days we are in the Canaries waiting to cross to the Caribbean. Main furling sails are here to stay, eventually the only regular sails you will see will be race boats and certified sailors.
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Old 15-11-2014, 15:41   #222
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Quote:
Thanks for the balanced input. I guess location becomes important. Where I live, in the SF Bay area, we don't get light winds.
Must not sail in the fall and winter, then. I did for years, and there were plenty of days with little wind. Just look at the pix in Lat 38 of midwinter races... folks drifting around with sagging kites.

And re the argument that all the negative statements* come from folks who don't have in mast furlers -- the reason we don't have them is that after mature reflection, we realized that their benefits (and there are benefits) are outweighed by their deficits. Why would we own something that is demonstrably less efficient? After all, I have never had syphilis, but strongly advise you and others to not catch it... I have learned from the experience and knowledge of others that it is a bad thing.

Market share is surely a bad metric for anything other than marketing. The success of McDonalds does not make their food the best (at least in my opinion, but then I am a factless blowhard).

Scurvy, your arguments do not sway me.

Jim

* Oh, BTW, there are in this very thread some folks who dDO have in mast who admit that there are problems with them, including lack of sailing performance and occasional malfunctions.
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Old 15-11-2014, 16:54   #223
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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And re the argument that all the negative statements* come from folks who don't have in mast furlers -- the reason we don't have them is that after mature reflection, we realized that their benefits (and there are benefits) are outweighed by their deficits. Why would we own something that is demonstrably less efficient?

.
Do you have a roller furling genoa? Do you take it down and hoist a number 3 when it starts honking? It's well known that a furled headsail is not as efficient.
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Old 15-11-2014, 17:44   #224
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Yes, I've had in mast furling. No I wouldn't have it again, except on a motorsailor.. But I say to each his own. If the convenience trumps better sailing... that's fine with me. Hell I probably motor about 50% of the time when cruising anyway.
I just didn't find it very convenient when the seas and wind pipe up... sure local sailing in protected waters it makes leaving the boat at the dock quick and easy.
When the boat is pitching up and down, the wind is blowing 30 , the cockpit is full of lines and water and you're bracing yourself with one leg against the cockpit well.... it's not that easy for me to reach that perfect balance of:
* tension on the main with the boom raising up and down with each swell,
* but not too much tension...
.........so you can roll it in without a jam.
* releasing and cranking the lines led aft... all at once really...
I was absolutely amazed how quickly and permanently a jam can happen.


The other part of the dilemma is if you have a dodger, and if your stoppers/winch etc are under the dodger for your main furling.... you cant see what the sail is doing well. so you have to try to stop off the lines, get behind the dodger, have a look, go back and work the lines again....
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Old 15-11-2014, 18:16   #225
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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The other part of the dilemma is if you have a dodger, and if your stoppers/winch etc are under the dodger for your main furling.... you cant see what the sail is doing well. so you have to try to stop off the lines, get behind the dodger, have a look, go back and work the lines again....
Yes, this is very true. I'm lucky, I have a spotter (my wife) who keeps an eye on things while I'm furling. No wrinkles!
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