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Old 12-07-2011, 09:42   #61
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have had luff car tracks jam or jump out with slab reefing (and one such case was quite scary). I've also had reefing lines get jammed.

Any reefing system is subject to failure, particularly when used incorrectly.
A good point. I've had to go up the mast with a mallet to coax a jammed batt car to follow its track. Something that never happens with in-mast furlers.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:44   #62
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Furling Mechanism itself

I've not seen any references to the different furling mechanisms on this subject thread. Are there not a number of different styles, electric, hydraulic, and a number of different manual systems from cranks to line spooling?

It might be interesting to explore some of these different systems with users of each, and particularly those that have experienced problems with any of these, and/or more specifically the problems in detail?
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:04   #63
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Ours is a pretty straight forward gear with an endless furling line. The only trick was doing a splice that keeps the same size as the line. One Selden that I saw had an impossibly complicated in and out and around about path for the furling line.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:16   #64
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Nice to see things being turned upside down

About heeling: an in-mast furled sail will never have that optimal shape of a large roached fully battened main. This automatically means that the boat with in-mast furling heels more, resulting in less speed, unsafer conditions on deck (good that they don't have to go there to reef the main...) and less comfort.

Another missing safety feature is that with in-mast furling, the angle between boom and mast must always be 90 degrees or the system will jam. This is in sharp contrast to well cut slab reefed mains, which will lift the end of the boom higher off the deck for each extra reef. This is done so that the boom will not hit the water in boisterous conditions, which can easily break the boom and/or lead to other damage.

About learning to sail: learn it the right way with sails that get hoisted and slab reefed; there is no reason not to learn that and push-button operation can always be added later when you need it for a reason that makes sense. I added push button operation to my main and mizzen too... without in-mast furling.


Nick.
Please explain how having less sail area up at the top of the rig (no roach) causes more heeling. I'd like to hear that one.
Anyone who thinks the boom angle must always be 90 degrees on a furling main simply hasn't ever used one. You can cut the sail to make the boom angle whatever you want it to be. And it only needs to be at that angle when furling. The rest of the time you can put it wherever you want, just like any other rig. And about learning to sail, I agree that people should learn to do it the "right" way first. But that's not what you said. You said it was EASIER to learn slab reefing than furling, which isn't true. So who's turning things upside down?
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:19   #65
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Re: Furling Mechanism itself

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Originally Posted by beiland View Post
I've not seen any references to the different furling mechanisms on this subject thread. Are there not a number of different styles, electric, hydraulic, and a number of different manual systems from cranks to line spooling?

It might be interesting to explore some of these different systems with users of each, and particularly those that have experienced problems with any of these, and/or more specifically the problems in detail?
That would be interesting. Ours is a Hood electric with no furling line, just flip the switch, which is on a remote. To enable the manual backup you flip a toggle on the furling unit on the mast to disengage the clutch and insert a winch handle. So if the electrics fail or the furler motor fails you then have to go forward to furl.
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Old 12-07-2011, 16:39   #66
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Please explain how having less sail area up at the top of the rig (no roach) causes more heeling. I'd like to hear that one.
It's something lots of sailors don't understand. Your sails are supposed to be wing shaped so that they create lift and minimize drag (same for the keel which balances out with the sails to create that forward vector). The best wing shape is elliptical and the full-batten bat-wing shaped main sails as seen on Dashew yachts, multi-hulls and most modern designs in general, come closest to that optimal shape. Check out the shape of the main on a racer.

Any diversion from this shape means you get less lift and more drag, even if you have the same, or even more, surface area.

Now here's the deal: less efficient wings make you heel instead of go forward... and this slows you down, decreases comfort and creates a more dangerous situation on deck.

Dashew yachts have way less surface area than other, comparable cruisers. This makes the sails easier to handle and by optimizing shape, Dashew gets away with that without loosing performance.

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Anyone who thinks the boom angle must always be 90 degrees on a furling main simply hasn't ever used one. You can cut the sail to make the boom angle whatever you want it to be. And it only needs to be at that angle when furling. The rest of the time you can put it wherever you want, just like any other rig.
No way!!! If a furling main is cut so as to adjust the boom angle, it needs that same, static angle for all reefed positions. You always want it cut for 90 degrees because you would simply loose too much surface area otherwise. Not so for a slab reefed main which will just lift the boom up a bit more with every additional reef.

In between furling you can sure adjust boom angle up, but that is clueless because it will only make the sail baggy, heel you more, which is exactly what you don't want when the going gets tough. You want the sail flat as a blade and the end of the boom pointing up simultaneously.

Todays boats are not designed to prevent rolling to the point that the end of the boom touches the water in a wave. That's just wishful thinking.

Quote:
And about learning to sail, I agree that people should learn to do it the "right" way first. But that's not what you said. You said it was EASIER to learn slab reefing than furling, which isn't true. So who's turning things upside down?
I did not say that at all. I said it was the PROPER way to learn it Earlier I talked about a guy that starts furling straight after stepping aboard from his RV. That didn't indicate any learning at all, which is what I often see hopping by (clueless "sailors" that are trying the "cruising" thing after last years RV'ing and without any sail-training whatsoever). These are the guys buying the boats and getting the issues with the furler as mentioned by WaterwayGuy.

I have no problem with people who love their in-mast furling or even with that system itself; I only have trouble with people saying that it is the better/superior system for modern boats. Many believe that because when "it comes out of the mast automatically", it must be way more advanced and better than the old system. That's just not true and I will keep telling that.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 12-07-2011, 16:55   #67
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

"It's something lots of sailors don't understand. Your sails are supposed to be wing shaped so that they create lift and minimize drag (same for the keel which balances out with the sails to create that forward vector). The best wing shape is elliptical and the full-batten bat-wing shaped main sails as seen on Dashew yachts, multi-hulls and most modern designs in general, come closest to that optimal shape. Check out the shape of the main on a racer."

You mean like this?

Doyle Sailmakers: Grand Prix Racing Sails
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Old 12-07-2011, 16:59   #68
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Exactly. Look how big that sail is and how little that boat heels in the 1st picture. If that amount of surface area would have been put up from a roller furled mast, he would heel an easy 10 degrees more. Just the bigger mast profile alone generates a lot of extra drag and then there's the sail shape.

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Old 12-07-2011, 17:03   #69
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Do you think that (i forgot the fancy name for the gaffy thing) "clipped tip" aligns to what you suggest? That would be impossible in an in mast roller
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Old 12-07-2011, 17:14   #70
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Do you think that (i forgot the fancy name for the gaffy thing) "clipped tip" aligns to what you suggest? That would be impossible in an in mast roller
Sure it is (we called it a "power head" in my wind surfing days :-)

I have already seen cruising boats with this kind of top in their main sail although not as extreme as these racers have it.

So many people only think about surface area and about the height from deck it is... but it is all about the wing shape of the sail. There's a reason birds don't have roller furling wings

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Old 12-07-2011, 17:21   #71
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

ha! funny!

You see this "power head" more and more in the newer cruisers I think.

I really like em! Alas!
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Old 15-07-2011, 19:09   #72
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Exactly. Look how big that sail is and how little that boat heels in the 1st picture. If that amount of surface area would have been put up from a roller furled mast, he would heel an easy 10 degrees more. Just the bigger mast profile alone generates a lot of extra drag and then there's the sail shape.

ciao!
Nick.
And let's not forget the weight aloft. Not only would the mast be higher, but the mast section itself is heavier per foot. And don't even get me started on the weight of the spindle.

I have in-mast. Wouldn't do it again. Never mind the occassional jam, it's the overall design vs. weight factor the convinces me that conventional is the way to go.

I race my fat bottom girl successfully even with the inmast furling, but I could do better without it - and I could cruise better without it, too.
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Old 15-07-2011, 19:21   #73
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Nay, can one surmise that perhaps in-mast furling is more practical and less trouble prone (weight for example) on a larger boat than perchance a smaller one?
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Old 16-07-2011, 00:14   #74
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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In between furling you can sure adjust boom angle up, but that is clueless because it will only make the sail baggy, heel you more, which is exactly what you don't want when the going gets tough. You want the sail flat as a blade and the end of the boom pointing up simultaneously.
Allow me to disagree: There are most certainly conditions where you want to adjust the sail shape, and boom angle is one of the ways you can do this. Lifting the boom end a little eases the top of the main, which lets you compensate for wind sheer. It also lets you spill wind up high, which is a good way to depower without reefing, and to reduce heeling because you have lowered the center of effort.

Running downwind you might want to lift the boom (and/or tweak the backstay, the outhaul, the cunningham, etc) to give the main a fuller shape.

Boats, conditions, and sailors are all different. I'm certainly no sail-trim guru (I have a boom-furling main), but believe me, I play with the controls I do have, and boom angle is one of these.
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Old 16-07-2011, 07:38   #75
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Allow me to disagree: There are most certainly conditions where you want to adjust the sail shape, and boom angle is one of the ways you can do this.
I completely agree with that. But, we were discussing reefing and the only reason for doing that is because the weather conditions are dictating that. This automatically means that you want to flatten your sail; if you have never done that, try it. We call it our 4th reef point as it's effect equals a reef.

Downwind sailing the sailshape doesn't matter because the sails are 100% stalled anyway. A bag would work... in fact we use those and call them spinnakers. The bigger diameter mast even helps down wind.

ciao!
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