I have the Hood
system on a 1981 Bristol 45.5 and I love it. Yes, you must learn some technique and it pays to reef early. But, since you can reef to any point of shortening and shake out the reef easily and from the cockpit
, it is as great an upgrade as is the furling jib
- at least for cruisers and not racers.
Hint - keep some tension on the outhaul
as you furl the main back in - not too much and not too little. I keep a loose wrap around the winch
until I can just man handle it. When taking the main out, a similar technique applies. Keep a strong and steady pull on the outhaul
and don't let the person operating the electric
controller get ahead of you. One last hint - always take the sail out and back the same way. Otherwise stated, the sail will spin in either direction depanding upon which way you press the control button. Pay attention to how the sail peels off the spool and have your boom to the side of the boat that helps the sail find the most open side of the slot. It's kind of difficult to descibe, but you'll understand when you see it.
If you get a jam or feel like it's not going correctly, please stop. Sometimes you can release the jam by reversing the controller. You may need to go forward to the mast
and pull out the jam by hand. I don't have jam problems anymore. But then, I don't let novices help with the sail. Let them mix the drinks.