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Old 17-06-2013, 09:44   #46
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

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Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
So is 'Tape drive' now superior to solid battens? I can understand it in light airs where weight of batten is an issue but using the new cloths and battens i would take some convincing that 'tape drives' win through?

Frank
You've gotta do more than look at the pictures, Frank. Those were tape drive sails WITH SOLID BATTENS. Vertical battens.
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Old 17-06-2013, 09:47   #47
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Re: In-mast furling or traditional reefing

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That's it. Mast roller furling is great, right up to the point where it jams in a storm, and then it is the worst thing imaginable.
Have you thought about a nice cabin up in the mountains.
Never mind, they have Big Bears up there.
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Old 17-06-2013, 09:56   #48
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

Yes you can loose the main halyard if is fully open, if is reefed it get stuck , and there is no way to drop the mainsail, the only 2 logical ways to solve the problem momentary is 1 , make loops around the mast with the sail and tie together, 2 Knife in hand cut the whole mess...if weather is bad, now dancing in top of the boom in 40 knots of wind trying to tie the sail or cut it down could be very dangerous , same if you have a fancy electric jib furler, if it fail, you need to run to the bow with winch handle in hand and expose yourself to waves , flaping jib lines and a dangerous situation... so all is fine if it work , if it Jam , is a nightmare....
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Old 17-06-2013, 10:10   #49
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

I've had slab, in-mast, and in boom in different boats. All have worked fine. In each case you need to set it up right:

Slab - Best sail shape and price but mine (and most) require you to leave the cockpit to reef or lower. I think leaving the cockpit while offshore is a substantial safety issue - especially for a husband/wife crew. Many slab systems claim that you don't have to leave the cockpit but, in my experience, something hangs up about 30% of the time requiring a trip to the mast. . Below 45ft I'd go with slab everytime if I was really, really sure it was set up to work reliably from the cockpit. Safety first

In Mast - It's very hard to find someone who's had an in-mast (non-charter) on a 45ft+ boat built in the last 10 years who wants to go back to slab. I always do single handed furling. You just need the winches, stoppers and snubbers installed right. The sail shape isn't great but not carrying six genoas for each wind speed range hurts speed more.

You do have to follow the instructions but that's true for all the equipment on your boat. I had many more problems with my slab system than the in-mast. It's true that slab system problems are easy to clear but they are not problem free. I never had a problem on my in-mast that took longer than 10 seconds to clear. I never had to leave the cockpit.

In Boom - It's great to have battens but you don't have leach tension control because the boom has to be at a fixed angle to not "walk" on the boom when furling. While you can change boom angle while sailing, most (including me) just set the vang at the right angle and forget it. You can also always drop the main if there's a problem - although then you have a lot of uncontrolled canvas all over the deck house. Still, this is my favorite system for larger boats.

Carl
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Old 17-06-2013, 10:10   #50
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

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Yes you can loose the main halyard if is fully open, if is reefed it get stuck , and there is no way to drop the mainsail, the only 2 logical ways to solve the problem momentary is 1 , make loops around the mast with the sail and tie together, 2 Knife in hand cut the whole mess...if weather is bad, now dancing in top of the boom in 40 knots of wind trying to tie the sail or cut it down could be very dangerous , same if you have a fancy electric jib furler, if it fail, you need to run to the bow with winch handle in hand and expose yourself to waves , flaping jib lines and a dangerous situation... so all is fine if it work , if it Jam , is a nightmare....
It's difficulty to tell whether the climb-the-mast-with-a-knife folks are being silly or delusional. I've had in-mast furling on the last two boats, and over the course of 15 years of year-round use I've yet to have a jam. Not one in well over a thousand furlings.

In a former marina a friend came back from a beer-can race on his new boat with a sail jammed halfway out. I went over to help him, and was instantly able to unjam the sail by applying leech tension by hanging on the end of the boom. He had created his jam by tensioning the outhaul at the expense of the leech, and learned that day that the entire sail requires tension when it's being rolled.

I once helped with an offshore delivery of a new boat with a Strong track system. One of the batcars jammed when we were lowering the main to reef. We had to send someone up in a bossun's chair with a rubber mallet to convince it to come down. That's the only time I've ever known of someone having to go up the mast to help lower a sail, and it was a conventional full-battened mainsail system. Even there, in never occurred to anyone to use a knife.
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Old 17-06-2013, 10:32   #51
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

I felt my in my in-mast hurt performance alot. Had some jamming problems and the complications of added winch and stoppers etc to get it all "easy" to work just made a mess around the companionway and life more complicated. I would never have it again, but then ... I like things simple. To me slab reefing is a simple reliable system. Mine was on a 47 footer. In retrospect, I actually feel it's dangerous.
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Old 17-06-2013, 10:34   #52
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
do you mean UK sails Tape Drive, Thats a construction methodology , it doesn't replace battens.

dave
That was the sail Bash in post 40 i think suggested.
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Old 17-06-2013, 10:35   #53
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

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It's difficulty to tell whether the climb-the-mast-with-a-knife folks are being silly or delusional. I've had in-mast furling on the last two boats, and over the course of 15 years of year-round use I've yet to have a jam. Not one in well over a thousand furlings.

In a former marina a friend came back from a beer-can race on his new boat with a sail jammed halfway out. I went over to help him, and was instantly able to unjam the sail by applying leech tension by hanging on the end of the boom. He had created his jam by tensioning the outhaul at the expense of the leech, and learned that day that the entire sail requires tension when it's being rolled.

I once helped with an offshore delivery of a new boat with a Strong track system. One of the batcars jammed when we were lowering the main to reef. We had to send someone up in a bossun's chair with a rubber mallet to convince it to come down. That's the only time I've ever known of someone having to go up the mast to help lower a sail, and it was a conventional full-battened mainsail system. Even there, in never occurred to anyone to use a knife.
Bash you are probably part of the great washed...
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Old 17-06-2013, 10:54   #54
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
It's difficulty to tell whether the climb-the-mast-with-a-knife folks are being silly or delusional. I've had in-mast furling on the last two boats, and over the course of 15 years of year-round use I've yet to have a jam. Not one in well over a thousand furlings.

In a former marina a friend came back from a beer-can race on his new boat with a sail jammed halfway out. I went over to help him, and was instantly able to unjam the sail by applying leech tension by hanging on the end of the boom. He had created his jam by tensioning the outhaul at the expense of the leech, and learned that day that the entire sail requires tension when it's being rolled.

I once helped with an offshore delivery of a new boat with a Strong track system. One of the batcars jammed when we were lowering the main to reef. We had to send someone up in a bossun's chair with a rubber mallet to convince it to come down. That's the only time I've ever known of someone having to go up the mast to help lower a sail, and it was a conventional full-battened mainsail system. Even there, in never occurred to anyone to use a knife.
Yes all the jams in good weather and with a marina close is fine, but im talking about in a serious blow , getting a partial sail stuck in the midle of a blow is dangerous ... and with any mecanic device in a boat can happen right...?

About the bat car jam, i can tell you this happen by a shity installation, we fit each year a couple of track systems in new masts, we do that with the mast in ground, straight ,we cut off some material from the end cornes in each track section, we dont fill the bat cars full of torlon balls, and we tune the rigging after properly, because a rigging out of tune distort the track and is a welcome for a jam, if is properly fitted is trouble free, what you experience is a faulty installation in a bat car, there is 2 ways to jam a bat car, the bat car found a track section out of track and jam there, or the bat car is full of balls and friction denied the free movement up or down, cheers.
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Old 17-06-2013, 10:59   #55
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

Well said.
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Old 17-06-2013, 11:56   #56
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Re: In-mast furling or traditional reefing

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Have you thought about a nice cabin up in the mountains.
Never mind, they have Big Bears up there.
You know, you could just say you have mast roller furling, like it, and don't think anything bad will ever happen. It's okay to do that.
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Old 17-06-2013, 13:49   #57
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

Didn't know in-mast furling posts were as controversial as anchor threads! A bit silly really but I guess some were against jib furling when it first come out.
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Old 17-06-2013, 13:56   #58
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

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Didn't know in-mast furling posts were as controversial as anchor threads! A bit silly really but I guess some were against jib furling when it first come out.
Big time. People warning that jib furlers would kill you in a blow because they'd unfurl right as you were piddling off the rail. And before that, it was winches. People would warn never to leave a handle in one because, in a blow, the paws would disintegrate and then the handles would freewheel and knock your hands off right at the wrist.

Bears in the woods!
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Old 11-07-2013, 14:04   #59
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Re: In-Mast Furling or Traditional Reefing

Thanks everybody for your participation and comments. We looked at a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 with slab reefing and in-mast furling. The one with slab reefing had slightly better performance but when you release the main sheet halyard you had to go to the mast to lower the last 1/3 of sail because it did not fall down by itself.

We ended up buying a Hallberg Rassy 34 with slab reefing because it combined the best of both: High peformance sails with battens and when you release the halyard from the cockpit the sail falls down immediately and completely into the sail bag without having to go to the mast. Sounds like a train passing by on a crossover. This is probably because of the roller bearings and may be one of the reasons why a Hallberg Rassy is more expensive than other yachts.

On a related issue, we also thought about whether it is better to have a tiller or a wheel for steering but this subject seems to be less controversial. Almost everybody seems to agree that under 40ft a tiller is preferable because of obvious reasons such as better control/feedback, faster, more space in cockpit, more reliable, self steering with sheets, easier to tack single-handed. In case of the HR34 it is delivered with either tiller or wheel and we selected the tiller version.
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Old 11-07-2013, 14:52   #60
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Tiller or Wheel

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We also thought about whether it is better to have a tiller or a wheel for steering but this subject seems to be less controversial. Almost everybody seems to agree that under 40ft a tiller is preferable because of obvious reasons such as better control/feedback, faster, more space in cockpit, more reliable, self steering with sheets, easier to tack single-handed. In case of the HR34 it is delivered with either tiller or wheel and we selected the tiller version.
Tillers are great until they are not.

I have never heard anyone ever, never ever say they wished they had a tiller on a boat over 30 ft.
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