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Old 29-03-2010, 03:58   #1
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In-Mast Furling Question

We're just back from a short season-opening cruise along England's South Coast. We had a fantastic time, and the boat sailed magnificently, making miles in all weather and conditions, even upwind against an adverse tide, something our old boat could never do.

One consistent problem, however, is operation of the Selden in-mast furling system. The car in the boom for the clew outhaul jams unless I raise the boom with the topping lift so that the aft end of the boom is actually tilted up. This contradicts the Selden manual, which says that the leech should have some tension on it so that the sail will furl smoothly. But if there is the slightest tension on the luff, the car jams. I have lubricated the track and verified the car itself is free. WTF?

Another question for experienced users of this system: Do you really furl, unfurl, and reef without heading the boat into the wind? The Selden manual implies that you can do this. It goes against my instincts and training. But if it works without undue chafe or risk of jamming, of course it would be a great boon -- reef or unreef without breaking stride.
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Old 29-03-2010, 05:31   #2
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My procedure for adjusting the mainsail was to come up until pinching with the jib hardened up, then slack the mainsheet until the main began luffing a bit. At that point the main is easy to roll in or out. The boat kept sailing under the jib while the main was being adjusted, so no need for the engine at all. I was also able to roll it in or out going dead downwind by centering the boom, tho' this worked only when the wind was 10-12 knots or less.

Can't help with the car jamming issue, as my system was Charleston Spars. "Bearings?" immediately came to mind.
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Old 29-03-2010, 05:56   #3
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RE jamming: did you relese the boom vang? It has to be free of tension.

RE furling: the best to do it while headed into the wind, but on few occasions I did furl it in sailind down wind. Unfurling only works upwind on my boat, otherwise the top batten gets jammed.
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Old 29-03-2010, 07:16   #4
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Dockhead,

I have the Selden in Mast furling too. Don't advise trying to furl with the main completely full of wind - it puts too much pressure on the side of the slot and puts a lot of pressure on the endless line furling mechanism.

OTOH, I've found that it pays to have a *little* bit of wind pressure to keep the furl nice and tight. You definately don't want to have the main flogging as much as you might with slab reefing.

I haven't experienced the boom car jamming. From memory the rope takes a fairly convoluted twist at the car to the sail with a big rubber ring on it. Sure that this is rigged correctly ?

Duncan
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Old 29-03-2010, 07:27   #5
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Originally Posted by Lost Horizons View Post
RE Unfurling only works upwind on my boat, otherwise the top batten gets jammed.
You have battens on an in-mast furling system? How does that work?
I've never seen one.
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Old 29-03-2010, 08:20   #6
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Originally Posted by duncan_ellison View Post
I have the Selden in Mast furling too. Don't advise trying to furl with the main completely full of wind - it puts too much pressure on the side of the slot and puts a lot of pressure on the endless line furling mechanism. Duncan
That's our findings too, we can furl with the wind over the stern but it take a lot of effort so we now tend to come round to just off the wind.

Not had the car jam, our vang sets the boom at 90 degrees to the mast which the PO advised, you are dealing with a much greater sail area though. Is the outhaul really free to run out?

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Old 29-03-2010, 10:58   #7
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FSMike : Yes, really, vertical battens on a furling system. They extend quite a way up the sail and do seem to make a big difference to the sail shape. They are round in section and made of some kind of glass fibre with the last 5 ft being carbon. On the Hunter, I have a B&R rig also which means that they deliberatly put a big roachy main, without the battens I don't think it would work so well. The mast slot is deliberatly wider than normal to accomodate the battens.

Pete7 : My outhaul is *too* free, it comes charging out like an express train if I'm not careful. If I'm not careful, I end up with loads of sail flogging before I can get the outhaul tight.
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Old 30-03-2010, 06:34   #8
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Originally Posted by duncan_ellison View Post
Dockhead,

I have the Selden in Mast furling too. Don't advise trying to furl with the main completely full of wind - it puts too much pressure on the side of the slot and puts a lot of pressure on the endless line furling mechanism.

OTOH, I've found that it pays to have a *little* bit of wind pressure to keep the furl nice and tight. You definately don't want to have the main flogging as much as you might with slab reefing.

I haven't experienced the boom car jamming. From memory the rope takes a fairly convoluted twist at the car to the sail with a big rubber ring on it. Sure that this is rigged correctly ?

Duncan
Yes, mine is rigged the same way. There is a block at the clew. One end of the clew outhaul is fixed to the boom car, the other end goes through another block on the car, and there is a rubber ring separating the two blocks. This convolution is just to get double purchase, as far as I can tell.

Still puzzled.
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Old 30-03-2010, 06:39   #9
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That's our findings too, we can furl with the wind over the stern but it take a lot of effort so we now tend to come round to just off the wind.

Not had the car jam, our vang sets the boom at 90 degrees to the mast which the PO advised, you are dealing with a much greater sail area though. Is the outhaul really free to run out?

Pete
Yes, I have taken the lines off to check how the car runs in the boom -- quite free when not under stress. I have lubricated it with dry lube just to be sure. It works ok with the boom tilted up but jams otherwise. I can't figure it out. Maybe I'll try exactly 90 degrees.

We leave the vang (a Selden "rod kicker") free during this operation and regulate the boom angle with the topping lift. The vang is not needed since without the sail set the boom end falls under gravity to whatever height allowed by the topping lift.
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Old 30-03-2010, 06:53   #10
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I've had the same problem while delivering boats - seems to be too much tension in the leech for some reason and the car will not slide easily. Did not come up with a solution, I'm afraid.

You need to take some of the wind out of the main, as Duncan stated - you get a much better roll and fewer creases.
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Old 30-03-2010, 06:57   #11
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You have battens on an in-mast furling system? How does that work?
I've never seen one.
Many recent in-mast furling sails have vertical battens. Mine are from Neil Pryde, their web site has good information on performance benefits. It also has info on operating the furling system, such as how to position the boat and what to do with control lines, which I found helpful.

http://www.neilprydesails.com/pdfs/PBF-Overview.pdf
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Old 30-03-2010, 07:01   #12
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p.s. It's worth taking the time to do this right because as the man from Doyle Sails told me once you start getting creases in the main, they are there to stay.

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Old 30-03-2010, 08:09   #13
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I've had the same problem while delivering boats - seems to be too much tension in the leech for some reason and the car will not slide easily. Did not come up with a solution, I'm afraid.

You need to take some of the wind out of the main, as Duncan stated - you get a much better roll and fewer creases.
Thanks. Well, I never furl or unfurl with any wind in the sails although the Selden manual implies that you can do it. Force of habit and training has made me head into the wind until the main is luffing. So I don't think there has been any tension on the leech. But I will try furling and unfurling with a little wind in the main as someone suggested and see if that helps.
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Old 31-03-2010, 16:44   #14
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Vertical battens and in mast furling, once and never again. The jam ups inside the mast are spectactular
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Old 31-03-2010, 18:15   #15
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Starboard Tack

The mast slot is not symmetrical. You need to always furl with the boom to the left side of the boat. If you fall off the wind a little bit you can control the drag on the sail rolling into the mast without having to add tension on the out haul. I never adjust the topping lift. I use the fixed vang to control boom angle.

Check with the Selden manual that the out haul and rubber bumper have been reassembled properly.

After making a few mistakes and learning the Main RF should create less problems than a RF jib.

Good luck.
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