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Old 08-02-2011, 16:29   #1
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In-Mast Furling Sails

There's an ongoing discussion on the pros and cons of the in-mast furling system. I don't want to get into that but rather I would like some advice from those who have used it and are happy with it. I just bought a used 32 ft. Beneteau with a Sparcraft mast and one of the selling features was that new sails were included, and since I might be singlehanded on occasion, the in mast system seemed like a good idea. So thats what I have and it's a done deal. I've never installed sails or used that system before. I'll be going on the boat for the first time next week and wondererd if someone could give me an overview of setting up the mainsail and its proper use to avoid jamming problems? I will no doubt speak to folks at the dock and marina, but it would be nice to have some understanding ahead of time. Thanks, Bill
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Old 08-02-2011, 16:50   #2
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Our in mast main is electric and the mizzen is manual at the mast. The main is incredibly easy for anyone to set or furl. Cautions: make sure the halyard is at least taught. You may slack after its furled but you should tighten before you set. Make absolutely certain there are no loose halyards or anything else to get wound up with the sail. We once had a spare halyard get sucked in and wind up with the main. This caused a severe jam-up.
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Old 08-02-2011, 16:59   #3
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BillPit,

We had In Mast Furling on our Catalina 380 which we owned for six years. We absolutely loved it and would recommend it to any cruiser. When installing the main just make sure the luff is tight. Make sure that the top and bottom tack points are not twisted. For your first time installing the main pick the calmest day, so you can furl and unfurl a few times at your own pace to make sure all is operating smoothly.

Mark
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Old 08-02-2011, 17:14   #4
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I have extensive experience and a valuable bit of advice........
The angle of the boom (aft end up or down) is critical to the ease of furling. You want the foot and the leech to be equally tensioned during the furl; no wrinkles in either.

I sailed a 43' cutter for 6 years on which I had installed a custom Norseman in mast furler. Loved it once we had the angle figured.... marked the topping lift with the critical measurement when the boom was at the correct height.

Saw many peolpe cruising and can predict who is having trouble with their furler.... angle must be LESS than 90 degrees depending on cut of sail; aft end of boom elevated... many people reported much better furling once they paid attention to this factor.

Best of luck!!!
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:11   #5
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[QUOTE=sailnautilus;614742]I have extensive experience and a valuable bit of advice........
The angle of the boom (aft end up or down) is critical to the ease of furling. You want the foot and the leech to be equally tensioned during the furl; no wrinkles in either.

I'm not sure I understand. Should the angle be up or down for furling?
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:17   #6
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The angle of the foot to the luff of most mains is less than 90 or at least, the clew would need to be a bit high so that even tension exists. Just imagine, if you were winding your window shade and pulled it severely left or right you would pile slack material on one end and excessively tight material on the other. You will need to pay attention and use some common sense to find the sweet spot for your furler & sail.
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillPit View Post
I'm not sure I understand. Should the angle be up or down for furling?
You're getting excellent advice here. Equal tension on the leech and foot.

Experiment with the boom angle on your boat to be able to do this without getting wrinkles. It helps to have a wee bit of wind. If the leech is tighter than the foot, move the boom up six inches and repeat. If the foot is tighter, move the boom down.
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:28   #8
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Thanks. The window shade example makes a lot of sense.
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:27   #9
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All of these comments are correct- the only time I had a problem was when the leech or luff wrinkled in the mast- what a mess!!!

The angle will be the same when furling or unfurling- it depends on the cut of the sail. As I said, an easy way to quantitate it is to mark the topping lift and return the topping lift to the same spot prior to working the furler.

Our furler worked best with the aft end of the boom elevated about 10 degrees off of horizontal. If you watch the sail as it is furled or unfurled you can determine if the boom needs to be lowered or elevated.

BTW- I now have a Leisurefurl on a 52' boat and I like it even better..... it allows for a fully battened main with a much better shape than the in-mast main I had. BUT- the angle of the boom is still critical even with this system. Same principle.
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Old 09-02-2011, 13:00   #10
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Make sure the tension of the foil and of the luff are as per manufacturer's recommendations.

Avoid furling with a wildly flogging sail (clew control line too slack)

Avoid forced furling of a too tensioned sail (clew control not slack enough).

b.
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