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Old 22-01-2008, 08:40   #16
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Although trimming the headsail close hauled can be a workout, it is certainly not same as hauling up a very heavy mainsail. The drill and winch bit may have other uses, but having something like that lying about the cockpit is troubling...

I think a single electric winch in the cockpit would also serve for reefing; tighting the clew and tack with slab reefing. In our set up we have 2 small winches on the coachroof under the dodger and these are intended for the reefing and the main. They are not especially convenient to use as to get real power you need to position your body over the winch. This IS possible for our primary and secondary winches but not the coach roof ones. One electric one on the coach roof would "do it".

It's also important to be watching the sail go up so you don't snag the runners or other rigging etc on the way up. A press button electric would allow the screw to watch the sail... just like you do when you trim!

Any suggestions for small electric winches?
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Old 22-01-2008, 08:41   #17
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IT ALL DEPENDS!

Having sailed the Caribbean for many years in my 42-foot sloop with hank-on sails and slab reefing, as I passed the 60 mark it was time to consider some alternatives.

I was shamed into fitting a roller-furling genoa, being the last boat at Nanny Cay to have hank-on headsails. Sailing buddies coerced me into it, and since I'd just blown out my favorite lightweight headsail for the fourth or fifth time my sailmaker thought it might be a good idea, too. I thought he just didn't fancy trying to repair the 170% 2oz drifter again.

Anyway, I succumbed. Put a ProFurl LC-42 on the bow, had my sailmaker cut down my #2 Dacron genoa to fit, and never looked back. It's still up there, many thousands of seamiles later. And, I've come to love the ProFurl.

I often sail alone. After one particularly poignant moment trying to secure my mainsail with nylon stops in a seaway near Marina Cay (one moment clutching the boom, the next moment lying in the lifelines with a dazed look on my face), I came to think about options for mainsail furling. I'd always favored the slab reefing approach: simple, fast, sure. But -- no getting away from it -- one had to be on deck to make it work.

I never liked lazyjacks, since I first had them on a 10-ton gaff rigged ketch. Didn't like the Dutchman, either. Or any other such systems I saw.

After much investigation and poring over the horror stories, I decided absolutely against in-mast furling. Might be fine for very large boats with professional crews. But, IMHO they're a disaster waiting to happen on smaller yachts.

Behind-the-mast furling systems were interesting. While there are several commercial variants -- all of which I didn't really like for one reason or another -- a simple and popular and relatively inexpensive solution is just to fit a ProFurl (or lesser furler) behind the mast. Treat the main like you do the headsail. Simple. Requires only minor modifications to mast. This would be a very good way to go for many sailors, and many cruising boats have done it successfully.

However, there are at least two drawbacks: (1) when the sail is furled, you still have weight and windage aloft; and (2) you lose some sailing performance since you can't have a full roach or full horizontal battens. These might not be of much importance if you have a run-of-the mill cruiser, but for a performance cruiser they could be important.

Which leaves in-boom furling. Much more costly. Much more modification required to existing rig. You really need a new purpose-built mainsail to do it right. And, if you've got a 40-footer or above, you really need an electric winch. All of which spells big $$$.

I agonized for months. ProFurl behind the mast, or LeisureFurl (the only game in town at the time).

Finally, I bit the bullet, wiped out the bank account, and fitted a custom-built LeisureFurl, with a new North Sails main and a Lemar electric winch in the cockpit.

Here's a pic of the LeisureFurl from the front: Gallery :: Born Free Maine Trip 2007 :: DSC_0452e

And, here's one from the side: Gallery :: Born Free Maine Trip 2007 :: DSC_0312c

I absolutely love the system. Once you get used to it, and if you're reasonably cautious in the way you raise and lower the main, it goes very smoothly. You can roll in or out any size sail needed for the present conditions. You don't wait too long to reef because you dread going forward in a sloppy sea.

Now, I've got total control of both headsail and mainsail without leaving the cockpit. Wow...what a concept!

For older sailors, roller reefing and electric-assisted roller furling are a blessing.

JMHO,

Bill
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Old 22-01-2008, 17:40   #18
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I bought a Simpson Lawrance C500 electric capstan in NZ and use it to both hoist the main and furl the genoa. The capstan cost was about $400, plus about $200 for the circuit breaker, deck switch, and wiring. It has a working load of about 200 pounds, which will furl the genoa strong winds and get all but the last foot or so of the main hoisted. Unlike an expensive electric winch, it will stall before you rip the sails.
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Old 22-01-2008, 18:23   #19
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Originally Posted by btrayfors;127992
Finally, I bit the bullet, wiped out the bank account, and fitted a custom-built LeisureFurl, with a new North Sails main and a Lemar electric winch in the cockpit.

Here's a pic of the LeisureFurl from the front: [URL="http://gallery.wdsg.com/Born-Free-Maine-Trip-2007/DSC_0452e?full=1"
Gallery :: Born Free Maine Trip 2007 :: DSC_0452e[/URL]

And, here's one from the side: Gallery :: Born Free Maine Trip 2007 :: DSC_0312c

I absolutely love the system. Once you get used to it, and if you're reasonably cautious in the way you raise and lower the main, it goes very smoothly. You can roll in or out any size sail needed for the present conditions. You don't wait too long to reef because you dread going forward in a sloppy sea.

Now, I've got total control of both headsail and mainsail without leaving the cockpit. Wow...what a concept!

For older sailors, roller reefing and electric-assisted roller furling are a blessing.

JMHO,

Bill
Damn Bill, don't give it good reviews. My wife might see this.
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Old 23-01-2008, 04:57   #20
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Bill,

Gorgeous boat you got there mate. Did you consider, as I am thinking, a small electric winch to hoist the main? Did you re use your mainsail?

I've been using Dutchman forever and find it works well and no downside. It's great for reefing and great for flaking the sail. We have a full battened large roach main.

You solution is very neat, but require a lotto win for me and then I would get a whole new boat! hahaha.

Bill, What an exquisite gallery! Your pix of Maine really brought back fond memories. What a life!
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Old 23-01-2008, 07:24   #21
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Bill,

Gorgeous boat you got there mate. Did you consider, as I am thinking, a small electric winch to hoist the main? Did you re use your mainsail?
Jef,

Thanks.

Originally, I had hoped to be able to use the cockpit winches to handle the main with the new roller-furling boom. After the first hoist/furl or two, it became very clear that I really needed an electric winch. This had to do both with effort required (and, face it, age) AND with control issues.

When hoisting OR furling a boom-furled main, it is crucial to maintain the proper degree of tension on the lazy line. This is important when hoisting the sail because it allows the furling line to wrap neatly around the drum.

It's even more important when lowering the sail, either partially or all the way. You have to keep the right amount of tension on the halyard in order that the sail furl neatly around the drum.

This is very difficult to do with manual cranking. However, with an electric winch, you simply press the button with one hand, while you hold the lazy line in your other hand, wrapped once around a winch or cleat, and maintain the proper tension.

Sounds more difficult than it is.

Re: mainsail, no, it was 20 years old. I gave it away.

The roller-furling boom requires a purpose-built sail, anyway.

Bill
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Old 23-01-2008, 10:19   #22
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Bill,

Which winch is which... jus kiddin.. Which electric winch did you get and where is it living?

Do you have battens?

Why not get that son of yours to take some pix of your beautiful yacht under sail?

Jef
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Old 23-01-2008, 12:02   #23
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Jef,

The winch is a Lewmar ST40. It's installed on the cockpit combing on the starboard side, under the dodger.

Here's a pic of the ST40: Gallery :: Born Free Maine Trip 2007 :: DSC_0284c

What you can't see in the pic are three other ST winches on the starboard side: a Barient 32ST behind Linda, a Barient 28ST behind Michael, and a Barient 28ST just forward of the new Lemar and a bit inboard.

Also, there's a four-line clutch located just forward and outboard of the winch you can't see. It handles the main halyard, the main furling line, the topping lift, and the boom vang adjustment. The placement of the clutch is such that I can actually handle any of the lines with any of the winches, making it very convenient.

Re: a pic under sail, that's a very good idea. I'll get Steven to take some pix this season.

Meanwhile, I'll just have to put up with some of the pics from the Virgin Islands, like this one: Gallery :: Bill's Legacy Photos :: Sailing1

:-)

Bill
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