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Old 20-01-2008, 12:00   #1
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mainsail

We haven't purchased our cruiser yet. We're on the 3/5 year plan(sell the house when market comes back...)What I'm doing now is gathering information. I gotta tell ya there is alot of information out there.Right now we are looking at the used boat refit option.My wife and I will be 60 ish when we're ready to sail. We want to do live aboard and cruise. The caribbean and long island sound.So much for background. What I would like to know are ther alternatives to in boom mainsail furling systems relative to ease of sailing.
you folks are terrific

Andre'
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Old 20-01-2008, 12:09   #2
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There are in mast furlings, out mast furlings. Then the track car systems for ease of raising/lowering with either dutchman guides, lazy jacks or Mack packs to capture an external sail.

Everyone seems to choose what they personally like so it'll be up to you what you'll really want. The cost of the in boom furls has a little to do with their acceptance.
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Old 20-01-2008, 14:24   #3
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Personally, I think the best all-around combination of ease of mainsail handling & sailing performance is slab-flaking the main onto the boom with lazy jacks and a fully battened main. If you can afford battcars, this will make raising and lowering the main even easier.
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Old 20-01-2008, 14:41   #4
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There are a couple of in boom furlers on the market.. at one time they were a pain as the sail had to be pulled in, in a perfect 90 degree angle to the boom or you would end up with something that resembled a wadded up newspaper, but in the past few years they have modified the designes to wher they work very well..
We were planning on adding a Shaffer system but the 15k for the change pushed us away..at least for the moment.
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Old 20-01-2008, 14:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
Personally, I think the best all-around combination of ease of mainsail handling & sailing performance is slab-flaking the main onto the boom with lazy jacks and a fully battened main. If you can afford battcars, this will make raising and lowering the main even easier.
I am with you on that. Hard to beat cutting the halyard and letting it finds its way home. The other stuff just seems like trouble waiting for the wrong time to show up.
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Old 20-01-2008, 15:24   #6
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North Sails makes an extruded plastic track that retrofits their fully battened sail control system to accomodate their 'stack pack' style of sail dousing system which is quite neat. You can therefore convert a normal mast grove system to accomodate easy sliding cars relatively inexpensively - as compared to harken batcars.
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Old 20-01-2008, 15:42   #7
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We have a Leisurefurl and love it. Works great. Yes, you CAN furl it off the wind.

The Shaffer is also very good and I would consider it (It was not out when we bought our Leisurefurl).

If you're looking for a lower cost option. I'd go with the Dutchman system. Less potential for tangling the batten ends of the sail than Lazy Jacks and more forgiving off the wind.

We're just at the 60 mark too and found an electric main halyard winch to be a great help (you don't get as "Cranky"!).

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 20-01-2008, 16:09   #8
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The is an interesting problem, because getting a big robust full battened (heavy) mainsail hoisted can be a problem, and reefing it is actually often less so.

My main hoist is 46'+ and with a long boom the sail is very heavy and cannot be hoisted without a fair amount of winch assist... and even that is strenuous work. We have a full battened system with an in mast groove and shaefar batt cars and a Dutchman reefing system.

Something I have thought about is an electric winch for the main hoist and something for older sailors who do not have furling mains to consider.

Once it's up the hard work is done and I usually need a drink and a rest! hahhaha
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Old 20-01-2008, 20:27   #9
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we had the same problem raising the main.. 55+ feet and those last few just arnt fun.... We purchased a "winch bit" and a 28v cordless Milwaukee drill with a 90 degree head.. It goes up with ease now... next best thing to an electric winch.
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Old 20-01-2008, 20:54   #10
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We purchased a "winch bit" and a 28v cordless Milwaukee drill .

LOLOLOL You can't be serious!

*Gulp!*

http://www.winchbit.com/

Thats not a bad idea

what did that cost all up?

(I might just put that on the list... )
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Old 21-01-2008, 11:52   #11
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You can buy the drill for around $400. US, Ant the bit now is 44.....
There was another use for the bit, not to change the thread. I had a "T" welded to the top of the bit and put a lanyard through it.. on my boat, all the caps, fuel, water, and pumpout, all use the winch-handle to open them. now its a simple hand-heald tool.
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Old 21-01-2008, 11:58   #12
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You can also do the cat trick and use your electric windlass to pull up the main.
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Old 22-01-2008, 04:41   #13
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Old 22-01-2008, 05:38   #14
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Question:

Are there any small electric winches or vertical windlasses that are inexpensive and small enough and robust enough to do this job which might be mounted in the cockpit?
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Old 22-01-2008, 08:09   #15
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Boom FUrling Options

Boom Furling has been around for over 50 years albeit untill the last decade, involved rolling the main around the outside of the boom rather than into the boom itself. (For example, the Hiscock's had roller furling on the main boom of that Wanderer III, built in 1951-'52.) The primary problem with such a system is getting a decent furl if the sail has any shape; and, being able to keep the foot of the sail tight. Classic "slab" reefing handles these issues well and avoids the possibility of the sail becoming jambed in the boom, or worse, mast, when one really, really needs to reduce sail area.

We have slab reefing on our Beneteau First 42 and have not found relying on that particularly difficult. While I have never needed it, we do have a down-haul rigged to help lower the sail. In our case, we have a "Dutchman" flaking system which supports the bunt of the sail but that's really not an issue either and the Dutchman does complicate tying in reef-lines along the foot of the sail once the reef is made. The key to being able to reef effectively is practice, practice, practice. We have our main halyard marked with whipping thread at the set points for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reefs so one can see, and in the dark feel, how much to release the halyard for the respective reefs. One only has to remember to release the vang and if the vang does not support the boom, take up on the topping lift, before releasing the halyard. We also have a winch on the mast below the boom to take up the out-huals--which are ordered 1,2,3, from starboard to port, at the goose neck, again something that can be done by feel alone, in the dark, if necessary.

Regarding the "Winch Buddy" or its generic counter-parts, as I have limited use of my left arm, we have been using a right-angle Milwaukee Drill (in our case the original 18 volt version) with a winch bit for 3+ years and have found it to be a good, and economical, alternative to installing electric winches. We use it to raise the main, trim the jibs while tacking, and, when time comes, to furl the headsail. The batteries don't last quite as long as I would like but we carry two and even with the 12 volt charger, they recharge quite quickly. My only disappointment has been the longevity of the batteries themselves but that may be because we only use them intermitantly. Still, at $80 USD each, they are not inexpensive and we are already through our scond set. (On the other hand, adding power to our Lewmar winches priced out at over $3,000 USD each for the drives alone plus the cost of the electrical work, cables, et al!)

N'any case, FWIW!

s/v HyLyte
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