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Old 12-05-2011, 19:01   #1
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Roller Furling Booms

I am doing a total refit of a vagabond 47. I am 59 and will be sailing from the states to the BVIs singled-handed (most of the time) and am seriously considering a roller furling boom system for the main and mizzen. I have looked at leisure furl, furl boom and Schaefer and am partial to the schaefer system. Does anyone have an opinion and/or experience regarding roller furling boom systems in general and the Schaefer system in particular?
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Old 12-05-2011, 19:17   #2
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Re: Roller furling booms

I've had a LeisureFurl for several years on my 42' sloop, and love it.

In my opinion, it's exactly the ticket for an older singlehander (like me)!

I hear good things about the Schaeffer, too, but have no direct experience.

Bill
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Old 12-05-2011, 19:31   #3
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Re: Roller furling booms

Quote:
I hear good things about the Schaeffer, too, but have no direct experience.
If I had to pick the look of it seems the best. I saw one up close at a boat show. It's no easy installation in any case and might require a new sail too and / or raising the gooseneck. I would like to do it but I'll try a Strong track system first. I've got 2 jiffy reefs on the cabin top but nylon slugs don't slide that easy if it's blowing hard.
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Old 12-05-2011, 19:36   #4
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Re: Roller furling booms

Have had Schaefer for two years and very happy. No problems or even a suggestion of a problem.

These systems absolutely depends on a fixed boom vang to keep the sail from "walking" on the boom when furling (although the Schaefer has a guide that makes it hard to see how the walking would get far).

I've heard of problems with the Leisurefurl chewing up luff tape such that it has to be replaced. The Schaefer luff track is supposed to prevent this (and has so far).

I assume you plan to use an electric winch on the halyard - you need one.

Find a sailmaker who has made sails for the boom. Since you can't adjust the boom angle to adjust the leach underway the sailmaker has to get the leach and draft right. There are lengthy and specific instructions to the sailmaker.

As with furling masts (which I had in a previous boat) these furling boom systems mean you sail more (since it's so easy to get the sails out) and you reef earlier (since it's so easy to reef). You can even put in a tiny reef to just to balance the helm.

Better, there is the huge safety factor of not leaving the cockpit underway. I know slab reefing proponents claim this but I've never seen a system that doesn't hang up once in a while requiring a trip to the mast. Maybe I just had bad luck with them.

As I'm sure you know, the advantage of the boom systems is full length proper battens and as much roach as you want. Sail shape is beautiful and very powerful.


Carl
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Old 12-05-2011, 20:58   #5
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Re: Roller furling booms

I don't have a boom furl but I do highly recommend Schaefer. Their gear is known for being well built (I'm running 30 YO Schaefer deck gear) and their customer service I found to be very good as well.

And, it can be operated from the cockpit, which I really like. The Sail Track is articulating, which seems to complicate things. But it can be reefed at any angle, unlike some of the other systems.
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Old 12-05-2011, 21:21   #6
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Re: Roller furling booms

We have a Profurl in-boom system. I would echo Carl's comments.

HOWEVER, if I were the one doing this over, I would not use either in-mast or an in-boom system. We've gotten really good with ours, but you still have to have the tension set right, and it does not like to furl unless you are near head to wind. The HUGE advantage is that in a pinch, you can dump it on the deck - which you can't do with in-mast.

And, yes, you need an electric winch. After reading the St Martin story, scares the carp out of me now... The Admiral has had a very poor experience with a friend's windlass, in the past (parts of several fingers).

I'd do a stack-pack system or lazy jacks.
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Old 16-05-2011, 11:22   #7
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

When we purchased PEREGRINA I installed the Strong track and had the virtually new main converted to full battens. Good changes for sure. A friend decided to chage from inmast furling to in-boom furling using Leisurefurl, that I understand is NZ fabricate but marketed by Forespar. This meant putting in a new mast - Pendragon's Mast It does look like a fairly simple installation - and I wouldn't have to put in a new mast. I can get my main down off the wind now - the riggers said that both hoisting an furling has to be dead into the wind. Thinking about it though ....
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Old 16-05-2011, 11:33   #8
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

I have a Stow-Boom. It works well and is over 25 years old. Only issue is if I let the inside of the boom get salty or dirty, there is a lot of friction when 85% or more sail is stowed
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Old 19-07-2011, 12:37   #9
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

I hope some of you folks are still paying attention to this thread.

I have a profurl boom furling main on my Swan 36. I don't have an electric winch and the main is difficult to raise or lower.

I was wondering if this is normal (from reading the thread it may just go along with boom furling) or if there are things I can do to reduce this problem.

I like the boom furling, raising and lowering on this boom furling system can be done in most cases without having to be dead into the wind unless the wind is really strong. I do have to be a little careful that the battens don't get hung coming down if on a starboard tack. So all in all the system works great except for the difficulty raising and lowering the sail.

I'm wondering if others who have these kind of systems find it hard to both raise and lower the main. Is it possible that there is just a lot of friction in the track? I wondering if it can be cleaned or lubricated in some way? Or is this just always going to be an issue?

We can manage it just fine it just seems to be harder work than it has to be. We have good large Harken winches so it works.

Thanks

Taildraggerdriver
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Old 19-07-2011, 14:40   #10
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

I'm not familiar with the Profurl, but it it uses a lufftape like my Leisurefurl, you should periodically lube the lufftape -- I use the spray-on dry lube "Sailkote" from McLube. It probably doesn't hurt to clean the mast slot occasionally, but the lufftape does seem to scrub the track as it goes up and down. Salt crust on the lufftape would be bad, so a fresh water rise of the lufftape might be advised. The dry lube definitely makes a difference.
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Old 19-07-2011, 14:57   #11
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

You could try doubling the halyard like they do on cats. Put a block on the head of the sail and attach the halyard at the mast crane, bring it down to the block and back to the sheave. Twice the length of halyard but 1/2 the work to raise the sail. You could also try one of those right angle drills with a winch bit.
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Old 19-07-2011, 15:13   #12
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

This one looks promising Furlboom: In-Boom Mainsail Furling and Reefing System
Anyone have any experience with it.
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Old 19-07-2011, 15:14   #13
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

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Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
You could try doubling the halyard like they do on cats. Put a block on the head of the sail and attach the halyard at the mast crane, bring it down to the block and back to the sheave. Twice the length of halyard but 1/2 the work to raise the sail. You could also try one of those right angle drills with a winch bit.
Actually, the halyard needs only be 50% longer, but you have to pull in twice as much line whilst hoisting.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 19-07-2011, 16:19   #14
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

A few years ago Practical Sailor did a review of in-boom furling systems and the highest rated were the Schaeffer and the Leisure Furl.

I really like in-boom furlers. I wish I could afford one.
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Old 19-07-2011, 21:42   #15
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Re: Roller Furling Booms

Quote:
Originally Posted by taildragerdrive View Post
I hope some of you folks are still paying attention to this thread.

I have a profurl boom furling main on my Swan 36. I don't have an electric winch and the main is difficult to raise or lower.

I was wondering if this is normal (from reading the thread it may just go along with boom furling) or if there are things I can do to reduce this problem.

I like the boom furling, raising and lowering on this boom furling system can be done in most cases without having to be dead into the wind unless the wind is really strong. I do have to be a little careful that the battens don't get hung coming down if on a starboard tack. So all in all the system works great except for the difficulty raising and lowering the sail.

I'm wondering if others who have these kind of systems find it hard to both raise and lower the main. Is it possible that there is just a lot of friction in the track? I wondering if it can be cleaned or lubricated in some way? Or is this just always going to be an issue?

We can manage it just fine it just seems to be harder work than it has to be. We have good large Harken winches so it works.

Thanks

Taildraggerdriver
We have a Profurl in-boom system. On our boat, it really requires an electric winch. We have put it up without the electric winch, but it IS a chore. We put Sailkote on our luff regularly.
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