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Old 12-10-2017, 12:41   #31
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

We had an in mast curler on our 40 Caliber. When we went to sell it a particular prospect suggested they did NOT want an in mast system.

Took them for a test sail in 30K of wind.....with the main deployed, easily Reefed.
When It was time to reef....turned into the wind, some lufting, hit switch on our 1/2" Milwaukee drill.....bingo sail doused!

Sold boat that afternoon!
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:42   #32
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

I've absolutely nothing to add to this, other than to say you're absolutely 100% without doubt spot-on!
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:54   #33
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSadler View Post
I agree its all be said 2 weeks ago. I noticed Future has a 32' boat and likely has never had to reef a 50' boat while going dead downwind with a genoa poled out. Furling the genoa, heading up into heavy trade winds and seas, spending 20 minutes reefing a flogging sail. How fun is that?
On the other hand, staying on course, letting out 5' of outhaul and grinding in the furling line in under a minute, all done by my wife while I'm sleeping!
Sure if done without reading the manual, it can jam, but can be be worked free with little effort (if you read the manual)
I never used in-mast furling, so please forgive if my question is naive...
With in-mast furling, can you reef a main sail going downwind in heavy winds (without heading back into the wind)?
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:54   #34
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

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Originally Posted by FutureStories View Post
I understand the appeal to a furling main, but in mast is down right scary!

Everyone says "it's gotten so much better"... better implies there's still failure. And when you've got the mast partially furled in and it jams if you've got to reduce area more than what are you going to do???

My astonishment with people's obsession with in mast furling lead me to talk to some riggers with a booth next to mine at the sail show this past weekend. And they confirmed all my suspicions and made some other good points I hadn't thought about other than safety... (but why do there need to be other options above safety, shouldn't that be the primary concern???)

After hanging out with the riggers for a few days and drinking many beers together we talked about a few main points that you should probably consider when thinking about a furling headsail:

Pros to boom furling:
-full battens (saves on sail cost overtime)
-sail can be dropped even if furled jams! Then you flake it like you would any other main)
-accessibility (if the sail does jam you can fit your hands in and adjust it safely on deck)
-manual override (electric winch is customary, but if you've gotta get down and dirty to crank it you can)

Negatives:
-cost (its expensive, about $20k expensive, BUT in boom mains can last over twice as long as in mast, also the hardware CAN be taken with you to your next boat and the old boom can be put back on)
-it's bulky (but you're really not supposed to hit your head on them anyway!)

If you don't have the money for in boom furling get yourself some lazy jacks and a good pack! They work great, and won't be a safety concern.

If you're too lazy to handle lazy jacks and too cheap to get in boom furling go buy a power boat.

Sorry for the rant, but it had to happen! I've been frustrated with the in mast furling obsession for a while.
My mainsail looks as good as new BUT it is a pig to furl in or out.
I know now it has stretched but it took a frustrating season to find that out. Give me slab reefing any time.
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:56   #35
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

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Originally Posted by Caliber40 View Post
We had an in mast curler on our 40 Caliber. When we went to sell it a particular prospect suggested they did NOT want an in mast system.

Took them for a test sail in 30K of wind.....with the main deployed, easily Reefed.
When It was time to reef....turned into the wind, some lufting, hit switch on our 1/2" Milwaukee drill.....bingo sail doused!

Sold boat that afternoon!
You were lucky!
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Old 12-10-2017, 14:44   #36
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureStories View Post
I understand the appeal to a furling main, but in mast is down right scary!
So how much time have you spent sailing with in mast reefing to reach this opinion?

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Old 12-10-2017, 15:12   #37
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

The OP is the only person I think I've heard say anything positive about in-boom furling ever
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Old 12-10-2017, 17:59   #38
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

All in mast, in boom and slab reefing systems can be set up to reef without having to leave the cockpit. That's not the issue.
The issue is how to handle a roller jam, if it occurs. I've talked to owners who say they have never had a roller jam but, to my mind, a "never" philosophy is a dangerous philosophy at sea. At sea, things can go wrong very quickly, and at the very worst of times. And that can be very dangerous for a short handed crew, especially at night.

Call me traditional, but the best way to handle even the remotest chance of a roller main jam is not to have any kind of roller main. Period.

Battons of any kind can foul on lazy jacks, especially when reefing off the wind. So go battonless - and at 1/2 the cost of fully battoned main. Another advantage of a battonless main is that it can be reefed later. In light air, battonless mains suffer downwind but, in light air, most cruisers are going to go to their cruising chute - or iron genny.

Slab reefing can be set up ro reef from the cockpit. And with a battonless main, can be reefed and unreefed on any point of sail, with virtually no chance of jamming on the lazy jacks.
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Old 12-10-2017, 18:16   #39
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

Yoou didnt mention the huge added weight aloft and with no battens super poor leach shape resulting in poor airfoil efficiency and loss of sail area.

BTW I handle the standard main on my 46 ft ketch singlehanded the old fashioned way, No lazy jacks or sail catching apparatus on the boom. Been doing this for most of my 70 years and dont see need to spend a buck doing it another less reliable way.
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Old 12-10-2017, 18:32   #40
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

Sorry for the delayed catch-up to the post, I've been working non-stop with the boat shows.

I get the appeal to the ease of furling the main. But how does the oh-**** factor not scare new boat buyers. It's frustrating knowing when I go to purchase my next boat likely 1/2 the market will have in mast furling (something I wouldn't be comfortable with) making me have 1/2 the options.

So I guess the more appropriate question would have been why in mast over in boom?

What is the cost on a new boat for a furling mast vs furling boom?

I know what an add on boom furling system costs, but what's the extra cost associated with a in mast furling system over a traditional mast. Keeping systems simple and separate is always appealing to me.

I've sailed many boats with in mast furling, and it doesn't make me a believer. The short term gain isn't worth the potential risk IMO. Especially without being able to use a full batten main (or having to get vertical battens)

Maybe I'm just a little too paranoid. Maybe I'm just young and agile enough for it to not bother me to do a little more work.

I haven't seen too many compelling arguments to make me rethink my position. The consistent in mast furling argument is "it usually works". And myself not having a seven figure inheritance will be getting something second hand (or 3rd or 4th for that matter) making it more prone to fail.

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. Those are highly appreciated. The not so thoughtful ones or naysayers, if you need a hug I got you!

What are the negatives of boom furling? I know the originals were faulty. But dropping the main has never been a concern (which is my #1 concern)

The other concerns, such as sail shape, weight, etc... are just additional reasons I'm not fond of them.
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Old 12-10-2017, 18:44   #41
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

Battonless mains are built with a negative roach which stops the leach flutter. My main is 10 years old and the leach telltales still look perfect.

On in-mast boats, I can't imagine having to head up to reef in any but calm conditions - in offshore conditions???? And in 30kts ??? Certainly you'd have to roll the headsail first....
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Old 12-10-2017, 19:14   #42
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

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Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
You didnt mention the huge added weight aloft
Exactly how much weight aloft are you talking about?

Triangle shape with most of the material near the foot.

On my 65' schooner each mainsail I can easily pick up if in sail bags.

I have aft mast furlers so nothing to foul.

My Staysail is hank on heavy weather sails
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Old 12-10-2017, 19:26   #43
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureStories View Post
Sorry for the delayed catch-up to the post, I've been working non-stop with the boat shows.

I get the appeal to the ease of furling the main. But how does the oh-**** factor not scare new boat buyers. It's frustrating knowing when I go to purchase my next boat likely 1/2 the market will have in mast furling (something I wouldn't be comfortable with) making me have 1/2 the options.
It depends on the area. For smaller boats, for coastal sailing, for mild latitudes, in-mast furling is less useful and less popular. So maybe only half of the new or newer boats available have it, and you may find buyers who are afraid of it when you go to sell your boat.

But for places with a lot of wind, and for larger boats, in-mast furling is so popular that you will have trouble finding a high end cruising boat (as opposed to a racer/cruiser or real performance boat or a mass produced boat) without it. In the UK, which is all above 50N, I'm sure it's well over 90% of boats over 45 feet made in the last 15 years. I've only ever seen one (that is, 1) Oyster, for example, with slab reefing, and I was trying to buy one for over a year, hung out at the factory, and looked at dozens of them.

I was really surprised about this when my sailing grounds changed from Florida to Northern Europe, based in the UK. When I was in the market to buy my present boat, I HATED the idea of in-mast furling. But after more than a year of looking, I finally gave up and bought one. Now after 8 years and 30,000+ miles of sailing in all kinds of conditions, up to and beyond 60N, I realize that was all prejudice, and that the 90%+ number of buyers who choose it are not idiots.

It will not be my choice for my next boat, but in-mast furling is a good system with some really big advantages if you sail a lot in heavy weather or far offshore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureStories View Post

So I guess the more appropriate question would have been why in mast over in boom?

What is the cost on a new boat for a furling mast vs furling boom?

I know what an add on boom furling system costs, but what's the extra cost associated with a in mast furling system over a traditional mast. Keeping systems simple and separate is always appealing to me.

I've sailed many boats with in mast furling, and it doesn't make me a believer. The short term gain isn't worth the potential risk IMO. Especially without being able to use a full batten main (or having to get vertical battens)

Maybe I'm just a little too paranoid. Maybe I'm just young and agile enough for it to not bother me to do a little more work.

I haven't seen too many compelling arguments to make me rethink my position. The consistent in mast furling argument is "it usually works". And myself not having a seven figure inheritance will be getting something second hand (or 3rd or 4th for that matter) making it more prone to fail.

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. Those are highly appreciated. The not so thoughtful ones or naysayers, if you need a hug I got you!

What are the negatives of boom furling? I know the originals were faulty. But dropping the main has never been a concern (which is my #1 concern)

The other concerns, such as sail shape, weight, etc... are just additional reasons I'm not fond of them.
In-boom furling has some really big challenges -- lack of outhaul, difficulty of arranging an effective vang, massive weight of the boom, and others. The critical nature of boom angle is so acute that some in-boom furling systems are delivered with a solid vang -- seriously.

Whether it's worth it or not to gain roach and horizontal battens I don't know -- I've never used it, and never even known anyone who has much experience with it. If it was really worth it, I'm guessing it would be more popular, but I'm guessing.

Concerning the supposed "short term convenience" vs "long term disadvantages" of in-mast furling -- I don't think that's a valid way to describe it. The advantages of in-mast furling don't boil down to just "convenience". The several serious advantages of in-mast furling have been extensively described in the other thread. I guess the main one, if I had to pick ONE, is greatly superior control of mainsail area in all conditions, especially in strong conditions. This is a killer advantage for those sailing up here in these latitudes. There are others, too.

The disadvantages of in-mast furling are also serious, so it's really a question of individual priorities -- and sailing area -- whether it's right for you or not. Weight aloft and lack of roach are the biggies. For hard core performance sailing, or sailing in mild latitudes where you rarely go out in strong weather, and where you are always wishing you had more drive from your sails, these disadvantages are probably not worth it. Up here where there is usually plenty of wind, so where light wind performance is not nearly so important, these disadvantages are not as big a deal.

Not being able to "drop the main" is not something which concerns any experienced user of in-mast furling I've ever known. If you have a good system (not added on behind the mast, not the early ones with narrow mast slots), reasonably well maintained, and you know how to use it (in-mast furling takes skill to operate correctly, more skill than using slab reefing), it is extremely reliable.

Horses for courses. For me, it was a really hard decision to go back to slab reefing for my next boat. Slab reefing mainsails have serious disadvantages compared to in-mast furling. I'm doing it only because I am a wacko hard core long distance sailor who wants every bit of possible upwind performance. To get that, I'm giving up a lot, including especially that superb instant control of mainsail area.
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Old 12-10-2017, 19:39   #44
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

[QUOTE=Dockhead;2498077]

... If you have a good system (not added on behind the mast, ..../QUOTE]

Hi DH....Granted i am a heavy 44ton motorsailor but what do you have against aft mast furlers?

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Old 12-10-2017, 20:12   #45
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Re: Seriously, why do people like in mast furling?

If you have a system of any kind and it always works for you then that is a system worth keeping and defending. My only experience with an in-mast furler was last summer, sitting with two old friends who had sailed into the anchorage, one a surveyor and navigation instructor for 40 years or more, and the other a sailmaker for 35 years. We watched a boat sailing into our cove (about 15 knots of wind) that began to furl the main in the mast. Half way into the mast it stopped and clearly they were not going to be able to get into the cove to anchor so they turned and headed back out and downwind down the island. Neither of my friends had in-mast furling and while not offering any rant at all, it was clear they weren't planning to make that upgrade. Someone asked how the in-mast furlers work when running downwind, and there hasn't been a response yet, but to be fair most most luffs on slugs or slides don't work too well going downwind either. Maybe I have just had a lot of bad luck but I find Murphy was right, anything that can go wrong, will, so I am suspicious of anything with more than 2 or 3 moving parts being reliable in rough weather. (I think I am the last one in the harbor with hank-on headsails.) Still... I am not sure it is rant-worthy. If it works reliably when the wind pipes up, that is a real advantage. If not, well then it's not.
I guess no one will accuse me of being a brilliant philosopher for that assessment!
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