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Old 16-07-2012, 06:25   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Titusville, Florida - for the moment
Boat: Down East 45, Brigantine
Posts: 850
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Shall I be a Dutchman or not?

I am dithering about how to set up my new mainsail, which we need to handle with the minimum amount of deck work, both raising and lowering and reefing.
The mainmast is a conventional aluminum spar. The sail is 43’ luff and 16’ foot and will be new—after I decide how to have it made.
Another consideration is the main boom passes over the bimini enclosure on our center cockpit schooner, so we have no chance of handling the sail over about ten feet of it’s length.
I have looked closely at the Facnor behind mast roller furling, and also an open behind mast furling, (similar to a jib furler). But I’m worried about possible issues, like jamming, sail set, weight aloft, not to mention cost and installation.
I am now thinking about a Dutchman system in conjunction with single or double line reefing. I have no experience of either and would like to hear from anyone who has.
Both systems do seem to be very simple and can be operated from the cockpit, where I will have an electric winch.
I like the idea of a properly cut sail having controlled battens and sliders on the boom. But how do you get a good reef in the sail, particularly on a second reef, if the vertical sliders prevent the clew from being pulled down level with the boom? Do you have to unhook the sliders from the mast, or have fewer sliders between reef points?
Also, is it practical or even necessary to build a lazy bag into the Dutchman furling, so the complete sail can stow into the bag?
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