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Old 20-11-2013, 10:15   #1
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Converting a mast back from an internal furler

Has anyone switched a mast/main back to a traditional slide arrangement from an internal furler? Is it even possible without changing masts? Any retro-fit assembly out there? And if so, is it cost effective? (exclusive of the cost of a new sail)

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 20-11-2013, 10:25   #2
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

I considered it once. I was just thinking long aluminum flatbar (3/16 x 3+) structurally riveted over the slot. Then the new slide track onto that. Definitely doable, but seemed like a lot of "stuff". you might find a trade for an inmast furler or sell it outright.
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Old 20-11-2013, 10:51   #3
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

Why would you want to go backwards. Maybe if you are a racer, but having an in mast furler is near the top of my wish list for the next boat.
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:01   #4
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

If the Tayana is anything like my HC38 was ... it needs two mainsails to get it moving! Not a small one with no roach...
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:05   #5
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If the Tayana is anything like my HC38 was ... it needs two mainsails to get it moving! Not a small one with no roach...
I'm actually looking at a boat with one and am concerned about the shape, reliability and the noise of wind blowing over the slot. My Tartan has a traditional slugged main and I prefer raising, reefing the ol' fashioned way, plus less stuff to break.
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:35   #6
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

Well... it's a big question and you'll a lot of opinions about it here... that's for sure. I had one boat with in mast furling. loved it for day sailing and putting the main away... hated it for sailing and reefing. In all fairness it was an early unit (1985) maybe todays are better, but still dont offer a nice roach in the main to make the boat move.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:23   #7
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

Thanks for the responses! Maybe if I get the boat, I'll live with it awhile to form an opinion then seek alternatives if I turns out to be a detriment. My initial thought is not to have one if possible and that's why I was curious about the possibility of converting the slot to a track and if anyone has ever done it.

How about the whistling/wind issues?
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:38   #8
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

I did get some strange noises at times, but that was the least of my frustration. If you dont already have the boat, it's a big switch (sail, mast, possibly rigging), I would definitely think twice. Might depend on the age and if the boat is fairly good performer in general. The boat I had it on was a Passport 47 aft cockpit. By all reasoning it should have been a rocket ship for a cruiser....it definitely wasnt. I can only attribute it to the lack of mainsail drive. Sails were new and I bought a new main to try to improve it. The old one wasnt old at all but had a repair in it when I bought the boat from binding in the in mast furler. In a couple heavy blows I found the furling almost dangerous. In light air i loved it.
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:05   #9
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

We have inmast reefing and love it. The slight extra noise comes from having a twin spreader rig and therefore extra standing rigging over a single spreader mast with slab reefing. However, last month I saw one of our sister yachts with inmast and a single spreader rig, so no idea what Kemp/Selden were up to. The noise is only there at 30 knots and I don't think the mast slot makes much difference. Certainly doesn't change in volume or sound when the course changes.

Is this a mast head rig? hopefully the designer got the balance right and a larger main might upset this. Having bought a new Genoa I had a chat to our sailmaker about main sails. He offered us a vertical battened main with a roach but not sure if this would help or risk a jam However, they are available.

So do we need extra sail area? Below F3 we have the engine on to keep speed up. Between F3 and lower F4 there could be an advantage. However, once we reach the upper end of F4 we need to think about a reef in the main as we have increasing weather helm. Above F4 we will have reefed which of course is a 30 second job from the cockpit with inmast reefing.

An inmast main will probably spend most of the week nicely wound inside the mast which is great for protection and longevity. Nothing like a soggy sail bag or scrunched up boom cover to knock the stuffing out of a sail. Its also a simple sail to make so replacement costs are quite low.

An inmast main will be loose footed so great for getting a good sail shape with as much or as little fiddling as you want.

Before you buy, take her for a full days sail. We did a half day and bought the yacht once I saw inmast reefing.

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Old 20-11-2013, 13:06   #10
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

I looked at a boat that had one. At the time I was thinking you could do something like I have in this simplified drawing.

Basically you bolt a track on the outside of mast by screwing into a backing plate that runs the length of the mast inside the slot. I have it here with a plate sandwiched between the track and the mast figuring the slot was as wide as the base of the track but it all depends on your particular section.

This of course gets you a track for batten cars or slides and not slugs, but maybe is close enough. The good news is that you can cut aluminum on a table saw or with a hand router so you can match your backing plate to your mast extrusion and you can tap holes by hand so it's a pretty accessible project.

The down side is the weight you are adding aloft, but well, there's always a down side. That said people retro Harken Battcar systems all the time.

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Old 20-11-2013, 15:47   #11
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Re: Converting a mast back from an internal furler

The Boat I am looking at is the Bristol 45.5 and they came with and without this feature. I haven't sailed her yet with it and I may just wait until there's a standard rig out there, but who know's, maybe I'll like the convenience of the furler!
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