I operated an 77' ketch
that had furling masts. The owner was a sailor with lots of money
and wanted his boat to perform. He had won the Fastnet twice (in another boat). He also was going to have the boat stretched 10 feet and it would need a new rig. Like I said he had lots of money
The boat had a mast furling system by Hood
. I recommended standard aluminum
masts and full batten sails
for the new rig. He had purchased the boat with the furling system new, and wanted to make sure the crew sailed the boat allot. I told him that with 4 crew if they couldn't hall up a main now and then there was a problem.
I left the boat in France
and went back as skipper
a year later. The difference in the boats performance was AMAZING! Why you ask?
1) the furling main mast weighed 2000lbs vs 800lb for a standard. A substantial savings of weight aloft. She just sailed better, not as tender
. And she rolled allot less at anchor
. And of course the sail shape with the full battens was GREAT!
2) They installed a large electric winch
that was located in the cockpit
led aft to it. Also they had some lazy jacks installed. To raise the main you just took a few turns on the winch and phffft! the main us up. To drop the main you just cast off the halyard and brrrpt the main was down. I found this a lot easier than the furling main. Also we had a few failures with the furler
. Main stuck out could not furl (not good if you have a nasty squall coming down on ya). Or motor
broken and the need to manually roll that sucker in....what a PIA that was.
Standard mast has far less weight aloft resulting in much improved sailing performance and comfort. Also improved sail shape.
Standard mast can be just as easy if not more so to handle main. If set up properly.
and cost is better with a standard mast.