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Old 27-10-2011, 19:33   #1
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Alternatives to In-Mast Furling

HI all,

I'm currently in the process of searching for a yacht to buy in the Med. I loathe and detest in-mast furling (it makes sails look like anemic snot ridden hankerchiefs).

But all the boats that I'm looking at (38-40' around $150000) have in-mast furling?

What options are there for getting rid of in mast furling? Is it feasible to pull out the roller mechanism and add a track to the mast. I guess this would be pretty expensive, factor in battcars, new sail, new gooseneck with slab reefing fixtures?

Any one else experience this dilemma?
Should I try to get over my dislike of in-mast furling?

Regards,

Steve
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Old 27-10-2011, 19:53   #2
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pirate Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.garlick View Post
HI all,

I'm currently in the process of searching for a yacht to buy in the Med. I loathe and detest in-mast furling (it makes sails look like anemic snot ridden hankerchiefs).

But all the boats that I'm looking at (38-40' around $150000) have in-mast furling?

What options are there for getting rid of in mast furling? Is it feasible to pull out the roller mechanism and add a track to the mast. I guess this would be pretty expensive, factor in battcars, new sail, new gooseneck with slab reefing fixtures?

Any one else experience this dilemma?
Should I try to get over my dislike of in-mast furling?

Regards,

Steve
Swop with someone who wants an in mast furler....
and has the appropriate mast for you.....
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Old 27-10-2011, 20:01   #3
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

are you a racer or cruiser? have you ever used in mast furling? i hadn't either till i got my Pearson 422 with Hood in mast furling from the factory. i wouldn't have a boat this size without in mast furling. we short hand in the carib and i never have to leave the cockpit to tend to the sails at all. yes i guess if i were a racer i would crave the extra .25 knots i would gain with the full batten main with the big roach etc. but alas i am just a lowly cruiser and love my in mast...........
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Old 27-10-2011, 20:04   #4
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

oh and by the way, i don't think my main looks like a snot rag.........
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Old 27-10-2011, 21:04   #5
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

The only way I think you could retrofit a furling mast would be to TIG weld an aluminum strip into the slot, as the slot is usually too wide to leave you any room to fasten a track to the aft end of the mast without it being slightly off center to one side or the other. Obviously this would involve refinishing the stick as well, and would require a really good welder to do it right. Here in the USA I'd guess it would cost about 20k-25k to do it, what with pulling the rig, welding, fairing and painting, installing new hardware, and re-rigging. Then you've got to get a new main as well. It might be cheaper to buy a new stick, unless you get lucky on a swop as boatman suggested. Or perhaps in your locale you could get it all done for cheaper...
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Old 27-10-2011, 21:25   #6
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.garlick View Post
HI all,

I'm currently in the process of searching for a yacht to buy in the Med. I loathe and detest in-mast furling (it makes sails look like anemic snot ridden hankerchiefs).

But all the boats that I'm looking at (38-40' around $150000) have in-mast furling?

What options are there for getting rid of in mast furling? Is it feasible to pull out the roller mechanism and add a track to the mast. I guess this would be pretty expensive, factor in battcars, new sail, new gooseneck with slab reefing fixtures?

Any one else experience this dilemma?
Should I try to get over my dislike of in-mast furling?

Regards,

Steve
Steve, I would buy the boat you like based on the usual specs , comfort vs speed v safety etc. Then sail for 6-12 months before making major changes. You might find you end up liking the system.
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Old 27-10-2011, 21:31   #7
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

I have never done this but it seems to me it should work.

Remove the rotating rod thingy from inside the mast. Buy some track and bolt a set of tangs to the back of it. Bend the tangs to the shape of the mast. Rivet the tangs to the back of the mast over the slot.
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:19   #8
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Rather than buy and change why not look to buy slightly further afield, then sail to where you want the boat.

I guess the reason you are seeing so many in mast systems is that the boats are ex charter (have you considered this?). Try uk and channel islands there are many slab system boats for sail.
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:29   #9
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

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Originally Posted by steve.garlick View Post
HI all,
I loathe and detest in-mast furling (it makes sails look like anemic snot ridden hankerchiefs).
Sounds like you need to look for a new hobby. Maybe something that won't set you off so much?
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Old 27-10-2011, 22:53   #10
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

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Originally Posted by steve.garlick View Post

I loathe and detest in-mast furling (it makes sails look like anemic snot ridden hankerchiefs).
Now that you mention it, my boomless, not-in-mast furling mainsail looks like a bloody handkerchief.

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Old 27-10-2011, 23:58   #11
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Re: Alternatives to in mast furling

Unusually little good advice, for this forum.

My advice would be not to try to jig up some kind of ad hoc conversion. A mast for in-mast furling, and in fact the whole rig, is different. For one thing, the mast will be taller to make up for the lack of roach in the main. I have never seen owner designed rig modifications that did anything but ruin the sailing characteristics of a boat.

You will need to change out the mast. This is a great time to acquire a carbon mast and boom. That's how I fantasize converting my own rig someday from in-mast furling. Of course we are talking about $$$$$$, but that never stopped a good fantasy . . .

When I bought my boat, there was literally not a single cruising boat available in the UK in the size range I wanted without in-mast furling, so I had no choice. In-mast furling has taken over the world.

In-mast furling would not have taken over the world if it sucked that badly. In fact, it is not that bad. The taller mast considerably compensates for the lack of roach. Sail shape is fine if the sail is in decent condition (a baggy sail will make a fully battened sail look like a snot-rag, too). I don't find it to be all that much more convenient than a battened main, but reefing without luffing up is an advantage, plus the sail storage inside the mast is really great -- sail is better protected.

So my advice is to try it, and start saving for that carbon mast in case you continue to hate it . . .
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Old 28-10-2011, 02:01   #12
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Re: Alternatives to In-Mast Furling

Thanks all,

I was being slightly tongue in cheek about "hating" in mast furling. I've always had slab reefing systems with stack pack set-ups and lazy jacks.

I've just returned from Turkey where I chartered a boat with in-mast furling. I found the sail easy to furl (except when it jammed when there was some serious wind and a real need to furl). But i found the sail, with its undercut roach and flat uncambered shape just looked all wrong. I was also concerned about real 'jam ups' and what you would need to do to reduce sail if it all went pear-shaped.

Looking in the Med and UK (I did widen the search) it seems most boats now do have in-mast furling.

(Sorry if my snot-rag analogy got up any-one's nose!)

Regards,

Steve
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Old 28-10-2011, 02:24   #13
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Re: Alternatives to In-Mast Furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.garlick View Post
Thanks all,

I was being slightly tongue in cheek about "hating" in mast furling. I've always had slab reefing systems with stack pack set-ups and lazy jacks.

I've just returned from Turkey where I chartered a boat with in-mast furling. I found the sail easy to furl (except when it jammed when there was some serious wind and a real need to furl). But i found the sail, with its undercut roach and flat uncambered shape just looked all wrong. I was also concerned about real 'jam ups' and what you would need to do to reduce sail if it all went pear-shaped.

Looking in the Med and UK (I did widen the search) it seems most boats now do have in-mast furling.

(Sorry if my snot-rag analogy got up any-one's nose!)

Regards,

Steve
They jam hardly at all, if you know how to furl them -- keeping the boom strictly horizontal and keeping some tension on the outhaul. And what is a real advantage is that you can do this on any point of sail and without luffing up - so it makes reducing sail much, much faster. This is a significant positive safety benefit.

The shape of the sail, like with any sail, depends on its condition. I stopped chartering a few years ago after the n-th blown out mainsail, for exactly this reason -- no fun to sail with sails like that. With a sail in decent condition, there's nothing so bad about sail shape with in-mast furling. With a loose foot and a vang you have the same tools to control shape as you do with a regular main (no Cunningham, however).

The lack of roach is the main disadvantage which, of course, is a significant disadvantage, and does hurt performance quite a lot since the roachy part of the mainsail does a disproportionate amount of the work. The taller masts partially make up for it, on boats which have rigs specifically designed for in-mast furling.
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Old 28-10-2011, 03:41   #14
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Re: Alternatives to In-Mast Furling

If the sail material is cheap and becomes baggy, then in-mast will jam.

Sail shape with a laminate or dacron reinforced with dyneema plus full length vertical battens can be very good.

short handed coastal cruising I would stick with in/mast, but get decent sails. with full length vertical battens you can have a roach.

Long distance I am going to be changing to single line slab using the new selden boom.
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