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Old 04-06-2010, 20:16   #16
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A boom furler is a better option than in-mast furling. With a boom furler you can always get the sail down, even if the furler jams.

My boat came with two rigs: an in-mast furling rig and a rig with simple slab reefing and a Dutchman system. I prefer the slab reefing, even though I have to reef at the mast. Simple, foolproof, and better performance from the mainsail. When I'm too old to walk I may use the in-mast furling rig as an alternative to a trawler.
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Old 04-06-2010, 20:34   #17
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Curmudgeon - how do you like the Dutchman?
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Old 04-06-2010, 21:26   #18
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Despite being new at this I looked at a Morgan 38 when I was buying, sail on a friends C&C 37 and have in-mast furling so...

The Morgan had a nice aft cabin and large centre cockpit and was built like a tank but it was dark inside and the aft cabin is seperate space ot heat, if that is a concern. The C&C is really nice to sail, very light and sprightly. I wouldn't want to live on it though.

I love the roller furling. I can take in a reef without changing tack, from the cockpit in less then a minute. It has never happened but with mine, should the motor fai,l I will have to go to the mast to use the manual override. The only time I had a jam it was easy to correct and the result of not furling tight enough.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:32   #19
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Curmudgeon - how do you like the Dutchman?
It's not great. It works ok if adjusted properly. IMHO the Doyle Stack Pack is a better system because with the Stack Pack you don't have to mess with sail ties or a separate sail cover.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:23   #20
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Don't reject a boat you could love because of rumors you've heard about roller furling mains.

We sailed over 16,000 nm with our Charleston Spar in-mast roller furling (half of that offshore). It performed flawlessly. I considered it a safety factor, since I could easily reef or un-reef from the cockpit, singlehanded, and did so in all conditions up to Force 9. It's also a comfort factor, since you can adjust reef in small increments to match conditions, balancing the helm and controlling heel while preserving boatspeed.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:26   #21
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Well, I guess I am an idiot poseur because I took mine off and was extremely happy with reefing points in my hack-on headsail - less complexity and less windage. A joyfully happy idiot poseur. .
What was I thinking when I wrote that? Sorry, I got entirely carried away. Apologize for any offense.
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:34   #22
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Don't reject a boat you could love because of rumors you've heard about roller furling mains.
Absolutely, when we found our perfect yacht she had inmast reefing. Having heard the rumours I just wasn't sure until we took her for a days test sail.

Instant revelation. "Is that all you have to do" to reef was my first thought followed by yes we like that

And so it came to be, we bought the boat and the adventure started.

The difference for us between slab and roller main is this. In less than F2 the engine goes on. F2 - F3 we give a little away due to the extra sail area of a slab main with battens and a large roach. F4 we are equal again and reaching hull speed so extra sail area won't make a difference. Top of F4 and F5 the reefs are going in so again extra sail area wouldn't make any difference, but ease of reefing encourages us to do it a little and often to match the conditions, rather than hang on and hope.

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:48   #23
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What was I thinking when I wrote that? Sorry, I got entirely carried away. Apologize for any offense.
No problem. I kinda had fun crafting a creative reply
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:48   #24
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As you can see the bigger issue in boating is empirical measures. The Consumer Reports and Car Fax of the boating world does not exist (Practical Sailor may be close but only for things they actually test). If you had a problem with some component (e.g. roller furling), dump it. If you never had an issue - keep it - best thing in the world.

The pros and cons are listed above and the cons make me question the roller furling jib I do have. If this forum and copious reading has shown me anything - simple works. Everything added to your boat is one more thing to fail. The ice maker fails - bummer. The engine won't start - issue (for most). The main or jib will not go in - serious problem.

If you plan to stay within the rescue zone, and feel the risk is minimal - keep it. Ease of use makes sailing larger with fewer possible. For many it is the only way to do things. Standing on deck changing sails - especially large sails - is never "easy" for me and doing it alone means being very very conservative (or not going).

While I am inland (Chesapeake bay), I am going with ease of use. It will give me more sailing time. When we start heading out, I plan to simplify. At the very least have an alternative and options should anything fail.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:24   #25
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Nobody is going to need rescuing. If the furler jams, just put on the engine and go around in a circle a few time to notch her in a reef or two. When you want to let her out, go in circles the other way.
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Old 10-06-2010, 13:27   #26
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I went to Bermuda on a boat with an in-the-mast roller furling main. I'd never have one on an offshore boat. It took two men and a boy to take the thing in. The big concern was that it would wrinkle as it was rolled up and get wedged in the slot. In the best of conditions, it took two people to roll it up - one to take in on the reefing line & one to ease the outhaul. I'll take a slab reefing setup any day over roller reefing. With a knowledgeable crew, it's as fast and there's less to break. I even have reef points on my working jib and I use them.

I can imagine that there are times & places where RF would be nice to have. It's just not for me yet. But then I'm 55. Maybe when I'm 65 it'll be more attractive to me. At 75 it'll be trawler time.
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Old 10-06-2010, 13:41   #27
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I read online recently of a 42' boat that travelled to Panama directly from France non stop. No problem, although they were told of the issues about windward sailing etc. The benefit of having in-mast reefing for them was someone could reef the boat alone allowing the other crew member to sleep. In-boom may be a better option since it would allow you to retain sail shape and reef manually if something gets jammed, and less windage. However, people do seem to gravitate to mast-reefing. And most of the modern boats out of the box these days come with in-mast reefing for some reason.
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Old 10-06-2010, 14:17   #28
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Most folks that knock in-mast furling in a cruising boat either have little experience with it or do not know how to properly use it. I was one of these until I got in-mast furling. It came with the boat so I thought I'd just live with it. I did not expect that I would come to love it! In the past six years I've had no problems whatsoever with the rig. I was taught by the broker how to properly furl and un-furl. In conditions under 20 knots I can furl on any point of sail. No need to head up. I will never go back to a traditional rig.
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