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Old 04-06-2010, 12:36   #1
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Am I Just Being too Picky ?

Ok, I narrowed my list down to a few makes and models: Tartan 37 & 42, C&C 39 and 43, Morgan 382-4, and a Catalina Morgan 38 Center Cockpit.

The admiral and I looked at the Catalina Morgan and she feel in love because it was pretty on the inside and had a queen bed in the aft cabin. I will admit it was well maintained and would be a nice boat for someone.

Here's my issue: roller furling mainsail. I immediately took the boat off the list for that one reason. Am I being too critical of a roller furling main? I would appreciate your thoughts on the roller furling main or the Catalina Morgan 38.

We will be sailing in the Pamlico Sound but I plan to make a passage from Ocracoke to Bermuda next spring after learning the characteristics and gaining enough experience on whatever boat I end up purchasing.

Your thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 04-06-2010, 13:09   #2
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Originally Posted by bilgedawg View Post
Here's my issue: roller furling mainsail. I immediately took the boat off the list for that one reason. Am I being too critical of a roller furling main?


Our next boat will definitely absolutely positively categorically incontrovertibly indisputably unquestionably have an in mast furling main.

You can do what you like but I will 100% bet you any money in the world I will use mine more than your slabbed reefed main.
Cruising is different from racing. Its about easy of use and ease of reefing. Its easy to pop out without a thought or a worry.
When we are doing watches Nicolle can reef the Genoa by herself, but she will call me up to help with the main ---> I lose sleep. If we had a furling main we could both handle the boat 100% by ourselves without waking the other person.
Also we just bought a new mainsail because the other had UV damage. A furling main is out of the sun.
You also save with no reefing lines, no blocks on the sails, 2 less SpinLocks, no battens and no halyard adjustments.
Rethink the opposition to in mast furling (obviously you are or this thread wouldnt be here!) and see if you could use a system that allows you to balance both sail infinitesimally in virtually any wind speed.
If you do decide on a regular rig put blocks on the reefing cringles. It reduces the friction heaps



Mark



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Old 04-06-2010, 13:37   #3
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Bilgedawg:

I am assuming you are meaning in-mast reefing vs boom reefing the main.

I think you have to carefully weight your risks and assumptions. It can work both ways. I never had in-mast reefing, but have two friend who did/do.

The primary negatives with a reefing in mast main according to testing, modeling, and some real world experience is 1) complexity as you know 2) the weigh and windage of the sail in the mast and the larger mast during heavy weather. 3) the sail may not be the correct stretch and weight for large winds in a reef (some sailors use heavier cloth in top of sail for reefing that third reef to buy time so they don't have to go to tri). This is more a convenience 4) you may need to draw extra electrical power to reef via a motor.

The pluses are 1) you don't have to go forward to reef - playing with hooks and ties etc 2) you have full control over the sail area during reefing and during balance 3) less complexity (paradox: less blocks and lines for reefing etc) 4) less crew.

There are probably a few others.

In your situation and for where you want to go, I would absolutely consider in-mast reefing without question...and I speak as someone who gravitates to traditional design and KISS solutions, and shy's away from new technology in my sailing. I don't believe you are going to get any real long term conditions where you will have problems, and if you did have a problem you could handle it easily. I have experience in the waters you are sailing.

Out of your list, I would augment your focus a bit:

Tartan 3500, 3700, 41, 4100, 4600
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Old 04-06-2010, 13:41   #4
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Well, it's a really good question. It's a hard question, because the wrong choice might spoil the boat for you. It's not a question of being "picky". It's a question of how you want to sail.

Right up until the present car (but that's a whole other story), an automatic transmission was an absolute and total deal breaker for me. The perfect car, but auto transmission? Reject.

For many people, in mast furling is the same.

My boat has in-mast furling. Where I sail (south coast UK), a cruising boat over 45 feet without in-mast furling just doesn't exist. So I literally had no choice.

And I like it. It's not such a no-brainer as roller furling headsails (you really have to be an idiot poseur to go for hank-on headsails, IMHO), by no means. It entails a significant sacrifice of performance. But it is really extremely convenient, sailing short-handed, and allows you to always have the right amount of sail up -- it's instantly and infinitely variable. At the expense of performance. So I'm right on the fence, but I won't go to a battened main when I change sails next year.
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Old 04-06-2010, 13:54   #5
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I can only comment on the Morgan 382. Itís a great boat! Having only been on one for our sea trial, we left port in a gale and sailed for three days. We made the days short and put into well protected anchorages for the night. The boat MUST be bristle and the crew well prepared for the conditions at hand. There arenít many boats I would sail out of port in a gale, but the 382 is up to it if you are. Also this was in SoCal that had good protection.
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Old 04-06-2010, 13:56   #6
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It's not such a no-brainer as roller furling headsails (you really have to be an idiot poseur to go for hank-on headsails, IMHO), by no means.
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. Of course, its a far different story with a boat that is 40 feet long and you have to walk out on a 20 ft bowsprit, I guess.

As for in-mast reefing, I came into this thinking "never on my boat", but now I would consider it depending on where I was going and what I wanted to do. There are issues with efficiency and wear and design for both roller headsails and roller mains, but remember it's only one system of many. And everything that can help should be considered with the tradeoffs.
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Old 04-06-2010, 13:56   #7
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Originally Posted by bilgedawg View Post
Ok, I narrowed my list down to a few makes and models: Tartan 37 & 42, C&C 39 and 43, Morgan 382-4, and a Catalina Morgan 38 Center Cockpit.
Yikes. A C&C 39 and a C. Morgan 38 will rarely stand side-by-side on anyone's list. Those boats are not even related!

The fact that you're vacillating between such divergent boats suggests that you haven't yet arrived at a consensus regarding what you're looking for in a boat. I don't point this out as a criticism because I can clearly remember being in the same place when we bought our first liveaboard boat. As an ex-racer, I was attracted to performance designs while my wife, as a future liveaboard who had nothing to do with racing, was primarily interested interior accommodations.

Honestly, it sounds like the issue at this point goes beyond a roller-furling mainsail. If your wife's taste runs to center-cockpit designs, and your taste runs to whatever it is you're seeing in the Tartans, then it seems that with a bit more looking around you should be able to find something that tickles everyone's fancy.
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Old 04-06-2010, 13:58   #8
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Rearsteer: Thanks for your comments on the 382. I'm also considering one for my next boat.
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Old 04-06-2010, 14:06   #9
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Bash. I dont see the real differences here if you consider they are hopscotching on east coast. I think boat these boats are fine. Curious. What is it you are seeing exactly?

Also, perhaps the reason they are under consideration is outside of the design - costs, local availability etc.

Remember also they are close to the Chesapeake
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Old 04-06-2010, 14:16   #10
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The biggest problem with in mast reefing is the problem of what to do if it jams or the mechanism fails.
With in boom furling or conventional slab reefing you do not have to worry about a totally unusable main or one that cannot be lowered.
Personally I would not consider a yacht with in mast reefing as a good option for long distance cruising.
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Old 04-06-2010, 14:42   #11
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I think you should also google for posts here or use the search function above. There are a number of discussions on this site regarding the subject and pro/cons. There are also issues around the size of the boat and particular specification % whether its good or not.

EXAMPLES:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-r...y-not-buy.html

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-m...r-furling.html

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-r...azy-jacks.html
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Old 04-06-2010, 15:08   #12
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Bash. I dont see the real differences here if you consider they are hopscotching on east coast. I think boat these boats are fine. Curious. What is it you are seeing exactly?

Also, perhaps the reason they are under consideration is outside of the design - costs, local availability etc.

Remember also they are close to the Chesapeake
Yes, all these boats are fine. But you've got everything there from a racer/cruiser to a dockominium, and it seems to me that the boats on your short list cover a fairly broad range. A good way to explore this would be to compare the sail area/displacement ratios of the various boats. They are quite divergent.

I would not tend to be as concerned about local availability as I would be about finding the perfect boat for my circumstances. Getting a boat from point A to point B is a fairly easy matter on the eastern seaboard, whether you do the delivery yourself or have a professional assist.

But that's a concern for down the road. First, you might find it helpful to ask some basic questions, beginning with whether you want an aft cabin or aft cockpit.
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Old 04-06-2010, 15:09   #13
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What great replies! This is why I love this site. Thanks everyone.

The Catalina Morgan was never on my original list. It was in a marina where we were looking at another candidate boat so we thought, we are here, may as well have a look.

I made the mistake of letting the admiral look at it after looking at a Morgan 382 which was in a horrible condition and needed way too much work to resuscitate.. She is equally in love with a Beneteau 41s5.

I've created a detailed spreadsheet where I can put the considers side by side and compare options. I'm trying to calculate the "real" purchase cost based on what I would have to repair / add to each boat. It should help take some of the emotion out of the decision.

And I thought buying a boat was going to be easy in this market!

Thanks again for all the comments.
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Old 04-06-2010, 16:40   #14
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Roller Main

I just got back from another trip to the BVIs a couple days ago- the roller main on the charter boat completely ruined the sailing in my opinion. From day one I must have said "I will absolutely never charter another boat with a rolling main" about a thousand times a day. I'm sure like all things, not all systems are equal. I have sailed several rolling mains that were OK- there are probably great ones out there too, but the system we had on this last boat was horrible. We never had the sail furl easily. Not once. Of course, the worse it furls, the more difficult it becomes to unfurl. I hate those damn vicious cycles...

We ended up motor-sailing a lot of the time under the jib alone (I hate doing that by the way). The last day I told my wife "I don't care how much trouble the main gives us, we're getting some good sailing in today." We promptly sailed for the next hour trying to figure out how to un-jam the half-unfurled main. It wouldn't unfurl, it wouldn't furl, and of course dropping it was out of the question. I finally got it out after quite a bit of time and an impressive amount of swearing. It made me even more thankful to not have it on our boat- I know my wife can uncleat the main halyard if need be, but she would not have been able to get the stuck rolling main fixed.

The moral of my story? If you're buying a used boat with a roller furling main, try furling and unfurling the sail SEVERAL times during your sea trial. It working once does not mean it will work every time.

Jeff
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Old 04-06-2010, 17:16   #15
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bilgedawg,

I wouldn't reject a boat based on a single feature like a RF main. If everything else fits your reqs you can change it, all it takes is $$$$

Also think that Bash is going in the right direction. You have an incredible range of boats here along a continuum. The C&Cs are racer-cruisers (unless your looking at a Landfall C&C), the Tartans are cruiser-racers and the Morgan/Catalina-Morgans are cruisers. In the weighing of these types, you also want to consider where the majority of your sailing is going to take place, and what type of sailing you want to do.

In the Carolinas, you will have plenty of light-wind days in the heart of the summer. Will you be the type that wants to sail in the light zephyrs of those days, or will you be dropping/rolling up the sails and using the iron genny to find a cool anchorage/marina? Will you be hanging on the boat when you get to your destination or just using it as a base to explore before heading to the spa or super nice B&B? How do the boats stack up to those expectations?

Last but probably the most important, how do you and your wife differ on what's required for the boat?

Fair Winds,
Mike
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