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Old 05-02-2011, 01:23   #46
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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
The weekend sailor who's wife doesnt really want to get involved. So the boat makes a nice balance of "he gets his toy-She gets a comfy place to entertain her guests while hubby drives." Perhaps thats over-simplifying it and I may offend some jeanneau fans- cant be helped.

I am not insulting the boats or the owners. Thats not my intention. Just pidgeon holing the design


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So would I be right in assuming you do not own a Benne/Jeann/Bavaria. As for insulting the owners well those cruising the world in those brands and reading your post will probably laugh and have another beer.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:42   #47
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So would I be right in assuming you do not own a Benne/Jeann/Bavaria. As for insulting the owners well those cruising the world in those brands and reading your post will probably laugh and have another beer.
absolutely, except its been blowing F7 in the Solent (England) for the past 36 hours so it will have to be coffee, but Meyermm's comment about hubby and wifey is true enough in our case.

Going back to Nicks post, yes it is all about ease of use and all from the cockpit always, not the slider has jammed and I need to go to the mast however, I agree with his comment it probably suits those who have it.

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The thread is pretty effective in convincing that this is not an issue. I should go to a racing forum and create a thread "Why would anyone want anything other than in-mast furling main in this day and age?" to get a healthy dose of the other side.

Am I right to observe that other than taller rigs, boats with in-mast furling main also tend to carry bigger genoas as standard?
Our inmast is the same height as the identical Moody yacht next door with slab reefing, the only difference is we have twin spreaders. The larger genoas (135%) is probably more to do with design of the yacht in the 1980s when large foresails were popular with masthead rigs.

The one thing I would be wary of is a yacht with after-market reefing fitted, but I don't think this is the case with the Jeanneau 45.

Still convinced the thing to do is to go out and try it.

Pete
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:08   #48
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I've always seen this as analogous to manual and automatic gearboxes in cars. Sure, you can eek more performance out of a car with a manual (stick-shift) gearbox - but the entire point of driving a car isn't to change gears!

It's a personal preference driven by need. As always being short-handed, I need a method of reefing which means that my wife or myself doesn't need to leave the relative safety of the cockpit during a blow to reef. If we had a non-furling main then the probability of one of use dangling over the Lee-rail by our strops due to a misplace footing is higher.
Such an event would surely lead to me sailing solo in future runs: and sailing solo leads to one developing calloused hands!

Does this make me a dim-witted automatic gearbox jockey? I don't care if it does as long as the setup allows us both to sail short-handed without the fear of flapping from a flogging reef like Harold Lloyd! Others will enjoy a standard main more : and if they're happy with it, good for them!
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:18   #49
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Think about it: she's 5'3" tall, shops for dresses in the petite section, is in her mid-50s, and doesn't need anyone's help to shorten sail on a 46' sloop. _______
Hey Bash, I have currenty a nice car and two labradors, how about a swop.

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Old 05-02-2011, 08:38   #50
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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
The weekend sailor who's wife doesnt really want to get involved. So the boat makes a nice balance of "he gets his toy-She gets a comfy place to entertain her guests while hubby drives." Perhaps thats over-simplifying it and I may offend some jeanneau fans- cant be helped.

I am not insulting the boats or the owners. Thats not my intention. Just pidgeon holing the design


Cheers
Oz
That's quite a pigeon hole. I almost bought an Oyster which had been owned by the guy who owns Britain's current America's Cup team. He had sailed her hard back and forth across the Atlantic a couple of times (which was why I ended up not buying the boat; she had tens of thousands of miles of hard sailing on her and too many worn-out elements).

That boat had a furling mainsail, like 99% of all Oysters. And the bigger Oyster he bought to replace her also had a furling mainsail.

Definitely not your weekend day sailor with a lazy wife. I'm not sure your "pigeon hole" bears much relationship to reality.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:48   #51
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I'm not sure your "pigeon hole" bears much relationship to reality.
Boat bashing seldom does.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:48   #52
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I've had ever reefing system imaginable - right back to the roller boom where the sail wrapped around the outside of the boom. 20+ years with slab. Then 2 boats with in-mast. Now with furling boom.

I like the furling boom best but that's not one of your options.

By a large margin I preferred inmast furling over slab reefing. A couple of observations.

Most of the people against in-mast furling have never owned one. It's very hard to find a cruising sailor who has owned in-mast furling who would consider anything else in a boat over 42ft or so. Consider that point carefully.

The jamming worries are way overblown. Yes - there were some early masts that didn't have a good slot design. But that was a long time ago. The Selden masts on the Jeaneaus have been refined based on 10's of thousands of boats. I never have had a the main jamb.

Vertical battens do allow more roach and firm up the leach. I had a new sail made with 6ft vertical battens that seem to work just as well as the full length but are easier to handle when the sail is off the boat for some reason.

Most cruisers have terrible mainsails. They were either indifferently built to start or long since stretched such that the draft has moved aft. A modern radial cut mainsail built from a cloth that is less stretchy than a pair of blue jeans will far exceed the difference represented by the lost roach of furling main. If you're interested in performance, budget for a new performance mainsail when you buy a boat.

It is a huge safety advantage to not have to leave the cockpit. I have never seen a slab system that did not require occasional trips out of the cockpit because something had hung up or to secure some flapping piece of a sail.

With the furling mast, it is so easy to put in or shake out a reef that you will have a much faster boat. I will reef my main a few inches at times just to balance the helm and reduce rudder drag. Unlike the roller genoa, there's no penalty in shape for a reefed main, no sheet blocks to move, and no flogging sail during the reef to bother your wife's nap. And while Jeaneaus are not my favorite boat, they are much faster sailed on their feet. You will need to reef this boat frequently to get the best boat speed - if you care.

Carl
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:16   #53
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I should mention an exception. If your mainsail looks like Jedi's with all that lovely full battened roach lined up with the boom then slab has a far better argument.

But that's sure not what I see on most cruising boats where the draft is right in the middle of the boom and the leech is cupped to windward like a hammock.

Carl
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:50   #54
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These are good points regarding the cut of the main, if somewhat negative in that the preposition is that "cruiser mains are generally such crap that you might as well roll them up in the mast".

My point of view comes from owning a steel pilothouse cutter, 41' LOA.

Technically, this boat, with only a 45 foot deck-stepped mast, is a "motor-sailer". Experience has shown that in terms of steel, at 29,500 lbs. weight in slings, it's a "sailer-motor" in that it's good to plow around in moderate air at six knots when properly sailed with decently cut sails. My wife is just a shave over five feet, although quite strong for her size and also about 20-25 years younger than the average passagemaker. This is the biggest boat she could handle without getting into electric winches and yes, maybe in mast furling.

It is easier in my mind to have a heavy boat with a well-cut, beefy enough main that you can sail efficiently than to have an in-mast furler. If we didn't have a rapidly growing son coming with us, I might say differently. If we were 60, same thing. But our boat is small enough (ironically, given its bulk) and is ridiculously strong enough (11 5/16" stays) so that we can sail the full main at higher wind speeds than the typical lighter cruiser. We need that level of performance, which is also why I'm installing a feathering prop. A half-knot "boost" on a 1,000 NM passage saves days, water, and fuel.

So we've opted for a really well-cut, custom-featured main on our Selden mast. Probably slab reefed. Our boat has 32 inch tall 1 1/4" inch pipe rails in place of lifelines and a pilothouse with handholds. It's physically more difficult to fall off that a lot of modern cruisers, and working at the mast is not dangerous, but about the safest place on the boat.

Same with the staysail and same with the foresail (the existing Yankee jib and the to-come fuller cut genoa for light air). All are designed to move the boat to its greatest ability. Sail reduction? Sure, past 25 knots!

So we have to be careful here in arguing apples and oranges. An older couple on a 45 footer tend to be about safety, gear preservation and convenience. If the boat goes fast, that's a bonus. We are about reducing the amount of time spent motoring, stowage, safety and simplicity. Convenient to me means not having to spend the trip either fixing stuff or paying others to do so, and to be independent of the shore, i.e. anchor out 95% of the time, in order to extend the cruise. Convenient to me in terms of main reefing means stuff I can fix with a Sailrite, spare dacron and a sailor's palm.

Even on the steel boat, where I am lowering water tanks to make her stiffer, I don't like weight aloft. Slab reefing is better to this end...for us. But then we fall beneath that "sweet spot", seemingly, of 45 feet where couples seem to want in-mast and electric winches.

The two boats I've worked in-mast on were a Bristol 45.5 and a Catalina 470. Neither had what I would call great main drive, but were indeed very quick to reduce in the heavy weather I encountered on both.
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:41   #55
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In-mast furling isn't the only way to skin the furling-main cat. I have in-boom furling on my Island Packet 35, and yes, it is fully battened. Downside is that it can only be raised/lowered when pointed directly into the wind (with the boom at a precise angle), and it takes longer to raise than a traditional main (due to the line drive). Sometimes that gets difficult offshore. Upside is that if it ever jammed, I could still haul it down the same way a traditional main can be hauled down. Just release the halyard and pull on the sail. Another upside is the ability to custom-reef the sail. I like this a lot. All in all, I would prefer a traditional, fully battened main with a lazy jack system, but the furling boom was on my boat when I bought it.
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Old 05-02-2011, 14:05   #56
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I have a 66 ft luff on a 700 sq ft main and I have regular slab reefing...3-4 mins to get the main up and 2 min or less to pop in a reef and nothing to jam.

Last trip I put the main up in Grand Cayman and took it down 350 miles and 3 days later in Cancun never once having trimmed the sails.

Previous trip I put the main up in the San Blas in Panama, reefed once about halfway because of a squall line, shook out the reef a day later and after 600 miles and 6 days I dropped the sail in Grand Cayman.

Not sure what the advantage of a roller reefing would have been.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:01   #57
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Boat bashing seldom does.

Sigh, who was boat bashing exactly?

Maybe I should have said Nascar sucks, vote for Hillary and guns should be banned. Sheesh!

Oz
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:00   #58
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As someone who is learning about roller reefs, this thread has been very educational. Especially when looking at older boats that were retrofitted with roller-reef mains.

The comment was made more than once about how the newer roller reefs are more reliable. For those of us looking at older boats, is there a year/make/design feature that will help identify the more reliable versions?

Thanks

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Old 06-02-2011, 05:23   #59
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.... Especially when looking at older boats that were retrofitted with roller-reef mains.

The comment was made more than once about how the newer roller reefs are more reliable.
Hi Snore,

Your question needs a little tweaking. Rather than calling it roller reefing, you might want to clairify your guestion by refering to which system your asking about as either "in mast furling" or "furling boom". These are of course in regards to mainsail handling systems.

Most older boat retrofits are probably refering to furling booms. A much easier refit than changing a mast.

Even some early roller furling headsail systems had some issues. In truth, they can all have issues if not correctly handled of course.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:38   #60
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To fully clarify there are three main sail reeding systems I have seen- in mast, boom and aft of mast. The last looks like a roller reef for a jib that is mounted to the aft side of the mast.

The rolling boom and the aft of mast do not appear (to the uninformed) to be as robust as an in the mast system installed by the manufacturer. But then again, I am still learning.

Thanks
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