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Old 03-02-2011, 22:03   #1
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Am I Right to Hate the Idea of a Furling Main: Jeanneau 45DS

Hi, learned to sail on Hobie Cats and always felt that non-battened mains were for limp cruisers who motor most of the time anyway...

fast forward a decade or two, and I am getting to be that limp cruiser myself... Jeanneau 45 DS hits all the check boxes for me except, yep, the fact that all, and I mean ALL, Jeanneaus on the used market have the cursed in mast main...

My hatred is at some subcionscious level, so let me instead list the logic in favor of it:
- easier to set
- maybe easier to reef (have no experience with it, but heard of jamming)
- the hull speed is 8kt anyway, when cruising you don't care about acceleration, you will reach the hull speed with any main and stay there -- TRUE or FALSE please? I genuinely don't know.
- I suspect you wouldn't reach hull speed in some light winds with the furling main while you would with the battened kind, can anyone estimate of what the difference between those wind speeds is? eg you get to 8kt in 10kt true with the furling and in 8kt true battened when reaching? Pretty light winds where I live...
- when cruising you spend 90% of the time at anchor anyway, so what difference does it make, really?

I guess I am looking for ways to convince myself that Jeanneau is the right boat. Please help.
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Old 03-02-2011, 22:16   #2
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Are you kidding around? Seriously, if you really want to cruise get a boat with a really big engine and an ice maker. Furling mains jam
alot, especially since the main stays in the mast year round in most circumstances. Which in my opinion is just asking for trouble. How can you clean and McLube anything. If you can afford a Jeanneau then upgrade to a taller rig and get a better sail track installed so it's easy to hoist. Lazy Jacks aren't really easier when it's time to flake the sail, and besides when you get older you need to keep moving, not get lazy... :-)
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Old 03-02-2011, 22:20   #3
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If everything is right for you, why not have a new main made with reef points in it and not use the in mast furler?
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Old 03-02-2011, 22:22   #4
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If everything is right for you, why not have a new main made with reef points in it and not use the in mast furler?
I am guessing this would require a new mast... $$$$
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Old 03-02-2011, 22:43   #5
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No it wouldnt, You would use the track on the existing furler to raise and lower the main.
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Old 03-02-2011, 22:47   #6
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Originally Posted by earthbm View Post

My hatred is at some subcionscious level, so let me instead list the logic in favor of it:................

I guess I am looking for ways to convince myself that Jeanneau is the right boat. Please help.
Not sure what you mean by "hatred at subcionscious level". Seems to imply that you don't really know what the cons are, but you just don't like them.

It's Ok it list pros and cons. It's a big purchase/decision and you're entitled to be happy with it. If you really wanted red model T back when they only came in black, what would you do? You have options.

I don't want an in mast furler. One of my dockmates in his big new beautiful boat that came in with a jamed furler in high windy conditions that lasted all night was enough for me. That and the idea of loosing 30% of your sail area are pretty unattractive.

However, some people are happy as monkeys in the monkey tree with them.

If you love everything but.... I'd keep an eye out for someone looking for an in mast furler and get some cash out of it to go towards the rig you want. That's one option.

Use your distain for the rig as a negotiating point. Worth a try if the seller is motivated.
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Old 03-02-2011, 22:54   #7
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No it wouldnt, You would use the track on the existing furler to raise and lower the main.
Cheers
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Way good idea. Have you seen that done?
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Old 03-02-2011, 23:30   #8
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Originally Posted by earthbm View Post
Hi, learned to sail on Hobie Cats and always felt that non-battened mains were for limp cruisers who motor most of the time anyway...

fast forward a decade or two, and I am getting to be that limp cruiser myself... Jeanneau 45 DS hits all the check boxes for me except, yep, the fact that all, and I mean ALL, Jeanneaus on the used market have the cursed in mast main...

My hatred is at some subcionscious level, so let me instead list the logic in favor of it:
- easier to set
- maybe easier to reef (have no experience with it, but heard of jamming)
- the hull speed is 8kt anyway, when cruising you don't care about acceleration, you will reach the hull speed with any main and stay there -- TRUE or FALSE please? I genuinely don't know.
- I suspect you wouldn't reach hull speed in some light winds with the furling main while you would with the battened kind, can anyone estimate of what the difference between those wind speeds is? eg you get to 8kt in 10kt true with the furling and in 8kt true battened when reaching? Pretty light winds where I live...
- when cruising you spend 90% of the time at anchor anyway, so what difference does it make, really?

I guess I am looking for ways to convince myself that Jeanneau is the right boat. Please help.

Jeanneaus appear to be made not for yachtsmen but for yachtsmens non sailing wife. Its like they designed the boat to be soooo simple that she cant break a nail or work up a sweat. Eg in mast furling ( a concept that frightens me)

There are so many other boats on the market that are more sport oriented than Jennys. Dont get me wrong, jennys serve a place in the market. But if you dont like the rig look for something else.

OK back to the rig. Imagine youre out on PF Bay and 40 knots comes in. You furling main jams. Now what?

Now imagine the same scenario with a normal main. Easy, uncleat the halyard and let gravity sort it out. (of course your lazy jacks will help too). But so far you havent even put your beer down. ( I realise I am preaching to the converted- just re-enforcing your thoughts)

Theoretical Hull speed isnt really worth considering. Thats for displacement boats. Planing hulls, like most modern yachts will zoom past their theoreticl hull speed. But in general its just like the Hobie, little wind = slow boat, lots of wind = fast boats. So you wont always be at 8knots.

The speed difference between the two sail types will be almost unnoticable to you. A fully battened main allows for more roach of course which will add speed, also healing moment. But that speed may only be half a knot. Which would be important on a race course, but not to you trying to have a beer and a jatz
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:36   #9
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Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
No it wouldnt, You would use the track on the existing furler to raise and lower the main.
Cheers
Oz
It would be fine if you don't mind raising and lowering your mainsail every time by threaing the luff through a narrow slot buried within the mast, rather than using external ball-bearing cars like regular mainsails have.

In-mast furling mains are designed to be raised and lowered once a year and will be no good for this kind of use. If you wanted to use a regular battened mainsail, you would need to replace the mast or do a complicated modification to the existing mast to close the slot and put on a track.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthbm View Post
Hi, learned to sail on Hobie Cats and always felt that non-battened mains were for limp cruisers who motor most of the time anyway...

fast forward a decade or two, and I am getting to be that limp cruiser myself... Jeanneau 45 DS hits all the check boxes for me except, yep, the fact that all, and I mean ALL, Jeanneaus on the used market have the cursed in mast main...

My hatred is at some subcionscious level, so let me instead list the logic in favor of it:
- easier to set
- maybe easier to reef (have no experience with it, but heard of jamming)
- the hull speed is 8kt anyway, when cruising you don't care about acceleration, you will reach the hull speed with any main and stay there -- TRUE or FALSE please? I genuinely don't know.
- I suspect you wouldn't reach hull speed in some light winds with the furling main while you would with the battened kind, can anyone estimate of what the difference between those wind speeds is? eg you get to 8kt in 10kt true with the furling and in 8kt true battened when reaching? Pretty light winds where I live...
- when cruising you spend 90% of the time at anchor anyway, so what difference does it make, really?

I guess I am looking for ways to convince myself that Jeanneau is the right boat. Please help.
This has been discussed about a million times on here, and I doubt that you will get all of the responses repeated, so I strongly suggest you search the archives. There is more information in the archives on furling mains versus battened mains than you will ever want to know.

The very, very short answer is that most people with furling mains like them. In the UK, where I sail, large cruising boats almost don't exist without furling mains. Furling mains have certain advantages and certain disadvantages.

I recently switched to a furling main -- involuntarily, because the kind of boat I wanted just didn't exist with a battened main. I can't say that I'm wild with joy about it, but in general it doesn't s*ck. A boat designed for it will have a taller rig and so won't have much, if any performance loss. You can reef it without luffing up, and you can reef in infinite gradations -- those are good things. When not in use, the sail is wonderfully protected rolled up inside the mast, and stays clean and nice and wrinkle-free -- another really good thing. Indeed probably the biggest advantage is not having to flake and cover the sail after a day's sailing, a tedious job especially on a bigger boat.

Biggest downside for me is that it is harder to trim well. Without battens it is harder to get a good shape, and because the luff of the sail is in a slot along its whole length, there is a lot of friction and you can't really tune the luff tension with the halyard.

If I could wave a magic wand and switch my boat to a fully battened conventional main at zero cost and trouble, I'm not sure I would do it. I might. Or maybe not. But I definitely would not spend money to do it.

Have a rummage in the archives and you'll find everything you will ever want to know.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:57   #11
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It would be fine if you don't mind raising and lowering your mainsail every time by threaing the luff through a narrow slot buried within the mast, rather than using external ball-bearing cars like regular mainsails have.

In-mast furling mains are designed to be raised and lowered once a year and will be no good for this kind of use. If you wanted to use a regular battened mainsail, you would need to replace the mast or do a complicated modification to the existing mast to close the slot and put on a track.
That's what I'm thinking as well...it may be an interesting exercise looking at just what it would take for that mast to carry a track.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:45   #12
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That's what I'm thinking as well...it may be an interesting exercise looking at just what it would take for that mast to carry a track.
From what I'm reading, it sounds like you're talking about the boltrope being threaded in to the slot, then for a track, you're obviously talking about sliders.

Not wanting to redesign the wheel here, but couldn't properly made sliders just got into the slot? No "threading" involved.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:48   #13
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That's what I'm thinking as well...it may be an interesting exercise looking at just what it would take for that mast to carry a track.
I seem to remember reading about this conversion. I memory serves, it was so expensive that a new mast wasn't much more expensive.

But if the rig was designed for in-mast furling, I think it won't do to just change the sail. In-mast furling rigs -- if they are designed for the purpose -- are taller, to make up for the loss of sail area from the hollow leech. They can afford to be taller, because without any roach, you've got less heeling moment -- a smaller proportion of the sail is at the top of the rig because of the shape of mainsail without any roach. The taller rig has a good effect on aspect ratio, for the headsail, too, as a bonus. This will partially make up for the fact that a sail without a roach will be less efficient.

So if you just bang up a regular roachy battened main on a rig designed for a furling main, you may well find that the boat becomes awfully tender. Maybe create weather helm as well.

I wouldn't tinker with it, personally.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:51   #14
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From what I'm reading, it sounds like you're talking about the boltrope being threaded in to the slot, then for a track, you're obviously talking about sliders.

Not wanting to redesign the wheel here, but couldn't properly made sliders just got into the slot? No "threading" involved.
Yes, exactly -- furling mains just have a boltrope sewn into the luff of the sail.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:01   #15
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If everything is right for you, why not have a new main made with reef points in it and not use the in mast furler?
i think this is a pretty good advise.
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