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Old 09-11-2005, 08:04   #31
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Hi Vasco,

I am not trying to attach a purjurative sense to either side of the safety vs convenience ledger but I do not see the safety arguement as specious. In talking to delivery skippers who have spent time with these systems offshore, there seems to be a common agreement about the overall reliability of these systems in extreme conditions. While I generally am not a fan of using anecdotal evidence to develop a general view, what struck me about my conversations was that each of the delivery skippers had a story of experiencing a system that jambed in extreme going, and in at least one case the jamb was so life threatening that the the sail jambed half in and half out was literally cut off the mast to save the boat. That particular skipper had decided to refuse any further offshore deliveries of boats with in-mast furling systems. As Jack points out, it is not unusual to see or hear of jambed inmast systems and even in a sailing environment as benign as the Chesapeake I have personally witnessed boats trying to sort out jambed systems. To me this is anything but a specious issue of safety and reliability.

I grant you that depending on the specifics of the case in point, windage and weight aloft, may or may not make a boat more or less safe, but it will affect detrimentally affect heel angles and motion comfort.

With regards to Jack's comments regarding running the reef control lines back to the cockpit vs keeping them at the mast, I think that the appropriate answer depends on the specifics of the case. It is pretty easy to make a case for keeping the reeflines and halyards at the mast on larger boats and boats with multiple crewmembers. In those applications keeping the control lines at the mast reduces friction, often means a better working position and reduces clutter in the cockpit. On a smaller boat or a boat that is frequently single-handed, keeping the control lines in the cockpit allows for quicker and safer operations. In either case I am a strong proponent of two line reefing over single line reefing or over using a tack horn fitting. I especially feel that trying to wrestle a cringle or 'D' ring over a tack horn fitting is a partically dangerous operation placing fingers and sail cloth at risk of damage.



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Old 04-12-2005, 08:07   #32

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What are the differences in stepping & rigging a mast with furling vs. one without? Specifically, dropping and carrying the mast to run up the Erie Canal?

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Old 04-12-2005, 09:37   #33
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I'm no expert on infurl masts, but I would suspect that as long as the sail is rolled in real good you could drop it just like any other mast/boom assembly.

One just has to make sure that all the guides and leads are not damaged during tear down and assembly and that everything gets reassembled properly.

It will weigh a lot more then a conventional mast so the rigger will have to be aware of that.

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Old 04-12-2005, 10:17   #34
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I can't add anything to the technical pro and cons of in-mast main furling, but I can tell you that it was a wonderful feature on a Jeanneua Sun Odyssey 45 that we chartered this past June.

We experienced a couple of "mini-jams" that were easily dealt with before we gained the confidence and procedures for it to work smoothly and consistently. Heading into the wind to furl was a must, as was maintaining a steady pressure and pace while furling.

As someone else mentioned, because of the ease of use and convenience, we "raised" the main for some short jaunts that we probably otherwise would not.

We also liked the "infinite" number of potential reef positions.

It may be a different story for ownership and long term offshore sailing, but for short term chartering I vote for in mast mainsail furling.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:27   #35
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my 10 cents worth. In mast furling i would not touch becouse at anchor they howl, boom furling I would consider if the boat was already fitted with one
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:49   #36
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Originally Posted by xort View Post
What are the differences in stepping & rigging a mast with furling vs. one without? Specifically, dropping and carrying the mast to run up the Erie Canal?

If you were lowering the mast ,you would unfurl the sail and lower it off the furler and fold it, just as you would a furling headsail.

I've used an in-mast furler on a chartered boat once, and it worked fine, but for my own boat I would have either in-boom furling, or a conventional slab-reefed main. The possibility that the furler could jam on an in-mast system and leave you with a full or nearly full main, and no way of lowering or reducing it is something I would rather avoid.

With an in-boom furler you could still drop the main, even if the furler jammed.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:17   #37
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Cruising the Canadian west coast Inside passage ,the Straits of Georgia and the Gulf Islands I find the wind can be very fickle, so one can change from sailing to motoring several times a day. I have both Genoa and behind the mast main furling/reefing system. I am getting on in years and getting lazier which is why I enjoy deploying sails or furling them with a furling main as wind conditions change. I couldn't do this otherwise. My wife is great company and a great cook but not much on the sail handling aspect of sailing. We are normally just the two of us.
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Old 04-10-2007, 14:55   #38
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I've been very leary of in mast mainsail reefing. I can see it's advantages but the probability of it jamming when it really counts makes it a no go.

I recently ran all my reefing lines back to the cockpit on my P35. Used to think reefing had to be at the mast but sailed on a boat with all lines run back and it really opened my eyes. I've gone with a two line reefing system on an internal reefing boom. The tack reefing lines and halyard go to the starboard side, the clew reefing lines and outhaul to the port. Both sides have rope clutches for each line and Anderson 12 self tailing winches. I can now reef in about a minute.

On one recent sail with winds from the mid 20's to under 10mph and changing in a matter of a few hundred yards, reefed and unreefed 5 different times in a couple of hours. It was so easy that I'd put in or shake out a reef with the slightest indication that it was needed. When I had to go to the mast, reefs either got tucked in too early or too late or stayed reefed too long. Now, if it feels good, I do it. Sail efficiency has gone way up.

Peter O.
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Old 04-10-2007, 15:07   #39
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We have a ReefRite boom furler, very nicely engineered, the more I use it the more I like it, pulls the centre of the sail in first when reefing so keeps sail fairly flat.
I can reef sail when running as long as I watch boom angle and be careful as battens roll in, would reccomend, after having lived next to Yacht with in mast furling that howled every time the wind picked up would not consider
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:00   #40
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I will not have another Main Sail without full battens and lazy jacks. They just work too well.

A while ago I was delivering a boat to the BVI that had one of the first Hood Hyd. Main and Headsail. The headsail worked flawless but the main jammed way too high. Had to crawl out past the spreaders (Yes, we were on our ear big time ) with a hammer and prybar to get it loose. 45 ft boat 40+ knots of air. Major pain in the butt. (Same storm that sank "Trashman" and a few others in 82")

I have worked with lots of different furling systems since then and still feel like you are asking for issues.

I think the sail makers have improved designs dramaticly for in stick furlers but I like the performance of a fully battend main and do not want a deck sweeper of a boom just to accomodate a furling system. The howling would wake the Dead. It was so bad that I think it was Hood that came up with a filler for tha slot that you could raise with you spare halyard.

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Old 05-10-2007, 16:49   #41
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lack of knowledge

The main difficulty with furling mains is the lack of knowledge on the part of the users. Those who understand the proper tension and angles for reefing will rarely have a problem with a roller furling main. If the main halyard tension is too loose, the sail will jamb. If the halyard tension is too tight, the sail will be difficult to reef. Proper tension is as important as having the boom at a right angle to the mast when furling the sail.
It is rarely the fault of the equipment, but mostly the lack of knowledge of the operator.
I love my roller furling main and would not trade for any conventional sail with slab reefing. Those days are over.

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Old 27-11-2007, 20:18   #42
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High Cotton has a SELDEN in-mast furling system......... I absolutely love it, especially with my HARKEN electric winch. If for no other reason than convenience there is a "safety" factor that leaves me with a warm cozy feeling....... and no, I've never got it snagged or had any problem furling or un-furling....... and boy, does it make her look "clean".
But I always dreaded putting the cover on a sail before coming into port, that always interfered with mixing my "docking" refreshments.
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Old 27-11-2007, 23:47   #43
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I had a Seldon in-mast furler and I loved it. It seems to me that those who have modern versions of these like them a lot and those that don't - like what they have. I'm not sure what's to be learned from folks that don't own something when they say they don't like it. Seems like maybe they are just re-justifying their previous decisions. No disrespect intended, just an observation.

On another note, some have suggested that you have to fall off or change course to furl. I furled in all conditions up to force 9 gales in all points of tack without ever getting jammed up. Sailed almost every day for year and a half including an Atlantic crossing and did so mostly single handed on a 58.

I would put one on my next boat but it's a Cat and the weight and performance are a real issue in a high performance light weight cruising cat. It will be the thing I miss the most.

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