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Old 11-05-2008, 08:16   #16
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Thanks for the nice explanation, MarkJ! I am getting new sails with vertical battens for my in-mast furler; these are supposed to work quite well.

My problem with the initial statement was the blanket "30%". First off, the lack of battens doesn affect performance on all points of sail. Secondly, close to 1/3 difference in performance between an in-mast furling main and a classically battened one even for courses close to the wind is exaggerated.

The PHRF rating goes up by 6 (or only 3 when battens are used); on mine that is just under 6% difference - nowhere close to 30%. Even though I don't race sailboats, I do believe that the PHRF measurements do a pretty good job of handicapping and that their numbers ought to be relatively fair indicators.
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Old 11-05-2008, 15:05   #17
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In mast furling has a difficulty that it can not have battens in the sail to help the leach standing upright (for want of a better word). So the sail needs to be cut without a roach. It is triangular. So the shaded area is the bit an in mast furling main doesnt have.
No, I don't think that's quite right.

Here is one by SeldenMast. And this one is from UKHalsley's April 08 newsletter. Scroll down the cryptically titled section: ATTENTION CRUISING SAILORS: VERTICAL BATTENS MAINS ARE A TREMENDOUS UPGRADE.
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Old 11-05-2008, 15:17   #18
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No, I don't think that's quite right.

Here is one by SeldenMast. And this one is from UKHalsley's April 08 newsletter. Scroll down the cryptically titled section: ATTENTION CRUISING SAILORS: VERTICAL BATTENS MAINS ARE A TREMENDOUS UPGRADE.

Yeah, but verticle battens have not become popular with cruisers and I don't know if they will. I would doubt get them and the reason being that if you have to pull hard on the furler in a storm where the twist is different top to bottom you can do it, albiet twisting the sail too tight at one end or the other.. but its OK in an emergency. I dont thnk you could go that with a verticle batten because if its not verticle it will jam.

Again, with a crewed boat its not such a problem but with 2 handed cruisers we need all the flexability we have and I would prefer the underpowered main than jammed.

The ohter point is, we cruisers are buying bigger boats that we can really sail because we like the interior comfort and we can afford them, so we dont need to maximise the sail plan like a racing boat

IMHO

But, of course, if someone gives me a boat with a new furling main with verticle batten I will give it a go!!!!!!!!!

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Old 11-05-2008, 16:22   #19
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Funnily enough, people, as a rule, like what they have and poo-poo what they don't have. I think that in-mast furling has come a long way, and for many (most?) cruising application is probably a perfectly reasonable way to go.

If I had the choice of any mainsail system, I would go for a slab-reefing main, on a ball-bearing batt-car system, with three reefs and full battens, and lazy jacks. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
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Old 11-05-2008, 16:51   #20
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While I have been on a number of boats with in mast reefing, I have not sailed one. However, I have sailed a number of boats with in boom reefing and that was fine PLUS one can always get the sail down even if the reefing system jambs.

Having had the concerning experience of a genoa furler/reefer jambing at the halyard swivel in building heavy weather (partly reefed and so could not be dropped) and a friend experiencing the same, having an in mast mainsail furling system jamb in heavy weather is something I just would not like to consider the possibilty of facing.

If one does not expect to face heavy weather because of semi-sheltered waters, close to refuges, or trade/tropics sailing then in mast may be ok, but in my view I would still go for in boom (like all the super yachts ). If likely to sail in heavy conditions regularly, personally I would stay away from both.
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Old 11-05-2008, 16:58   #21
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The ohter point is, we cruisers are buying bigger boats that we can really sail because we like the interior comfort and we can afford them, so we dont need to maximise the sail plan like a racing boat
I think that is absolutely true and something that never seems to get mentioned when people are asking which boat they should get or express their interest in getting a 40+ foot boat.

The other unfortunate part is people are getting bigger too. But that’s another topic and one a little less prevalent amongst cruisers.


Weyalan:
Quote:
Funnily enough, people, as a rule, like what they have and poo-poo what they don't have.


I think that's another good point. Few people have tons of experience on many, many different boats (or anything else for that matter) so we tend to research once and stick with it. It’s a cognitive bias most humans have. And it’s related to why people believe weird things. You’re right about so many things in life that if you get led to in the right way, it makes sense that you would be right about 9/11 was a plot by the US gov’t or why all civilization came from Africa or why if everyone stopped buying gas from one company … whoops, probably should go there.

All this has really curbed innovation. I can think of a dozen boat-related ideas off hand that have either only relatively recently gained any traction or have actively put down for seemingly arbitrary reasons. More often than not, it’s simply because they aren’t what you expect in a boat or because for some mysterious reason no one has thought to cross apply an application into boats.

But I think things are changing.
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Old 14-06-2009, 08:30   #22
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I need details!

I purchased a 1998 Beneteau 36' center cockpit last summer with in-mast furling that has been a problem since day two. I say day two, because the very first time I took it out it worked perfectly so I know it's something I'm not doing correctly. It constantly jams. I have been sailing for over 25 years, but this is my first experience with this type of system. Can someone please tell me the secret to keeping it from jamming? I need specific details. I have read everything I could find on this site and elsewhere, and nothing makes a difference. I am at my wits end and am seriously considering ditching the furling system.
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Old 14-06-2009, 08:56   #23
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I came from a racing background, and when I went shopping for a cruising boat, really wanted slab reefing so I could have a fully battened main. I got with a good broker I trusted, and the more we talked about the reality of who I would be sailing with, a (then) non-sailing wife and a (then) 7 year old son, the more he steered me towards an in-mast system.

I'm glad I let him persuade me. With the roller furling jib and electric sto-way, we find ourselves sailing a lot more - as the wind goes up and down in the course of a day, we'll roll the sails in and out 5-6 times, and sail whenever there is wind. Nobody is going to hoist a mainsail on a 42' boat 5 times in a day with a short crew.

Granted, ours is heavily built, with mechanicals suited for a 50' (Hinckley tends to overbuild things), but it has worked flawlessly in 40 knots offshore. It allows me to really tweak sail area to balance the helm.

If your emphasis is performance, it's not for you. If you're going cruising short handed, you may find you actually sail more with in-mast. This boat is easier for me to get sailing than my old 12' Beetle Cat I grew up with.

I only have experience with the Hinckley version, and it works well. From this thread Island Packet owners are very happy with theirs. I think this means that, like anything else, a well designed and built system will work well. A poorly made or installed system will probably suffer from endless problems.
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Old 14-06-2009, 09:11   #24
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I purchased a 1998 Beneteau 36' center cockpit last summer with in-mast furling that has been a problem since day two. I say day two, because the very first time I took it out it worked perfectly so I know it's something I'm not doing correctly. It constantly jams. I have been sailing for over 25 years, but this is my first experience with this type of system. Can someone please tell me the secret to keeping it from jamming? I need specific details. I have read everything I could find on this site and elsewhere, and nothing makes a difference. I am at my wits end and am seriously considering ditching the furling system.

1. Pay very close attention to boom angle, so that as you furl the head and foot have equal tension. There is an ideal boom angle for each mainsail - find yours and stick to it.

2. Keep some tension on the outhaul when furling - make the mast take sail from you. This is even more important when unrolling - keep tension on the outhaul at all times - you don't want the sail trying to unroll in the mast. If you try to pull the sail out faster than the mast feeds it, you'll probably be OK.

3. Check your mast tune. You do not want any bend in an in-mast system. You want the furling rod to remain concentric within the mast.

I hope this helps, good luck!
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Old 14-06-2009, 09:59   #25
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I purchased a 1998 Beneteau 36' center cockpit last summer with in-mast furling that has been a problem since day two. I say day two, because the very first time I took it out it worked perfectly so I know it's something I'm not doing correctly. It constantly jams. I have been sailing for over 25 years, but this is my first experience with this type of system. Can someone please tell me the secret to keeping it from jamming? I need specific details. I have read everything I could find on this site and elsewhere, and nothing makes a difference. I am at my wits end and am seriously considering ditching the furling system.
To unfurl: ease the vang, ease the mainsheet, grind on outhaul while easing the furling line, keep a bit of tension on. Works better when head to wind but can be done on all points of sail if not blowing too hard.

To furl: ease the vang, ease the mainsheet, grind on the furling line while easing the outhaul, keep tension on the outhaul line. Head to wind is best but can be done on all points of sail if conditions permit. Watch for wrinkles when the sail enters the slot. If there's a bad wrinkle let it out and try again. You can grind it in with wrinkles but you'll have a hard time trying to unfurl the sail. If you furl the sail correctly you should never have a problem unfurling it.
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:38   #26
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When I ordere my boat I had the option of in-mast furling or classic main. I chose the classic with lazy jacks and a stack pack. It has about 15% more sail area than the in-mast main. If I were have a furling main it would be a boom furler not in-mast. I deliverd a IP 40 down the California Coast and it had a Schaefer Boom Furler and it worked like a champ. Some Beneteau owner I know bitch about their in-mast furlers jamming - but I think it's mostly getting the technique down with the outhaul and pointing the boat into the wind. Newer boats have gotten some roach back with vertical battens but they are a problem on their own. I helped deliver a Oyster 68 from Quebec to New Jersey and the in-mast furler gave us some minor problems sometimes jamming in the slot when rolling it in to reef. Not a big deal with electric winches - just push the button to get it back out and try again


Wowai - don't let the main flog by pointing directly head to wind when furling,, bear off 5-10 degrees and try rollling it in
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Old 14-06-2009, 11:51   #27
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Absolutely hated the in mast furling on my Passport 47. I think the sail area lost is significant for sure, but regardless of that, getting the sail to furl into the mast correctly is an issue. You need tension on the sail to avoid the sail overlapping, but not too much tension or it's too hard to furl in a blow. If it overlaps, you may find that it furls part way and then wont go in the rest of the way. Then you have to unfurl it and start over. That boat should have been a real fast machine, (low freboard, long waterline, aft cockpit etc) but never was, I believe it was the lack of any roach in the main.
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Old 15-06-2009, 07:52   #28
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Well, I have a simple system: jiffy reefing with a Dutchman flaking system. Virtually foolproof once the Dutchman is set up properly. Yes, you have to go to the mast, but it takes less than a minute to put in a reef. I can also depower a little by reefing the luff but not the leech, sort of a makeshift Cunningham.

I also like an uncluttered cockpit. There are already multiple winches and lines there, plus the traveler, GPS, radar and all of the other instruments. I kind of like cleating the main halyard and the reefing lines at the mast, where they are out of the way and can't get tangled up with other stuff.

I've researched the boom furlers and the Schaeffer is very good. The boom gets a little heavy, and I imagine that makes jibing a little more worrysome. But if I ever have a spare 25K lying around I may do it. Remember that in addition to the boom furler and new vang, you also need a new mainsail to retrofit one of these systems.

IMHO the biggest practical advantage of boom or in mast furling is not messing with sail covers. I HATE sail covers.
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Old 15-06-2009, 08:16   #29
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I have both, on my CS36Merlin I have a traditional main, single line reefing, lazyjacks and everything led aft to the cockpit . I can reef without getting out of the cockpit.

On my 393 I have in mast furling. Guess which I prefer? Yes, the in mast furling!!
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Old 15-06-2009, 09:36   #30
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Yes Curmudgeon, I agree, nothing simpler than slab reefing at the mast. Keeps the clutter away from the companionway, fast, low friction, allows a proper sail size and shape, and foolproof.
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