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Old 26-08-2010, 12:30   #1
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In-Mast Furling

I know I'm old school, 60 and sailing for 50 yrs, but I can't find a 32/33 2000-03 Hunter w/o in mast furling. My kids live on the South River and we want a boat but we have the bridge restriction of 50'. I want as much sail as possible and the in- mast is limiting. Also, I have to say I enjoy putting up the main and unless you have a phyical disability or something I don't get it on a 30 something boat.

Cheers, Capt. Rod
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Old 26-08-2010, 12:49   #2
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Why do you think inmast limits the sail area? we have inmast reefing on a masthead sloop. A nice big genoa provides the real drive and the imast main the balance. We reach hull speed in a F4 which is about right, indeed are thinking about a reef at the top end of F4.

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Old 26-08-2010, 13:20   #3
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Pete, thanks for your reply, all the specs I've looked at list in-furling mains as smaller with higher masts, one of my concerns.
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Old 26-08-2010, 13:20   #4
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Hi Rod,

Boat buying time is great fun!

I would never have slab reefing again.
Sea Life is a bit bigger but if buying another I would have in-mast furling main.

So many times we see boats with only one sail up, or even no sails up and motoring, even when the wind is kind. Which sail always seems to be the last used? The non-furling one(s).

For long range cruising it feels to me to be a matter of the fewest crew to do the job, and that means one on watch being able to reef quickly letting the other crew keep sleeping.

Another thing I continally think about is all the extra kit needed for slab reefing: reefing lines that jam and get caught, their stoppers, 8 turning blocks, sail cringles sticthed in a reinforced. And theres only a set number of reefs, usually 2.

I would love a life where I never have to raise the main again.

Hunters are cruising boats so I guess you gotta wonder why you are finding them all with furling mains? Maybe, unless the boat is racing, furling mains are the go.

What, I wonder, would be the resale chances of a Hunter without furling main? Would it be harder to move when you decide to sell? Or perhaps theres enough others looking for the same thing that it would go fast and at a premium?

Just as a final thought, if you did decide to get one with furling at that age of boat would you consider the sails life to be expired? If so you could budget a few extra dollars to have a higher quality sailmaker/cloth etc and could that make up the difference in performance?

Enjoy your boat buying


Mark
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Old 26-08-2010, 14:02   #5
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here's one:

2000 HUNTER MARINE H-320 For Sale In Spring Lake, Michigan - BoatTrader.com

And one with RF that just sold in out marina for comparison:

St. Barts Yachts (Charleston, SC)&

The Mariners package included sheet winches on the coamings, plus some other nice features. Kind of a pain to deal with sheet winches when they are located on the cabin top and you are singlehanding behind the wheel. You could add sheet winches on the coamings.
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Old 26-08-2010, 14:21   #6
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In-mast mainsail are extremely popular especially amongst the older cruisers and those whose cruising area is amongst islands. However, for performance or long distance full batten mainsails are the way to go.
- - For short handed crew the trick is to install an electric winch in the cockpit for the main sheet; main halyard; and main reefing lines. I installed one Lemar 40 electric and modified the running rigging so that it all goes back into the cockpit for easy access to the electric winch.
- - Raising the main is just a matter of pushing the button after wrapping the halyard around the electric winch. Take down or reefing is the same - wrap the reefing line around the electric winch and push the button while bleeding off the halyard.
- - The full battens keep the main in shape and greatly reduce sail flog when pushing upwind. And especially in light air the battens keep a nice curvature in the sail.
- - The Lewmar 40 electric is very easy to install and if you already have Lewmar's you just might have the new models which are all ready to accept the electric motor.
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Old 26-08-2010, 14:25   #7
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No, the OP is right about sail area. It's because of the lack of roach or even negative roach on an inmast furling mainsail.

We have in-mast furling as we had no choice (they are universal in the UK on large cruising boats). I have mixed feelings about it. It definitely does not have the shape that a full battened mainsail does. It is hard to trim. And it is not all that easy to handle, as I learned (the hard way). It does, however, give you infinite reefing with good shape (or no less bad shape, let's say) when deeply reefed. You can really and truly do everything from the cockpit, which is a great safety benefit. And, you can furl or reef without coming into the wind, which can be a great safety benefit as well.

If I could snap my fingers and make a cost-free trade for a fully battened main, would I? I don't know, honestly. Perhaps.

On a 32 or 33 foot Hunter? I think I agree with the OP; for that I would probably definitely seek out one with a real fully battened mainsail.
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Old 27-08-2010, 04:20   #8
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I have sailed oodles of miles doing deliveries both with in-mast and battened mains. I still remain to this day unhappy with single line reefing battened mains. why

(a) I have yet to come accross a single line reefing system that doesnt require a trip to the mast base to check if the reef is in all right, this removes all the usefulness of the system

(b) IN extremis, I have seen more trouble with battens, coming out through the sail. Battened mains can be very intolerant of mistakes.

(c) UNless you have a good ( read expensive) sail slide system, you cannot reef down wind and for cruising you HAVE to be able to do that. ( rounding up in big seas is a sure way to the end IMHO).


Propoerly maintained in-masts work reliably and do the job, They can genuinely be handled by one person ( at night in bad weather), Avod the vertical battens at all costs, The sail size can be designed to provide sufficient performance.

Quote:
- - For short handed crew the trick is to install an electric winch in the cockpit for the main sheet; main halyard; and main reefing lines.
yeap thats the way to rip or break something, its just a matter of time.

For me its a no-brainer for undercrewed cruising boats.

dave
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Old 27-08-2010, 04:58   #9
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Boom furlers, anyone?

1. Main can be fully battened
2. Also easy to reef and infinitely reefable
3. If something jams, thre problem is 5 ft above the deck, not 40 ft.
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Old 27-08-2010, 05:10   #10
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Boom furlers, anyone?

1. Main can be fully battened
2. Also easy to reef and infinitely reefable
3. If something jams, thre problem is 5 ft above the deck, not 40 ft.
Very expensive. I don't like/want nor have full length battens. Vanging about. Less reliable than in mast.

but the biggest point is that it still needs to be hoisted each time you use it. Furling is much easier.
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Old 27-08-2010, 06:41   #11
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Very expensive. I don't like/want nor have full length battens. Vanging about. Less reliable than in mast.

but the biggest point is that it still needs to be hoisted each time you use it. Furling is much easier.
My biggest problem hoisting my full battened main is with the battens catching the lazy jack lines on my Stackpak. But it's not that big a thing as long as you are watching the sail as it comes up so you stop hoisting if the wind wind blows it into the lazy jacks.

I think it's a given that a furling main sail is losing performance overall, regardless of whether it's in-mast or in-boom. So the decision is always the easy of handling and reefing to me. Since I have already well accepted that my next boat is going to be slower, I'll take the easy of handling and would like a main sail furling system next boat as long as it has it when I buy it.

I don't have any problems furling my single line main from the cockit as long as we are not running with the sail out on the spreaders. Have reefed it close hauled without even moving the main sheet during it.
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Old 27-08-2010, 07:03   #12
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My biggest problem hoisting my full battened main is with the battens catching the lazy jack lines on my Stackpak. But it's not that big a thing as long as you are watching the sail as it comes up so you stop hoisting if the wind wind blows it into the lazy jacks.

I think it's a given that a furling main sail is losing performance overall, regardless of whether it's in-mast or in-boom. So the decision is always the easy of handling and reefing to me. Since I have already well accepted that my next boat is going to be slower, I'll take the easy of handling and would like a main sail furling system next boat as long as it has it when I buy it.

I don't have any problems furling my single line main from the cockit as long as we are not running with the sail out on the spreaders. Have reefed it close hauled without even moving the main sheet during it.
I've always had the same problems with battens and lazy jack lines and this is surely a serious disadvantage of battened mains. In rough weather the last thing you need is that dance trying to keep the head within 1 degree of the wind so you can get the sail up. Of course in rough weather you're probably more likely to be taking the sail DOWN, but still.

Keep in mind that inmast furling mains are not all that easy to handle, either. They are superb for reefing or unreefing from the cockpit and without heading up, but other aspects of their handling are not all that simple. I learned the hard way that if you are not really carefully with the boom angle and really really carefully balancing tension between the furler and the outhaul you will have problems. It is tricky to do with one person; much better to have one person responsible for tensioning whatever is going out while you haul on whatever is going in. Besides that, you have to keep tension on BOTH ends of the furling line, or it will slip on the in-mast winch, with possibly very bad consequences if you are in rough weather trying not to let out the entire sail.

Our furling main is far too large to haul anything by hand, so we use winches, and usually drive them electrically. It gives a smoother pull and lets you keep a better eye on the sail. But of course if you fail to feel that something has jammed you will wreck something, as someone said.

The ideal mainsail handling system has not yet been invented; all of them have various drawbacks.
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Old 28-08-2010, 06:30   #13
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There is viretually no performance hit with a good Boom furler like the Schaeffer, so long as your mainsail is designred to work with it. And there is no need to change course to reef.

Schaefer Marine - Boom Furlers
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Old 28-08-2010, 06:51   #14
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I used to think in mast furling was prone to jams and as an ex racer, always liked full lenght battens anyway. So we've always stuck with slab reefing mains and until our last two boats, stuck with changing headsails as the breeze changed.

But you'll note we did move to a furling headsail once they began to build headsails with good foam luffs allowing you to reduce area and retain sail shape.

If anyone achieves the same with a self furling main, then I'd suggest it worth adopting.

They've IMHO yet to do that, but a sail test in the past year comparing slab, in-mast, in-boom reefing reported in one of the UK magazines dispelled the jamming worries. Seems that was a thing of the past.

But the OP is right - if he is seeking a 'no-backstay' rigged boat - to look for one without the inmast set up. Why? Because the boats and rigs were not designed to balance correctly with a smaller main and bigger headsail.

The sole advanatge of nil backstay is the ability for a cruiser to carry a shorter mast and sail cut with a larger roach - which is what most Hunter sail plans dictate. To change that set up to a furler would be to to reduce what the designer intended, and provide possible convenience, but a reduced performance.

There may be other cruisers with larger rigs who can accept the performance penalty a in mast system brings, but respectfully it might be best to stick to that bigger roach if you've got a shorter mast.

Cheers
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Old 28-08-2010, 06:52   #15
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I've always had the same problems with battens and lazy jack lines and this is surely a serious disadvantage of battened mains. In rough weather the last thing you need is that dance trying to keep the head within 1 degree of the wind so you can get the sail up. Of course in rough weather you're probably more likely to be taking the sail DOWN, but still.


.

This problem is easily fixed by attaching bungee cords from the lazy jacks to the lower spreaders. The bungee cords pull open the slot in the lazy jacks when they're slacked and when they're taut (for dropping the sail) the bungee cords stretch and allow the slot to be smaller.
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