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Old 30-12-2014, 14:47   #1
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Roller boom reefing?

Hello all and a very happy new year to you where ever you are!
I recently watched a youtube video of a female solo sailor and was suprised to see her rolling the main around the boom and thought what a novel idea. Im new to this world of sailing so tell me is this an old/new idea? pros and cons? it does seem to make single handling easier than trying to flake a flapping mainsail alone .
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Old 30-12-2014, 14:58   #2
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

Boom roller furling is very old in design and use but the modern versions are certainly better however they are not the cheap seats.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:14   #3
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

Boom furling is preferred over in-mast furling. There are a lot of boats out there that are set up so that the main sail rolls up into the mast, but think about this scenario; The wind picks up, you're having to make wild maneuvers and the sail doubles over onto itself and gets jammed and it gets stuck with half of the sail sticking out. At this point, you're in trouble because you can't pull the sail down because half of it is rolled up into the mast. If you have a boom furled main sail, and it messes up, you can still get the sail down and stowed enough to keep everything under control. Boom over in-mast is my vote.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:18   #4
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

I have boom furling and like it. It's also a full batten sail which is not possible with in mast
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:22   #5
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

I don't see this much anymore - rolling the boom involves that crank that you see - I have seen the crank at the end of the boom on some old boats. You can't use that as a reefing tool - the sail just doesn't sit right. You can't have your mainsheet anywhere but the end of the boom - imagine rolling up the sheet with the sail - a real pain. I am not that familiar other than having a day sailing racer - Flying Scot - that has the same roller boom. It was a genuine pain in the ass.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:24   #6
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

I am not sure folks actually watched the video. Hey, folks - watch it. You will see a woman with a crank handle at the mast rolling the sail ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOOM. It is NOT the modern boom furling where the sail is rolled up inside a strange looking boom. It is the old fashioned boom furling where the sail is rolled up AROUND the boom, not inside it.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:34   #7
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

Yup and to flatten it a bit you can throw your jacket into the bag.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:34   #8
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

Properly designed roller reefing works quite well if set up correctly. Some older boats have tapered battens screwed to the boom, shallow fore and aft, and higher in the centre, to flatten the sail as it is rolled. It requires end boom sheeting, and does not allow lazy jacks to be rigged. Bluestocking has her original 1965 gear and it works perfectly. I can also slab reef.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:34   #9
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

I wonder how the outhaul would work ? If you wanted to use a boom vang you would need to detach it every time you furled your sail. Cunningham as well id guess, hmmmm but it sure looks like a slick rig for reefing.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:37   #10
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

Its been around for years. One of the down sides with basic boom furling systems is the lack of a boom vang however.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:44   #11
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

You also can't have mainsheets attached to the center of the boom.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:58   #12
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

Roller furling mains go back to the days of Egyptian cotton and early synthetics. Permanent boom vangs are much more recent, when boat designs were such that the boats remain more upright while sailing. Older boats, up to the 70s generally, were designed with longer overhangs to increase W/L, and speed, when heeled10 - 15 degrees. Boats were not " pinched" as hard on the wind, and footed off to sail faster, albeit, longer distances. I still have a 24" long, tough rubber dogbone with brass ring ends, that goes over the sail, with a purchase to deck or stanction base, to use as a vang.
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Old 30-12-2014, 16:31   #13
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

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Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
You also can't have mainsheets attached to the center of the boom.
Hey search for leisurefurl- all the things you say you can't have are there.
Very convenient method of infinately variable reefing, (from the cockpit) midboom sheeting, vang and or boom brake all mounted in an alloy extrusion with a built in sail cover.
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Old 30-12-2014, 16:38   #14
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

Roller reefing where the boom is rotated and the sail wrapped around the outside was popular 60 plus years ago. It was almost instantly abandoned when slab reefing became popular. Roller reefing is a terrible system that results in a terribly shaped mainsail can quickly ruin a sail by stretching out the leach. As you roll the sail, leech takes more and more of the load while the center of the sail turns into a big bag. Just the opposite of what you want when you reef a sail. People used to throw cushions, PFDs, etc, into the center of the sail as it was being rolled to try and lessen the bag. At the gooseneck, the sail slides and and luff reinforcing builds up forcing the tack further away from the mast adding to the ballooning of the middle portion. If you hauled in the mainsheet in an effort to reduce the bag, all the force was on the leech could ruin a sail by stretching the luff in one reefing session. What is really puzzling is how this most atrocious reefing system ever gained popularity. Last but not least, it was not quick or easy to roll in a reef. You had to fight the luff buildup at the gooseneck and try and keep the leech from moving forward and adding to the balloon in the middle of the sail. Had it on my first boat in 1970 and ruined the main after one trip to Maui from HNL. Reefing with it was so bad that I soon abandoned roller reefing entirely and just dropped the main when I needed to mainsail area.

When roller reefing was popular, you could buy horse shoe shaped collar fittings to be able to attach tackle to a roller reefed sail. The 'C' shaped collar slipped onto the boom from the end. The opening in the 'C' was smaller than the width of the boom so you could use the fitting to put a down load on the boom. The Allowed vanging the sail down with boom to deck blocks. The problem with this system was it had a tendency to put holes in the main where the two arms of the 'C' rested on the boom and rolled sail. Before the rigid at the mast vangs were invented, that's the way mainsails were vanged to reduce twist. Still use it on my boat because I wanted to be able to use the real estate aft of the mast. The limited height of the boom off the deck would have made for very high compression loads on the goose neck as well which made me shy away from a rigid vang.

Roller reefing is not the same as in boom roller furling. It is possible to get a decent setting reefed sail with inboom reefing but comes at a very high cost in hardware and requires critical maintenance of boom angle to work properly.

Slab/jiffy reefing is so easy to do and works so well, see no reason to abandon it.

Have seen some boats that furl, not reef, the sail by rolling the main sail around the boom. It's just a way to store a sail rather than flaking it on top of the boom.
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Old 30-12-2014, 17:44   #15
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Re: Roller boom reefing?

[QUOTE=Uncle Bob;1711238]Hey search for leisurefurl- all the things you say you can't have are there.
Very convenient method of infinately variable reefing, (from the cockpit) midboom sheeting, vang and or boom brake all mounted in an alloy extrusion with a built in sail cover.[/QUOTE

Uncle Bob - PLEASE watch the video. Once you have WATCHED the video then come back and we can discuss how you use a main sail that is rolled up AROUND the boom, as opposed to INSIDE the boom. Once you see that the OP is talking about a mainsail that is rolled up OUTSIDE the boom then we can discuss how one has a mainsheet that is attached to the middle of the boom, especially if you want to reef the sail. For that matter, please tell me how one uses lazy jacks with such a set up.
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