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Old 22-10-2019, 23:01   #1
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Stack vs InBoom

I didn’t want to hijack the other thread, and I believe “Stack vs InBoom” is a slightly different comparison so here’s my situation. Refitting a new to me Westsail 42, and I’m trying to decide while the mast is down, whether to replace my current traditional slab reefing set up with a Leisurefurl InBoom system. My current set up consists of a tack hook at the mast, and a clutch and winch on the boom for the leech reefing lines . Btw, the main halyard is run back to the cockpit where I have an electric winch on the coachroof near the companion way. I also have a Tide Marine strong track on the mast.

Based on my limited experience thus far it’s not a bad system, but I’ve not had any experience reefing in bad weather yet, and lacking mast pulpits, padeyes on the mast for tether attachments, etc. I think I’d be feeling a bit exposed at the mast in a heavy seaway. Even tethered to a jackline. Of course I’ll probably add a little more protection at the mast at some point. And I guess there’s a third option, I could go to a double line reefing system and run all reefing pendants back to the cockpit. Happy to hear from folks pro or con on either setup.
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Old 23-10-2019, 08:03   #2
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

If I understand your description correctly the biggest issue with your current system is the halyard in the cockpit and everything else at the mast. That means you have to get back in the cockpit before the tack ring falls off the hook. I'd move the halyard back to the mast.

Everything goes faster at the mast. I wrap a non-elastic tether around the mast and back to my PFD/harness. I can lean against that and haul or lean forward and grind.

Note that I am not a fan of lines to the cockpit. I feel safer at the mast than with my head down for a longer period grinding lines in the cockpit. On most cruising boats you can't see very well from the cockpit either.
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Old 23-10-2019, 18:14   #3
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

Auspicious, Thanks for responding. I agree with you that having the halyard run back to the cockpit while the reefing lines are at the mast might not be the best set up. However, thus far it's worked reasonably well, at least with several crew. After re-reading my post I realized I didn't explain my interest in the Leisurefurl Inboom system very well so here goes.

Pros -
-Not having to go the mast to reef.
-Easier to deploy/put away.
-Minimal number of lines led back to the cockpit.

Cons-
-Cost.
-Can be finicky (Recommended boom angle is 87 degrees, not 86, not 88.. yikes).
-Require sight-lines from the cockpit when raising/lowering main(or so a rigger who's done a few systems told me).
-Mainsail customized for Leisurefurl system.
-Requires electric winch and Forespar heavy duty vang.

I'm in my late 60's and my wife is in her early 60's and at this point in time I'm ok going to the mast, but my spouse really isn't. Which is generally ok. However, 10 years from now, will I still be ok going to the mast? Particularly in bad weather? I don't know. I guess given this will probably be our last big refit, I'm trying to figure out which systems are going to keep us sailing as long as possible.
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Old 24-10-2019, 02:59   #4
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

Hello Jim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimp1234 View Post
I agree with you that having the halyard run back to the cockpit while the reefing lines are at the mast might not be the best set up. However, thus far it's worked reasonably well, at least with several crew.
Agreed. Reefing is ordinarily--for me--a one person job.

I hear your concerns about the impact of aging. Getting older is not for the faint of heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimp1234 View Post
After re-reading my post I realized I didn't explain my interest in the Leisurefurl Inboom system very well so here goes.

Pros -
-Not having to go the mast to reef.
-Easier to deploy/put away.
-Minimal number of lines led back to the cockpit.

Cons-
-Cost.
-Can be finicky (Recommended boom angle is 87 degrees, not 86, not 88.. yikes).
-Require sight-lines from the cockpit when raising/lowering main(or so a rigger who's done a few systems told me).
-Mainsail customized for Leisurefurl system.
-Requires electric winch and Forespar heavy duty vang.
In isolation I agree with your list of Pros for the Leisure Furl. I'd add that in the event of a furling failure you can still drop the main. Full horizontal battens on a sail with a good roach are practicable.

Regarding your Cons:

Finicky - true. An alignment "tool" can help you get the boom angle right once it's all worked out the first time. I've used a marked piece of batten. You have to be conscious of parallax. The issue with boom angle is that when it is wrong one end winds tighter than the other and the roll of the furled sail "walks" along the furling rod and jams. You have to balance furling with halyard tension to get a properly taut furl. Anyone who says the electric winch and the furling motor are sized to run the same speed doesn't actually use a Leisure Furl.

Sight-lines - true. Frankly I think this is the case for any mainsail. I'm not a fan of enclosures or even biminis when sailing that make seeing the sail difficult. The little windows in the bimini are not sufficient.

Electric winch - the Leisure Furl booms I have sailed have also had an internal motor in the boom which is a common failure. Lots of expensive heavy wire to run and usually a larger house bank.

Vang - a solid vang/rodkicker is a net plus. Depending on the model (mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic) you may have some more maintenance to do. It avoids forgetting the topping lift and dropping a heavy boom into the cockpit.

I'd add that the in-built sail cover (an option I think) is a major pain to zip closed and open. You may be better off with a sacrificial cover on the sail as you have on your jib. If you put solar panels on your bimini *shudder* the shadow from the boom is quite large. On many boats you simply can't reach the mechanical fitting to turn the furling rod.

You'll likely want to get your head and shoulders above the level of the top of the boom so a couple of mast steps are in order.
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Old 24-10-2019, 06:14   #5
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

"You have to be conscious of parallax. The issue with boom angle is that when it is wrong one end winds tighter than the other and the roll of the furled sail "walks" along the furling rod and jams."

Larger boats are installing furling controls at the gooseneck so crew can oversee the furl directly from above the gooseneck and make changes to the boom height as needed to furl correctly.
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Old 24-10-2019, 06:44   #6
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

After so many conversations about Leisure Furl Booms, thought I would add my observations. I have had a leisure furl for about 16 years. The angle of the boom to mast is important, but not critical to a single degree. I never check the angle. I have my topping lift marked where it needs to be set, which is my starting point. Every time the sail is off the boom, when reinstalled, might wind up with a little difference in the distance the tack and the outhaul wind up from the mandrel. That can make a small change in the angle between boom and mast. All lines have a certain amount of stretch. I make sure it furls properly when first installed, then each time I use it, I check how the main is wrapping on the mandrel. Usually after a couple of sails, I have to make a small adjustment, once everything stretches out again. If the sail furls and creeps towards the mast, you need to raise the boom just a touch. If pulling from the mast, lower the boom. Once, I had to adjust the tack and outhaul lines, I had them just a bit too loose. If you aren't a hands on boat person, and rely on the yard to do everything, maybe think twice about Leisure Furl, but if like most boat owners, doing a small adjustment isn't a big deal, once all settled in, I find the Leisure furl well worth the expense. (I am on a strict budget). Now in my 70's, and single handing quite a bit, it has kept me comfortable sailing. The only issue I have had is the bolt rope chafes and I have had to have it repaired a couple times. It reef's easily, and infinitely, but reffing to a batten close to the boom/mandrel is recommended. Like everything, it does need occasional maintenance, lubing the ends of the mandrel.
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Old 24-10-2019, 07:04   #7
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

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Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
I never check the angle. I have my topping lift marked where it needs to be set, which is my starting point. Every time the sail is off the boom, when reinstalled, might wind up with a little difference in the distance the tack and the outhaul wind up from the mandrel. That can make a small change in the angle between boom and mast. All lines have a certain amount of stretch.
The implication is that you never adjust your vang when sailing. That's too bad.
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Old 24-10-2019, 07:08   #8
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
The implication is that you never adjust your vang when sailing. That's too bad.

Surely he is talking about when he reefs, not all the time sailing, right Keepondancin?
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Old 24-10-2019, 07:39   #9
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

Some like to offer input, some just like to be heard.
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Old 24-10-2019, 08:15   #10
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

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Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
Some like to offer input, some just like to be heard.

You said you made small adjustment on the basis of lines stretching with time. There are lots of people with in-boom furling who get the angle right and don't touch anything.



Do you use the vang to flatten or add belly to the sail when sailing?
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Old 24-10-2019, 12:46   #11
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

Maybe you misread what I was saying. All lines stretch after being in a relaxed state. The installing of the sail does take some adjustment, and not just boom angle. Once on, and after a couple of sails, maybe just one sail, quite often you have to just fine tune the system. I have found that after a couple of sails, it is pretty much good. You need a little finesse in feeling how much tension should be left on the furling line when raising the sail, and how much tension on the halyard when furling.

As far as sail adjustment, my sail, and I believe by Leisure Furls specs, has a bit of a loose foot on the sail. After hoisting, I lock the halyard, and use the furling line to tension the sail, and I can get it quite flat if need be. So off the wind you have less tension on the sail, and to flatten, increase tension. Actually quite simple. When I had slab reefing, I was pretty much at the mercy of three reef points, and sail shape would suffer because you really couldn't tighten the outhaul like an unreefed sail, and control the shape of the sail. For me it works well. I was happy to not have to go to the mast when you failed to reef early, and I think it has better control of sail shape for any reef point.

If you don't like boom furling, I would suggest not installing it. Must work for others though, they sell a lot of the systems, on all size boats.
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Old 24-10-2019, 13:03   #12
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Re: Stack vs InBoom

Quote:
Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
Maybe you misread what I was saying.

I don't think I misread. I have no problem with in-boom furling. It has pros and cons like any other way of reducing sail area.


What I take from your original post and your response is that you don't adjust your vang when sailing. Is that correct?
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