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Old 26-08-2015, 15:17   #1
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Boom Fuller for Main

I've recently become most interested in finding a suitable cat for world cruising. As I'm going to be short handing it seems handling the main with a fuller system would be quite handy allowing me to reef from the cockpit.

Main fullers strike me as problematic - every time I've had one on a charter sailboat it eventually got stuck - obviously it could be my lack of experience with bringing it in.

I wonder why they are not very prevalent on cats and/or whose had experience with a boom fullered main.

Any opinions, thoughts, experiences?
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Old 26-08-2015, 23:13   #2
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

We have an in boom furler on our monohull. With a replacement cost of $20-25k, I wouldn't put one on a boat. Furler, electric winch, custom boom, new running rigging, custom cut mainsail, rigid boom vang, sail track on mast. It adds up.

Once you understand how they work, they work well. In addition, in a pinch, you can dump the sail on the deck.


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Old 27-08-2015, 00:46   #3
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

I am not really opposed to them, but for far less a good set of lazy jacks will do the same thing at a fraction of the price. I tend to think of them as the most expensive way to solve a problem... With unlimited funds, sure why not, but I can almost always think of better places to put the money.
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Old 27-08-2015, 04:51   #4
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

I fitted Leisure Furl. A few teething problems, but I love it.

Leisure Furl on Lagoon 450?



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Old 27-08-2015, 05:18   #5
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

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Originally Posted by psychfeld View Post
I wonder why they are not very prevalent on cats and/or whose had experience with a boom fullered main.

Any opinions, thoughts, experiences?
Boom furled requires a mast to boom angle of 90 degrees (+/- 2). This requires significant change to the rake/bend of the mast on a good percentage of catamarans, eliminating the effects of moving the center of effort aft.
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Old 27-08-2015, 05:19   #6
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

I have a furling boom, OP bought it, seriously doubt I would have, yet it has some advantages, like a full batten main with lots of roach, and it's infinitely "reefable".
I don't see how you could jam it, but if you found a way, you can still drop the sail if you needed to.
Near as I can tell it has the advantages of a furling mast, but without the disadvantages.
At least on mine your not adjusting the vang though, it has to be at a very specific length for the sail to furl smoothly, only drawback I've found so far, but there may be others
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Old 27-08-2015, 10:17   #7
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

Roller furling seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem. I'll be even more cynical: They are the marketing "professions" devise for relieving the innocent and inexperienced of money that could be spent on truly beneficial improvements on any cruising boat.

Roller furling on the boom is a nuisance. Roller furling on the mast is an abomination.

Lazy-jacks are useful above, say, 400 SqFt of canvas. Set up a jiffy reef and do it right. Learn to work safely by the mast, and you'll save a ton of money and be just as safe as you ever could be with a roller furl that has gone sideways on you. And sure as little apples, a roller furl will. Precisely under the worst conceivable circumstances.

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Old 27-08-2015, 12:53   #8
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychfeld View Post
I've recently become most interested in finding a suitable cat for world cruising. As I'm going to be short handing it seems handling the main with a fuller system would be quite handy allowing me to reef from the cockpit.

Main fullers strike me as problematic - every time I've had one on a charter sailboat it eventually got stuck - obviously it could be my lack of experience with bringing it in.

I wonder why they are not very prevalent on cats and/or whose had experience with a boom fullered main.

Any opinions, thoughts, experiences?
You can reef from the cockpit with slab reefing, especially if you have lazy jacks.

I've sailed on an Open 60. It had a mainsail that was twice the size of most cruising cats and was set up for solo sailing. It had slab reefing and lazy jacks and worked fine. Only problem was weight of the sail, so it took some sweat to shake a reef (with a coffee grinder). Easily solved with electric winches.
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Old 27-08-2015, 12:59   #9
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

Benefits of lazy jacks aside (and I believe this is a strong option), I strongly disagree with the negative assessments of roller furling in the mast (which is the only thing I have experience with, about 8 years worth). Well maintained furlers and sails are a huge benefit for single handing, as I well know. I have never had a problem, although there is a learning curve for how to furl cleanly, especially in high wind.

But I think the simplest and cheapest solution to your objective IS lazy jacks.

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Old 27-08-2015, 14:11   #10
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

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Benefits of lazy jacks aside (and I believe this is a strong option), I strongly disagree with the negative assessments of roller furling in the mast (which is the only thing I have experience with, about 8 years worth). Well maintained furlers and sails are a huge benefit for single handing, as I well know. I have never had a problem, although there is a learning curve for how to furl cleanly, especially in high wind.

But I think the simplest and cheapest solution to your objective IS lazy jacks.

Pete
Mast furling and the horizontal battens found on most catamarans don't like each other.
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Old 27-08-2015, 14:13   #11
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

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Mast furling and the horizontal battens found on most catamarans don't like each other.
I am absolutely certain that is true, and even more certain that the original post said nothing about horizontal battens.
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Old 27-08-2015, 14:16   #12
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

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Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
I am absolutely certain that is true, and even more certain that the original post said nothing about horizontal battens.
Since the post is in the "Multihull Sailboats" forum, some things are assumed but not spoken.
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Old 27-08-2015, 14:18   #13
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

You yourself admitted that battens are found "on most catamarans." I assume nothing.

In any case, my statement stands, both about furling and lazy jacks.
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Old 27-08-2015, 14:23   #14
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

In-Mast furling is probably the worst solution. You loose a huge chunk of the sail just in sqfoot terms, and even more when you consider where the power is generated. We had it on our old boat, and I would never want it again.
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Old 27-08-2015, 17:03   #15
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Re: Boom Fuller for Main

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In-Mast furling is probably the worst solution. You loose a huge chunk of the sail just in sqfoot terms, and even more when you consider where the power is generated. We had it on our old boat, and I would never want it again.
Yeh for Stumble :-)!

I note there are some robins among us. Anyone who has ever flown a sailplane is keenly sensitive to major stuff like laminar flows over airfoils.

The stick, and worse yet, a stick fitted with, say, Facnor mast-mounted furling gear (a great big ugly toob abaft the mast), is a major impediment to decent low on the "backside" of the main. We can't help the stick, but for goodness sake, let's not make matters worse by fitting such kluges as mast roller furling to our little ships.

While I'm in a contrarian mood, let me unburden myself of this: Weatherliness in racing boats is a non-issue. In class racing, of no consequence whatever in terms of "fair competition", since all boats are the same (at least should be). In handicap racing likewise, if the handicapping is appropriate.

In cruisers, however, weatherliness is a MAJOR issue since you want the best possible chance of success in clawing off if you are caught on a lee shore. IMO mast furling rigs reduce your chances of success in such circumstances precisely because it is when the fat is in the fire that you need the most efficient airfoil and the smoothest possible airflow. Nothing detrimental to those demands should be permitted in a cruising boat.

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