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Old 16-05-2011, 21:56   #1
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Boom Furl vs In Mast Furl

Which of these choices are the best? I seem to favor in mast furl whilest practise prove me wrong and find that a boom furl is more practical, either way you loose 20% canvas.

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Old 16-05-2011, 22:31   #2
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Re: Boom Furl vesrsus In Mast Furl

In-mast furl is for motorboats

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Old 16-05-2011, 22:38   #3

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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

Boom is better shape and lower weight I think
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Old 16-05-2011, 23:30   #4
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

There are a million threads on this. A brief search of the archives will bring up a rich trove of information.

In-boom furling has a lot of admirers, almost none of whom have actually used it. For some reason it is extremely rare. In mast furling is a bit like catamarans - passionately hated by those who don't have it and passionately loved by those who do.

I have been using in mast furling for the last two years and don't feel any passions one way or the other. It does not suck. It is harder to achieve good sail trim. It gives you much better control of your mainsail area. It saves a lot of work flaking and covering the sail. You don't lose too much performance if the boat is designed for it - taller rig and more and/or deeper ballast to compensate weight aloft. If the boat is not designed for it, it probably does suck.

For people's real experiences with in-boom furling, check out the archives.
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Old 17-05-2011, 00:55   #5
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

In mast is never a good option on a cat as the weight up high decreases stability. If it gets stuck you can get in serious trouble.

In boom seems to be a better option but is very difficult to handle. You need to be very careful to keep the boom to mast angle correct and they seem to stick in the slot on the back of the mast. My comments on in-boom come not from personal experience but from observing a couple of boats on a circumnavigation over the last year and a bit.

On a cat I'd say stick to slab reefing with lazyjacks and a stack pack.
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Old 17-05-2011, 02:01   #6
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

Oh, and how do you feel about guns lol. This thread should rattle a few cans lol.

In all seriousness, my personal preference fwiw, is boom furling. The weight is down low. If there is a jam in the furler, the sail can still be lowered. The sail can be removed from the boat at any time without the need to have it unfurled- this can be a pain in a marina berth with the wind up the bum. The main halyard is always accessable for other uses- climbing the mast etc. Others will debate the other option. Thats cool. This is just my opinion.

Frankly though, I really prefer lazy jacks and jiffy reefing over either option.
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Old 17-05-2011, 02:14   #7
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

OZ Skipper, What a pleasure, we can blow the pirates out of the water in international waters, won't that be fun! LOL
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Old 17-05-2011, 03:23   #8
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

Why bother with a furler when you can just reef the main. Still control the sail shape and lessens the area. Unless you don't want to worry about flaking and covering the main when lowered (or rolled up, in your case).
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Old 17-05-2011, 03:46   #9
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

Boom furling may give the best shape and best weight distribution, but it sure is expensive. I considered it and then put a furler behind the mast. Everyone sneers at it, but it works fine. The rigger installed a new 20% longer boom so I did not loose too much sail area. Sure the luff sags, but only when it is really blowing. In light wind the sail shape is good, where it counts. Boat still balances well and will sail upwind with just the main.
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Old 17-05-2011, 06:04   #10
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

Slab Reefing



Nothing to Break, for the most part

Iprefer when at anchor to leave a reef in the main just in case a sudden storm comes up and need to beat off shore.
Of course with roller reefing, you just let out what you need.
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Old 17-05-2011, 06:29   #11
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

I have an after mast furling on the main.. and the Admiral and myself are enjoying it a lot.. as we are not racing we don't care AT ALL the lost in performance (5%?) and we appreciate a lot the ease in reefing from the cockpit and not having to flack and sack in etc...
People spend time putting little boats in bottles, me I put bottles in my little boat...
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Old 17-05-2011, 06:42   #12
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

Originally Posted by niel12 View Post
either way you loose 20% canvas.
Possibly, unless of course the boat was designed for inmast reefing.

Below F2 the engine is on. F2-F3 engine or Cruising chute depending on distance. F4 perfect although top end probably have a reef in. So only a small window were we could use the extra sail cloth to provide drive on a masthead rig.

Taken yesterday. 10/11 knots of wind and 5 knots of boat speed downwind, auto pilot on, pot of coffee on the stove

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Moody 31 - April Lass
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Old 17-05-2011, 07:52   #13
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

I've got an in after mast furling and so far pretty happy with it, I most likely wouldn't have gone out and got one but it came with the boat, I've not had it jam up going in but have had it jam a bit going out, mostly if after I roll it up loose, If I roll it up with some good wind it works nice. My sail is also a bit old too. never had any dealing with a in boom but I like the idea better. Or an open after mast furler, not much difference than a head sail set up.
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Old 17-05-2011, 08:23   #14
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

the larger the boat, the more in-mast furling makes sense. Most production cruisers over 15 tons displacement are currently being designed with furling rigs, even on the high-end boats such as Oysters. While you can order boats with a "standard" rig, they are not under-canvassed with the rigs for which they are designed. Talk of "performance loss," therefore, is a bit naive with anything designed in the last decade. Such boats have got all the sail they need in normal conditions, and are readily able to shorten sail when the wind freshens up.

My experience is that, when you're working with a main with upwards of 500 square feet of sail area, the easier it is to reef, the more likely you are to match the sail area to the conditions. This is especially important in larger boats. Once you get over 45' LOA, it becomes all the more important not to let a boat get overpowered and start rounding up. Trust me, you don't ever want to be on the high end of a boat with more than 14' beam when it rounds up. Nor do you want to put the rail in the water when you've got more than 6' of freeboard.

I was out in winds gusting to 35 knots two weekends ago, and was able to dial in the amount of weather helm by adjusting the main. We saw conventionally rigged boats rounding up all around us, but we were able to zip around the bay at 8+ knots without the rail ever getting near the water.
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Old 17-05-2011, 08:49   #15
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Re: Boom Furl vs In-Mast Furl

Can someone explain this "too much weight aloft" argument against in-the-mast furling? I see comments that the weight adversely affects stability. But... but... most of the weight we are talking about is the sail, which is already aloft when the boat is under sail. How much extra weight can the furling gear add? 100#s? Certainly, no one is arguing that the weight of the furled sail is adversely affecting stability, are they?

The boat was designed to carry the weight of the sail up there, and the weight of the sail doesn't change whether it's flying open or furled.

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