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Old 17-11-2016, 16:48   #166
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

I hate it when that happens!
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Old 18-11-2016, 03:09   #167
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Regarding the in-mast furling working always well if one is an experienced sailor, besides the case already posted due to breakage inside the system there are more cases of experienced sailors having problem, as these guys that lost the main in a gale out of the British coast: "We did see one other boat come in. It was a Najad 40 or 42, that had ripped their main sail. The in-mast furling system had jammed and somehow one crew member nearly lost two of her fingers. ... They maintained that they had never been in seas like it even after two Atlantic crossings!!"

It is wrong to assume that all cases of boats with shredded mains or stuck mains, that were seen by posters on this thread, were always sailed by inexperienced crews and that the jams were due exclusively with that. Some of those boats were seen on pretty remote areas and that normally implies experienced sailors.

Sailmakers are in a vantage point to have an opinion about the best system to be used extensively offshore, after all it is them that have to replace the sails but obviously it is very difficult to hear an honest opinion from them: most boats have today in mast furling and if they say that the system can lead to some problems (even if rarely) and other sailmaker says that the system works always without problems, it would be assumed that the later make better sails and that any eventual problem has to do with inadequate sail design and that is bad for business.

I found out an interesting statement from an experienced sailmaker (and sailor) regarding the best system for long distance offshore work (that corroborates the choice of that system on voyage boats). it was about sail inventory for a circumnavigation. Interesting article:

"This boat has the perfect rig configuration for long distance offshore sailing. The cutter rig allows for a very balanced sail plan with appropriately engineered sails for each application. Slab reefing in the mainsail keeps things simple and reliable. Conventional slab reefing is the most secure way to reduce sail as the wind increases... and while it may require more effort than a furling mainsail you know that the system will not fail you."

Circumnavigation Sail Inventory Recommendations from Ullman Sails | Cruising World
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Old 18-11-2016, 03:55   #168
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Taming that Mainsail

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
By the way, it occurred to me that no one has mentioned the economic side of in-mast furling.

The initial cost of the system is obviously more -- the special mast is more expensive, and you have the foil, bearings, furling mechanism.

However, the sail is considerably less expensive than a normal full batten mainsail. It is much simpler to make.

And also, the sail lasts considerably longer due to ideal storage without creases and completely protected inside the mast.

So the long term cost might be similar or even cheaper. In-mast furling is a really good pair with a laminate sail which resists stretching for a long time, but which can be damaged from chafe, UV, creasing, etc. A laminate sail in an in-mast furling rig can last a very long time.
Lots of discussions on this subject thread about 'taming the mainsail' on cruising sailboats. And it appears that both options (in-mast, and boom furling) are quite expensive.

My solution, ....eliminate the mainsail and substitute a self tacking, roller furling/reefing staysail. Then add on a nice big headsail (genoa) for those lighter airs (also roller furling/reefing). Then add on a mizzen for balance and reaching (also roller furling)

Sails can be be made of a lighter tougher laminate and will not be continuously creased as they stow rolled up under their own sail cover, sewn on (and replaceable)

With this arrangement I could be out for a daysail before most boats get their sails hoisted and rigged. At at the end of the day I could be at the bar with a drink while they are still wrapping things up.

Long term cruising:
1) Most roller furling gear is pretty well sorted out now, and parts availability is not too bad. And their are hydraulic and electric options for both the furling and sheeting operations.
2) Maybe spend a little extra on hi-tech sailcloth that will survive greater winds variations, OR just go for the econo materials that need replacement a little more often, or when subjected to extreme conditions. At any rate both options sound a bit cheaper that boom furling options.
3) Cut down my overall mast height by 20% while still carrying the same sail area of the sloop option for the vessel.
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Old 18-11-2016, 04:38   #169
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

How can you solve the mast compresión loads at the roof, and how huge are those runners, Backstays loads? i mean im trying to figúrate the concept but hard with that image, do you have a better explained picture Beiland?
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Old 18-11-2016, 05:01   #170
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Re: Taming that Mainsail

Quote:
Originally Posted by beiland View Post
Lots of discussions on this subject thread about 'taming the mainsail' on cruising sailboats. And it appears that both options (in-mast, and boom furling) are quite expensive.

My solution, ....eliminate the mainsail and substitute a self tacking, roller furling/reefing staysail. Then add on a nice big headsail (genoa) for those lighter airs (also roller furling/reefing). Then add on a mizzen for balance and reaching (also roller furling)
,,,,,
With this arrangement I could be out for a daysail before most boats get their sails hoisted and rigged. At at the end of the day I could be at the bar with a drink while they are still wrapping things up.

...
In mast furling is not more expensive than the other option offered by mass production builders, single line reefing trough a boom prepared for that. Most builders offer one or other option for the same price.

Using an electric winch, that most production boats offer for that, raising the main on a traditional setup takes very little time and effort.

Taking it down is instantaneously while having it folded correctly on the bag takes more time but you will save money since the sail will last longer. Anyway except if it is for a very short sailing you will have time for doing that and still go to the bar first, given the much better performance of a traditional battened mail.

Using two furlers and two genoas seems like a good idea but I have seen that system only in bigger yachts with two masts. I guess that there is a good reason why I don't see that on smaller boats with one mast. Can you comment on that?

Anyway I don think you need tamming mains on modern light yachts that need less sail area except if we are talking about big yachts and on that case a furling boom makes more sense not only regarding performance but also safety, giving the possibility of lowering the main even if the system jams and for contributing for a better reserve stability and AVS (compared with a in mast furling) when you most need it, on heavy winds and seas.
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Old 18-11-2016, 05:55   #171
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Ok, so we've pretty much determined that they are a great idea 99% of the time from ease of cruising perspective
How could in mast furling be improved to take that 1% risk out of it?
Now ,ive never sailed with one and knowing nothing about them so my question maybe ridiculous and there may be no way to illuminate the risk, but I always assume there is something that hasn't been thought of yet.

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First off, we are talking about main furlers as being all the same. We should not since some will be better than others and each type will have its own peculiarities. Actually we have not established that it is good 99% of the time, it is considerably higher than that. Perhaps 99% of owners do not have any problems with their main furlers and the other 1% occasionally have a problem, probably because of lack of experience or inattention.

The Hood furler does allow you to take the sail (and its furling rod) down with the sail furled or partially furled in the event of a problem. This is a useful feature although I have never had to do it.

One annoying problem with the Hood is the moan it produces when you are at a dock and the wind is coming from a stern corner. You need to hoist a 'flute stopper' (a strip of sail cloth with large buttons on it) in the slot just aft of the sail or you will have no friends on nearby boats.
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Old 18-11-2016, 06:38   #172
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Rigging Loads

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Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
How can you solve the mast compresión loads at the roof, and how huge are those runners, Backstays loads? i mean im trying to figúrate the concept but hard with that image, do you have a better explained picture Beiland?
Perhaps have a look thru this page of discussions:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f48/aft-mast-ketch-rig-21331-3.html


...and take note of this
Quote:
What some folks miss is that I actually have 3 backstays in my rig design,...the lower, hounds-attached one (1) that transitions into 2 at the sterns of the vessel, and the third one (3) that goes from the masthead over the aft jumper and down to the base of the mast supporting structure in the hull/cabin bulkhead. So my individual backstay loads are not so hugely great as some folks speculate.
(that 3rd 'backstay' is the forestay for the mizzen sail)

Do either of these photos of the model help in any way to understand the rigging? (by the way the intermediates are not shown on this model)
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BTW here is another explanation I utilized at one time:
Quote:
MASTHEAD
Lets start at the masthead. There is the primary forestay, a backstay, and two shrouds…all rather traditional. I’ve chosen to represent the force in the forestay with a 5cm long vector. Lets say this vector represents 1000 force units, thus each 1cm on the force diagram will represent 200 force units.

At the masthead the forestay force is broken down into two perpendicular forces, the compression load down the mast and the forward pulling force. The fwd force needs to be offset by the aft pull of the backstay. The backstay is at a more shallow angle so it must pull a bit harder to exert its rearward force. ......

.....nothing very unusual....very conventional. The mast is experiencing compression loads from both the forestay and the backstay force components acting in the vertical direction. And it’s doubtful that those compression loads imparted to the mast by the backstay and forestay are much greater than in the case of a purely vertical standing sloop rig mast.
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Old 18-11-2016, 07:15   #173
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
How can you solve the mast compresión loads at the roof,
The Hong Kong 40 powersailer chose to carry their mast tube down to the bridgedeck level.
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I prefer to step the mast up above the cabin top on a structure designed to carry the load into a greater area at its base. Then if the vessel loses its mast for some reason the whole of the boat structure sustains less damage. Here is an example on a kit boat that I was suggesting an alternative rig for:
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Old 18-11-2016, 07:34   #174
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Thank you Beiland, yes those pics clear a lot the confusion to me, to be honest I just see few isues like you say for example the spar trough the cabin at the bridge deck,, and I don't see this idea cheap in any way,,, 3 furlers, lots of rigging, maybe a shorter spar but let me tell you that those extra feet in a conventional mast don't make to much a diference after all, in terms of cost, the idea to furl and reef sails easy is ok to me, downwind performance?? I'm still looking at the images... I mean take nuts to propose such a rig, and I wish you good luck, maybe making cost numbers its a good way if this is a viable option or not... against a conventional rig... Cheers.
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Old 18-11-2016, 16:22   #175
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Mine is the same and I've made this point at least a dozen times on previous threads. I'm pretty sure most systems will do this if you just bother to read the manual for them. I've done it on mine, and while it did require a turning block at the base of the mast and a line to a winch from the tack, it was really quite simple. People will go on about jams though, despite the fact that almost all systems out there have actually put some thought into solutions for this.
Hi Minaret, what system is yours?

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Old 18-11-2016, 17:09   #176
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
First off, we are talking about main furlers as being all the same. We should not since some will be better than others and each type will have its own peculiarities. Actually we have not established that it is good 99% of the time, it is considerably higher than that. Perhaps 99% of owners do not have any problems with their main furlers and the other 1% occasionally have a problem, probably because of lack of experience or inattention.

The Hood furler does allow you to take the sail (and its furling rod) down with the sail furled or partially furled in the event of a problem. This is a useful feature although I have never had to do it.

One annoying problem with the Hood is the moan it produces when you are at a dock and the wind is coming from a stern corner. You need to hoist a 'flute stopper' (a strip of sail cloth with large buttons on it) in the slot just aft of the sail or you will have no friends on nearby boats.
See I never knew that, the fact you can pull the sail and furling rod down through the bottom.

It looks like I accidentally just purchased a boat, an offer I made a while back that was rejected has now been accepted. Suddenly alot more interested in inmast furling...lol.

Has anyone had experience with the sparcraft in mast furling? Good bad?



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Old 18-11-2016, 17:15   #177
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Minaret (or others), I too was unaware of the possibility of removing a partially furled mainsail. Is this really a practical maneuver at sea, in the kind of conditions where just sailing with it partly reefed isn't safe? On the surface, that sounds daunting to me!

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Old 18-11-2016, 19:03   #178
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I was with Ken on the occasion he had of having to turn into the wind slightly. I was off watch. The boat was cruising comfortably in lightish winds according to the sounds of the water on the hull. Next thing I knew we were rounding up severly. I ran up on deck without my glasses. I am near sighted. Ken was preparing to roll up the main but needed to head into the wind in order to do it. He is very conscientious about how he handles the sails. I tried to steer the boat into the wind but didn't have enough way on. I checked for lines in the water slipped the engine on and got the boat in position and Ken furled the main in less then a minute. Much better time then would have been achievable with slab reefing.

I was not a proponent of in mast furling but seeing it in action gained a new respect for it. I like the simplicity of slab reefing but mast furling is faster. I think that trips to remote places where parts are not available for weeks or months should stick to slab reefing otherwise I would not mind a furler. Each system has its place.
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Minaret (or others), I too was unaware of the possibility of removing a partially furled mainsail. Is this really a practical maneuver at sea, in the kind of conditions where just sailing with it partly reefed isn't safe? On the surface, that sounds daunting to me!

Jim
Despite many of us praising the safety and reliability of the in-mast furling systems, it seems to me there's always going to be a handful of skeptics, most of whom don't even own or use this type of system.

My friend Charlie provides a first hand account of his experience with our system, I've provided several videos, yet the skeptics will still doubt the safety and seek out ways to un-stick the jams that most of us will never experience.

So here's an example of what can happen with the so-called safer method of slab reefing when someone can't get their sails down in a timely manner. I'll take the reliability of in-mast furling over this situation anyday. The fellow in this video is just lucky the seas were flat, otherwise he'd probably be dead due to not being able to furl either of his sails.

What a mess!
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Old 18-11-2016, 19:30   #179
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Despite many of us praising the safety and reliability of the in-mast furling systems, it seems to me there's always going to be a handful of skeptics, most of whom don't even own or use this type of system.

My friend Charlie provides a first hand account of his experience with our system, I've provided several videos, yet the skeptics will still doubt the safety and seek out ways to un-stick the jams that most of us will never experience.

So here's an example of what can happen with the so called safer method of slab reefing when someone can't get their sails down in a timely manner. I'll take the reliability of in-mast furling over this situation anyday.
Ken, I (as reported above) ahve seen with my own eyes the tattered remains of an in-mast main that got stuck at sea, far from shore. Others have reported similar events. They do happen, no matter how many videos you post.

And how much would you bet that if we had queried the skippers of those boats who did have failures, BEFORE the event, that they would have been just as positive as you are about the infallibility of their systems?

to me, it seems reasonable to pose questions about methodology for coping should the "impossible" happen and the system jam. Dunno why you are so defensive about it. Sure, in your application, it has been great, but then, you seem to sail about the Med islands, never very far from help. Others are more at risk, and for them, skepticism seems a good mind set. Once again, I agree that many, even most offshore sailors with in mast systems have no problems. Some, however, do.

And finally, exactly what about the slab reefing shown in that video was faulty? It appeared that the boat tacked itself and effectively hove to... and something went wrong with the jib furling system, although it wasn't clear just what. How does that help justify unquestioning acceptance of in mast main furling?

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Old 18-11-2016, 20:08   #180
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

The video of the slab reefing boat speaks for itself. His "headsail was jammed," too much main sail deployed without a way to quickly reef it in more, and the fellow is lucky the seas were flat. Add even ten foot waves to the mix, and he might not have been so fortunate when knocked on his side.

It doesn't appear to me that slab reefing is always easier, safer and more reliable.
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