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Old 19-11-2016, 18:41   #196
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

I'll just say it one more time for the record, since it was as usual ignored the first time. I have managed boat yards, and managed charter fleets, and as a result have had to unjam a lot of jammed furling mains stuck there mostly by inexperienced charter crew, many very severely so. I almost never have to go aloft to fix any jam, even the most severe. I just undo the bottom of the stay inside the mast which has the furler foils on it. This is as simple as loosening a turnbuckle and undoing it, same as any other stay. Then I attach a block to the base of the mast, and a heavy line to the tack of the mainsail, which has of course been freed in the process of disconnecting. Then I take that line to the nearest winch and haul away, hauling the sail DOWN in the slot, not in or out, which is often very difficult to do even if you go aloft, where you have little leverage and no mechanical advantage. I have ripped exactly one sail this way, out of dozens unjammed, and it was quite old and thread sick. If you actually bother to own and read the manual for almost any in mast furling system, this is how they tell you to free a jam. You do NOT have to go aloft, nor is recommended. I would only do it in a case severe enough to require cutting the sail away, which I've never seen, even after having charterers break furling gear by continiung to crank on it with the sail jammed. Look UP! as you furl or unfurl! It's not hard, don't let the people here who've never owned one of these units, read the manual for one, or serviced one in their lives, color your view of how they function. They clearly have no idea. Furling sails are usually built with a heavy luff line just for this reason.
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Old 19-11-2016, 18:48   #197
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I'll just say it one more time for the record, since it was as usual ignored the first time..........Look UP! as you furl or unfurl! It's not hard, don't let the people here who've never owned one of these units, read the manual for one, or serviced one in their lives, color your view of how they function. They clearly have no idea....
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Old 19-11-2016, 20:00   #198
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
A problem with a sail:

Just needs trimmed.
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Old 20-11-2016, 04:29   #199
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I'll just say it one more time for the record, since it was as usual ignored the first time. I have managed boat yards, and managed charter fleets, and as a result have had to unjam a lot of jammed furling mains stuck there mostly by inexperienced charter crew, many very severely so. I almost never have to go aloft to fix any jam, even the most severe. I just undo the bottom of the stay inside the mast which has the furler foils on it. This is as simple as loosening a turnbuckle and undoing it, same as any other stay. Then I attach a block to the base of the mast, and a heavy line to the tack of the mainsail, which has of course been freed in the process of disconnecting. Then I take that line to the nearest winch and haul away, hauling the sail DOWN in the slot, not in or out, which is often very difficult to do even if you go aloft, where you have little leverage and no mechanical advantage. I have ripped exactly one sail this way, out of dozens unjammed, and it was quite old and thread sick. If you actually bother to own and read the manual for almost any in mast furling system, this is how they tell you to free a jam. You do NOT have to go aloft, nor is recommended. I would only do it in a case severe enough to require cutting the sail away, which I've never seen, even after having charterers break furling gear by continiung to crank on it with the sail jammed. Look UP! as you furl or unfurl! It's not hard, don't let the people here who've never owned one of these units, read the manual for one, or serviced one in their lives, color your view of how they function. They clearly have no idea. Furling sails are usually built with a heavy luff line just for this reason.

ZsPAR now Zdifusion spars , Selden, and few others , mostly fitted in lots of charter fleets call in a bad jam for unstep the mast and clear the jam by the masthead, or destroy the mainsail in pieces at the dock, both quite expensive but the unstep the stick job is cheaper somehow.. We just clear 2 jams last season this way, unstep the mast and clear the jams at the ground level since the furlers dont come free by the bottom... Could be other brands allow to free a jam by the bottom ... Hood?
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Old 20-11-2016, 05:55   #200
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Fekking furlers all jammed up again.
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Old 20-11-2016, 09:29   #201
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I have also seen with my own eyes the result of in-mast furling jams. A big Swan came into the anchorage in Isla Mujeres, dropped the hook, and spent 4-5 hours clearing the jam with crew up the mast. The title of this thread is whether furling mains are safe when SINGLEHANDING, and you would have to be superhuman to clear a jam by yourself.

Cancel that--even superhumans need help

Ben Ainslie and Georgie Thompson rescued from BOAT on Necker Island | Daily Mail Online
I really don't think this incident with Ainslie has much bearing on this discussion. He's a great racer but this may have been his first experience with roller furling mainsails, not exactly a fixture on high performance sailing yachts where he excels and spends his time. It's sort of like a Nascar driver from Alabama getting stuck in a snowbank while visiting friends in New England. He may be dominant on the track, but have NO experience driving on snowy, slippery roads.

In the photo, look at the headsails. Note that neither the staysail or the jib is furled all the way in and one sheet is hanging loosely. Not a real big deal, but it's something a typical cruiser wouldn't do. Also, I don't understand why he needed to be "rescued" when this yacht presumably has a working engine. Even if the stuck mainsail was flogging like crazy, why not just motor up to a protected spot in the lee of an island and drop the anchor and hang out there until he could get help with it? Also, a boat that size is a LOT to handle by yourself for anyone, especially when you're accustomed to small, high performance racing boats and having a highly trained crew to share the workload. Plus, even a capable and experienced cruising sailor (at least those of the male persuasion) should probably be excused for having a little trouble keeping his mind on strictly taking care of business while aboard, "stuck" with a first mate who looks like Ainslie's does!
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Old 20-11-2016, 09:35   #202
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

I love the in-mast furling of the Beneteau 49. I never had a problem with it. It is easy to furl single-handed without leaving the cockpit.

Go for it!
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Old 20-11-2016, 10:27   #203
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by jtsailjt;2261708 I don't understand why he needed to be "rescued" when this yacht presumably has a working engine. Even if the stuck mainsail was flogging like crazy, why not just motor up to a protected spot in the lee of an island and drop the anchor and hang out there [/B
until he could get help with it[/B]?
I think you just proved my point. A singlehander is going to need help if their mast furler jams.

Actually, I'm quite disappointed that Sir Ben didn't shinny up the mast unaided with a knife in his teeth...Jimmy Spithill would have.
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Old 20-11-2016, 13:01   #204
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I think you just proved my point. A singlehander is going to need help if their mast furler jams.

Actually, I'm quite disappointed that Sir Ben didn't shinny up the mast unaided with a knife in his teeth...Jimmy Spithill would have.
I think you missed the point, a singlehanded cruiser would do lots of things differently from Ainslie because he wouldn't be trying to singlehand a 70' sailboat with furling gear he wasn't familiar with so probably wouldn't have the jam to start with, and while he might not even be able to keep Ainslie in sight in a race, he'd probably know a whole lot more than Ainslie and be more prepared about how to deal with commonplace mechanical problems.

Another analogy: I'm a commercial airline pilot and have safely flown into almost any major city you can name in the world, and before that I used to fly very high performance aircraft, but I know almost nothing about small, propeller driven aircraft or helicopters, so if I were to attempt a relatively simple cross country trip in one that I rented, I realize I'd be woefully unprepared to deal with anything unusual that cropped up and there are lots of situations where I'd probably do something that your typical 1000 hour small aircraft flight instructor would think to himself, "what a stupid mistake anybody should have seen that coming a mile away?" That doesn't mean that I'm suddenly an incompetent pilot and it doesn't mean that prop planes or helicopters are inherently dangerous when operated by a pilot trained and current in their use. It just means that, though I know a lot about some kinds of flying, I know very little about other kinds of flying and any mistakes I make while attempting things I don't know much about should not be attributed to the equipment I happened to be operating at the time, but rather to me. I bet Ainslie would tell you the same thing.
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:32   #205
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I'll just say it one more time for the record, since it was as usual ignored the first time. I have managed boat yards, and managed charter fleets, and as a result have had to unjam a lot of jammed furling mains stuck there mostly by inexperienced charter crew, many very severely so.

I almost never have to go aloft to fix any jam, even the most severe. I just undo the bottom of the stay inside the mast which has the furler foils on it. This is as simple as loosening a turnbuckle and undoing it, same as any other stay. Then I attach a block to the base of the mast, and a heavy line to the tack of the mainsail, which has of course been freed in the process of disconnecting. Then I take that line to the nearest winch and haul away, hauling the sail DOWN in the slot, not in or out, which is often very difficult to do even if you go aloft, where you have little leverage and no mechanical advantage. I have ripped exactly one sail this way, out of dozens unjammed, and it was quite old and thread sick.

If you actually bother to own and read the manual for almost any in mast furling system, this is how they tell you to free a jam. You do NOT have to go aloft, nor is recommended. I would only do it in a case severe enough to require cutting the sail away, which I've never seen, even after having charterers break furling gear by continiung to crank on it with the sail jammed.

Look UP! as you furl or unfurl! It's not hard, don't let the people here who've never owned one of these units, read the manual for one, or serviced one in their lives, color your view of how they function. They clearly have no idea. Furling sails are usually built with a heavy luff line just for this reason.
minaret, thanks for the clear instructions. I am sure they will be useful for someone, and perhaps might even induce the OP to go ahead with the in-mast furling. However, the fact that you had to do that work indicates that, yes, the blasted things DO jam. Doing things like you described as yard work, are more difficult at sea. How would you suggest the singlehander control that loose main sail? I think it could possibly be done, just not easily. Some boats don't have a bale at the mast base for attatching the block, so that'd be the first jury rig. So, if a singlehander chooses in mast furling, he'd have to just suck up the risk, and bet on never doing something stupid, even when extremely fatigued.

It is not that I "clearly have no idea", though, it is that my idea is different: I have seen people struggling with with in mast furling. And, what I have seen colors my opinion. Clearly, others' mileage may vary.

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Old 20-11-2016, 15:27   #206
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
I really don't think this incident with Ainslie has much bearing on this discussion. He's a great racer but this may have been his first experience with roller furling mainsails, not exactly a fixture on high performance sailing yachts where he excels and spends his time. It's sort of like a Nascar driver from Alabama getting stuck in a snowbank while visiting friends in New England. He may be dominant on the track, but have NO experience driving on snowy, slippery roads.

In the photo, look at the headsails. Note that neither the staysail or the jib is furled all the way in and one sheet is hanging loosely. Not a real big deal, but it's something a typical cruiser wouldn't do. Also, I don't understand why he needed to be "rescued" when this yacht presumably has a working engine. Even if the stuck mainsail was flogging like crazy, why not just motor up to a protected spot in the lee of an island and drop the anchor and hang out there until he could get help with it? Also, a boat that size is a LOT to handle by yourself for anyone, especially when you're accustomed to small, high performance racing boats and having a highly trained crew to share the workload. Plus, even a capable and experienced cruising sailor (at least those of the male persuasion) should probably be excused for having a little trouble keeping his mind on strictly taking care of business while aboard, "stuck" with a first mate who looks like Ainslie's does!
It seems you don't know that both Ainslie parents were great sailors and that Ben sailed and cruised since a kid.

You seem also to think that Ainslie did not know well that boat, that the boat was new to him. Maybe you think it was a luxury charter boat? No, it is his own cruising yacht and he has done already many miles on it.

Your idea that a super sailor, used to deal with all types of sails boats and systems is unable to deal and operate correctly something as simple as a in mast furling, one that he knows well since it is the one in his boat, is not credible.

Regarding the rescue some more details, by another great sailor, the rescuer,
Richard Branson, on his words:

"Writing on his blog, Sir Richard said Sir Ben “obviously he knows exactly what he is doing” at sea, adding: “However, his boat had a serious mechanical problem, in no way Ben’s fault, and he put a message out asking for help.”

He said: Three of our wonderful watersports team heard the call and raced over to their aid.

The furling system broke on the main sail and the sail became so twisted that it couldn't go up, down, in or out.

The only way to avoid going onto the reefs was for Marco to go to the top to cut the sail to pieces, whilst George and Ben were winching Marco up and down and Georgie was helping in the boat.

“Unsurprisingly, Ben kept an amazingly cool head whilst directing operations - he just needed more hands to sort out the mess.”"

Ben Ainslie honeymoon cruise drama - boats.com
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Old 20-11-2016, 15:44   #207
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I'll just say it one more time for the record, since it was as usual ignored the first time.....
The second, third and fourth time.......... you can say it 10,000 times, but it doesn't seem to sink in.

Apparently, the few old school zealots who don't have and never plan to use an in-mast or boom furling system will continue to ignore you, me, us and anyone who disagrees with their biased view. Some "Clearly have no idea."

Yard managers and users of the systems have contributed, videos have been shown... maybe it's time to bring this discussion to an end and let the OP make up his own mind.
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Old 20-11-2016, 15:50   #208
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
It seems you don't know that both Ainslie parents were great sailors and that Ben sailed and cruised since a kid.

You seem also to think that Ainslie did not know well that boat, that the boat was new to him. Maybe you think it was a luxury charter boat? No, it is his own cruising yacht and he has done already many miles on it.

Your idea that a super sailor, used to deal with all types of sails boats and systems is unable to deal and operate correctly something as simple as a in mast furling, one that he knows well since it is the one in his boat, is not credible.

Regarding the rescue some more details, by another great sailor, the rescuer,
Richard Branson, on his words:

"Writing on his blog, Sir Richard said Sir Ben “obviously he knows exactly what he is doing” at sea, adding: “However, his boat had a serious mechanical problem, in no way Ben’s fault, and he put a message out asking for help.”

He said: Three of our wonderful watersports team heard the call and raced over to their aid.

The furling system broke on the main sail and the sail became so twisted that it couldn't go up, down, in or out.

The only way to avoid going onto the reefs was for Marco to go to the top to cut the sail to pieces, whilst George and Ben were winching Marco up and down and Georgie was helping in the boat.

“Unsurprisingly, Ben kept an amazingly cool head whilst directing operations - he just needed more hands to sort out the mess.”"

Ben Ainslie honeymoon cruise drama - boats.com
Maybe they should have called Minaret, read their furling system owners manual or simply tried pulling the sail down instead of obviously continue trying to pull it out sideways.

Personally, I don't care who these people are anymore than I care what kind of furling system Mrs Socrates has on her boat. BUT I've learned something from this thread that I didn't already know.....

Thanks to Minaret. If our sail ever jams, I'll be pulling on it in a downward motion.
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Old 20-11-2016, 15:54   #209
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Good to see you all come to a consensus.
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Old 20-11-2016, 16:09   #210
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

I'd hate to find myself in BFE with a furler locked up tighter than a drum. YMMV
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