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Old 20-11-2016, 16:16   #211
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
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.
....
Thanks to Minaret. If our sail ever jams, I'll be pulling on it in a downward motion.
Maybe they have found out what Neil had said and therefore had to cut the sail before the boat hit the reefs:

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Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
ZsPAR now Zdifusion spars , Selden, and few others ... 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...
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Old 20-11-2016, 16:21   #212
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

In casually following this thread, it comes across that some are convinced their opinion is the correct one.

In my opinion, as some in the legal profession like to opine: "It all depends". Each system has merits/demerits, advantages & disadvantages and the question of in mast furling is only part of a more complex set of questions concerning the boat type, set-up, rig design, etc., etc. Any boat is a series of compromises. Personally, I would prefer in mast furling to (in or on) boom furling/reefing if the access to the boom were restricted by cockpit lay-out, elevation, bikini's, deck stowage, etc. I have sailed/been aboard too many boats that have severely limited access to the boom(s) & sail(s) such that they are effectively inaccessible without major disassembly should something go wrong or fail. To the OP & those considering the options: Consider the entire system & specific boat. There is no one "correct" answer.
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Old 20-11-2016, 17:38   #213
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Maybe they have found out what Neil had said and therefore had to cut the sail before the boat hit the reefs:


Pretty sure that's just a fellow professional trying to remind me that there are systems out there which are so poorly designed that the turnbuckle at the base of the in mast stay is encased in the furler foils, with no other option for release like the quick release toggle on mine. Also, some have such incredibly skinny slots in the mast that a truly heinous jam can develop. Stay away from entry level systems like Selden and you will never experience this. Also, learn how to use the system in question (seems obvious but...). Gear failures can happen in any system, examples of broken gear don't count. Seen plenty of that in slab reefing, often a failed sheave at the masthead, requiring one to not just go aloft, but also go that extra couple of feet to the very top of the masthead that we all know is a bit trickier, especially in a seaway.
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Old 20-11-2016, 17:43   #214
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
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.


Pretty sure we have the same or very similar Hood unit. Happy to send you a copy of the manual with instructions for doing this. I've found the same to apply to many other systems. Some don't have the larger opening in the mast at the base of the slot, which is there so that you can perform the operation in question. Most of these have a plate over said opening which can be removed to access the furler, and which allows the same operation to be performed. I'd recommend you try it once just to see that it can be done. Then next time you get a new main you'll remember to tell them to really beef the tack up and use the strongest possible luff line that will fit in the furler foil.
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Old 20-11-2016, 17:45   #215
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
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?


Yes, Hood. Try it some time! I know Selden are a bear, and I'm sure you get even more numbskull charterers there than we do here.
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Old 20-11-2016, 17:49   #216
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

As a final aside-most of the same type of charterers who are responsible for the vast majority of jams I have seen on equipment with even a modicum of maintenance, when they go out on boats without furling mains, do not ever hoist the main. Instead, they sail on the furling genny alone. I have seen many sailors, many of whom claim to be "experienced", do this. When asked, they say it's because the main is too much work short handed without a furler. Very very common. So despite the occasional newbie jam, I find it much better gear for a charter fleet, for new crew, or for shorthanded crew.
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Old 20-11-2016, 18:26   #217
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Wow, are these the same people that railed against the roller-furling headsail?

Infinite furling by just turning the winch. No heading into the wind and no leaving the cockpit. That's as safe as it gets.

Boom furlers have all the problems of a regular mainsail with lots of expense and headaches.
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Old 20-11-2016, 18:37   #218
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Pretty sure we have the same or very similar Hood unit. Happy to send you a copy of the manual with instructions for doing this. I've found the same to apply to many other systems. Some don't have the larger opening in the mast at the base of the slot, which is there so that you can perform the operation in question. Most of these have a plate over said opening which can be removed to access the furler, and which allows the same operation to be performed. I'd recommend you try it once just to see that it can be done. Then next time you get a new main you'll remember to tell them to really beef the tack up and use the strongest possible luff line that will fit in the furler foil.
Here's the best photo I have of the base on the hood furling system. Look's like it's wide open which has enabled me to easily access the tack when removing the sail. Please send a copy of the owner's manual, I'd greatly appreciate a pdf copy.

Thanks.

Ken
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Old 20-11-2016, 19:00   #219
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Here's the best photo I have of the base on the hood furling system. Look's like it's wide open which has enabled me to easily access the tack when removing the sail. Please send a copy of the owner's manual, I'd greatly appreciate a pdf copy.

Thanks.

Ken

I may just take pics of the relevant pages in the manual, let me find it. Probably the easiest way, doubt there's a pdf. I do recollect the manual stating to pull the sail down off the furler "like pulling a sock down a leg".


It's easy on the Hood, though. Just as obvious as it looks like it would be. Just undo the tack, clearly visible in the bottom of the furler slot, attach a line to a block at the mast base/deck or the gooseneck even, take it to a winch and heave away. It's obvious to anyone whos ever dealt with a jam that moving the sail laterally in the slot is much easier than trying to pull it further in or out, which is what caused the jam. Also, if you do it this way, as the luff is pulled out of the foil a lot of pressure is often relieved at the jam. Pretty often it seems like it will only pull the luff until you get a foot or two of it out and then the leech will suddenly come unjammed and the whole thing will drop. It's pretty obvious, common sense really. If I owned a system with no method for quick disconnect at the mast base, I'd add it if possible. For cheap.
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Old 20-11-2016, 19:15   #220
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Yep, that's the same as our Hood furler. Before I put the sail back on in the Spring, I'll look at the connection. It's easy to visualize how the sail can be lowered like a sock.

For the benefit of others, one time during a thunderstorm, my daughter accidentally leaned against our furling switch and unfurled four or five turns inside the mast. If I'd made a panic decision and started yanking on the outhaul, it might have created a real mess.... but I didn't. Instead, I furled in the sail until the tension increased, then carefully let the sail out using the outhaul working it slowly in and out.

No jam took place because I was careful and didn't just start yanking on everything. Nearly all jams are preventable unless caused by a broken internal part, and even then.... you can always pull the sail down, just as you would with slab reefing.
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Old 21-11-2016, 03:16   #221
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Pretty sure that's just a fellow professional trying to remind me that there are systems out there which are so poorly designed that the turnbuckle at the base of the in mast stay is encased in the furler foils, with no other option for release like the quick release toggle on mine. Also, some have such incredibly skinny slots in the mast that a truly heinous jam can develop. Stay away from entry level systems like Selden and you will never experience this. Also, learn how to use the system in question (seems obvious but...).....
One of the systems he mentions is Selden that is one of the more common and has been pointed here as one of the best and equips not only mass production boats as well as luxury cruisers like Halberg Rassy, Najad, most Oyster and many others.
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Old 21-11-2016, 03:35   #222
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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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
If his furling system "broke" than it wasn't just a jam, but if it was just a jam it was avoidable if he'd been doing it properly. I don't question that Ainslie is a "super sailor" on the race course, but he's not anywhere near as familiar with his boat (he lives in London and is busy racing all over the world but his boat was in the Caribbean) as a typical cruiser who lives with and deals with the idiosyncrasies of just one boat 24/7/365.

I'd also take Branson's assessment of what happened and what was "necessary" to resolve the situation with a rather large grain of salt. He obviously didn't want to be any part of embarrassing Ainslie on his honeymoon any more than he already was so was trying to put the best face on it for him. This incident has very little to do with the pro's and con's of a cruiser equipping his boat with a roller furling main.
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Old 21-11-2016, 04:39   #223
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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It's easy on the Hood, though. Just as obvious as it looks like it would be. Just undo the tack
When you say "just undo the tack" I understand that you are talking about the tack of the sail. However to slide the sail "off like a sock" you have to disconnect the bottom of the foil too.

How is the bottom of the foil connected in that system and how easy is it to disconnect? What is your system to control the bottom of the foil and stop it lashing and bashing the inside of the mast?
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Old 21-11-2016, 04:43   #224
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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If his furling system "broke" than it wasn't just a jam, but if it was just a jam it was avoidable if he'd been doing it properly. I don't question that Ainslie is a "super sailor" on the race course, but he's not anywhere near as familiar with his boat (he lives in London and is busy racing all over the world but his boat was in the Caribbean) as a typical cruiser who lives with and deals with the idiosyncrasies of just one boat 24/7/365.

I'd also take Branson's assessment of what happened and what was "necessary" to resolve the situation with a rather large grain of salt. He obviously didn't want to be any part of embarrassing Ainslie on his honeymoon any more than he already was so was trying to put the best face on it for him. This incident has very little to do with the pro's and con's of a cruiser equipping his boat with a roller furling main.
All you say calls for speculation: You speculate that all jams happens because the system is improperly used without any evidence, being known that some of those jams had happened with very experienced sailors that use furling masts for years and many thousands of miles.

Fact is that Branson, a very experienced sailor, says, after having seeing the problem, that the the system broke and that was not Ainslie fault. Implying that he is lying is pure speculation.

The fact is that the boat belongs to Ainslie for several years, that is home port is not in the Caribbean (even if they were sailing there) but on UK (Lymington) and also that immediately after the jam with the furling boom the yacht was put for sale.
Hoek Brokerage » Truly Classic 65 Rita

It is also speculation to say that Ainslie did not know how to operate a furling mast on a yacht that he owned for some years. It seems not credible to me.

I am very curious to see if the cruising boat Ainslie is going to buy after selling Rita (this one) will have a furling mast or not.
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Old 21-11-2016, 04:49   #225
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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All you say calls for speculation: Fact is that Branson, a very experienced sailor, says, after having seeing the problem, that the the system broke and that was not Ainslie fault. Implying that he is lying is pure speculation.

The fact is that the boat belongs to Ainslie for several years, that is home port is not on the Caribbean (even if they were sailing there) but on UK (Lymington) and also that immediately after the jam with the furling boom the yacht was put for sale.
Hoek Brokerage » Truly Classic 65 Rita

It is also speculation to say that Ainslie did not know how to operate a furling mast on a yacht that he owned for some years. It seems not credible to me.

I am very curious to see if the cruising boat Ainslie is going to buy after selling Rita (this one) will have a furling mast or not.
Seems to me that there is a lot of arguing without actually using the MK I eyeball here.

The furling system was in mast right?

Look at the pic - it seems to be mostly out of the mast.

Something definitely broke.
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