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Old 21-11-2016, 10:29   #241
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Hi ken!

It was not that I was referring to. I was referring to the possibility of bringing the sail down when it is jammed with some part in. Even if there is a possibility to dismount the system without taking the mast out, like it seems to be with the one you have, it will not seem to be a thing you would be able to do alone, at least with some sea way. On a big boat like yours with a big and heavy sail up the roller, that should not be a light task, not even with the boat at the marina.
It shouldn't be any more complicated than the way my wife hauls me up the mast. A snatch block is attached to a winch at the base of the mast, then the downhaul can be run through a second snatch block on its way to a cockpit winch. After the sail begins to move, then just use the single snatch block 12 feet or so away from the mast. Sounds easy.
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Old 21-11-2016, 10:57   #242
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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It shouldn't be any more complicated than the way my wife hauls me up the mast. A snatch block is attached to a winch at the base of the mast, then the downhaul can be run through a second snatch block on its way to a cockpit winch. After the sail begins to move, then just use the single snatch block 12 feet or so away from the mast. Sounds easy.
I hope you have never to try it to really knowsincerely.
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Old 21-11-2016, 11:04   #243
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I was sailing solo and I had to sail for two days with the main on the 2th reef. By luck the wind was always over 15K and it was not a problem because the boat was light and I could still sail reasonably fast.

But there are problems and problems. Here the problem was that I could not raise the full sail, a bit like a boom furled jammed, but I had no difficulty at all to lower the main and if that was the case it would be a much, much bigger problem.
You wouldn't have had a problem to raise the main either, just cut the jammed line. It is easy enough to tie on new tack and clew lines (hint use sail ties).
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Old 21-11-2016, 11:26   #244
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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You wouldn't have had a problem to raise the main either, just cut the jammed line. It is easy enough to tie on new tack and clew lines (hint use sail ties).
If I was crossing the Atlantic yes, but I would have to cut the two other cables (or take them out.... I don't know if that would be possible) that went inside the boom because all mechanism was blocked by the jam. It would then work like a regular slab reefing with two lines for each reef.

But cables are expensive and I was not that far from someone that could unjam it (2 days).
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Old 21-11-2016, 14:27   #245
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
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?


Yes, exactly. Which I did previously state repeatedly. On the Hood unit there is a quick release toggle, which can just be seen mostly wrapped in rigging tape in Kens pic. More commonly, there is a standard turnbuckle setup.
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Old 21-11-2016, 15:11   #246
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

IMHO furling systems allow less capable people to sail. Makes it easy until something goes wrong.
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Old 21-11-2016, 15:22   #247
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I hope you have never to try it to really knowsincerely.
I plan to disconnect and give it a try in early 2017.

Besides, nobody so far has mentioned any of the more significant drawbacks to slab reefing as it compares to in mast furling. Why not discuss something like a much shortened sail live with slab reefing? Most people I see never bother to cover up the mainsail for most of the summer. It just sits up on top of the boom baking in the UV sunlight and getting dirty. With mast furling, the sail is always rolled up, and out of the sun.... and not all crumpled up.

Or let's address the likelihood of the halyard getting stuck at the masthead with slab reefing. That's going to be even more difficult to repair underway that a minor furling jam.
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Old 21-11-2016, 15:57   #248
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I plan to disconnect and give it a try in early 2017.

Besides, nobody so far has mentioned any of the more significant drawbacks to slab reefing as it compares to in mast furling. Why not discuss something like a much shortened sail live with slab reefing? Most people I see never bother to cover up the mainsail for most of the summer. It just sits up on top of the boom baking in the UV sunlight and getting dirty. With mast furling, the sail is always rolled up, and out of the sun.... and not all crumpled up.

Or let's address the likelihood of the halyard getting stuck at the masthead with slab reefing. That's going to be even more difficult to repair underway that a minor furling jam.
You mean you are going to jam badly the mainsail to see if that works?

Most sailors that use slab reefing use also a lazy bag to put the sail in. Only charters that sail boats with slab reefing don't care to put it inside and for good reason, they don't care, it is not their boat. A sail can be folded and put in the bag without creases.

I sail on the same area as you and the only boats I see with neglected sails are charter boats or old boats and in that case is not only the sail that is neglected
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Old 21-11-2016, 16:26   #249
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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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.
Very balanced - thanks for that
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Old 21-11-2016, 16:41   #250
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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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 21-11-2016, 17:09   #251
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Hmm - classy stuff.
Note to self: do not, repeat, do not, ever go on board an Oyster - or beware the green demon!
What's that supposed to mean?
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Old 21-11-2016, 17:35   #252
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Well this has become quite a thread - to say the least. Dare I say that it is pretty well running out of steam, but that all of us have learned something?

My summary for what it is worth is this:
Main sail furling systems bring a lot of convenience to sailing a larger boat, in the same way that head sail furling systems have.
With many sailors, this means that we sail more - especially when we are single-handed, or just a couple.
Remember the old days of hank-on headsails (we still have a 22 footer that does, and I genuinely enjoy the ritual). Dealing with the head sail on a larger boat is a big task for one or two (my wife and I find it hard enough at the end of season to get it all folded to a manageable bundle on the deck, for taking ashore to fold properly - no way would we be doing that every day we wanted to go sailing !!!).

And so there was a natural progression to furling systems for the main. As others have stated, they see many with slab reefing, just sailing under their furling head sail, as for short sails, they find the hassled not worth it to get up there, unzip the boom bag, haul the main up, then lower, being careful to flake properly as it comes down, then get the boom bag zipped up again. For an hours sail, you are spending 5-10 minutes work - for many that is fine, for many that is not.

But then for a nicely set up, fully battened main with decent cars, once sailing, there is no better sailing. The compromise is the work (and expense!) leading to this and at the end of it - that is the compromise.

What can go wrong? Cars can jam up there, halyards can break, jam, or be lost to the top. Simple as it is, such a system is not perfect, whether mechanical failure or human error.

Furling mains bring convenience and lack of hassle. Pull a string or push a button and it is in or out to precisely the size you need for the conditions, (often without changing your point of sail). No getting organised with boom bags, and no flaking back in at the end of the sailing, then zipping back up again while stretching up, climbing the lower mast, or straddling the gooseneck.
But then on a nice light day, you are watching a boat with a full roach in the main, sail past you. Unless you have some serious extra sails for the bow to make up for the loss of area in the main. That is the compromise.

What can go wrong? Mandrel bearings can fail, furling lines or motors can break or jam, loosely furled sails can bunch up in the slot .... The system is more complex, requires more maintenance, and more care and understanding in use. Wonderfully convenient, the system is not perfect, and also as with slab reefing is prone mechanical failure and human error.

For each of us there will be experience, perspective - and need, that dictate their decision.

Well that is my attempt to bring this thread to a sensible and logical conclusion, but for me anyway, it has certainly been interesting
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Old 21-11-2016, 17:40   #253
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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What's that supposed to mean?
That means I could be green with envy Ken - some nice stuff on an Oyster (but if we ever do find ourselves in the same waters, you can invite us onboard for happy hour and I will try to control the demon ).

Oh, and the same invitation for you - I am sure we could have some great discussions, and note swapping (and we do love our Oceanis 50 by the way, but there is always a nicer boat to temp )
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Old 21-11-2016, 17:48   #254
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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That means I could be green with envy Ken - some nice stuff on an Oyster (but if we ever do find ourselves in the same waters, you can invite us onboard for happy hour and I will try to control the demon ).

Oh, and the same invitation for you - I am sure we could have some great discussions, and note swapping (and we do love our Oceanis 50 by the way, but there is always a nicer boat to temp )
We look forward to meeting you. Are you anywhere near the Adriatic? Presently, our boat is in San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy and we'll be spending most of 2017 in Croatia and Montenegro. But mostly Croatia.

Ken
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Old 21-11-2016, 18:06   #255
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I plan to disconnect and give it a try in early 2017.

Besides, nobody so far has mentioned any of the more significant drawbacks to slab reefing as it compares to in mast furling. Why not discuss something like a much shortened sail live with slab reefing? Most people I see never bother to cover up the mainsail for most of the summer. It just sits up on top of the boom baking in the UV sunlight and getting dirty. With mast furling, the sail is always rolled up, and out of the sun.... and not all crumpled up.

Or let's address the likelihood of the halyard getting stuck at the masthead with slab reefing. That's going to be even more difficult to repair underway that a minor furling jam.
Or the so all to common boom positioned so high & over a full enclosure or similar that is difficult to reach & service under when in port, let alone underway when it is blowing.
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