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Old 15-11-2016, 10:51   #106
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Boom furlers are fine, they had quite a few teething problems but the ones being sold now seem to be well made but you better have multi thousands of dollars to spare to buy one. I agree voyage boats and most of their owners prefer a regular mainsail but keep in mind that that group represents a very small portion of sailboats that are sold each year and sailed offshore.
In mast furling was seen on many, many of the ARC boats that crossed the Atlantic and you yourself have put up many arguments that the entry level production boats are capable offshore boats. Can't be coastal cruisers on day and offshore cruisers the other day but of course they are.
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Old 15-11-2016, 11:39   #107
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As to in-boom furling -- I've never tried it, so not really entitled to an opinion. But the lack of any control for foot tension looks like a deal-breaker for me, as much as I would love to have the roach.
I've sailed an Outbound 46 with a Leisurefurl setup a number of times, so I have had a chance to put it to use. It's true that when fully unfurled you're stuck with one foot tension setting. But that said, as the main is rolled it tends to flatten out during just the first turn of the mandrel, at least on the one I've used. This is similar the "flattening reef" we used to see in mainsails, which was just a 12 inch reef that stretched the lower 1/4 of the sail quite flat.

So the one I've sailed has the main pre-set kind of loose (not super baggy, but what I'd call a full-power outhaul setting) when fully hoisted. To flatten the main you roll up just a small amount. The drawback is you're taking about a foot or so out of the hoist to get the bottom flat. OTOH at least on that main it did appear to flatten more of the lower main than you typically get from the outhaul, which helped with upwind trim once you hit that point.
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Old 15-11-2016, 11:50   #108
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Boom furlers are fine, they had quite a few teething problems but the ones being sold now seem to be well made but you better have multi thousands of dollars to spare to buy one. I agree voyage boats and most of their owners prefer a regular mainsail but keep in mind that that group represents a very small portion of sailboats that are sold each year and sailed offshore.
In mast furling was seen on many, many of the ARC boats that crossed the Atlantic and you yourself have put up many arguments that the entry level production boats are capable offshore boats. Can't be coastal cruisers on day and offshore cruisers the other day but of course they are.
Robert I never said that Boom furlers could not be used on offshore boats that would be stupid because they are. What I said was that on boats maximized for bluewater and long range cruising, or high latitude passages by definition voyage boats, a traditional mast and reefing with single line or the traditional way, makes more sense and that is what you find on those boats.

On those percentages take also in consideration that all performance cruisers (and some that are not, mainly from the North of Europe) don't use in mast furling and the brands are many, Arcona, X yachts, Salona, Elan, Dehler, Maxi yacht, Pogo, JPK, RM and many others. Take also in consideration that many main mass market brands offer the option of a furling mast or a traditional mast with single line reefing and even if most chose furling masts many chose the other option and I believe that those are the ones that will sail more the boat in passage.

What I said was this:
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...
I certainly don't agree that the possibilities of jamming are the same in what regards a conventional system and an in mast furling, specially in what regards the possibility of haven the sail brought down if there is a problem. An in mast furling is much more complicated and have much more possibilities of jamming than a conventional one. Not meaning that it happens frequently.

And finally, most of all, I don't agree with the in mast furling being more adequate for passage sailing or high latitude sailing. I see it as the opposite, being that system more prone to eventual problems it makes more sense to use it if the sail is done coastally, where help is at hand if really a big problem happens.

It seems to be the opinion of really high latitude sailors and what you will find on on the rigs of the boats properly designed for that type of sailing. And normally the ones that sail on remote inhospitable places are very experienced sailors.

I do believe that in mast furling has reached a great stage of development ...offering a good reliability.I do think they are suitable for most uses on cruising boats, including ocasional ocean crossings.

It seems to me also evident that the complexity of the system makes it more prone to jamming, being it for user error (motivated by dire circumstances) or by salt accumulated on the bearings or whatever the reason. Complex systems have always a bigger possibility to fail than simpler ones unless they are redundant.

The case here is that if it fails there is nothing to do, no way to bring the sail down, no redundancy and that's the real problem with the system.

Again, Jams happened but has happened very rarely, but the ones that buy a boat with such a system should be aware of that possibility and on a boat that will be used extensively offshore, a passage maker, I don't think it is a good idea.

The other option, boom furler is a much more acceptable option one not only in what regards sail performance (battens) but also because if it jams it offers the redundancy furling mast don't have and the sail can be brought down ..
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Old 15-11-2016, 12:21   #109
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
... I can't deny that in time virtually 95% of cruising boats will be built this way......keep in mind that that group represents a very small portion of sailboats that are sold each year and sailed offshore.
In mast furling was seen on many, many of the ARC boats that crossed the Atlantic .....
I like to check reality and believe or not mostly to correct my views, so I checked the ARC regarding that vast majority of boats sold recently with furling mast and went to see how was the proportion there between the ones with in mast furling and the ones with traditional, one line reefing or boom reefing.

Surely if that was true the vast majority of boats making the ARC would have a a furling mast. Take a look and take notice of the big number of big yachts with boom furling and the big number with traditional or one line reefing. In fact the ones with furling mast are substantially less.
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Old 15-11-2016, 12:32   #110
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I like to check reality and believe or not mostly to correct my views, so I checked the ARC regarding that vast majority of boats sold recently with furling mast and went to see how was the proportion there between the ones with in mast furling and the ones with traditional, one line reefing or boom reefing.

Surely if that was true the vast majority of boats making the ARC would have a a furling mast. Take a look and take notice of the big number of big yachts with boom furling and the big number with traditional or one line reefing. In fact the ones with furling mast are substantially less.
I didn't say the most, I said many. Anyways we've beaten this dead horse long enough, I understand your point.
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Old 15-11-2016, 13:49   #111
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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That's an SWS isn't it? Slab reefing anyway. I don't think they have put roller reefing on one of their boats yet. I know they are opposed to it, but they do like to be racy.
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Old 15-11-2016, 14:27   #112
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Good post, Pollux! I guess all those folks in SSCA who had problems must be short attention span idiots...

Guys, my point all along has been that despite all the plaudits, there are instances of in mast furlers giving problems. I have seen a few with my own eyes. This is reality, not some manifestation of my unreasonable dislike for a popular system. The failure rate is low, but the possible consequences severe. And this is why some folks do not want in mast furling on a long distance cruising boat... boats that go far from shore facilities where problems can get sorted out.

That they work well for many sailors is not disputed. That they can give serious problems has been demonstrated well enough that one should not ignore the possibility when deciding upon what gear to fit on your cruising boat.

Jim
Hi Jim, I understand your argument and agree but I also see the other side of the coin and agree, both in mast furling and slab reefing have there risks.
I've seen two boats that have jammed their mainsail using in mast furling. One was a a cal 46, he literally cut the main from the head to the tack and motored or used the headsail for the rest of the trip. The other was a jeanneau, fortunately they were in a marina and after many hours were able to un jam it. These two events have made me weary of in mast furling.

But here's where I'm at now. I had some fairly bad weather earlier this year in a very remote place, the last was at 3am in the morning. My boat fully reefed was getting way over powered ,and with this particular boat, heaving to is done under jib alone. To get the mainsail down I had to be on deck, I truly believe due to the weather on this occasion it was the most dangerous situation ive had while sailing, lightening all around, voilent seas wind etc. Every time I moved I very much made sure my grip was strong. If I fell off the boat I was dead, absolutely no doubt.
After this event it really got me thinking about future safety, catamaran stability seemed suddenly more important as well as mainsail furling, not leaving the cockpit has become important to me.
Now I'm not getting a cat but the next boat most likely will have mainsail furling, not a deal breaker but probably prefered.
I think its a case of choose your poison. Boats always a compromise!



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Old 15-11-2016, 14:35   #113
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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You should not resource to this type of argumentation when you have no more valid arguments. It is not nice, a clear attempt to undermine the credibility of another poster without any fundament.
It has nothing to do with anyone's credibility.

You are arguing just for arguing's sake, and your argument has nothing to do with what I wrote.

I did not present any argument at all, simply observations and a subjective opinion, presented as such, about some pros and cons of the system for a particular sailing area based on how the pros and cons of the system interact with the characteristics of that region.

You are arguing about the PREVALENCE of the system in POLAR REGIONS. I said nothing about the prevalence of the system at all, and I was not writing about polar regions.

Your opinions are valuable and interesting, but far less so when you feel like you have to present them like this, which simply muddies the water.
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Old 15-11-2016, 14:36   #114
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Dale,

We've been clobbered twice by unexpected high winds and caught with our mainsail fully deployed 40 knots+ causing us to round up into the wind. Both times we were able to furl in the sails within a minute thanks to in-mast furling. The sail actually furled tighter and easier with some pressure on it, but we did need to turn slightly into the wind on one of those situations because we were on the wrong tack and needed to reduce the pressure on the slot.
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Old 15-11-2016, 14:37   #115
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Furling mains are fine. They are safe unless you do something stupid. Same applies to other sails.

You must do good maintenance as with any other piece of equipment.

b.
Im playing both sides of the argument. We do, do stupid things !!!!!!

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Old 15-11-2016, 14:38   #116
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I've sailed an Outbound 46 with a Leisurefurl setup a number of times, so I have had a chance to put it to use. It's true that when fully unfurled you're stuck with one foot tension setting. But that said, as the main is rolled it tends to flatten out during just the first turn of the mandrel, at least on the one I've used. This is similar the "flattening reef" we used to see in mainsails, which was just a 12 inch reef that stretched the lower 1/4 of the sail quite flat.

So the one I've sailed has the main pre-set kind of loose (not super baggy, but what I'd call a full-power outhaul setting) when fully hoisted. To flatten the main you roll up just a small amount. The drawback is you're taking about a foot or so out of the hoist to get the bottom flat. OTOH at least on that main it did appear to flatten more of the lower main than you typically get from the outhaul, which helped with upwind trim once you hit that point.
A foot out of the hoist doesn't sound like a big problem to me.

I don't know -- as I said, I haven't tried it, and would not really venture a strong opinion until I do. Realizing that not having any actual experience doesn't stop some of us from having strong opinions
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Old 15-11-2016, 14:46   #117
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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I don't think Icebird or Paratiis has anything to do with this discussion. A completely different rig...for another discussion. Nothing to do with conventional in mast furling.


The Beneteau technical team has been working and developing that rig for being used for the first time on a mass produced boat.

They made some comparative tests with that rig and the normal one. I saw the results and was not convinced that the superior cost and complexity were justified. Maybe is why Beneteau after a big publicity and different magazine test sails is not launched it yet even if I am sure some would buy it just to have a different and more exclusive boat.
Coming from my last boat with a freestanding rig im a big fan of the aerorig style, so many advantages. But I still think we are along way from mainstream accepting them , let alone buying them. This is just my opinion based on dockside conversations and of course CF....lol.
Sorry, abit of a drift.

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Old 15-11-2016, 14:47   #118
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

Ok, so far so good, in mast furlers for solo, not good, big **** if the thing jam, in mast furling for couples or more, good...
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Old 15-11-2016, 14:53   #119
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

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Dale,

We've been clobbered twice by unexpected high winds and caught with our mainsail fully deployed 40 knots+ causing us to round up into the wind. Both times we were able to furl in the sails within a minute thanks to in-mast furling. The sail actually furled tighter and easier with some pressure on it, but we did need to turn slightly into the wind on one of those situations because we were on the wrong tack and needed to reduce the pressure on the slot.
That's very appealing. I have friends that have done 10,000's of nm on their Amel. My view of furling mains was quite negative until being around the eas of managing their boat.
Im in Europe next week (i think) and most boats I'm looking at have them, therefore for me I'll probably have one regardless.


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Old 15-11-2016, 15:32   #120
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Re: Is a furling main safe when singlehanding?

The definitive answer is:



Yes
No
Maybe
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