Originally Posted by Paul Elliott
I've got a Leisurefurl, and I think the boom angle "problem" is overstated. You do need to control the boom, but the precision required is much easier than "a few degrees". I've got my vang (forespar spring-loaded) set up to get the boom close enough and it works fine. I maintain a little halyard tension as I furl -- it just takes a bit of practice and then it's all second-nature.
Yes, you will want an electric winch if you have a big mast. The bolt-rope does create some friction.
The heavy boom and spring-leaded vang do let the boom bounce in heavy seas when the sail is furled. I don't have a lot of clearance between the boom and my solar panels
, so I use a spare halyard / topping lift to keep the boom under control. I don't need the topping lift when the sail is hoisted.
It's a useful system, and I like it. My crew likes it. It is difficult to properly furl completely when running downwind in heavy air, but I can furl to the "third reef" position OK. If I want to furl 100% I need someone at the mast to help, or I turn upwind to complete the furl.
I don't know if I would install it again though. It's just a bit more fragile than a track / battcar system (although any system can have problems). Still, mine has gotten me through many miles and a few tough situations. I'm going to keep it.
I agree the system does offer some benifits, however
I don't think they warent the huge expense
There are two versions of this systems Coastal and Off Shore
My experience was with the Coastal Version.
We had huge problems which led me to the following research
on behalf of the owner. Also for you it would seem you could extend
the life of your vang by always having the topping lift on.
From Page 3 of the owners manual, Coastal Version
"In-boom furling systems require both a rigid boom vang and a traditional boom topping lift for safety
and ease of sail trimming.
When furling or reefing, the boom should be adjusted to the required 87o angle and held at that angle with the support of the boom vang during the furling process. In heavy weather
the boom topping lift should be used to arrest the motion of the boom during furling.
When the boat is moored a boom topping lift will extend the life of your boom vang, no matter what type; spring, pneumatic, hydraulic or electric"
All of our issues, jams on raising and lowering were traced to and caused by
not maintaining the exact requirement of 87 degrees.
Back tension on either the furling line and halyard are absolutley needed.
On the coastal version the furling drum is on the aft end of the boom
on the off shore version it is forward of the mast. This aft drum configuration causes the furling line to make quit a round about trip
thru many blocks and leads. This might have an effect on the overall
operation of the systems. I think for the same money as two systems
(ketch) the OP could repower
, replace the standing riging, buy new sails
and have money left over.
I have no experience on ketches so I might sound stupid here But do they
have Hard Vangs and Topping Lifts on the mizzen?
Would it require 2 electric winches?