I had a 32 foot Hunter
, with in mast furling. Sailed it in Southern California
, and then along the intercoastal water
way from Corpus Christi Texas
to Tampa, Fl. I have also sailed on a friends 34 foot Hunter
with lazy jacks and a full batten main.
Biggest difference between the two, is that I could have my sails
up in about a quarter of the time it took to get around the lazy jack's and get the main up.
Advantage Roller Furling
As for reefing, his sail had two reef's with lines that came into the cockpit
, which would allow reefing from the cockpit
, what a pain. Between those two lines, and the lazy jacks, it typically took three of us to get the sails up, and then down again. Advantage Roller Furling
As for speed, whatever advantage I had in speed getting the sails up and down, was long gone in about the first 15 minutes of sailing as he would leave me in the "dust". The fully battened main, and the full roach sail, actually gave him enough speed/power to sail circles around me (he actually did this on a trip from Oceanside to Catalina
, while I was trying to make as much speed as possible).
Advantage fully battened main, full roach sail.
Jams, I had a couple of jams with the roller furling, took some learning
on my part as to how to use it, but we had just as many jams (no actually more) getting around the lazy jacks and the two reef points in his sails.
Advantage: Tie, both have good and bad points.
The bottom line, when synchronizing gears were first added to manual transmissions there were some who saw it as the end of an era, and not in a good way. It allowed just about anyone to drive a car, the same when automatic transmissions came along. Yes, there are problems with roller furling, and there are problems with the old fashioned sails that stack on the boom. I for one think the link in the original post was an OPINION of one person, and is no more valid than the rest of the OPINIONS that have followed in this thread.
The OP said that there was no way he would have roller furling, that is fine, he should not have it. However, if you really think that the right answer is to use the roller furling mast and change it accept a regular sail, I have to ask, "What are you nuts?" If you do that it might "work", but it will never be as good as a properly designed for the purpose mast. You won't know when to expect it to fail, and since it will require modifications to support the track attached to the mast (as opposed to the roller inside), it will have significant modifications (read flaws) added to the mast. I believe that what you will have when you are done is neither a fish
nor a foul, but some bastard design that I, would never buy. (Again, another opinion).
If you don't want the roller furling, because you are concerned with jamming, then change the mast, or you should be concerned with the mast failing instead.
If you don't want the roller furling for the performance aspect, then change the mast, as you will have less weight at the top of the mast, and a properly designed mast for the task.
Bottom line, in my OPINION, change the mast, or learn to love the roller furling.