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Old 25-11-2020, 08:59   #1
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Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

As the Owner of 1 of the Big 3, 40ft. production cats; it would interest me to hear opinions on whether Boom Furling systems are practical or even preferred. I sail single handed and I Loathe....hate....dislike my sail battens getting hung up in the lazy jacks. Most of the big production mono-hull boats have or are introducing mast furling (not preferred on a cat due to the lack of ability to heel). There are a number well made boom systems for battened sails and the price is negligible compared to the several hundred thousand dollars it costs to buy a new Catamaran.....What do you think?
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Old 25-11-2020, 09:51   #2
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

I recall reading somewhere that FP will install one if the customer requests it.
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Old 25-11-2020, 14:47   #3
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

The big three? For sure, its about your target market, and it isnt pure sailing pleasure for that market, so compromises on performance pointing ability etc are fine for them.
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Old 25-11-2020, 15:17   #4
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

I took a test sail a few months ago in RI on a new FP 45 with in-boom furling.
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Old 26-11-2020, 10:12   #5
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

I have a friend who owns an rather oldish Lagoon 46 ft long (~25 years). He has installed boom furling sail recently. He says that is an incredible improvement to short handed sailing.
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Old 26-11-2020, 10:30   #6
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I took a test sail a few months ago in RI on a new FP 45 with in-boom furling.

And I think it would be interesting to hear your feedback on how it worked.
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Old 26-11-2020, 11:12   #7
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

I had a 43ft custom cat with Pro Furl in boom furling and hated it. The boom weighed a tonne (needed a crane to lift it back into postion after we replaced the rigging), the main rarely rolled correctly, and it was difficult to get a good sail shape.

After two boats with in boom, Im going back to slab reefing...

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Old 26-11-2020, 12:46   #8
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

another option to lazy Jacks or boom furling are the Dutchman flaking system. I've been happy with it, but you need grommets added to the main.
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Old 26-11-2020, 13:46   #9
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

These convenience devices have been available as aftermarket for many years. One would think that if the manufacturers thought the additional costs would give them an advantage they would offer it as a factory option. The problem with factory options is that warranty then needs to be provided. I have heard of enough issues that occur with boom furling either due to operator failure or equipment failure as to say it may not be viable, but that is not to say it won't become more bullet proof in the future with improved design, there is always opportunity to design a better mousetrap.



We had a Lagoon 450. We cruised full time for 5years. After the first few months we figured out how to manage slab reefing and the high boom arrangement, it was different to our previous cat, it just takes a while to figure it out and to practice, and it soon becomes manageable team effort. Many people moan about it because they can not figure it out or learn how to manage and maintain the system. Sure, initially we looked at an in boom replacement at a significant costs, and then we read about some expensive failures of the system, and decided we could spend the money better on something else. It was just us two. I did hoist and reef the sail by myself a couple of times using the autopilot just to see if I could do it. Whilst it took a bit of time to get the sequences right it worked out OK. If I was to do it solo all the time I would re-rig the halyard and the electric winch buttons so it could all be done from the helm with vision to the main sail with a better Bimini window, but I definitely can see the advantage of in boom for a single hander.



There are some posters here that have successfully installed in boom systems and have taken the time to learn how to operate and maintain it to minimize failures and so are strong advocates of the system. I guess when you spend the upgrade money yourself and are part of the install process you will tend to operate the equipment better as you understand its shortcomings. For those that buy one off the shelf as part of the package and then break it due to newbie operator error (same with sail drives for example) that is when you hear the complaints level rise.
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Old 26-11-2020, 14:42   #10
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

I have a boom furler on my mono and our next boat will probably be a cat and I do wish we could keep the boom furler! I single hand a lot and it hugely simplifies reefing to the point that it's so easy you raise and lower the main on a moment's notice. With an electric winch, it's mostly push button to reef and unreef. The result is you tune the sail area much more frequently making the sailing experience much more fun.

The system is dead simple, so not sure where the comments about reliability or operator error are coming from. It's not complicated at all. I don't know anyone with a boom furler who has had problems. The only real downside is weight - it adds a fair amount, but unlike in-mast furlers, the weight is at least low. The vang has to be much bigger and that can also create potential issues with cat cabin design. And of course, they are expensive. But I don't ever want to go back!

From a maintenance standpoint, you have to service the gooseneck every year or couple of years to make sure there isn't a lot of lateral friction - the weight of the boom can make this an issue. The sail also has to be cut to exact standards from the boom manufacturer. But you also get fully battened sails.

I thought the issues for putting these on catamarans had to do with sail shape and being able to handle a full roach sail. Not sure if that is true. I saw a photo of a cat with one under sail and the main looked smaller at the top, so maybe you have to also give up some sail area to get the furler?
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Old 26-11-2020, 15:53   #11
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

Why do they need to offer it when it can be added after market?

Re lazy jacks. There are mods you can make which reduce the issue of fouling battens. For example, I can lower mine and hitch them off at the mast, totally out of the way. Then pop them back up before dropping the main.

Re boom furling. I much prefer it to in mast. With in mast you can realistically only run 1 sail design. With in boom your options are much broader, including battens, and you can get your hands in there should something foul.
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Old 27-11-2020, 07:25   #12
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Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

Had a friend who tried for years to get jiggly with furling boom on his cat. Kept having issues even after having sail remade. Eventually went back to lazy bag and lowers jacks part way to make raising sail easier, only have to clear 2 battens.
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Old 29-11-2020, 17:38   #13
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Talking Re: Will the Big 3 Cat Builders offer Boom Furling?

I built my mainsail with batten pockets that adjust from the luff. This allowed the leech to be smooth from top to bottom. Mine don't hang up anymore.
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