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
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.