Originally Posted by sailingdog
I'm not a big fan of mast-based furling systems, whether they furl in the mast or in a foil behind the mast. They ruin the air flow over the sail, they have a high potential to jam—particularly in heavy winds, the sails are hard to get good shape on because of the furling system, and they add a fair amount of weight aloft.
I would ditch it and go with lazy jacks and slab reefing or a Dutchman system. Much more reliable, much better sail shape, much less expensive and much less weight aloft.
Sorry SD but the only thing I can agree with is the part about adding weight aloft. I had a boat with in mast and LOVED it. On my new boat it's the ONE thing I REALLY miss. In 35 years of sailing I never had a more usefull feature! Never had a jam, the sail shape was beautiful and and I regularly beat my sistership who had a deep fin and a full batten dutchman system.
A good sailor with RF main can still kick a mediocre sailors butt even if they "theoretically" have the faster boat.. On Catalinas the booms on RF main boats is longer to compensate for the lost roach and slightly shorter on non RF boats. All the hype about jams and such are from people who don't know how to use one correctly. You NEVER point directly into the wind to furl an in mast main but I see people do it all the time and then they blame the system for jamming..
Even in non-existant wind my RF main boat was a sprightly performer...