Furling Main Sails
Jeff and Jack thanks for your replies, I think they were both of value. Let me give you a bit more detail.
My wife and I have owned several boats from a wooden Snipe to a Starret&Jenks45. We sailed on the Chesapeake, Lake Champlain and the Atlantic Coast from Solomons to the Canadian Border. We have also chartered in the Virgins, Belize, Georgian Bay and the Strait of Georgia. Now our kids are getting older and we want to cruise. Now exactly where and what time of the year is hard to nail down, this is a work in progress. What I don''t want to do is limit ourselves too much with a choice of boat. I would like to do the Bahamas or the Florida Keys. We would like to go back to Belize and on to Central America. If we get brave perhaps we would try Panama Canal and Costa Rica. So we are looking for strong boat, reasonable performance, shoal draft, moderate displacement to carry us and a lot of stuff but not a "crab Crusher".
We are down to two boats; Brewer 12.8 and Bristol 41.1. The Brewer thatwe are looking at is a cutter ketch with furling everything, jib, staysil, missen and electric in mast furler.We like the boat but find the Furling main scary. Plus with a ketch rig you are already giving up some performance for the sake of ease of sail handling why give even more to the furling? Oddly enough the boat came from the builder with a tall rig and more ballast and after one season the owner replaced with the standard rig and furling-rama. The Bristol that is in our area is also main furling and a sloop. My feeling is that we would be better off with a cutter rig with slab reef main, furling jib and hanked on staysil.
Am I too old fashioned or is main furling going to be the new standard for cruisers??