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Old 02-11-2009
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Joe,

I have logged a fair number of miles on a boat with a behind-the-mast mainsail furling system. It was not a CDI -- can't remember the make.

It definitely is a convenient way to set and reef the mainsail. If convenience and low-cost is a priority, I can see why some folks might choose this approach.

I however would not. The loss of performance was simply not worth the trade-off for how I like to sail. It's not just that the mainsail area is less due to lack of battens and negative or at best neutral roach in the leech.

The other issue is that when sailing hard on the wind, the luff of the sail tends to deflect quite a bit from the vertical, much like a genoa luff will if the headstay tension is too soft. Knothead might be able to comment further, but I think that a fair bit of deflection is inevitable because of the nature of the beast.

Again, if convenience, cost, and simplicity are your priority rather than optimal upwind performance, maybe this would be a good system for you. My feeling is that upwind is the biggest challenge for any sailboat, so why handicap it further?
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