I would run the other way from in-mast furling, for the reasons mentioned above and:
1. noise at anchor from wind whistling in the slot
2. "Operator error" most likely at most inopportune moment
3. lack of battens making sail shape a nonsense term
4. lack of battens making sail noise (flapping) and wearing sail out sooner
5. vertical battens (if you have them) that WILL poke through their pockets and get stuck inside the mast
5. reefing keeps sail area high on the mast when you want it there least
6. how to fix things that jam 20' up in a 5' sea (it won't jam when it's flat)
It sounds to me that though many people may profess to enjoying their in-mast r/f systems, they're like the fox who lost his tail in the trap. Boom-mounted systems, though they may have some of the same and other issues, seem to make much more sense.
This subject comes up a lot which was why I started the debate on it. First of all, Paulk, I have alays appreciated your posts here and find that you and I agree on things almost all of the time. However...
WHat is your first hand experience with Inmast? I used to think just like you did BEFORE I owned one. Not now.
1. I have never had this happen, and we get some really wispy winds in N Texas. In fact, the loudest boat in the marina is a Panda 38 about three slips down (trad main) that can almost keep everyone else awake at night. This is not an issue I have had or have ever heard anyone with Inmast complain about. I will also add that all you need is one fellow with a AirX or similar in the anchorage and you wouldn't hear a thing on your boat anyways... or my kids blaring Thomas the Train Engine for that matter.
2. I do not buy this point at all. Operator error is operator error and not a factor of the sytsem. I was very clear in my debate on the other thread that if you try and reef a inmast like a traditional slab, you will screw it up. But isnt' this true for all things nautical? Learn how to work them. Imagine the guys transitioning from square sails to....
3. That is the concern I have shared too. I have found the main on Inmast much more depowered than on traditional and was almost a deal killer at first (spoke to another 400 owner about trading masts).
4. I do not agree. And let;s not forget the UV exposure and elements exposure of a slab reefed sail laying across the boom versus an inmast protected inside the mast.
5. Do not have them so cannot comment.
5. Not sure I completely agree there either. And let's not forget to discuss two huge [ositieves with inmast versus trad:
a. You can do EVERYTHING from the cockpit. I have always had to go forward in a rolling sea and blow to reef (or before hand) and make sure everything is lashed down hard. In a strong rolling sea, the T-slides always seemed to get stuck on the track and we had to pull them down by hand about three feet over the gooseneck on our 380.
b. This one is very important: You have a second, traditional, T-Track on Inmast (at least mine). THis allows you to rig a trysail and the base of the mast and keep it as a spare secondary. Many people did not know this. So you could in fact reef your inmast completely in and pull out a trysail as a storm sail. Interesting huh?
6. No dissagreeing with you there. That is the concern. I guess your best option is to release the outhaul and wrap it around the mast, but no option for fixing it is pretty.
Anyways, as I have said, I find that most of the people who have owned these actually like them. I find that most of the people who are negative on them either have never had much use on the NEW ones, or theyir experience is on the old ones which apparently had problems.
I have NOT given the system my full support yet. I have been out in some nice blows, but never out at sea with it in a storm. I will reserve my full support until I see how she does offshore in a blow in a nice sea. That is when things always want to jam.... not in the wind but in the seas. I guess I will find out soon. I will put no less than 450 - 500 miles on her in the next few weeks when we sail across the gulf. I will report back then with my opinions.