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post #3 of Old 11-14-2000
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Beneteau in mast furling

Having observed the performance of in mast furling on a number of boats I strongly recommend against it. They really seem to give up speed, light air performance and windward performance. Sailmakers tell me that in mast furling sails have short lives (very high leech loads stretch out the leech and there are no battens to support the edge. This is especially if used reefed) The boats that I have observed sailing in higher winds end up with really poor sail shape in a breeze as the leech creeps toward the foot powering the sail up rather than blading the sail out.

There is a major compromise on performance and for what gain? Is it that much harder to put on a sail cover with a dutchman system than to roll in a mainsail.

I just don''t see it. I guess to some extent this might change with sailing venue but in a venue like the Chesapeake, where I sail, (known for predominantly light air punctuated by high winds) in mast furling makes less than no sense.

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