Join Date: May 2011
Location: Blind River Ontario, Canada
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Re: In-mast furling
So without debating the pluses and minuses of roller furlings. The OP asked how to convert one to a traditional main. I would contact Tide Slide, their external track could probably be used to convert the mast. You will have to remove the furler from inside the mast. If you don't have a sail on them the foil bangs inside the mast constantly with boat movement. You would likely have to have some plates made to go inside the mast to attach their brackets for the external track to.
As for in mast furlings, they work well until they don't then it's bad. The number one cause of jams is old blown out sails. When the sails start to bag they have to go. With a belly in the sail they will fold and jam. You can get some vertical batten mains for in mast furling which improves sail shape. They require more finesse in sail handling or the light weight material will self destruct around the batten pockets. They don't hold up well to flogging the main.
There was a boat docked beside my slip that had in mast furling without the sail on it for a few weeks. The banging of the furling gear inside the mast drove everyone nuts! The owner was getting tired of telling people there was nothing he could do about the noise until his sail was put back on. LOL! I would think you most definitely would have to remove the gear or someday you will arrive at your boat and someone will have your mast removed for you.
1977 38 foot C&C Mark 1
Sailing the Exuma Islands, Bahamas