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  #21  
Old 01-17-2005
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In-mast furler; to buy or not to buy;

The "Floppy Disc" analogy is more telling than the poster may have seen. I can add some points and a different twist to it, seeing that I am the IT Director for a $400mil/yr company, AND an off shore sailor with many thousands of miles of blue water experience.

Yes, for the personal computer, the off machine storage has changed over the years. And for the casual user, there may have been a bit of a paradigm shift in changing formats. So agreed, for the CASUAL sailer, an in mast/boom main furler would be fine. Sure it is a paradigm shift for the "Old Salts" but hey, things change, but one must move on.

HOWEVER.... in the real-world of mission critical systems, like my main UNIX transaction processor that handles about $100,000/hr in business, it hase never even SEEN a floppy disc, no matter what the size. It uses hi-speed DAT drizes, a fully mirrored RAID-5 SCSI-2 drive array and a high speed optical juke box for triple redundant data storage. Seems like I want to never have any issues with data.

Would the CASUAL user ever need to go to such lengths for his humble home PC? I think not. What would you lose from a PC failure? It may be a major inconvenience if you lose data, but nothing insurmountable. But for me it is absolutley necessary. My systems go "Down" (An intersting nautical analogy) and my company loses $100,000 an hour!!!

Just the same applies when looking at off shore systems for your boat. Yes, in mast/boom furling is just fine for the casual sailor. Never traveling so far that help is always just a VHF call to a tow company away. But when you are talking "Mission critical" systems that have people''s lives at stake, there are STILL too many variables that can cause serious problems.

Ever hoisted a Storm Tri-sail? Has its own track on the mast. How about a storm jib? These are items in the serious off shore sailors inventory that are necessities, and they had better work. I will always stand by with my opinion on how a sail is handled on a real off shore boat. Main on slugs, no bolt rope, with slab reefing. Storm Tri-sail on separate track. All head sails ON HANKS for the most relible handling out there. (There is a previous discussion on this where I added my 2 cents worth).

When you are looking at mission critical, the experts will always agree. Whether you are talking computers or sailing. I always get a kick at work when we have a new hire who is a "Computer Expert" in sales. Yeah, they may know their way around their home PC, but you should see their jaw drop if they ever get a peek at the corporate data center. Just like when a sailor who is a wiz at the local marina, sees a true blue water sailboat and does not understand the the reason for how the boat is rigged.
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  #22  
Old 01-17-2005
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In-mast furler; to buy or not to buy;

In Europe lots of boats come standard with a furling mast.

I agree with Jeff even if ocean going yachts tend to come also with furling masts as standard.

I am interested in furling booms.

The Luffe, a very fast cruiser racer is equiped with one and it looks like it doesn''t take out performance (significantly).

I see no reason for a boom reefing system not to be backed up with a manual traditional(emmergency) reefing system.

I would like to hear comments on this.


http://www.luffe.com/links/wallpapers/1280x1024/luffe48.jpg

http://ww833w.furlerboom.dk/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=

Paulo
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  #23  
Old 12-13-2010
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Experienced In-mast Furler Sailor

There seems to be lots of speculation in this thread about in-mast furling. I wonder if the original post purchased the boat with the furling or not, six years ago.

I purchased a used 36' Pearson three years ago that had been demasted and then re-masted with an in-mast furler (like the "u" inside a "U" post described). Here's my observations:

1. It's safe if you inspect it and services it, like everything else on a boat. I've never had a problem. My offshore limit on this boat has been maybe only 60 miles West of California in the Pacific, and lost of Coastal Cruising time.

2. I miss battens and a full size sail. The furling main means that there are no battens and the shape of the sail has to be reduced, accordingly. I definitely lose some power and the subtle controls that a larger mainsail brings. This is the greatest disadvantage of the in-mast.

3. The mast is heavy, and in lighter winds I feel it.

4. I love the convenience. I single-hand sail much of the time, and I can be 'sails up' in seconds, and when it's time to go home... zzziiippp! 15 seconds and the mailsail is put away. I love that. (It takes longer to put away the furling headsail.) No more wrangling the sails into a bag in high winds at the end of a great day.

5. I have not seen anything that would indicate the sail is taking on permanent curl. That's ridiculous unless your mainsail is made our of sheet metal.

6. Serious Danger in 50kt winds... Well - I suppose it would be a good idea to reef the sails in 50kt winds, regardless of in-mast or not. That post sounds more like a lack of planning than a mechanical problem.

7. Furling Boom - this is an idea I could get behind. I absolutely love the in-mast furling for the convenience, and presumably an in-boom furling would allow full battens. Given the chance, I would very likely switch to in-boom.

Overall, most of my sailing is year-round coastal cruising. I do the beer-can races, but if I was a serious racer, this reduced mainsail would be a nuisance. I get to sail where I want to and it's easy and fun. If I were going to spend some time offshore, passage making, or cruising, I would probably switch to an in-boom furling or to a traditional mainsail to have more sail area. But for lifestyle sailing, coastal cruising, entertaining, and relaxation - I love the in-mast furling.
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  #24  
Old 12-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saileric View Post
I love the in-mast furling.
As long as were giving this another go around,
I hate in the mast furling. I can fold my main and
have the boom cover on in five minutes. I would never
compromise my boats performance for a minor convenience.
If you are elderly or an invalid, and have a larger boat,
then the need for a furling main is understandable.
But for me sailing is a sport, and bit of exertion now
and again is a good thing.
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  #25  
Old 12-14-2010
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Convenient, yes. At least for sheltered waters/maybe coastal cruising. I used one on an IP while chartering w/ some friends. For the kind of sailing we were doing it was fine. BUT, I felt like I didn't have a full toolbox so to speak in that I didn't have a full repertoire of sail adjustments available to me. And as a sometime racer versus the casual sailors I was with it was very frustrating.
Speaking as someone who has several thousand miles of blue water sailing, probably half under race conditions, I want nothing to do w/ them.
In fact I was very seriously looking at a few boats this fall and found one I really liked.... but. It had a Hood Stoway mast. Broker couldn't understand why I wouldn't want that on the boat. I didn't bother arguing w/ him. Just told him it was a deal breaker, not interested.
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Six years later and still an interesting thread.
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  #27  
Old 12-14-2010
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OK, I'll play with the old thread.

In mast furling is the only way we can possibly shorthand our boat's main. Its difficult for two people to get the main down, and you can't physically reach the entire boom without a small ladder. It swings about 8 ft above the cockpit.

In mast furling is a god send. Love it.

As for performance..... max speed has been over 10kts in a 20kt wind. Routinely sail at 8 kts (which my daughter insists is the mandatory minimum or she taunts the skipper). I don't see any performance shortcomings. At least none I can't live with.
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  #28  
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Just curious, but what boat do you have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
OK, I'll play with the old thread.

In mast furling is the only way we can possibly shorthand our boat's main. Its difficult for two people to get the main down, and you can't physically reach the entire boom without a small ladder. It swings about 8 ft above the cockpit.

In mast furling is a god send. Love it.

As for performance..... max speed has been over 10kts in a 20kt wind. Routinely sail at 8 kts (which my daughter insists is the mandatory minimum or she taunts the skipper). I don't see any performance shortcomings. At least none I can't live with.
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  #29  
Old 12-14-2010
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OK let me introduce the option of a sound technically based question to be submitted and asked of any competent sailmaker that you may choose:
"Mr. Sailmaker, What is the approximate maximum Sail Area SA reduction possible of **ANY** sail (jib/genoa/staysail/mainsail) on **any** reefing-furler that can still produce adequate SHAPE in a sail for upwind usage?" (.... you silently remembering that 99% of all the sails's 'broadseaming' (curvature of cord-length) is located from the front edge of the luff to about 30% of cord length aft of the luff).
The stock sailmakers answer will be ... "30% SA max. reduction is typical, the same as the typical reduction for the normal first reef in a slab/jiffy reef system .... beyond that reduction causes the shape to be too flat and too distorted to be of any 'upwind' use, although some of the 'newer' reefing furlers (Harken, etc.) can increase this limit to 40, etc. %".
So, equating that 30% 'typical' value it means that rolling in beyond 30% of the typical MAXIMUM SA reduction of a 'first reef' in a traditional slab or jiffy reef, you will have 'grotesque' sail shape ..... if you need to equate to a 2nd or even 3rd reef position you will have only flat, non-curved (~ZERO draft) sail sections exposed (because principally all the 'broad-seamed' area is now within the 'roll') ..... good only for 'downwind' reaching or running where aerodynamic shape isnt important. If board flat sails 'worked', then we'd all be flying sheets of plywood!!!
I ask those with in mast furlers, how does your boat 'really' perform when that main is rolled in to a 3rd or deep reefed position and you HAVE to go upwind? ..... (expect to get total silence instead of a reply).

One has to remember that sails are not triangular flat rolls of fabric but are quasi-spherical in shape and that most of the curvature is designed into the sail between the luff and 30+% back from the luff ... and if you roll-in beyond that ~30% of cord length, you have nothing but a totally FLAT (but distorted) surface aloft .... and that almost totally flat shape is only good (safe) for sailing at less than beam reach angles.

If one needs to critically decide between the efficacy of in-mast furling vs. slab reefing or in-boom furling-reefing, simply ask the above simple question to your sailmaker..... .

;-)
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Last edited by RichH; 12-14-2010 at 08:51 PM.
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  #30  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
If one needs to critically decide between the efficacy of in-mast furling vs. slab reefing or in-boom furling-reefing, simply ask the above simple question to your sailmaker..... .
In the case of an 'in the mast furling' main,
the picture is often worse than you paint it.
The furler requires a straight mast to work properly,
so once the sail is set you can not bend the mast
to flatten it. The sail can not be cut with much luff
curve to add draft forward, and the cloth must be
lighter and softer than would be used in 'real' sail
of the same area. Any roachless mainsail tends to
get large hook to windward in the leech when sheeted
in hard.
All this adds up to a very inefficient sail upwind in
a breeze, with a flat entry and a full back end with the
draft much too far aft. This is why more often than not,
a boat with such a rig is usually motored to any destination
that involves upwind work.
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