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  #11  
Old 02-17-2008
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Just curious as to why in mast furling is not considered beneficial to singlehandling. I have in mast now on my boat and really like the convenience (I singlehand 99% of the time). Granted I sail inland on Lake Michigan which is different than blue water sailing, but I found that standing on top of the cabin tying down the main could be a PITA at times when in a crowded harbor with a half dozen large powerboats wizzing about doing their best to see how much of a wake they could put out with 15 to 20 blowing.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2008
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In-mast furling is fine when it works... but when it jams it can leave you with a lot of sail area up when you least want sail area up. From what I've seen they tend to jam more readily in the conditions you'd least want them to jam in... higher winds. It also leaves more weight aloft, which reduces the stability of the boat a bit and generally adds windage aloft as well. It can also make it really hard to bring the main down when it jams... since you have to unfurl the main to get the sail down.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #13  
Old 02-17-2008
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So far everyone has only discussed sail handling. I find sailing the easy part to single handing. Some of my lines are led aft:
-main halyard
-both reefs
-outhaul
Everything led aft is within reach of the helm but Auto usually steers.

I have to go forward to raise, reef and lower my jib (a blade). I have to go forward to anchor.

A big consideration is the other stuff you do during the day. Where is your galley and will the kettle stay on the stove while you are up top sailing? How do you go to the bathroom? Where is the radio and chart table? Are the tide books and other navigation references handy? Where is all the safety gear (flares, EPIRB, first aid kit, flashlight). Is everything properly stowed for when that big stinkpot goes by and you take a deep roll. Where is the sunscreen and your foul weather gear?

Like I said, sailing is easy, it is all the little other things that you do that require planning and practice. Most people who go for a sail around the harbour for a couple hours need nothing special to singlehand a modest boat. If you are navigating, sailing, cooking and talking on the radio, life can get very interesting.

Every read that story about the single hander who went for a dump and while he was sitting on the head the boat took a roll and something jammed the door to the head so he couldn't get out?
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2008
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Okay, so how do opinions run for mainsail furlers like the CDI unit? Mounted to boom with a foil running vertically, high point mounted to mast. Been talking with a fellow on a Bristol 34 that swears by it.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2008
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Hello All,
(My first post.) I was wondering why the in-mast or in-boom furler is a bad idea for single-handers? Is it because if the furler jams you are in a pickle?
Thanks
Stu
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2008
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I am still skeptical about headsail furling after a bad experience on a windy day. I would not have mainsail furling on my small cruiser. Too much to go wrong, too expensive, too much weight up high when I least want it. I don't find handling real sails to be a chore. When I undo my halyard (main or jib) the sails just fall to the deck, still held on by the hanks, Nothing goes over the side, the excitement is over. It is that easy.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2008
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Headsail furlers are far more evolved and tested than mainsail furling systems IMHO, and have proven themselves over the course of many major events, like Dame Ellen's single-handed circumnavigation and the OSTAR races. They're pretty much standard equipment on most modern boats, unlike in-mast furling.
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #18  
Old 02-17-2008
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Dame Ellen had several furling headsails and some code zeros furlers as well. That kind of redundancy is well out of my reach. If I remember correctly she also had failures.
With single headsail on a standard sloop things are a little different. While furlers are convenient and well tested, taking the sail off one at sea (especially if single handing) is far more difficult than changing a hank on head sail. I wouldn't take a good one (furler) off a boat but I wouldn't rush to put one on a boat either. Hanks just seem to have a better reputation.
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There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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  #19  
Old 02-18-2008
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Yes, she may have had some failures, but she also put the equipment through conditions that most singlehanded sailors aren't going to be encountering. The fact that most of her gear made it through unscathed is a testimony to the durability and reliability of modern furling gear.

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Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
Dame Ellen had several furling headsails and some code zeros furlers as well. That kind of redundancy is well out of my reach. If I remember correctly she also had failures.
With single headsail on a standard sloop things are a little different. While furlers are convenient and well tested, taking the sail off one at sea (especially if single handing) is far more difficult than changing a hank on head sail. I wouldn't take a good one (furler) off a boat but I wouldn't rush to put one on a boat either. Hanks just seem to have a better reputation.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #20  
Old 02-18-2008
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This is a great thread with lots of good advise. So here's my 2 cents worth: Think ahead before you leave the dock. Practice reefing, heaving-to, changing headsails, etc. in light-air conditions if you've never done these things by yourself. If you're not sure how much sail to put up, reef the main and hank on something smaller than your 150% genoa before you head out. Be conservative and deliberate in your planning, whether your daysailing or long-range cruising.
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