In mast furling - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-13-2009
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In mast furling

My wife and I have looked at a large number of boats in the past two months both in and way out of our price range and one thing I have noticed is virtually all of the newer boats come with in mast furling. The standard line from sales people seems to be much the same..."its easier and people will sail more and use the sails more with in mast furling." The Hunter guy when I ask him what would happen if it jammed in a blow talked about the marvelous Rack and Pinion system they had that "never" jammed. Heard that about every computer I have ever bought or every tractor for that matter. I would just like to hear the experienced folks here talk about the seeming move to in mast furling as a standard.

Now I will go lay my head down and dream about a center cockpit Hylas that only Midas could afford. Maybe that lottery ticket on the fridge........

Last edited by kootenay; 11-13-2009 at 10:20 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-13-2009
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Yep, especially on the big three, Benny, Hunter, and cata.
Funny thing is, Hunter went to the arch and no back stay several years ago, one advantage of the no back stay was the ability to carry huge roach in the mainsail, well no a lot of Hunters I see have also gone in mast which defeats the purpose of huge roach because you can't have any roach with in mast furling.

as far as jambing, not too many problems on my end.
My opinion is most jambs are caused by operator error.
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Old 11-13-2009
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For some reason I'm having trouble linking to it, but there was an extensive debate on this last September in a thread started by Cruisingdad titled "in mast furling debate" in General discussion.
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Old 11-14-2009
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Have in-mast in my Beneteau. Its a snap to use...only time it jammed was due to operator error. Our first time out, we released the main halyard while trying to put up...er...pull out the sail. Resulted in the sail sliding down and coming out of the track. It was a pain to get the boltrope into the track again, but we learned....main halyard is never touched except to tighten tension at the dock.
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Old 11-14-2009
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Old 11-14-2009
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I can't post the link either - tried 3 times. At the top of this page where it says
"search sailnet" type 'in mast furling' in the box and it's the 22nd thread down -posted by Cruisingdad.
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Old 11-14-2009
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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.
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If you are racing or into high performance, maybe you don't want it.
If you are sailing far off shore, maybe you don't want it.

If you are near coastal and you prefer the convienience, maybe you do want it.
If you are getting older and hoisting a sail is getting difficult, maybe you do want it.

The jamming issue is way overblown. The only people who report jamming are people who don't know how to use it or refuse to learn how to use it.

Would Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau, Jenneau; all make them STANDARD if they were such a bad piece of equipment?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
Would Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau, Jenneau; all make them STANDARD if they were such a bad piece of equipment?
On that note, does anyone know if, on these boats, a standard mast/boom and main are an EXTRA COST option? It used to be that an in-mast furling system was a $10K+ premium.
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Old 11-14-2009
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My first introduction to furling mains was watching the crew of a Hinkley in the BVI battle a jammed main for three hours in a 25 knot breeze. I thought "wow, that's a real dumb thing to have on a sailboat". So I became one of those sailors that thought never! And this one experience coloured my whole view of in-mast furling for the next ten years.

In 2004 I bought a new boat and it came with a furling main. In five years of sailing in the Bahamas ( I live aboard this boat during the winter) I have yet to have a problem with it. I have grown to love it and use the main a lot more than when I cruised in my CS36M with a traditional main.

Yes, the leech is hollow etc., etc. but for my kind of sailing I usually have more main than I need as it's usually blowing. One of the advantages that I love is that when the sail is over and we're at anchor my buddies are flaking their sail and covering it while I sit in my cockpit sipping my rum. No more dancing on the coach roof in bouncing seas putting the sail ties on when entering an anchorage.

Most jams are caused by operator error. Unless you're going to race a furling main would be my choice. Someone mentioned wind whistling in the slot, I don't have that. Just learn how to use it properly and it'll be fine.

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