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  #21  
Old 09-02-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortrash View Post
Lack of maintaining being the primary cause. Every time this happened The boat had been sitting for over 3 years with no use and during a squall (over 60 knots) . That plus my bad luck which i seem to have a knack for attracting. Live and learn I guess these days if a in mas furler has not been used in oiver 3 years on it being completely serviced by someone better experienced than me or I will walk away.
But how did you cut them away, especially interested in the one during the over 60kn squall.
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  #22  
Old 09-08-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

I have a in mast furling system on a Cape Dory 30 motor sailor. It is furled by way of a continuous furling line led to the pilot house. An electric furling motor would be a lot less hassle. It is hard to keep enough tension on furling winch which is mounted on the mast perpendicular to it just below the boom. A winch handle can be used on the furling inch but you can't take a full turn with a winch handle because of the proximity to the boom.

It's jammed a little in high wind situations but i was always able to get it in. It could be a real problem if you couldn't get it furled. I've capitulated on the continuous furling line by buying a winchbit that I'll use with a rating socket wrench. Tried it out last weekend and it is much easier than messing with the furling line although to use it I need to go to the mast.
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  #23  
Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortrash View Post
Lack of maintaining being the primary cause. Every time this happened The boat had been sitting for over 3 years with no use and during a squall (over 60 knots) . That plus my bad luck which i seem to have a knack for attracting. Live and learn I guess these days if a in mas furler has not been used in oiver 3 years on it being completely serviced by someone better experienced than me or I will walk away.: end quote.

But how did you cut them away, especially interested in the one during the over 60kn squall.

Come on sailortrash you have had a week, share the story It will be nice for us to know what and how to do.
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  #24  
Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainjay View Post
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.
Jay
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.
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  #25  
Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

We've had at least a half dozen charters in the Virgin Islands (US, BVI, SVI) with Island Packets that had in-mast furling. This includes the 350, 370,380, and 420. Wind speeds probably averaged upper teens, with the max about 30 kts.

As others have mentioned, in-mast furling operation requires attention to the boom angle to assure proper feed through the slot and maintaining tension on the outhaul to avoid bunching (and therefore jamming) as the sail enters the slot. We didn't have any problems by adhering to this procedure and never had a problem unfurling.

However, the sail shape wasn't impressive: with no battens and minimal roach, it always seemed to be a bit baggy and wimpy--and these were not blown out sails. So, you pay for the convenience of rolling up your sail and reefing as much as you please, with relative ease. For a laid-back Virgin Islands charter, it was a great compromise.

That said, our own 35 footer has a fully-battened main with conventional slab reefing and requires a certain amount of effort to deal with the sail cover and sail ties. After some harrowing experiences reefing when it was necessary to go on deck to hook the tack, we went to single line reefing, with Karver blocks added to the existing main and all lines led back to the cockpit: reefing lines as well as the main halyard. This arrangement works pretty well, and takes not much more effort to reef than in-mast furling, although you have fixed reef points. At the end of the day, you still have to deal with sail ties and the sail cover. You also have to got on deck every once in a while to deal with the occasional snag when unfurling.

If we were to try anything else, it would be in-boom furling. We could keep the full-length battens and have a fuller roach and we would have an "infinite" number of reef points, but at a significant cost. The conversion would add a heavier boom, but the sail and furling mechanism would be relatively accessible. The in-boom approach would require attention to the boom angle (via the vang) to assure proper alignment of the luff and you would invariably have to buy a new main tailored to the in-boom conversion.

BTW, at least one of the in-boom furlers has a narrow strip of sunbrella that is used as a sail cover and closes the slot. Your slip mates will appreciate the lack of a low frequency "whistle" that you get with the in-mast furlers in a cross wind.
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  #26  
Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What is the process to convert an in-mast furling system to a standard slab reefing system?

I have heard that the big charter companies are moving away from the in mast fullers? Is that true?

What is your experience with the in-mast systems and in conversions.
I suspect the conversion requires changing the mast. Sounds cost prohibitive. I suspect there might be a few workarounds, like the batt carr or something similar, but why?

I have years of experience with both. I am a fan of In mast. I can single much easier and my main often gets more use than my jib. I can reef at night without going forward (a huge plus) and pretty much stay in the safety of my cockpit.

As far as people having jams, what I typically see is that they are doing it wrong. Look at this picture:



Note the location and height of the clew and how high it is above the boom. The sail does not go horizontally into the mast, but the clew goes up at an angle. The issue becomes when people haul down hard on the boom vang or the main sheets and begin to crank in the sail. What happens is you stretch the leech and start to crinkle the sail. You cannot reef the main this way. You will get crinkles in it and probably a jam. You have to ease off the tension on the mainsheet and boom vang to allow the sail to travel "up" as it goes in.

Typical slab reefing you have the boom "horizontal" to the water, drop your halyard slowly while pulling in a jiffy reef line. Right (simplified, of course)? You keep your mainsheet taunt and your vang taunt. You crank down on that JR and probably go to the boom to secure the leftover sail.

Typical Inmast reefing, you ease off the vang and maybe the mainsheet while slowly letting out the outhaul and pulling in the reefing line. You have to let that boom travel up some to allow the clew to move up some as it goes into the slot.

So the problem, again, is you get a Slab reefer dropping in a reef like he might on a traditional slab reef main and the tension on the boom-to-clew causes a wrinkle in the sail and bamo! You got a jam.

For the record, we almost always reef by hand in normal conditions. We do not reef in via the winch and certainly never the electric winch. You cannot feel a hang if you do. If you are having to winch it in, head up to take some pressure off or make sure your boom and main sheets are taking the tension off the clew as it goes in. Also, you will see by the way the sail come out, one point of sail is better to reef than the other. At one point of sail, the main is resting against part of the mast. On the other, it is probably open to the slot. The latter is the easier reef. Also, put some McLube on the outhaul track on your boom. Its amazing how well that stuff works. If none of this works for you, make sure as you reef you are looking up at that slot and watching for wrinkles going in.

I have thousands of miles on my inmast and not one hang. Not one! And this includes some pretty nasty seas and storms. Heck, even my 8 yo and 12 yo reef it in (with help).

If you do everything as I discussed it, all by hand, you will NEVER have a jam you cannot get out. In the event you ever screw something up and do, I always wondered if it wouldn't be better to ease the outhaul all the way out and wrap the main around the mast. Then, take a spare halyard (SPI maybe), and wrap it backwards (opposite of the way the sail was wrapped) down the mast. Of course, it would not be perfect, but I have always wondered if this wouldn't work?? No experience with this, just throught I might try it. I would certainly do that before going up a halyard and slicing down a very expensive piece of rigging. At that point, there is no going back.

The big negative to inmast, other than the potential to really screw up some running rigging, is the performance. I personally think the best system of all may be a in-boom? That would be my choice. I also heard that many of the major manufacturers like Catalina may charge extra for the old traditional mast. Inmast is standard. I suspect that is a function of cost-supply, but I cannot verify any of this, was only told it by someone on the dock.

As far as the charter companies companies coming off it, that is completely understandable. All you need is one half-drunk gorilla on the reefing line wrapped around the electric winch, one good jam, and you get a bunch of PO'd customers and a really screwed up boat. Theres a lot less potential to screw up a trad sail plan... but that does not make it better.

My opinions.

Brian
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  #27  
Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

My only problem with in mast furling has been controlling the outhaul as you release it to reef or furl. Takes practice particularly if you are doing it single handed.
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Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainjay View Post
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 .
Jay
do you have a link google come up empty
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  #29  
Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
do you have a link google come up empty
David,

I found a TideSlide but they seem to only do mooring systems.

TideSlide Mooring Systems Retail & Commercial Apps +1.989.695.2646 www.TideSlide.com

Than a mob called Versatech do a product called Tide Slide but that is an oil containment boom.

rgds

Andrew B
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Old 09-09-2012
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Re: In-mast furling

Having sailed both systems in mast & slab for 1000's of offshore miles on boats form 40 to 85ft. I've only had 1 furling issue and when I reviewed the problem it was do to inproper out haul tension. The older I get the more I appreciate in mast furling. I have had a # of clients ask or want to change systems when they are buying boats. I always answer if they buy a boat with in mast to sail it at least a year before changing. In mast is easier to use so mains will be used more & reefed easier. The 1 thing I found on boats that sail with the main reefed for long period that the sails wear out because there are no reinforcement patches at reef points. I did have a torn sail at a point were a charter captian always reefed @ the same place. This can be avoided by altering reefing locations. You also sacrifice windward performance with in mast. The only ones I've seen converted had been very custom boats that owners became more & more intrested in speed after a couple of burmuda races. So if your crusing go with a in mast if your a racer or performance crazed go with the slab. Finnaly recently priced a change on a 47ft cruiser from furling to slab in carbon fiber. It was right @ 100K complete. A aluminum section would probably be 40k less. So make your choice and get what fits your style in the first place.
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