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Artwerke 04-23-2006 06:00 PM

What kind of boom is this?
This winter I purchased an old Irwin 38, 1970. while checking out all the little things you find with a "new" boat I noticed the boom seems to be an old furling boom. There is a bevel gear at the gooseneck to wrap the sail around the boom, there's a bearing at the end so the boom lift and main sheet don't twist.There is another winch fitting by the gooseneck to adj. the clew outhaul. I can't find a brand name or any #s on the boom anywhere. Anybody have any idea about this contraption,or if I,ll ruin my sails wrapping them around the boom instead of flaking them on top?
I took her out this weekend in about 12 Knot breezes, goes like stink!
Thanks in advance for any help, Art.

sailingdog 04-23-2006 07:54 PM

A photo would help immeasureably... Sounds like an older mainsail boom-based roller furling design...but a photo would help a lot.

merc2dogs 04-23-2006 10:23 PM

Sounds like the same type of boom as is on my 67 triton, People claim they work 'alright' problems are that the sail looses a lot of shape when furled, and you need a 'claw' many people I've spoken with have mentioned tossing a seat cushion or jacket in the roll to help keep the sail in shape,
Mine has a crank on the underside that operates the outhaul through a cable, and a worm gear assembly at the gooseneck to furl the sail, never used the system as the boom was set up for regular reefing when I bought it.
I have the claw, with a length of line abou 10ft, nicely whipped at the bitter end, but see no real reason to use it, or anyplace to connect it when the sail is furled. should say It slips over the sail and boom when it's furled, but I see nowhere that it can be connected afterwards.


sailingdog 04-23-2006 10:43 PM

The other way these booms can be modified to work with a better sail shape is to add some tapered wedges to the boom, so the sail is flattened properly as it is rolled up.

Jeff_H 04-24-2006 07:58 AM

It sounds like a roller reefing boom. They used to be as common as dirt as almost every production boat from the mid-1960's until the mid-1970's had one. It was a lousy system. It took forever to crank in a reef because the halyard had to be eased a little bit at a time (a serious problem when coupled with the reel winches that were popular during this period) and then take a crank on the reel winch. There was no way to tension the foot as the sail was rolled in. Wedges or throwing a coat into the roll would not help since the leech of the sail will still creep foward as rolled. Sails of that era were cut with almost no broadseaming and without a shelf foot, but modern sails would not work at all on a roller reefing boom.

My best advice is to go to a two line, slab reefing system. Its fast, cheap, reliable and it allows independent luff and foot adjustments.


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