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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2007
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Maddata,

I put together a thread on that. It is here:

Mainsail - in mast furling issue

If that link does not work, it is on page 17 on gear and maintenance. It is about mainsail in-mast furling. Seem to be having a problem posting links. If you cannot find it let me know.

- CD

Edit: The link does not work. Not sure why. Page 17, Dear & maintenance, In-Mast Furling Issues.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2007
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We have in-mast furling on Shere Khan that came with the boat and seemingly installed in the mid 90's. Peddigree unknown. I just dropped the main last month,and fwiw the luff is 59', so it's pretty good size. We've had jam slightly maybe 8 times and rather severly 3 times. The former required just a touch and a tug at the mast, but the latter was a bit more involved. The trickwith ours is rolling it in while on a starboard tack, so that the wind pushes the leading edge to port so the there is less friction as sail comes in. If we tried to do it on port tack, the sail is tight against the right side opening edge of the mast extrusion and the ensuing angle means that the sail is 'creased' about 90 degrees and creates mucho friction. Think of it like when you pull out Saran wrap and tear it at the teeth on the box. The plastic comes up, then turns back down at the tear spot.

All in all we like it, as long as you plan your reefs accordingly, keep light pressure on the furling line, and in our case, keep the foil in the mast tight by pumping the Navtek hydraulic lever to straighten it out before wrapping the sail. The loose foot doesn't seem to slow us down much, or maybe I don't have anything else to compare it with. For a 48K lb. tub, she'll easily move along on a beam reach at 7 k's with 8 or 9 knots of breeze. But the day we got her to 10.5 for an hour or so was a story for another day.....

Good luck,
Rick
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2007
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No real jamming issues with my in-mast furler

While I agree with the loss of performance, the advantages for a pure cruiser (which I, the admiral and my three daughters are) far outweigh the negatives. The only time I had an issue with jamming was when my tied-up jib halyard found its way where it shouldn't have been. Since then, I've been careful to secure the main, jib and spinnaker halyard to the mast in such a way that they can't get in the way of the main outhaul/furling lines. Had the boat for six years, sail almost every weekend during the season, and no furling issues.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2007
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I tend to be something of a lone voice on this so maybe this is just me, but in-mast furling seems like one those many trends that come along for one half-baked reason or another, and in my opinion should quickly go away. Like roller reefing booms of the 1960’s, I see these as another half-baked idea being foisted on a sailing public that hopefully will become as archaic as cotton sails, baby stays, and roller reefing booms.


I suppose in-mast furling is an acceptable system for coastal cruising for those to last to haul up a halyard, as long as nothing goes seriously wrong, but from conversations with experienced delivery skippers and owners who have experienced heavy-weather HIHO jambs it is not a great system for offshore work of sailing in high wind venues. I base my comments on a series of nightmare stories from sailmakers, delivery skippers and owners, many who have successfully used these systems until something has gone seriously wrong.

To begin with, the sailmakers tell me that if the sail is left reefed for a period of time or in high winds, the leech of the sail at the head slowly creeps towards the foot as the furled layers of sail slide over each other. (We have all seen this phenomenon in the fat center of a reefed headsail, even one with the luff altered with rope or foam.) As the leech slides down the furl, it does it a series of things. The sailmakers tell me this creates high concentrated loads on non-reinforced areas of the leech, stretching the leech and shortening the life of the sail (the in-mast furling wild leech flap is one symptom of this problem). They tell me in-mast furler sails have a greatly shortened life over similarly constructed conventional sails.

As the leech slides down the sail, the sail bunches up inside the mast. Multiple delivery skippers and owners have told me stories of spending periods of time in heavy weather where they could neither pull the sail in nor let it out. In the worst case, they actually sent someone up the mast to cut the mainsail off the mast rather than risk losing the boat in a worsening offshore storm.

Beyond the safety issues and shortened sail life, I have serious concerns about the performance loss, especially when off of the wind. To make an in-mast furler work well, the leech of the sail is generally cut hollow. (Yes, there are in mast furling battens, either parallel to the mast or furling battens, which allow a straight leech or slight roach, but most in-mast furling mains have hollow cut leeches.) Masts are considerably heavier reducing stability and hurting angular motion comfort. Depending on the region, PHRF allows 9 to 21 seconds a mile for in-mast furled mainsails. That is a huge penalty for a small amount of added convenience.

I know there are lots of these systems out there that have never experienced a jamb, but for me the risk of a jamb is way too great, especially when you think of how reliable and quick two line slab reefing really is. I personally would consider in-mast furling a deal killer based on the loss of safety, the shortened sail life and loss of performance.

But then again, maybe this is just me….but then again, thankfully, I see that the bigger manufacturers are stepping back from offering in-mast furlers on many of their smaller models, offering slab reefing, and lazy jack, sail cover hybrids instead.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2007
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One thing I'd like to point out...this was a boat that was retro-fitted with an aftermarket mast furling system rather than one that furls in the mast itself. The sail shape and air flow on a mast furling system like this is far worse than that of an OEM in-mast system, which actually furls in the spar itself or a standard sail that slab reefs.

A lot of the in-mast furling systems are sensitive to the angle at which the boom is to the mast... especially the after market retrofitted ones, from what I've seen.

An in-mast system generally requires you to have either a battenless main, which usually means a roachless main or a vertical batten main which usually has a less efficient shape.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2007
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Jeff if I were racing I would consider 21 secs a huge loss, but in real terms for the daysailor or cruising sailor it works out to be less than half a mile in an hour at 6 knots versus not putting the sail up at all. Like main sail furling or not surely you must agree that getting people to sail their sailboats is more important than PHRF.
What manufacturers are not offering in mast furling? For me that would be a deal breaker.
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  #17  
Old 07-02-2007
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You mean like one of these gorgeous pieces of art?...............

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  #18  
Old 07-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickLaPaz
You mean like one of these gorgeous pieces of art?...............

Look..a boat with 3 genoas....
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2007
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..and two really big towel racks..........
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  #20  
Old 07-02-2007
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Rick, congratulations, you can do something I can't do....I have 3 genoas, but the maximum I can do is fly one at the time...maybe two on the genoa double slot, but it looks stupid....

what is a towel rack?
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