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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-02-2007
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Lose footed mast furling Main

Hi all
Has anybody had/used a Lose footed mast furling Main? The one I have seen furls on to the foil that is set parallel to the mast, much like a headsail furler.
Obviously this is not set for a racer but for cruising short handed.

I wait with baited anticipation for your answers, and thank you in advance.
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Old 07-02-2007
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SimonV-

I'm not a big fan of mast-based furling systems, whether they furl in the mast or in a foil behind the mast. They ruin the air flow over the sail, they have a high potential to jam—particularly in heavy winds, the sails are hard to get good shape on because of the furling system, and they add a fair amount of weight aloft.

I would ditch it and go with lazy jacks and slab reefing or a Dutchman system. Much more reliable, much better sail shape, much less expensive and much less weight aloft.
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Old 07-02-2007
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Simon, most pure sailors who have main sail furling that I have talked to said initially, they would change back to slab reefing, but have said once they tried it they would never go back. It has the potential problems that SD mentioned but it also has the significant advantage of convenience making it far more likely you will sail and that's what it's all about. BTW, nobody I've talked to has had a jam. I think SD overstates his case and could take out the "muches" out of his last sentence, IMHO. I would suggest you try it for awhile and make your own decision.
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Old 07-02-2007
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Simon...I agree that there is a loss in performance but especially for single handers, the convenience and ability to furl in safety seems to me to outweigh the loss of windward performance.
That said...I would not want one for blue water cruising due to the inability to deal with a furler failure or a jam and get the sail down in bad weather. This is the primary reason we opted for in boom furling. I think in mast or behend the mast furlers are fine for coastal or bay sailing.
For bluewater I would suggest something like the Doyle Stack Pack system if in boom furling is too expensive for your budget.
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Old 07-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
SimonV-

I'm not a big fan of mast-based furling systems, whether they furl in the mast or in a foil behind the mast. They ruin the air flow over the sail, they have a high potential to jam—particularly in heavy winds, the sails are hard to get good shape on because of the furling system, and they add a fair amount of weight aloft.

I would ditch it and go with lazy jacks and slab reefing or a Dutchman system. Much more reliable, much better sail shape, much less expensive and much less weight aloft.
Sorry SD but the only thing I can agree with is the part about adding weight aloft. I had a boat with in mast and LOVED it. On my new boat it's the ONE thing I REALLY miss. In 35 years of sailing I never had a more usefull feature! Never had a jam, the sail shape was beautiful and and I regularly beat my sistership who had a deep fin and a full batten dutchman system.

A good sailor with RF main can still kick a mediocre sailors butt even if they "theoretically" have the faster boat.. On Catalinas the booms on RF main boats is longer to compensate for the lost roach and slightly shorter on non RF boats. All the hype about jams and such are from people who don't know how to use one correctly. You NEVER point directly into the wind to furl an in mast main but I see people do it all the time and then they blame the system for jamming..

Even in non-existant wind my RF main boat was a sprightly performer...

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-02-2007 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 07-02-2007
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The convieninces for shorthanded sailing far out way the neagatives.

Just last Saturday we were running parallel to a larger boat, we were side by side seperated by about a half a mile. We continued like this for over 6 miles. He headed back and I said to my self " So much for the fully battened man sail, I thought I was supposed to be so much slower because I have a roller furling main."

We had an 8 hour run at an average of 7.5knots, I'm not complaining.

Never have had it jam, it always rolls right up. With propper execution and maintanence, I'm not sure why it would jamb. We are very careful when rolling it up to make sure we don't roll too far.

When the wind starts to overpower, you can reduce very easily. Leave as much sail out as you want. The reefing points are endless.

We love ours for costal cruising.

One thing I will add, I have said this before on another thread.
My experince, with the loose footed main, I have not been able to depower the main by going full outhaul and trying to flatten. No matter how much tension I put on the out haul, I still have a nice curve to the sail. To depower and get propper helm balance, after I have done everything else, I simply roll in some main to decress sail area.
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Old 07-02-2007
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As far as the issue of jamming, which seems to be the main issue, the average headsail furler Is raked at about 110 deg against the Mains 90 deg (not a big difference, just a poled out genoa). I have only had one serious jam with a headsail, it was just a matter of freeing the sheet in the furling drum, in a big swell (Not nice, pass the quells) I would envisage if there was a jam in the mains system it should again be in the drum but at least it would be inboard the boat.
I have an open mind on this as a couple of boats I’m interested in have been fitted with the behind the mast furling.

Please keep going with the banter I need to be convinced either way.
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Old 07-02-2007
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I have had both in mast and dutchman. Our current has in-mast. I will tell you what I would do if I could go back - I would by a batt car system and not the inmast.

The negatives that I have seen, as pointed out earlier, is that the main is not as powerful. The positives, including the ability to reef easily at any point (as pointed out earlier), is also the fact that: YOU NEVER HAVE TO LEAVE THE COCKPIT TO REEF THE SAIL. That adds a considerable safety factor, especially at night.

As far as the jamming, I have heard that before many times - but I cannot recall actually speaking to someone that has had it happen to them. That does not mean it is not real and not a real possibility - I just do not know any of them personally.

In all things on a boat, there are positives and negatives (or tradeoffs). This is one of them. If you like the boat, go for it. I sure would not steer clear of a boat because of inmast - and you might even consider buying it because of the inmast.

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Old 07-02-2007
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Simon, I have been here thinking what could I possibly say regarding this issue...

As you may know I am not a fan of those things, for many particular reasons, that is not the point, we all sail in different conditions and for different reasons.

However, if was dedicated to crusing, I would possibly think about it, I would probably do as Cam did, and get a furler boom, intead of an inmast, many reasons why.

The biggest ones being the fact that on a boom furler you can still have battens and thus better sail shape, and the reefing is still done vertically, still alowing sail shape control, along the sail's center if lift, which is approx the first 1/3 of the sail, which if needed could be used to get somee better sail control and speed, never know what one could find in a passage.

I also have never seen (there aren't many with that here) or heard about jaming of in mast furlers, but to me, the concept of it, for blue water, might be risky, not because the system is good or bad, but the more moving parts, to me the worse, more stuff that can fail...was this clear? But generally the idea I have is that it is OK for coastal relaxed cruising, and like everything in life you get what you pay for, there are good systems out there, as well as a lot of crap. This to say it really depends on the manufacturer.

I, still prefer the lazy bag and lazy Jack system (when cruising, which is what I am doing now), I still can do everything from the cockpit, and I do not sacrifice performance, altough I think its uggly as hell, that and the dodger...practical, but ugly.

As far as all the stories and people sailing mast furlers, passing boats with regular sails, that does not mean the system is good, it means the people sailing the regular sails are morons....(G)
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Old 07-02-2007
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I have an in mast furler and haven't had it jam up. It needs to be depowered to furl well in my experience. I am curious to see how others furl their main (i.e., what points of sail)?

For all other aspects I love the option. Very convenient and very safe for single handling.
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