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Famet - Behind the mast roller furling
I recently installed a behind the mast Famet Roller furler on my 39 ft 1976 Pearson sloop. I've sailed this boat for 20 yrs , before this an ODay 28 for many years. I replaced my fully battened main with a new 8.8 oz vertically battened furling main. The installation took me over a week . I ordered the furling system from Famet and it was delivered COD to my garage. Famet guys were great on phone with a few questions I had as installation proceeded. It works perfectly. I cannot image it fouling or malfunctioning as the Famet is a simple , primitive and bullet proof furler , fool proof and bearingless. I've had one on the bow for twenty years of impeccable performance.
The sail roach (5 inch ) is supported by three quarter length vertical battens slipped into pockets before loading sail. The sail is then hoisted with an internal steel wire halyard so mast halyard for fouling etc is not used , the Famet uses its own halyard inside a groove on extrusion. Genius!
I have sailed the boat now several times in differing conditions and cannot say I have noticed any difference in sailing characteristics. My concern that I would not be able to flatten sail for close haul was allayed on my first sail when I put the out haul on my winch and flattened the sail while loaded until it looked flatter than my traditional main. My second fear was sail shape and feel but I was very surprised at how well the sail performed. The third major concern was the reefing and storage and distance between mast and furled stay? I was delighted to see the reefing was near instantaneous and the reefed sail did well at all reductions . The sail furler easily and very neatly and tight to the extrusion so the cloth was no where near the mast where it would chafe in a sea when furled.
The sail was covered with a white UV sailcloth sacrificial so the roach would not be too heavy . If I had it to do over I would have gone with 9 + oz. cloth as the sail furls so close and neatly that my concern for the furled sail rubbing on mast was not reasonable. The gear was silent, made no noise under all points of sail .
The foot of my main is near 16 ft and the max hoist is about 40ft. If you read the follow at a moderate rate it will approximate the time needed to furl or deploy the main.
One, Two , Three , Four, Five, Six. Done
No lazy jacks a fouling, no battens a fouling, no sail covers a slapping, no sail a whacking , no hollering for the sail ties , no slipping and a sliding in the gale and spindrift . No main halyard a banging.
How many times have you not put your main up because you didn't want to wrestle it up there and how many times after raising it did you have to dump it as the wind died ten minutes later... Only to return again five minutes after dumping it. I will sail my main now ten times more than my traditional simply because I will no longer be considering the amount of time and effort it takes to raise the traditional beast.