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  #1  
Old 09-16-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

Hello,
We''ve found a boat that seems to have everything we want EXCEPT in-mast furling. Is it possible to replace the standard mast with an in-mast furling type mast?
Thanks,
Jack
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Old 09-18-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

Anything is possible, but what you are proposing is big bucks. Contact some mast builders (Hall Spars, Selden, etc.), I''m sure they''ll quote you a price. You''ll also have to have a new main sail made. Depending upon the boat''s age, price, and size you might decide that it is not really worth it.
Regards
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Old 09-19-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

It is reasonably easy on most boats with deck stepped masts to replace the mast with an in-mast furler. You will need to replace your mast, mast step, and all of your rigging. Depending on the design of your boat configuration of the new and old mast steps, you may need to modify the deck, its coring, and the below decks supporting structure as well. If the boat has a keel stepped mast then you will need to modify the mast partners for the larger sized mast as well as the mast step and cabin sole. Beyond that you will need to buy a new mainsail and may need to get your headsails recut for greater headstay sag.

All and all putting in an in-mast furler on an existing boat is a very expensive proposition.

Beyond the cost, is the loss of performance, which is significant in light to moderate breezes, and beating or running at any windspeed, and reduced sail lifespan due to chafe and flogging. You may want to consider installing a taller rig with more rated sail area in both the jibs and mainsail to overcome the real loss of sail area and sail shaping efficiency that comes with a mainsail made for an in-mast furling system.

Jeff

Then there is the third wammie. According to broker friends, this whole in-mast furling fad seems to have peaked a bit. The say that more and more they are getting people coming in who will not buy a boat with in-mast furling making boat with in-mast furling harder to resell than they were. This has resulted in a drop in prices in these boats. In the past a boat with in-mst furling demanded a much higher resale price. The brokers say that recently they seem to be actually selling for close to the same price or sometimes less than conventional rigs, depending of course on the make and model.

So, for all of the expense you will end up with a boat that does not sail as well, and is harder to resell and which may sell for less than a boat without in-mast furling. Sounds like a bad deal to me.
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Old 09-19-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

Thanks to everyone that responded. We''ve taken your input into consideration and have decided to continue looking for a boat that has in-mast furling.

Jeff, I understand your cautions regarding the waning "fad" of in-mast furling. That''s ok with us. We still like in-mast.

Jack
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Old 09-20-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

Jack,

Two comments.

First I am sure you are well aware that furling mainsails sail horribly compared to one that is non furling. If it were me I would go for lazyjacks and full battened mainsail for convenience and performance.

Secondly since you want a furling main ... have you considered a main that furls outside the mast? We have a Catalina at our club that is so equipped. It would likely be a lot cheaper to implement after the fact.

Look for a charter boat. The charter fleets usually have a high percentage of boats that have conveniences such as roller furling mains. Good luck with your boat search. Looking is half the fun!

Regards

Mike
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Old 11-22-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

We are thinking about buying an Island Packet 350 for living aboard and coastal cruising in Florida, Bahamas, Intracoastal, etc.

A lot of the boats we are seeing have in-mast furling, which strikes my husband as "just one more thing to break."

If you were in our shoes, would you just keep looking for one with traditional fully battened main vs. in-mast furling?

Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

First of all, if I were making recommendations for a boat for living aboard and coastal cruising in Florida, Bahamas, Intracoastal, etc, the Island Packet 350 would be somewhere below the bottom of my list of recommendations BUT that said, there is no way that I would put an in-mast furler on one. In mast furling shortens the life of the sail, has dubious reliability, powers up the sail in a heavy air, just when you don''t need additional heeling and on a performance challenged boat like the IP, really hurts performance. I would probably go with a fully battened mainsail or to make life easier and help the sail last longer, a mainsail with only the upper two battens being full length.

Jeff
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Old 11-23-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

Not that I have any solid experience with either type, but I would rather have a main that roll furls in the boom. It would seem to me that you could keep the benefits of having battens, sail controls, a better and more secure reefing system and (I would guess) less cost then having to replace the mast and rigging on an otherwise "perfect" boat. Not that it may matter that much but it would also relate to less weight aloft, and if the system were small enough, winterizing that sail would simply mean removing the boom with the main intact. To each – their own I guess.

Pi
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Old 11-23-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

In principle I would agree that an inboom furler would sound like the way to go. My family''s experience with them on my Father''s 42 footer is that they still have a lot of bugs to work out yet. You can''t reliably count on them working unless they are perfectly aligned which is something that cannot not happen in a seaway.

Jeff
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Old 11-24-2002
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Replace mast with inmast furler.

Jeff_H

Thanks for the comments. What are your reasons for not recommending the IP?

We have been concerned that an in-mast furler would degrade performance on what is, admittedly, a ''full figured'' boat. We have sailed a number of IPs and have liked their stability, layout, strength, and capacity. All this at some performance expense.
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