Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
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Probably not because you're a "newbie". Just that these discussions have taken place a number of times in the past on this board, Cruisers Forum, SSCA, etc.
I have a LeisureFurl with a purpose-built full-batten main by North Sails. It was installed in Annapolis in December 2002. Since then, have sailed on the Chesapeake and its tributaries, and two trips to Maine.
Short version: I love it. It allows me to single-hand easily (42' 27,500lb sloop) in just about any weather. All controls lead to cockpit, so without leaving cockpit I have full control of both genoa and main. Electric winch for the LeisureFurl. Necessary. Makes hoisting, reefing, and striking an easy chore.
It's a bit tricky setting up initially, getting the boom angle set correctly, and learning how much tension to keep on the halyard/reefing line when furling/hoisting, respectively. Once you get the hang of it, it's easy.
Full-battens. Very, very quiet, even when not trimmed. A bit difficult to judge proper trim, because it's so quiet all the time. Don't notice any loss of speed over previous slab-reefed main.
Pricey, but reliable and a wonderful thing to have as you get up in years and don't really fancy going up on deck in nasty weather.
Last edited by btrayfors; 08-29-2009 at 08:47 AM.