Old tyme roller reefing by boom rolling.. - SailNet Community

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Old 04-29-2010
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Old tyme roller reefing by boom rolling..

Hello,
I need some help from experienced salts here.
I have an Albin Vega which came stock with the rolling boom, where you crank a handle on the forward side of the mast and roll the mainsail up on the boom for reefing.

The boom is a simple circular tube.

The problem with this is the bulky sail slides and bolt rope on the luff take up lots of room, so they bunch up real big on the mast end of the boom.

Then the middle of the sail has a bag in it, so this doesnt roll up tight enough, leaving the main not flat enough for heavy weather pointing and depowering.

Then the aft end of the boom rolls up the leach and at this end there is not enough material, and the aft end of the boom may drop too low and not be supported enough.

I have heard of a number of models of boats that were made with the roller boom reefing. Some that were succesful were done with shaped booms to roll up the main properly and tight.

It seems this issue is a hot button, as so many people on my vega forum become emotionally negative about this system. I am not experienced enough to know one way or the other. But I am curious as to why so many builders over at least decades (before WW2 at least that I know of) chose to implement this system on their products.

Seems to me it must have worked for someone, somehow, at some time.

Also, for my specific application, would it be possible to have a piece of foam sewn into the mainsail foot, in the proper shape to make this system work well? Like they do with furled headsails.

Thanks,
groundhog
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Old 04-29-2010
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Groundhog—

Most of the boats that were equipped with this type of early roller reefing boom were converted to slab or jiffy reefing for a reason. The old roller reefing boom systems just didn't work very well.

They also made using a boom vang very difficult, since the boom vang needed a special claw-like fitting to fit around the reefed sail.

One thing that often was done with these types of booms to try and improve their shape was to attach wedges to the boom that were shaped to try and help the main sail have better shape when reefed. Most of the time, this added weight and complexity but did little good in getting the sail to have anything resembling decent shape.

I'd point out that these booms usually prevented the use of fully battened sails, and lost the advantages thereof in the process.
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Old 04-29-2010
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I don't use the boom rolling on my boat for the reasons you cite. If the conditions call for reefing the main, I just bring it down completely and run just the jib and the mizzen.

On a side note, I still have the nice little wood-handled crank for the boom roller - I am absolutely amazed that it hasn't gone into the drink 20 years ago.

Best Regards,


e

.::.
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Old 04-29-2010
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I have a spare Cal 29 roller boom in my shead the PO liker it so me much he bought a standard ONE to replace it
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Old 04-29-2010
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I grew up with roller furling booms, and while they seemed like a great idea at the time. they never really did work all that well resulting in very baggy sail once it was reefed. Even if you were extremely careful and got a tight roll with the foot of the sail pulled out tight, the leech would creep toward the tack and the sail would slowly bag up.

As has been suggested, the hot ticket is to convert the boat to a two-line slab reefing system which is a very fast, and reliable way to reef that results in a nicely shaped sail once reefed.

Jeff
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Well, gee Wally, how do these modern high tech in boom roller reefers do it?
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Old 04-29-2010
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I have read that in the 50s and 60s racers and others with roller reefing used to roll up towels in the sail to keep the reefed sail flatter.
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Old 04-29-2010
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i have a profurl in boom system that the PO installed . the fully battened main is cut to work with this setup. the vang has to to hold up the boom at 87 1/2 degrees so the sail will roll up properly. it works very good.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captbillc View Post
i have a profurl in boom system that the PO installed . the fully battened main is cut to work with this setup. the vang has to to hold up the boom at 87 1/2 degrees so the sail will roll up properly. it works very good.

That is what my PO bought but its a STOBOOM and you better dam well not be at 88 if you want to roll up
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First, they don't use the boom to roll the sail around... but a mandrel inside the boom. Second, the sails are cut specifically to work with the mandrel.

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Originally Posted by groundhog View Post
Well, gee Wally, how do these modern high tech in boom roller reefers do it?
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