Thanks Brian. Let me see if I can add something and answer some of your questions.
If you read again you will see that I was considering jammed halfway in. If the sail jams it will probably not jam at the beginning.
About the flogging I had a bad experience with a jam in the genoa furler. I had a big genoa (150%) and the thing got stuck with the sail less than halfway rolled. With 30k of wind and too much wind for the sail, I had to let go and go forward to fix the problem. Luckily there were only two meter waves, but I can tell you that the mast was moving wildly (from one side to another) and that I was afraid and worried about its integrity. I have doubts that it could have taken a much stronger wind…and a mainsail is a strong sail, it takes time to be shredded. I don´t say that this can happen frequently, quite the opposite, it can never happen, but it remains a possibility, and a frightening one, at least for me.
Stability is not an easy matter to address and it is not as simple as you put it.
When we talk about a stiff boat normally we are talking of a boat that can take a lot of wind on its sails before getting a significant heeling. There are some very stiff boats, like the Hanse 430, that have poor reserve stability. They are beamy boats with lots of initial stability, (form stability) but with a relatively low AVS and a low Displacement/Ballast ratio. They offer a big resistance to capsizing (lots of righting moment till big angles of heeling) but if they get laid at 90º of heel they are making little force to right themselves up.
If you put an inmast furling on one of those, well….it is not a good idea.
Beneteaus, Jeanneaus and Bavarias are in this group, big form stability and low Displacement/Ballast ratio, sometimes as low as 27%. That doesn´t mean that they are bad or unsafe boats, but you have to know their strong and weak points to sail them safely offshore.
On the other hand, for example a Malo or a Halberg Rassy (with the same displacement) will have not the same initial stability as the Hanse, but will have a lot more reserve stability.
The manufactures take measures to compensate the diminution of the initial stability (they put less sail on the inmast furler version of the same model) but they don’t take any measure to compensate the diminution of reserve stability (they would have to put more ballast and reinforce the hull and that is expensive).
Of course you are right; almost all production boats go to coastal sailors that only go out with good weather and sometimes without any significant wind. But there are some few that use those boats for offshore sailing and they are capable of that, if well equipped and well sailed.
Yes, there is a tendency for inmast furling even on the ocean going boats. I suspect that it has to do with its price. They are so expensive that you have to be old to have money for one of those, and with age all things that make life easy are well coming
. Not only inmast furling but also electric winches (they are also a tendency). It may be a necessity for the ones that are less physically able, but it doesn’t make a boat safer (or faster).
Off course, if I am so lucky as to be of good health in 20 years time, I will be sailing…and probably with an inmast furling, electric winches, pilot house and everything that can make it easier and permits me to sail longer.
About the crap that you put aboard and the effect on the stability, I remember that Dylibar has asked:
A well designed boat is more stable with full tanks. The initial stability will be a lot bigger as well as the overall stability till a significant heel (90º or so). Only de AVS would be a little worse and of course, the boat would have also a bigger inverted stability. If the boat has a decent AVS this will not be a problem. Even with a specified (by the designer) full load, the boat will remain more stable and the difference on the AVS (on the stability curves I know) will not be bigger than 5º.
If you charge your boat a lot beyond its full load, you should change for a bigger boat.
That is a bad idea. The boat will sail badly the AVS will diminish significantly as the righting moment at more than 60º or 70º of heeling. It will be a much less safer boat and can even be unsafe.