I have newly started sailing a Baba 40 that has in-mast furling and was hoping that you could expand on the comment that "there is a differnece in how to reef it which I feeel explains why many people have a problem." I have owned a Pearson Ensign for 10 years (still do) and the Baba is a big step up for me with much to learn. The in-mast furling actually drives me a bit nuts as it frequently messed up on the way in and proceeds to "bind" - is that what you mean by "hung up." I am sure that I am doing something wrong, just haven't quite figured out what yet.
I am assuming that you mean CD, not SD? I am the good looking one. Even with the insult, I will help (snicker).
Ok, how do you drop a traditional main (or put in a reef)? You point into the wind (as close to dead into the wind as possible). You get your mainsheets as tight as possible. You pull down on the boom vang as tight as possible. The point of all of this is to keep the boom from swinging all over the place and get it horizontal so that the falling main flakes easily across the boom. Etc, etc.
Now, take those exact same principles on inmast and it will hang up - if not the first time, eventually. It is very differrent.
This is hard to explain with words, but here goes:
When looking at your mast from the side, you will see that the clew does NOT go in horizontally from the boom. It goes up at (and I am making htis number up) a 15 degree angle. THe sail is designed this way. So what happens is that us old traditional sailors follow the typical methods for dropping in a reef or dropping the main (sheeting down on the boom/mainsheets/vang), and that forces the clew to travel relatively horizontally into the mast. So the foot ends up bunching up and not coiling around the drum properly (jamming it in the track) and the leech crinkles as it goes in (again, causing it to jam). Does that make sense? So doing this method when reefing or dropping the main (which is the right method for us traditional sailors) is wrong and it will jam up a lot.
When reefing the main on an inmast, you have to allow the mainsheet and the vang the slack to allow the clew to travel "upwards" into the track. The easiest way to accomplish this is to not be quite dead into the wind and to keep some tension on the sail when reefing, but I have found it is not always necessary. Paramount is making sure that you do not have too much downward pull on the sail while traveling into the track - you must give it the freedom it needs to travel upwards.
What may have happened on your Baba, assuming it of course has an old sail, is that the sail has stretched through missues (or just through age) and is not reefing properly anymore. At least try what I am talking about and you may find you love your inmast. You just cannot treat it like a traditional main.
Hope that helps.
- CD, Not SD (the good looking and smart one!!!)