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  #1  
Old 09-25-2009
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Roller furled Mains

I am in the process of hunting for our first boat and as I imagine everyone does I gaze longingly at boats I cant afford and in all honesty couldn't handle at this point. But in looking I see a number boats with roller furled mains. Now I can appreciate the ease of it but I just dont totally see the sense of it. With a Jib if an emergency happens you can just let loose the jib sheets and let it flap but what would one do if your main roller system malfunctioned and it stuck? It seem to me potentially dangerous luxury. At least with a stack pac you can deal with a hangup but with this system I see the only way to deal with the problem if it happens in extreme circumstances to be a knife? Am I wrong?

note- boats of the size we are looking for 24-28 ft dont generally have this option I am just wonder why anyone wold want it in a larger boat.
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Old 09-25-2009
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Hello,

Pages and pages have been written on this subject. You can do some searching if you are truly interested.

There are many advantages of furling mains (both 'in boom' and 'in mast') including:
  • Ease of 'raising' the sail (for in mast) because you don't need to jump or grind the halyard
  • Ease of lowering the main
  • No sail cover to pun on / take off
  • Easy to reef
  • Infinite amount of reefing
Of course there are also disadvantages:
  • decreased sail performance (the sail is usually smaller and doesn't have battens although there are exceptions to this)
  • risk of jam
  • higher cost
  • more weight
It seems that more and more boats have furlign mains. I don't know if this is because people are getting more lazy, older and weaker, want less hassle, or ?

Barry
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Old 09-25-2009
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There has indeed been many pages written regarding roller furling mains.
I have had two different ones. Have not had a jam. One was offshore and the other fresh water. I think a lot of the decission has to do with age, the type of sailing you are doing, and energy. They are sure nice in heavy seas with short crew and the quickness you can furl.
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