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Old 10-18-2010
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Question In mast/boom furling

I am seeing in mast furling systems on larger boats and I am wondering how well they work. Not really ease of use but for sail shape and performance. I believe there are in boom systems as well. Anybody have experience or grand knowledge about these? I am very curious.

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CB
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Old 10-18-2010
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Most will have relatively lousy sail shape when reefed and are relatively low performance, since most will require you to have a hollow leech mainsail since they are unbattened. Some of the newer ones are battened, using vertical battens, but still not as good performance as a fully battened (horizontal) mainsail with a decent roach. There's a reason you only see these things on CRUISING boats...and not things like Open 60s..
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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-19-2010 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb32863 View Post
I am seeing in mast furling systems on larger boats and I am wondering how well they work. Not really ease of use but for sail shape and performance. I believe there are in boom systems as well. Anybody have experience or grand knowledge about these? I am very curious.

Thanks,

CB
Can't beat the convenience, as long as it works. The negatives are the sails will not be as efficient because you can't batten them in the same way and they simply won't have as efficient a shape. I have seen some in-mast furling sails with up and down battens but that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I have certainly never seen any up and down battens on any other sails and I can't imagine that it would hold as good a shape.

The other negative that you hear about sometimes is that they can jam sometimes and once they do it can be a real bear, especially in windy conditions. This problem may be "overblown," though, as I have friends with in-mast furling who have never had this problem and they seem to always roll up their mainsail lickety split.
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Thanks SD and CBinRI! I had heard something similar but I wasn't sure so I figured I would ask.
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Old 10-18-2010
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I have in mast furling. It is a love/hate relationship. I like it because it is easy to handle singlehanded, especially in the middle of the night. i hate it because it is hard to get the shape I want. But then again, we are talking about may be a 0.5 kn difference. IT is not going to change the grand scheme of things when it comes to cruising.

I wish the price of boom furling will come down, I think it will be a good viable option. Furling is a must for me. I hate to get on the deck sailing solo, although I have done so many time. Even with tethering and jack line, getting back on the boat is still hard.
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Actually, in heavier winds, the in-mast furling's poorer sail shape can lead to a lot more heeling and make the ride a lot less comfortable.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Actually, in heavier winds, the in-mast furling's poorer sail shape can lead to a lot more heeling and make the ride a lot less comfortable.
Hmmm.... how so, please explain.
As in my case, I tighten up my sail and let go the sheet more.
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You can't flatten a reefed in-mast sail as well as you can a slab reefed sail. The fuller shape leads to more heeling, less control over the boat, etc.

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Hmmm.... how so, please explain.
As in my case, I tighten up my sail and let go the sheet more.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-18-2010
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Hello,

In mast and in boom furlers make it a lot more convenient to use the mainsail. Easy to deploy, easy to stow, no sail cover to deal with, no need to go forward to raise, lower, cover, etc.

With an in mast sail you won't have the same performance as a standard sail, but this doesn't seem to bother most cruisers.

Personally, I value performance enough so that I would buy a boat with an in mast furler.

I don't see any negatives to in boom units. I'm sure the cost is significant and maybe it makes raising the main more difficult.

Barry
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Old 10-18-2010
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I love the in-mast furling on my B393. As far as performance goes, I'm cruising and in my cruising grounds it's usually blowing pretty good. When I cruised with a traditional main I did not hoist the main as much. That's what usually happens you end up using the jenny on it's own more but with the furling main and its infinite reefing the main's always out which is a lot better for balance.
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