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bkw 09-08-2006 12:10 PM

furling main
i started to charter boats in so ca couple months ago.
the two that i have chartered that had furling mains seemed to have a lot of slop (or i have heard it called draft) in the sail after it was unfurled. (cat 28 and cat35). the instructions that are on the boat say not to fool with the halyard.
any comments?

nolatom 09-08-2006 03:08 PM

Not sure quite what kind of rig it is, but if you're unfurling it without touching the halyard, then it must be roller-furling into the mast. This must be why they don't want you changing the halyard tension, because it affects turntables at both ends of the luff.

If so, and you've got too much draft (depth in mid-sail), you can try tightening the foot with the outhaul control. If you want to flatten the draft still more, look for a cunningham cringle, a ring on the luff about a foot above the tack. Run a line up to it or through it, then to either a tackle or a winch, and crank it down to give you more luff tension, and hence less draft (and will pull the existing draft more forward).

If the main doesn't have any of those controls, or it's still too baggy, then it may just be blown out with age. The cure then is a recut or a new main.

I'm not a big fan of roller furling mainsails, I like battens and the stability they give the leech.

Chuteman 09-08-2006 11:01 PM

Pain in the ..............everywhere
I try to avoid boats with furling (Mast that is) mains for a couple of reasons.
1) Like Nolatom - takes away many of the things that helps shape & support the sail. It's a big compromise in everyway & never seems to pay you back for what you give up

2) Preventing jams - take care when you unfurl (should be controlled as you roll out) & absolutely when you Furl.....proper tension creates a tight roll which hopefully will prevent a jam................fingers guarantees!

Agree with Nolatom - the outhaul is the best way to flatten the sail ......make sure you don't have lines ie; topping lift, etc at the end of the boom restricting the clew/leech of the mainsail as it is being pulled all the way to the end......there should be a mark / tape showing the proper point................find that the outhaul & other lines plus cleats, rollers and other line handling attachments cause lots of friction vs the simple Halyard hoist. So make sure you check all that out before you leave the dock.

Boom Furlers seem to give the sail some of the things back that you lose with mast furling ie; battens & ability to drop the sail if a something goes wrong.

There are lots of horror stories with Mast furling mains but don't want be the bearer of bad news.
Good luck..........:rolleyes:

ebs001 09-09-2006 08:07 AM

Everyone I've talked to that has roller furling mains would never go back. Just what I've heard. Maybe we could hear more from people with first hand experience, rather than just opinions.

camaraderie 09-09-2006 07:45 PM

I have a boom furling main and would never go back. Far more common is the in-mast version which has some drawbacks for bluewater cruising and racing. Nevertheless...the popularity of in-mast seems to indicate that for most casual sailors this is a most desireable feature and I too do not know anyone who would trade theirs for a stack pack or something similar. There are newer versions out that handle vertical battens which help sail shape a lot for those who want to squeeze out another 1/2 knot.

Gene T 09-10-2006 12:33 PM

I see people with in-mast furlers wishing to change them all the time. Lots of offers to swap rigs with conventional systems on various owner lists. In-boom is very nice and can offer almost as much sail area as conventional mains do. BUT it is very expensive to convert, and some systems still have problems. As far as in-mast systems go the sails blow out quickly if the boat is sailed in windy areas. Some owners do like them and end up relying on large headsails to make up the difference in lost sail area.

xort 09-10-2006 06:12 PM

Gene T
Could you post some of the owner lists where these posts regarding in-mast furlers are? I would like to read them,

Gene T 09-10-2006 08:02 PM


Originally Posted by xort
Gene T
Could you post some of the owner lists where these posts regarding in-mast furlers are? I would like to read them,

Jeanneau and Beneteau are a start, also if you watch the classifieds you will see mast furling rigs from a refit for sale. Just do a search. You could also google mast furling problems.

I have been on two different boats where we had the main jam while trying to roll it in, in light winds yet. The skippers were experienced with in-mast furlers too. Some of the newer in-mast spars have a sail track along side the opening for the furling main allowing you to use a standard sail once you remove the furling sail.

They are convenient for a lot of people, and a lot of charter boats have them, so they must work OK for most people. I would say poor performance, shorter sail life and extra weight aloft are the big negatives for me.

sailingdog 09-10-2006 10:33 PM

I would go with a Boom-furling main before a in-mast-furling main. One of the real risks I see with in-mast-furling is that the sail must be unfurled to take it down. If an in-mast unit jams, then you may be left with sail up and no real way to take it down. Also, the problems can be much harder to solve, since the jam is as likely to be the masthead section as the lower part of the in-mast unit. Lastly, most in-mast units have problems with sail shape and weight aloft.

Chuteman 09-11-2006 07:30 PM

1st hand experience
Just for the record, my comments were just that...............I'm not an owner but have chartered & crewed with a number a boats w/ mast furling systems.
I would never choose / buy one.

As I said before & GT/SD have stated real life problems. Having a sail jam in high winds is no picnic & BTW why do things like that always happen at the worse times.

I was out on a private Jenneau yesterday 43DS with in mast furler....the owner is a "fan" for the benefits & acknowledges that he has given up sail shape & controls to get it...............sailmakers are trying to compensate so he plans to factor that into his replacement sail.

I also have been on a Hunter 36 with it and chartered boats with it. All the negatives don't come close to outweighing the benefits. I would love to try an in-boom system............curious what the costs are.

My system of choice is a beautiful full main sail (and lighter mast) with all the bells & whistles plus a lazy jack / stack pack. Bet I can sail faster plus handle my sail easier than the in-mast guys. :cool:

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