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02-14-2013 06:21 AM
Re: in mast furling issues?

Had our 96 Oceanis 381 for over a year now and I was very hesitant because it has inmast furling.......think its a real boon now! had it stripped and serviced when we bought the boat and it has been great, cant see me ever going back to traditional slab reefing. You may find that most negative comments come from people who have not actually owned a boat with it fitted, more often, they know someone, crewed, or heard of problems
01-01-2013 09:15 AM
Re: in mast furling issues?

I have a B393 with in-mast furling. I cruise in the winter (Dec- June) in the Bahamas and have had the boat for eight seasons. The in-mast furling should not be a problem. For a cruiser it's fantastic. I have only jammed it once and it was entirely my fault. After eight seasons I was getting a bit sloppy, furling the sail on any point of sail with a main that was getting a bit baggy after eight seasons.

On a sail from the Exumas to Eulethera I furled the sail while going downwind in fairly gusty conditions. A week later when I was sailing back across Exuma Sound, the sail jammed when I tried to pull it out. It would not come out but I managed to furl the bit I did have out back in. We did that trip on headsail only and the next day I spent two hours un-jamming the sail. It was jammed worse than I thought and, starting at the tack, I pulled it out, bit by bit, as I was hauled up the mast. I was surprised that I had to go right up above the top spreaders before the sail was free.

I learned my lesson and am a lot less cocky when furling the sail now. I make sure there's not a lot of weight on it when furling. In heavy conditions I head up now. The sail will only jam if it hasn't been furled properly.

And I have replaced the baggy main. Got two new sails this season. By the way, I do have a traditional set-up on my CS36M with all lines leading aft to the cockpit so that reefing is fairly easy. The in-mast furling is a lot easier!!
12-31-2012 09:49 PM
Re: in mast furling issues?

I've had three boats with in-mast furling since 2001. Vertical battens in this one.

Obviously I'm a fan.

Keep the sail taut, and don't let it flap wildly when furling.

With the big genoa's most new boats have these days, I really don't think there is much of a performance penalty. Trim the sails and keep the bottom clean and you'll be fine.

12-28-2012 06:51 PM
Brent Swain
Re: in mast furling issues?

There is a boat with in mast furling in Heriot Bay BC. When the strong westerly blows, you can hear the thing howl a half mile away, for days on end sometimes. They have tried hauling things up inside to quieten it down, with no success. So they turned the boat around and she went quiet, til the wind blew from the opposite direction. Then the howling resumed, as loud as ever.
12-27-2012 10:26 PM
Re: in mast furling issues?

In mast furling is worth the many troubles it creates (out-haul jamming being the most common but easy to overcome by going to the mast and pulling the foot of the sail by hand, then pulling the out-haul again). There is never a problem rolling the sail back in except sometimes just getting the tack inside the mast by itself (again, easy to solve by walking to the mast and shoving it in). Besides, any conventional sail can also jam when you need to lower it and the trance is more serious if the sail is not loose footed as in a furling system.

If you ever need to find perfect balance while heaving to in bad seas the ability to fine mainsail area from the safety of the cockpit is invaluable.
11-04-2012 04:18 PM
Re: in mast furling issues?

Stumble .... when you say "jam half up", what do you mean ? I've had standard mains jam when slugs have broken but no great problem with furling main raising or lowering.

Minne ... yes undoing head and tack shackles is a pita but our Seldon furler has clip in plates that are fast and easy to remove.

Having had both standard and furling plus being purely a short handed cruiser I'd have to say that furling main is no longer the deal killer I once thought it was. Loss of overall size of sail is my major concern, sail shape doesn't seem to be so much of a problem (we have vertical battens) but I still struggle with control of the outhaul when reducing sail.
11-04-2012 07:25 AM
bradfalk Yeah- with 3 small kids convenience is really important to me. Bing able to pull sail out and back in all from cockpit with ease is a major plus. Thanks
11-03-2012 11:26 PM
Re: in mast furling issues?

Hi Brad
I've got a 2009 Beneteau 40 and the furling main is great. Used to charter boats with classic main but furling is so much easier than slab reefing. I don't think it would be the best choice if you were going to cross oceans just in case it ever did get stuck but I've had no problems. The joy for cruising is even if a little wind comes up it takes no time to pull the sail out. If find not enough to sail, takes no time to pull it back in. So no hesitation to try it even if solo.
I think the vertical battens help a bit but she is not a racer. Great in high winds as well. Sail can obviously be furled to any position although there are two marks on the sail representing a first and second reef point to give you some idea of where it will balance the head sail if you reef that to its marked points. There is even a suggested place to put the jib sheet cars for these reef positions .. sailing for dummies, maybe ... but you can fine tune things from there. Is great if anyone on board is a bit nervous of high winds and heeling too far over ... just furl a bit more and peace is restored. Marriage saved!
11-02-2012 11:00 AM
bradfalk Cruising. Don't foresee racing at all- just family cruising and from my experience with the '28 (and even on good sailing bristols etc growing up) the majority of the time, like you pointed out, is motoring. So, my priority is comfort and reliability. Just want to make sure the furling main is reliable. Since I do most of the "sailing" I want to get a boat that is as easy for single handling as possible (since my kids aren't doing much) and I like the idea of the furling main. Don't care about eaking out extra point-whatever knts at expense of comfort. I guess good counter argument is that with the shoal draft and furling main the boat takes a real hit with ability to sail to wind.. I think i just need to get out there and sail them. I'm working w a great broker who will get me out on boats so my next step is just seeing as many as possible. Just hard when they're so spaced out geographically. Not like going to a car dealership. Thanks for all the input- greatly appreciated.
10-30-2012 12:37 PM
Re: in mast furling issues?

Originally Posted by bradfalk View Post
I've seen stuff about vertical battens.. Does this help shape much? Seems most Benes I see have the furling so not sure I'll have much choice but mostly wanted to make sure it wasn't a mechanical disaster on regular basis. Good tips on learning how to tweak it from people who know.. and the UV protection- thanks
Setting aside reliability of the in-mast furling, maybe you should ask yourself what you plan to do with the boat. Are you going to cruise, race or cruise but like the thought of being able to race every now and then.

The standard (Oceanis) 393 & 411 are cruising boats. The original owners could have given them an added edge by ordering the boat with options like a slab/battened main and fin keel. They're out there and easy to find.

If you get a standard 393 or 411 and you feel the need to get every ounce of speed out of it, replace the main with one that has verticle battens and replace the prop that has folding/feathering blades.

If you are looking for a family cruiser than get what you can afford and enjoy it for what it is. My OEM main came with a UV coating/cover on that portion (both sides) of the sail that is always exposed and it is still in great shape. All the 393/411's I looked at on YatchWorld seem to have one too.

Anybody that cruises on a regular basis will tell you that the wind rarely favors you and you will often motor more than sail. So that extra half-knot of speed you might get from a conventional main is really wasted.
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