Has anyone considered a boom furling unit on their PS? We are seriously looking into a Leisurefurl for our PS 40. Safety and convenience are the two main advantages that we are weighing, and after speaking with two sailmakers, other than the huge cost involved, I can't think of any disadvantages. Anyone have experience or thoughts to share?
I don't have any firsthand experience, so I can't say much other than to add my own interest in this question. My recollection is that, when we bought JUNO 10 years ago, Pacific Seacraft was offering the Leisurefurl as an (expensive!) option on the 40 and that, at that time, Don Kohlmann spoke highly of the unit.
In conversations with two skippers this fall who were getting ready for the Caribbean 1500, however, both had opted for the Schaffer boom furling systems over the Leisurefurl. They said their "research" had found more happy Shaeffer owners than Leisurfurls.
Since the above is all essentially third-hand information, take it for what it's worth. I'd love to hear skippers with first-hand experience weigh in on this thread as we, too, have discussed going to an in-boom furling system someday.
PS 40 -- #46
How about Furlboom?
I do not have first hand experience with Furlboom but spent time speaking with them at the Annapolis boat show. A friend had a different furling system (I don't remember which but it was one on the major players) on his 45' sailboat and had nothing but problems. The sail would not roll properly and would lock the unit where you could not lift or furl the mainsail. The device is very sensitive to the position of the boom and bend of the mast. Very small changes in either would stop the main from rolling into the boom and would bunch the sail in such a way to prevent any rolling up or down. He had a mainsail made per specs provided by the manufacturer and had the sail re-cut a few times with little success.
I spoke with Furlboom about the problems we experienced on our friend's boat and they had good responses on why their unit is different. We are going to consider Furlboom for our 44' sailboat.
Yachting Systems of America,YSA Furling Systems, LLC
I am not affiliated with Furlboom.
I withdrew from a purchase of a $300,000 boat because the 2-yr-old Leisurefurl could not be made to work. The owner finally removed it and sold the boat for $40,000 less... two years later.
The boat next to me removed his after three years and went back to slab reefing.
Thank you for your replies. You've given me pause and the opportunity for more research. I have spoken with one of our area's premier sail makers, and he is decidedly positive about the unit in terms of sail shape and ease of reefing.
One thing that I have been told is that the boom on both the Schafer and the Leisure Furl must be at a precise angle (87 degrees?) for the main to be raised or lowered. Also, on the Leisure Furl, the furling line must be kept taut when raising or lowering the sail. Some difficulties that have been related here may be due to improper procedures.
I am getting contact information for several owners, and I will ask them questions prompted by your responses. Thank you again.
I am relatively new to sailing and ownership. In 2008 I bought a 1997 46 foot Morris with a Leisure Furl in boom furling system with an electric winch. It has worked well for me. I have been told that the settings have to be right. I have not changed anything. I have the topping lift line marked. There is a small learning curve but if I can do it and the many guest that I have had can do it, it can not be much of a problem. I did break one pin when someone keep winching against resistence. Cost very little to replace.
I have spoken with two owners of Leisure Furl units. One has a J 46, and the other has a PS 40. Both are very happy with them. Both men are in their sixties, as am I, and they feel that the their boom furlers get them out on the water more frequently than they otherwise would go.
One of the gentlemen offered hypotheses of the problems related in some of the replies here. Installation is critical, he said, as is operating technique. Finally, the sail has to be specially created for the units. Any problem with one or more of these areas can account for the difficulties, he said.
We're plunging ahead and purchasing a unit, and are choosing a boat yard with lots of experience installing them. We have been told emphatically that this is not a do-it-yourself project.
Thank you again for the input.
PS 40 #33
Very unhappy with my Furlboom
After watching my captain struggle to reef our 51' cat at the mast, I wanted a safer system Furlboom. They should have told me, we can't adapt this to your boat. Instead, they stressed the advantages. The system is a complete disaster. The installer in Florida had to cut and cut so the sail would fit in the boom. Ultimately, there was 80% of my former sail. The halyard frays, stretches and the sail buckles. The lines that run back to the cockpit are mis-aligned through the spin locks, threatening to tear them out. The vang is under powered for handling the load of the sail.
Furling and unfurling the sail? It now takes 2-3 people. I wanted this to improve the safety under adverse conditions, now it's worse!
So far, no response to my request to take this mess back. My opinion, mono or cat, if you are under 40', may be OK. If over 40', work on improving what you have. This is not the way to go in a larger boat and they should not put this system on another large cat.
After a few months of using our Leisure Furl boom, I can give a report of first-hand experience. We like it very much. For us, it simplifies sailing makes it considerable safer. I cannot speak about other manufacturers or even other installations of the same product, but for us, it works.
Usage is fairly straightforward, though there is an adjustment period. We raise the main by use of the powered winch on the cabin top of our 40. There are two lines involved, the halyard and the furling line. A slight tension (finger tip, really) must be kept on the furling line as the halyard is on the winch. To lower the main, the process is reversed. The furler is wrapped on the powered winch and tension must be kept on the halyard as the furler moves on the winch. We solved the precise angle of the boom to the mast by determining the 87 degrees and then measuring the distance from the aft grab rail on our dodger top to the bottom of the boom. In our case, it is 20 1/2 inches which we marked on a boat pole with electrical tape. So, once we adjust to that distance, we simply lower the mainsail. The sail cover is built in, so no more climbing on the mast pulpits to attach the old sail cover. It is as simple as standing in front of the mast and pulling on two continuous lines in the boom, and the cover slides in place. My wife made a small cover for the gooseneck to cover the luff. I think it takes 20 or 30 seconds.
Sail adjustment can be made by using the powered winch to flatten the main rather than tightening the boom too much (we have solar panels on our bimini).
In the learning process, I have made a couple of dumb mistakes, and no doubt I will make more. The unit works very well for us. Downside: it was expensive, and we had to have a beautiful new main crafted by our loft. Now our jib and staysail look drab and old.
Quan Yin PS 40 #33
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