INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-15-2019 Thread Starter
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INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

I have a 4 year old Beneteau Oceanis 35 that we got new from the factory. At the end of last season, the main sail started jamming in the mast. We eventually got it to behave, but this season it has started all over again.
I have also noticed that the mast is bowed. It's a real struggle for me to haul the main sail out or in now, although my husband seems to be able to stong-arm his way through it. Has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone have a solution? Is it possible that I am too weak to do this and I am causing the issue by changing between the faster winch cycle and the slower one, and/or sometimes needing to rest my arms while furling?
We have been religious about spraying mclube in the outhaul tracks and that has helped a bit.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-16-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

Iím no expert but Iíve had problems with an in-mast furler in the past. A sailmaker examined mine and advised me that a number of factors can make it difficult to furl the sail in or out. Mast bend is one of those. Another is an incorrect furling angle of the sail as controlled by the boom angle (there is usually a boom Vang which can be adjusted), the halyard tension, the cut of the sail (too wide at the head of the sail), and other factors. Of course, the furler might have a bad bearing or some other malfunction. Best to consult a rigger to find out whatís going on. It should never be jamming provided one is into the wind or on a slight port tack (depends on the furler ó must read the instructions) and boom angle is correct when furling the sail. In my case it was a worn sail in need of recutting and maintenance. Hope this helps.
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

Stock sails aren't usually the greatest quality, so it sounds like it may be getting stretched out, which can cause a fold in the mast while you are furling. It may be just a case of the sail is just occupying too much space in the mast and is binding.

Also, vang or sheet tension can make it more difficult, so check to see if those are loose enough.

And as another mentioned, there is usually a happy side to the sail, so having a touch of wind on that side can help.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-16-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

I have no experience with these systems....

Try removing the sail and see if things are moving easily... fiddle with the mast bend and vang and see if that makes a difference.

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post #5 of 17 Old 08-16-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

We had experience with a hood system, that worked well.

I'm not sure this applies to the mast you have, but the hood mast was a big and straight. The mast was tuned to be that way, not to be bent in the top section to de-power like you can do in many conventional setups. It sound like you already know the usual "tricks" of the trade, like keeping tension on the outhaul so you furl tightly so the sail fits in the aperture in the mast.

Again, no experience with your system in particular, but I don't see how an in mast furler would work well unless the big long shaft in the middle of the mast was straight which means the mast is straight, not bent. The things gotta spin on its axis. I maybe wrong, but could this be a case of mast tuning? Does it get better if you make the thing straight like a telephone pole? Have you been tweaking down an adjustable backstay or something to "bow it."
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-16-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

I would suggest that you check the sail. As it ages it will get a belly in it and become more and more difficult to get in and out. W/RF mains, it is imperative that the mast is perfectly straight, I repeat, perfectly straight. Get a rigger to the boat before you go sailing again.
Absolutely the LAST thing one should do with any RF sail is "strong-arm his way through it". This is how one gets an RF sail irretrievably stuck and will one time mean cutting the sail out of the mast and replacing it. If it begins to become difficult, stop immediately and go back a bit and try again slowly. RF in-mast systems do not get fouled up on their own. Barring a bearing issue, it is ALWAYS operator error.
So, get the mast straight and get the sail to a sailmaker and your RF in-mast system should be back as it was.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-16-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

Had the scary experience of having to take a knife to a sail coming home from a Bermuda race. Afterward owner told me mandrill was bowed/bent. Event occurred in strong winds (force 7] while another crew was reefing. He attempted to get it in then out repetitively and ended up folding the sail around a vertical batten. System was on hydraulics so no feel. At that point end of discussion and out came the knife. Rigger told owner there wasnít enough tension in the mandrill which allowed it to bow in the middle due to the force of the wind. This occurred even though the boat was dead into the wind.
Your OP suggests your mast isnít in column. Sail should be removed and a rigger retune the mast. Then rigger should check the mandrill over its entire length as well as the bearings. At this point they maybe damaged from the mast not being perfectly in column.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-16-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

I've had my fair share of furling issues over the years.

The most common main sail furling issue has been mentioned above: a stretched sail. At three years old, that seems premature, but still possible. A sail loft can cut and resew, but it won't be like new.

The next is user error, by not allowing sufficient boom rise, while unfurling. The foot is not usually parallel to the deck and the vang or mainsheet needs to be loose enough to allow the boom to rise. Another assist can be from the topping lift. Booms look nicer, at rest, when parallel, but aren't usually flying that way. If you pull the boom above parallel, with the topping lift, you can alleviate some friction on the way out.

Finally, I've had outhaul cars with ball bearings that have been fouled and jammed. The cars with slides are much more reliable than those with bearings.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-17-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

The one thing I donít like about in boom or in mast is the need to take the wind force off the sail by heading into the wind. Often when solo or short handed this is problematic. Even when fully crewed the sea state may make this dangerous. With simple slab or Dutchman or lazy jacks all your prep is done on the same heading youíve been following. When actually reefing you canít be going down wind but any point of sail that allows you to let off enough main sheet to luff the sail suffices. You donít need to turn on the engine to control the boat in order to reef. You can leave the jib drawing. To date every time Iíve been on a boat with in mast or in boom the engine has gone on to reef. Wonder if owners here do that as well?

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post #10 of 17 Old 08-17-2019
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Re: INMast Furling System Jams Beneteau Oceanis35

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
The one thing I donít like about in boom or in mast is the need to take the wind force off the sail by heading into the wind. Often when solo or short handed this is problematic. Even when fully crewed the sea state may make this dangerous. With simple slab or Dutchman or lazy jacks all your prep is done on the same heading youíve been following. When actually reefing you canít be going down wind but any point of sail that allows you to let off enough main sheet to luff the sail suffices. You donít need to turn on the engine to control the boat in order to reef. You can leave the jib drawing. To date every time Iíve been on a boat with in mast or in boom the engine has gone on to reef. Wonder if owners here do that as well?
I don't find this to be true at all. We set and douse our main on nearly every point of sail, even DDW if the wind is light enough. We do, of course, ease the sheet when furling, however, we will keep a bit of air in the sail when setting it, to help pull it out.
When working the sail DDW, we keep the boom amidships which keeps the sail off the rig except for the last bit. Since we sail reefed most of the time this works very well.
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