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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Next week I'm chartering a Beneteau 393 with an in-mast furler. I've sailed with in-mast furling before, but I've never been the one in charge of it.

So far the advice I have for furling and unfurling is to ease the vang and use the topping lift to keep the boom at 90º to the mast. For furling I've been told to use the outhaul to keep some tension on the sail, but not too much.

Any other advice for someone new to in-mast furling? Searching Sailnet yields a bunch of horror stories, I don't want to add another one.

Here's the boat:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the good advice. I had previously heard to keep the boom 90º to the mast, but people here are saying it should be a bit higher. Looking at the picture of the boat it does look like it's a bit higher than level.

I guess keep tensions even, go slow, and if it feels wrong it probably is.

The outhaul is going to be one of your primary sail shape controls. We can not adjust ours under load and have to get it close to begin with. Otherwise, we have to come up on the wind and adjust, which also typically means furling the genoa back in too. You don't just pull it to the end and start sailing. However, bareboat sails are often blown out a bit, so I suspect you'll be snugging it down more often than not.
Right now Sailflow is predicting winds of 13 knots (nice) with gusts to 33 knots (gusty!) when we pull out Friday morning.

It's a 10-year-old boat, with original sails I'd guess, so it's probably safe to say they're a bit blown. With those gusts and that sail I'll try to keep the outhaul pretty tight.

Thanks for all the help, everybody!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just thought I'd check back in.

I asked the charter check-out guy for tips on the in-mast furling. For unfurling he said blow the vang, put some slack in the mainsheet, don't touch the topping lift, and keep a little pressure on the furling line while pulling on the outhaul. If it sticks, pull it in a bit and try again. Ease the mainsheet some as you unfurl.

For furling he said (again) don't touch the topping lift, blow the vang, don't have too much pressure on the sail, but do have a little pressure on a starboard tack. Keep a little tension on the outhaul while you pull in on the furler. If it gets stuck, pull it out some and try again.

Basically, the same advice everybody here gave me!


In practice I found it sticky. The weather was such that we reefed a lot. I never put the lines on a winch to furl or unfurl, but even when everything was lined up right they were hard enough to pull that I was tempted to. This may be from being a 10-year-old charter boat.

And it did jam a couple times. Not bad, I just had to pull the other direction for a while then start again.

Maybe if the system were newer and I were more familiar with it I'd like it better. As it was I think I would have preferred a traditional main with reef points, assuming those reefs were deep enough.

There was one really good thing about the furling main though. A friend of mine was up there and and also rented a Beneteau 393, his with a traditional main. So when on the last day he slowly crept past me, maybe making a quarter knot faster, I had a built-in excuse. "He's got a traditional battened main with some roach, we've got this silly inverse roach thing! It's not our sailing skill, it's the damned main!" :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I always use the winch for both furling and un-furling.
Good to know, thanks!

I guess I was worried that if I was using a winch I wouldn't be aware if it was starting to jam and it'd be too easy to use too much force.

I did use the winch to tighten the outhaul after the desired amount of sail was out and the furling line was cleated, but while just furling or unfurling I used my hands.

The season is over for this year, but I'll probably get the same boat again next year. Maybe then I'll use the winches and save myself some work.
 
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