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Cruiser
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My sailboat (Beneteau 411) has the in-mast furling system.
For some reason, the mainsail jams when being un-furled - see the attached picture.

I am easing boomvang spar tension, topping lift and mainsheet when furling and un-furling the sail - all are slack.

Am I doing something wrong? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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One possibility is that the sail is blown out. Too much camber would cause this.
 

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Catalina 400 MKII
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The problem may be when you furl the main it's too loose. Some things to try: Use more outhaul pressure. Also, when furling, use a bit of topping lift to raise the boom. As eherlihy points out, the main may be "out of shape". A sailmaker can fix this if the material is still ok.
Good luck.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Try $2000...
 
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Warm Weather Sailor
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Furling mains jam when the sail is furled incorrectly. A baggy main may exacerbate the problem. As stated previously you need more weight on the outhaul as you furl. Watch the sail as it goes into the mast. If it wrinkles or creases haul it out again and put more weight on the outhaul. Most sails will always furl. The problem arises when you try to unfurl it!

If it's an old sail you have to take more care.

I've furled my sail on most points of sail in varying wind conditions up to over 20 knots. After jamming it once I now take a lot more care and usually head up with the wind slightly on starboard.
 

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Master Mariner
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It appears to be as mentioned above, blown out. We have the same thing and we are trying to get one more season out our sail so we have learned to deal with it. Most important is to keep leach and foot tension even (perhaps raise the boom) and not force things. If it gets caught, stop and roll it in a bit, then, without releasing the outhaul, bring in the sail more, effectively rolling it tighter like you would a chart. Then pull it out again. Often we use the wind to help us, filling the sail with at least 10 knots of wind when bringing it out. We never furl or set the main head to wind.
We did talk to a sailmaker here who said it wouldn't be a big thing to cut out the baggy bit, but our tape drive main is (and always was) garbage, so we want to replace it soon, anyway.
 
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Cruiser
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for replies - will try few suggestions.

Yes, the sail is old and stretched, with a notable pocket on the middle.
I was hoping the problem could be alleviated using some furling techniques, but I guess only so much can be done and I would have to learn to live with it...

Did you ease off back-stay?
No, the backstays (2) are fixed (not meant for routine adjustment).
 

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ACK!!! THIS IS MY SAIL HERNIA PROBLEM!!

The only way I've been able to solve this is to make sure I furl it properly. Then I unfurl at the dock and refurl it to make sure it doens't give me any issues. Then, when i unfurl at sea, I go up to the mast and ease out the first 3-4 feet of sail...pushing back the hernia if it appears.

My next boat will *NOT* have in-mast furling. This problem has deviled me since the first time I took her out on my own. I furl and unfurl into the wind with no tension on any line. I try to furl with the boom on a bit of starboard to facilitate a tighter wrap. That generally works...but nothing is 100%
 

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If it's going to cost you several boat units at the sailmaker's to recut the main, it might be cheaper to simply add some grommets to the sail and some fittings to the boom and go with slab reefing and furl on the boom.
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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ACK!!! THIS IS MY SAIL HERNIA PROBLEM!!

The only way I've been able to solve this is to make sure I furl it properly. Then I unfurl at the dock and refurl it to make sure it doens't give me any issues. Then, when i unfurl at sea, I go up to the mast and ease out the first 3-4 feet of sail...pushing back the hernia if it appears.

My next boat will *NOT* have in-mast furling. This problem has deviled me since the first time I took her out on my own. I furl and unfurl into the with no tension on any line.wind I try to furl with the boom on a bit of starboard to facilitate a tighter wrap. That generally works...but nothing is 100%
That's your problem. You must have tension on the outhaul when you furl. Ease the main, ease the vang, tension on the outhaul and grind on the furling line.
 

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That's your problem. You must have tension on the outhaul when you furl. Ease the main, ease the vang, tension on the outhaul and grind on the furling line.
Sorry, i do have tension on the outhaul. however sometimes, i just get resistance fulring. thats when i know the mains gone in wrong. ...so unfurl and refurl.
 

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Master Mariner
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Sorry, i do have tension on the outhaul. however sometimes, i just get resistance fulring. thats when i know the mains gone in wrong. ...so unfurl and refurl.
Before you give up on the system, recut or replace the main. It was exactly the same for friends with a HR, to the point they had to go aloft at times to get the sail in/out.
A quick recut and he's now a real fan. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
 

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Totally common for a stretched main to cause this issue. It's just a matter of time. Surgery to repair, assuming the sail is in reasonable condition, is not that expensive. Several hundred dollars, assuming you drop and raise the sail yourself.

The only other thing I would throw out is rigging and pre-bend. Any chance you change that recently? It seems intuitive that too much pre-bend could mess with the furling system. However, modern furling systems expect it and too little can mess with them too.

Once you get your sails and system working properly, they are a godsend. I have no plans to go back to a traditional main.
 
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The rigging was tuned by the dealer and by a rigger to beneteau's specifications. Haven't touched it since. The sail has jammed from day one so I'm just hyper vigilant. When its time to replace the main (and its getting close to time), I'm going to have a local loft to deal with it.
 

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The rigging was tuned by the dealer and by a rigger to beneteau's specifications. Haven't touched it since. The sail has jammed from day one......
I doubt Beneteau's specifications are so exact and rigid, there couldn't be some range in them. Unless your sails were stretched from day one, this is suspect to me.
 
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