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In-mast Furling

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I made it a rule that the mainsail couldn't weigh more than my wife. She's about 42-45kg, so it limits the size of the boat with cheapish materials. 

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1 hour ago, Elegua said:

I made it a rule that the mainsail couldn't weigh more than my wife. She's about 42-45kg, so it limits the size of the boat with cheapish materials. 

Does your rule limit the number of wives and the total weight thereof? I realize that more wives=less boat.

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20 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

It's not half a day and we can do it at anchor. The flaking is a LOT prettier if we can drag it over the lifelines onto a dock, yes.

We can barely get the goddamned thing in the bag if we flag it on the deck, especially if I'm directing it. My wife is better at flaking than me.

Of course, she always repacks my suitcase and re-folds everything when we travel too. Probably for a reason...

 

You have a dock for flaking sails ?

LUXURY !

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7 hours ago, savoir said:

 

You have a dock for flaking sails ?

LUXURY !

No, we don't.

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On 12/13/2018 at 9:21 PM, Ishmael said:

Does your rule limit the number of wives and the total weight thereof? I realize that more wives=less boat.

Yeah, it’s kind of like IOR. Big mains, lots of girth carried aft, multiple wives are all severely penalized. 

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On 12/13/2018 at 7:03 PM, Ishmael said:

I was talking about your clothes, but fair enough.

 

Not being good at folding clothes, isn't that one of them Husband learned things?

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15 minutes ago, hobot said:

Not being good at folding clothes, isn't that one of them Husband learned things?

I'm sorta halfway between "wad" and "ironed". I'm also halfway between "house-trained" and "incorrigible". At least I have stopped peeing on the corners. 

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:25 PM, Bristol-Cruiser said:

We did more than 35k nm offshore on a Bristol 45.5 with Hood in-mast and loved it. When we bought the boat we considered converting which would not have been too difficult but thought we would try it out. Certainly you will not get the performance of a full-batten main but we did not find this a problem cruising in the trades and windier sports. We really liked the infinite reefing options and sometimes would have a full #2 and the equivalent of four reefs when broad-reaching in 35+ knots. If you have vane steering (or perhaps even electric) you can balance the rig very easily which makes the vane work better. If you get a jam it is because the operator screwed up. We had no problems but watched and learned about how to operate the thing. If you will get a jam it will be getting the sail out, not back in. One consideration I only have experience with the Hood system which we found to be very sturdy and reliable. I have no idea whether other brands are as good.

I am glad to hear a positive opinion of the Hood in mast furling system. I am thinking about buying a new boat that has one. In the past, I dismissed them as too complicated and unreliable. In general, I am a believer in simplicity. But for a bigger boat, with bigger sails, the in mast furling appears to have substantial advantages.  What I have learned, having sailed for 50+ years is that any system can be screwed up, even a traditional mainsail with slab reefing.  

 

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Often joke that after 20+ years in the sailmaking business I would be a rich man if I had a dollar for every sail I have flaked.  Often putting all the sails up to check and then drop, flake, bag, haul to loft, un-bag, spread out, fix, re-flake, bag, haul to the boat, un-bag, install.

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2 hours ago, Jammer Six said:

The problem with in-mast furling isn't whether or not you can fuck it up. The problem is that you can't get it down at sea to un-fuck it.

That is my biggest worry, plus the loss in performance.  There is a newer boat I am looking at, but just cant pull the trigger with that setup.

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12 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

That is my biggest worry, plus the loss in performance.  There is a newer boat I am looking at, but just cant pull the trigger with that setup.

One of the performance aspects that goes out the window w/o a full battened main is motor sail mode for the cruiser. The full battens allow you to point way higher in a mainsail only mode with a tiny bit of iron genny to help. If your sailing through some confined waterways, this is a great thing to have in the back pocket. 

Another thing is durability. A full-battened main can maintain reasonable shape for years with a negligible drop in performance for the cruiser. I'm not sure the same durability exists in a roller set-up.

The other downsides/upsides have already been mentioned.

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14 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

That is my biggest worry, plus the loss in performance.  There is a newer boat I am looking at, but just cant pull the trigger with that setup.

Yup.  I just can't do 'in mast' furling for a boat that I hope to take offshore on an overnight or longer cruise. A screw up with the sail is rig, if not life, threatening...

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Right, it was after reading all those account of rigs lost and deaths at sea that I made my decision on roller furling.  :rolleyes: 

Can anyone point to a single case of a jammed furler leading to death or destruction?   Less than optimal sail shape?  Yes.  Heavier rig, yes.  But, let's stick to the real downsides and not just make stuff up.

 

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21 hours ago, Jammer Six said:

That's what I did. No injuries, no deaths, just damage and money.

Damage and money that wouldn't have happened on a standard rig. In fact, we wouldn't have even come back in early if we'd had a standard rig.

On the other hand...I can think of a lot of times we wouldn't have put the sails up with a standard rig. Or reefed later than we should have.

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B.J.:

I suspect a lot of in mast furling problems are due to crew error and lack of experience with the system. Passport sold of lot of my designs with in mast furling. I tried to convert them to in boom and they gave it a try and came back to in mast.

Doesn't Cruising Loser have in mast furling.? He races that boat and his main looks very good in terms of shape. He has vertical battens and draft control look well taken care of.

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2 minutes ago, Bob Perry said:

B.J.:

I suspect a lot of in mast furling problems are due to crew error and lack of experience with the system. Passport sold of lot of my designs with in mast furling. I tried to convert them to in boom and they gave it a try and came back to in mast.

Doesn't Cruising Loser have in mast furling.? He races that boat and his main looks very good in terms of shape. He has vertical battens and draft control look well taken care of.

I think the Hinckley had in-mast furling, but the current boat has Liesurefurl, I think.

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I was talking about the boat that Tim O'Connell raced to Bermuda. That boat had in mast. Maybe I have the owner name wrong. It was a blue Hinkley as I recall. Very nice boat.

 

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8 minutes ago, Bob Perry said:

I was talking about the boat that Tim O'Connell raced to Bermuda. That boat had in mast. Maybe I have the owner name wrong. It was a blue Hinkley as I recall. Very nice boat.

 

Yes, that's CL's old boat Sparky. He's upsized.

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2 minutes ago, Bob Perry said:

CL got an old woody right? I saw that boat. It's a cup cake.

Newish woody, Spirit of Tradition type. Gorgeous.

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54 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I think the Hinckley had in-mast furling, but the current boat has Liesurefurl, I think.

Correct. His Hinkley had in mast that worked fine and we used it extensively to fine tune power and balance the boat in strong conditions. The current boat is a fractional rig and has a leisurefurl boom setup that gives a powerful main.  I’ve only sailed it inshore so far with at most one roll to take out a bit of power upwind. Also worked just fine. 

Bob.  His new boat is a “spirit of tradition”  style sloop out of BBY.  A very nice ride and a pleasure to sail. 

Edit. I see Ish beat me to it. I checked. I have pictures of other boats taken from aboard but nothing handy of the boat. 

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1 minute ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Correct. His Hinkley had in mast that worked fine and we used it extensively to fine tune power and balance the boat in strong conditions. The current boat is a fractional rig and has a leisurefurl boom setup that gives a powerful main.  I’ve only sailed it onshore so far with at most one roll to take out a bit of power upwind. Also worked just fine. 

Bob.  His new boat is a “spirit of tradition”  style sloop out of BBY.  A very nice ride and a pleasure to sail. 

Edit. I see Ish beat me to it. 

Yeah, but I haven't sailed on it. Envy.

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37 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

You need to come to the right coast next summer. 

We're assessing our options.

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17 hours ago, Bob Perry said:

B.J.:

I suspect a lot of in mast furling problems are due to crew error and lack of experience with the system. Passport sold of lot of my designs with in mast furling. I tried to convert them to in boom and they gave it a try and came back to in mast.

Doesn't Cruising Loser have in mast furling.? He races that boat and his main looks very good in terms of shape. He has vertical battens and draft control look well taken care of.

Yeah, that's been my contention all along - 99% of in-mast furling problems are some form of operator error.

When our halyard swivel froze up in Panama it wasn't the furler's fault, it was mine for not servicing it properly before we left. Every single jam up we've had (except the Panama thing) has been from us trying to furl the sail from a suboptimal position. Once or twice that suboptimal position involved having a ratty blown out sail up that needed replacing...still my fault.

Though one could, I suppose, place the blame in the furler for not tolerating a shitty sail that looks like a hippo's ass and was a year or two past replacing.

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Part of good system design is to make it tolerant of the degradation of components and operator error or desperation. It's commendable of you BJ to put the blame on yourself for your furler jams but if I had a furling main and decided too late to reef or furl, I'd want a system that wouldn't bite me in the ass for it. Of course, the point is moot because I've never ever reefed too late and never will. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

Part of good system design is to make it tolerant of the degradation of components and operator error or desperation. It's commendable of you BJ to put the blame on yourself for your furler jams but if I had a furling main and decided too late to reef or furl, I'd want a system that wouldn't bite me in the ass for it. Of course, the point is moot because I've never ever reefed too late and never will. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

True - but there are reasonable limits on what you can expect a system to handle. When your main is so floppy and stretched that it bunches up on it's own at the mast slot no matter what you do, you are past that limit.

This sail was DONE.

image.png.7c623f6c324169810f8dc412256c361e.png

 

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2 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

True - but there are reasonable limits on what you can expect a system to handle. When your main is so floppy and stretched that it bunches up on it's own at the mast slot no matter what you do, you are past that limit.

This sail was DONE.

image.png.7c623f6c324169810f8dc412256c361e.png

 

A point I meant to make earlier.  With a standard rig, you can generally  sail a "white triangle" until it tears between the seams.  You won't sail well, but it will catch some wind.  The better in mast furling sails I've seen are well made, lately a laminate of some sort and replaced when they lose shape, not when the material finally rots away.  

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5 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

A point I meant to make earlier.  With a standard rig, you can generally  sail a "white triangle" until it tears between the seams.  You won't sail well, but it will catch some wind.  The better in mast furling sails I've seen are well made, lately a laminate of some sort and replaced when they lose shape, not when the material finally rots away.  

My last main was a Hydranet Crosscut, lasted close to a decade. The new one is a Hydranet radial. I think the hippo's ass you see in that picture up there was an Elvstrom that came with the boat when it was new in 1997. That picture would have been about nine years later. But the PO didn't furl the sail in all the way to the UV cover, and the clew ripped out before that picture was taken.

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7 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

My last main was a Hydranet Crosscut, lasted close to a decade. The new one is a Hydranet radial. I think the hippo's ass you see in that picture up there was an Elvstrom that came with the boat when it was new in 1997. That picture would have been about nine years later. But the PO didn't furl the sail in all the way to the UV cover, and the clew ripped out before that picture was taken.

I forget. Did you put vertical battens in the crosscut?  I think a big part of success for in mast furling is a main designed and fitted by a sailmaker who is experienced with them. 

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53 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

I forget. Did you put vertical battens in the crosscut?  I think a big part of success for in mast furling is a main designed and fitted by a sailmaker who is experienced with them. 

Yes, I did. They worked fine.

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Don't mean to interject or drop in uninvited to this mast-furling love fest, but if I recall correctly, BJ, did you not mention that one of the things on your list, maybe, back in the day, was to maybe replace your in mast. Could've sworn I heard you mention it. 

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13 hours ago, European Bloke said:

As I recall that was how Mr Ainslie ended up getting rescued.  Apparently you can get in a mess without that much fucktardary, and then you need some extra mates to help sort your shit out.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11340764/Ben-Ainslie-rescued-from-yacht-on-honeymoon...by-Richard-Bransons-Necker-Island-team.html

 

Hmm, day sailing a cruiser with Ben, or being rescued to Necker Island?

“Oh drat, sorry Sir Ben - looks like the furler did it again! But good breeze, let’s go kiteboarding”

D19848A7-B046-4AE3-9BFA-F7BAACFCDE99.jpeg

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19 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

A point I meant to make earlier.  With a standard rig, you can generally  sail a "white triangle" until it tears between the seams.  You won't sail well, but it will catch some wind.  The better in mast furling sails I've seen are well made, lately a laminate of some sort and replaced when they lose shape, not when the material finally rots away.  

If you have grey tape, you can even make it home when the material starts to disintegrate. Don't ask, how I know this....

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7 hours ago, HFC Hunter said:

Hmm, day sailing a cruiser with Ben, or being rescued to Necker Island?

“Oh drat, sorry Sir Ben - looks like the furler did it again! But good breeze, let’s go kiteboarding”

D19848A7-B046-4AE3-9BFA-F7BAACFCDE99.jpeg

My hero and personal mentor.  :D

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On 1/9/2019 at 12:45 AM, fufkin said:

Don't mean to interject or drop in uninvited to this mast-furling love fest, but if I recall correctly, BJ, did you not mention that one of the things on your list, maybe, back in the day, was to maybe replace your in mast. Could've sworn I heard you mention it. 

Not in any serious fashion. As a pie in the sky concept back when I bought the boat, sure I might have said that. But even a cursory inquiry into that showed I'd have to replace the mast to do it safely. Selden had some strong opinions about whether a mast with a furling slot in it had the strength to take a boom furler.

If we ever lost the mast overboard I'd explore boom furling as a replacement. But based on my experiences sailing this boat for the last 12 years or so, I'd never let mast furling put me off an otherwise suitable boat.

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B.J.:

That's what I tell consultation clients. If you find the "ideal boat" and it has in mast furling, do not let that eliminate that boat.

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On 1/9/2019 at 12:07 PM, MauiPunter said:

My hero and personal mentor.  :D

if so, you need to post pic!

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yea, I was joking.  Dreaming.  Wishing.   I did read his book.  Does that count?

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16 hours ago, Jammer Six said:

In-mast furling would mean it's not the ideal boat.

For you.  Jesus.  Can you post ANYTHING without trying to be a troll?

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17 hours ago, Jammer Six said:

In-mast furling would mean it's not the ideal boat.

I made the right choice, bob. I'm glad I didn't pay you for the nugget of wisdom-- you'd have advised me not to ignore boats with in-mast furling.

I like to be right.

Like a stopped clock.

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42 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

For you.  Jesus.  Can you post ANYTHING without trying to be a troll?

No. He's not trying. It's who/what he is. Short and unhappy, living under a bridge.

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Speaking for the entire Seattle metropolitan area, we apologize. 

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