wscotterwin

Mast Roller furler to Battcar Help (ZSpar)

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I need help with a Old ZSpar mast. A roller furling mast was installed new on my (new to me) Brewer 44 in the early 1990s. 

This system was in it's first revisions and is now not working well and is not maintained easily unless the mast is pulled. 

On the back of the mast is a track for the Trisail (HA91 Slide). I would like to put a battcar system (Tides or Harken) in this slide and convert into a standard setup. My questions are these:

1. Can the mast support the sail in a track without closing the slot the furling sail came out of? It appears to me to be a weak point now. Then again, what supported the luff in the original slot?

2. The haylard seems to be internal at the top. Can this be changed

We are planning on extended cruising on this boat with major offshore passages. I just feel this furling system is a liability. 

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The safe thing would be to ask z-spars. Or Tides, maybe

Maybe you could get slugs to span the current opening. 

I wouldn’t use the trysl track for the main, and I wouldnt follow random advice. 

Hows that for a catch-22?

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Couple of thoughts here.

The cost of pulling your rig and doing some service is less than a new track system and getting a new main for the boat. You would definitely need a new main for the hardware attachment, luff curve difference and the issue of vertical battens on a car system main when dropping and storing the sail.

If you are worried about the furling system because you are going to do some major offshore passages I would recommend pulling your mast anyway and getting nice and cozy with it since the boat is new to you. 

I work for Wichard who owns Sparcraft and we do make an almost identical setup where there is an external track on the back of the furling masts but I can only speculate to the engineering of Z-Spars. If you were to hoist a trysail on that track the mast section around it would have to be robust enough for a full mainsail as the head of the trysail would be pretty much dead nuts mid span of the extrusion. The aspect ratio of a trysail would be putting so much aft load on the head that it would be potentially double that of a deeply reefed main. (some back yard engineering right there if you hadn't guessed) 

As someone suggested, call Z Spar and see what they have to say. 

Better yet, call the office and get a quote on a standard rig. (had to, right?)

I get what you are doing. A nice "full" roach main with full battens is a superior setup to an in-mast furler in my opinion. I also think it is safer when considering passages. Do I think that the spar could handle it? Most likely. Would I want to run that for more than a "get to the barn" situation? Probably not. 

Feel free to reach out with any questions. 

Thanks

Mark

 

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Sigh, :-(

Mark....thank you. You have offered the most complete response to many questions I've posed to riggers and ZSpar. 

This is where I am; ZSpar neither recommends using the center track or the sail slot to carry a conventional sail(much less a trysl). ZSpar/US Spar has also indicated that there are no parts available to rebuild or service the furler mech. As far as I am concerned, the furler mast is useless as a furler going forward without parts. 

A rigger in the Bay area is recommending that we pull the mast and reinforce the extustuon every 4-5 feet with internal gussets/bands that can be riveted to give the mast new support (compensating for the furler slot). Then add a Battcar rail. The Halyard at the top would be reconfigured to raise the sail external the mast vs internal. This seems to be my best option. 

Phew! This Crappy early model ZSpar leaves very few options. I have no clue what a new mast would cost. 

I love this boat....starting to hate this mast......

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Interesting about the Zspar response about the center track. I am going to check in with our Sparcraft engineer about the center track in our sections to educate myself further. I do not understand the expense of creating that track in a die profile or the extra pain in the ass in extruding the section if it can not be used. Again, off to find some knowledge.Your rigger in the Bay has the best logic going so far when considering a retrofit. He/you will have to be careful to locate support near the head reef points. 

Also, and this is a huge long shot, if I am looking at the pictures correctly the furling line goes to a long worm drum to rotate the furling sections? This is the same setup as Sparcraft and we have a bunch of this gear in stock in Charlotte. I will see if anyone has used our parts on their rigs.

Send a PM if you want us to run up a quick quote on a rig. I know you are probably already feeling it in your wallet but quotes are free and they don't hurt your credit score.

Thanks

Mark

 

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What parts exactly do you need to rebuild the furler mast? Seems it is still the simplest fix to drop the mast and service the furling equipment which is likely a disassemble and replace bearings, at the worst have new parts made. 

I know a Swiss cruiser who replaced the mast on his alloy 40 something footer with a furling mast. Reasoning was he could more easily reduce sail area, so wasn't reefing as early etc and got the lost speed back that way. Did I mention the same guy won the Whitbread around the world race on UBS Switzerland back in the day. 

But each to their own, personally I would still rather have a conventional mainsail and mast.

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2 minutes ago, Kestrahl said:

What parts exactly do you need to rebuild the furler mast? 

I really don't know yet. Probably just bearings like you said. The other problem is that this first generation is clunky and furling line rolls on a smooth drum, not a grooved worm drum. The furling line can roll on itself and jams in the best of conditions. 

I just hate to think about building a new sail for this obsolete system before (or after) I take the rig down to determine what it needs. I can live with a furling mainsail I guess.... as I bought it that way, but disappointing know the serviceability and design. 

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I find it hard to believe that the smooth drum cant be replace with a grooved worm type. I would be surprised if Zspar changed mast shapes from one furling iteration to the next, so one would think it could be replaced, or maybe a sparcraft gear would fit in there. 

sounds like the mast is coming out regardless, so you should be able to get some good measurements.

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