Mainsail furling, why it's so problematic compared to headsail furling, can it be improved?

slug zitski

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This is true of anything though, the downside of furling systems is that they require more time and work to keep correctly maintained and operated compared to not having them.

True, but typically those are the flattest sails know to man and rarely with any roach so they don't require battens.
Yes

Battens are nothing but trouble in any sail 

for the ultimate in reliability go no battens 

 
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sailorman44

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My mainsail is a 669 sq ft big roach fathead with full battens that I can roller furl by myself in less than 30 seconds. If I have help, 10 seconds. The boom goose neck has a 1" ss pin that goes thru the mast with a winch socket on the front side. I use a winch handle to rotate the boom. The aft end of the boom is supported by the topping lift and the vang has a quick disconnect. I have been using this system for 20 years without problems on this boat and an earlier version on my previous boat. Got the idea from a Corsair 27 that used to be at my club.

When I was building the boat I looked into Leisure Furl and found it to be very heavy and very expensive. I use slab reefing so putting in a reef is no big deal.

2083003998_Resized_20210715_173508(1).jpeg

 

slug zitski

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My mainsail is a 669 sq ft big roach fathead with full battens that I can roller furl by myself in less than 30 seconds. If I have help, 10 seconds. The boom goose neck has a 1" ss pin that goes thru the mast with a winch socket on the front side. I use a winch handle to rotate the boom. The aft end of the boom is supported by the topping lift and the vang has a quick disconnect. I have been using this system for 20 years without problems on this boat and an earlier version on my previous boat. Got the idea from a Corsair 27 that used to be at my club.

When I was building the boat I looked into Leisure Furl and found it to be very heavy and very expensive. I use slab reefing so putting in a reef is no big deal.

View attachment 495949
Careful with batten chafe on your extreme aft raked spreaders 

without a double boom .. mandrel plus shell .. you run into vang  and mainsheet attachment issues 

 

sailorman44

Member
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Careful with batten chafe on your extreme aft raked spreaders 

without a double boom .. mandrel plus shell .. you run into vang  and mainsheet attachment issues 
Not a problem. The spreader ends have elk hide boots and my downwind angles are less than 130 apparent. I check for it but have not seen any chafe.  After the sail is up and the boom clear the vang is clipped to a tang on the boom. When it is time to drop the main the vang is un clipped and the reef line ends are tucked in and I am ready to roll up the sail.

 
There is a pivot pin at the aft end of the boom with a ss plate. The main sheet attaches to the bottom and the topping lift to the top. The main sheet traveler is directly below the boom end. So really end boom sheeting.
 
The sail is only furled on the boom. When the sail is up everything is just like regular mast/boom setup.
 

slug zitski

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Not a problem. The spreader ends have elk hide boots and my downwind angles are less than 130 apparent. I check for it but have not seen any chafe.  After the sail is up and the boom clear the vang is clipped to a tang on the boom. When it is time to drop the main the vang is un clipped and the reef line ends are tucked in and I am ready to roll up the sail.

 
There is a pivot pin at the aft end of the boom with a ss plate. The main sheet attaches to the bottom and the topping lift to the top. The main sheet traveler is directly below the boom end. So really end boom sheeting.
 
The sail is only furled on the boom. When the sail is up everything is just like regular mast/boom setup.
I’m sure it can be made to work , roller booms are ancient 

 

floater

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I can hoist it without a winch (like normal 30' boats) but it is always a struggle.  I am not impressed.
to my similar frustration - I cannot easily hoist the main on my 30'. I blame it on the full battens; they are in compression + mast slugs, which are in tension. So there is friction along the mast groove when hoisting. I have installed roller bearing cars, but no luck.

for sure there is still some friction in the (original, 35 yo) halyard sheaves within the mast and back to the cockpit. I'll try to address this next. but, I agree that not easily hoisting your main is a frustration. but not sure if you can place the blame entirely on the boom.

 

SPORTSCAR

Super Anarchist
This is wrong, in fact the opposite is true. rolling a few inches in and out is so simple with these systems that, both racing and cruising, we would use it to balance the helm. Little weather helm? Roll in a few inches. Underpowered? Roll some out. 

For Bermuda races and PHRF they have rating performance adjustments for these systems that seem fair. 

I sail a 48'er with an 74' tall fractional rig. The main is enormous. In-boom allows me to easily singlehand her when I want. 2-3 minutes to get underway, 2-3 minutes to put her away at the end of the day. No need to go on deck.

View attachment 495779
Wrong you say? I'm a yacht broker, since 1978 and a sailor for over 60 years. Of the new production yachts we sell, I can cite a direct comparison of a full sail plan rigged version and an in-mast furling mainsail version. Same hull, same appendages, same sailmaker, same genoa and identical boats in every other respect. The performance difference and the balance of the two boats under sail is like chalk and cheese. The no roach in-mast furling model is underpowered, significantly slower and can't point anywhere near as high as the full rig version. No amount of adjustment to the furling main will ever make up the difference

 

MauiPunter

Will sail for food
When dropping a main onto a wishbone boom with lazy jacks and a dutchman, gravity and the lines to do most of the work for you.  Add a powered winch and you can be a lazy but very effective cruiser with near perfect flaking of your sail every time.
I have to agree.  I love idea of a furling boom, but, I have the dutchman solution which has worked flawlessly in all conditions and is simple and flakes the sail just about perfectly each time.  I dream of that push button though.  Just not the cost and added complexity.  Lately, I have been thinking, instead of spending money on a furling boom, perhaps I spend on a park avenue style boom catches the sail very nicely on the dutchman, and look beautiful.

 
A

Amati

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I have to agree.  I love idea of a furling boom, but, I have the dutchman solution which has worked flawlessly in all conditions and is simple and flakes the sail just about perfectly each time.  I dream of that push button though.  Just not the cost and added complexity.  Lately, I have been thinking, instead of spending money on a furling boom, perhaps I spend on a park avenue style boom catches the sail very nicely on the dutchman, and look beautiful.
Might consider hayracks, or bensons.

image.jpeg

 

slug zitski

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Wrong you say? I'm a yacht broker, since 1978 and a sailor for over 60 years. Of the new production yachts we sell, I can cite a direct comparison of a full sail plan rigged version and an in-mast furling mainsail version. Same hull, same appendages, same sailmaker, same genoa and identical boats in every other respect. The performance difference and the balance of the two boats under sail is like chalk and cheese. The no roach in-mast furling model is underpowered, significantly slower and can't point anywhere near as high as the full rig version. No amount of adjustment to the furling main will ever make up the difference
He is talking about in boom furling , not in mast furling

with inboom the mainsail shape is similar to a conventional slab boom mainsail 

the ability to change sail shape with halyard tension , mast bend , Cunningham and outhaul is limited with in boom furling 

performance wise it works well for racer cruisers 

boom weight , complexity and maintenance are the negatives with in boom . In addition I’ve never seen a good leech line solution for in boom mainsails 

up in the bosuns chair is the typical leech  line maneuver

a wet moldy. Mainsail , because it’s horizontal and rolled on the mandrel is also an issue

use a good sail cover and be alert 

 
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slug zitski

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I recently dealt with a Corona virus main

one day the client was sailing …at the end of the day he put the boat away with the mainsail sun cover..flew home …then the world stopped , lockdown 

after a year , when I when to strip the sail off the boom and prepare the boat for sailing ,  I came face to face with a green moldy science project mainsail  ….tomatoes, cucumbers , bean sprouts , , mushrooms…you name it 

what a mess 

 

MauiPunter

Will sail for food
I recently dealt with a Corona virus main

one day the client was sailing …at the end of the day he put the boat away with the mainsail sun cover..flew home …then the world stopped , lockdown 

after a year , when I when to strip the sail off the boom and prepare the boat for sailing ,  I came face to face with a green moldy science project mainsail  ….tomatoes, cucumbers , bean sprouts , , mushrooms…you name it 

what a mess 
So, the boom end should be slightly elevated/lowered to ensure drainage.

 

slug zitski

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So, the boom end should be slightly elevated/lowered to ensure drainage.
Up or down. Hard to say 

up , so water drains forward seems best on most booms

you will see if you own one 

those booms also have drain holes 

But whatever you do  , the sail sits on a wet bed

be alert 

 

Student_Driver

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For me, the performance issues are greatly outweighed by the safety advantage and ease of furling from the cockpit.  also the workload.  
 

on my last boat, It took us up to ten laborious minutes to get the 700sq/foot main up with a 2:1 halyard and manual winch at the mast.  Made me use the main only for longer passages.  
 

I thought about in boom but the loads/friction on hoisting and the risk factor of having a super heavy boom made me favor in mast. 
 

Although static stability suffers, i suspect that dynamic stability (inertia) of the heavier stick might help prevent inversions. 
 

just did an atlantic crossing on a friends 2009 boat with a Marchal/Bamar in mast and we broke the boom.  Having in mast furling was a blessing in that case.  
 

Rare, of course but my point is that everything can break.  Maintain ur gear and use caution when pressing buttons etc and take your choice. 

 
This is wrong, in fact the opposite is true. rolling a few inches in and out is so simple with these systems that, both racing and cruising, we would use it to balance the helm. Little weather helm? Roll in a few inches. Underpowered? Roll some out. 

For Bermuda races and PHRF they have rating performance adjustments for these systems that seem fair. 

I sail a 48'er with an 74' tall fractional rig. The main is enormous. In-boom allows me to easily singlehand her when I want. 2-3 minutes to get underway, 2-3 minutes to put her away at the end of the day. No need to go on deck.

View attachment 495779
Assume you use a powered winch both directions?

 




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