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Why I don't have in mast furling.

Discussion in 'Cruising Sailors' started by Les Pendleton, Feb 17, 2017 at 6:14 AM. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Les Pendleton

    Les Pendleton

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    5 posts, 0 likes
    I've had in mast furling once before on a 43' Gulfstar. It got stuck immediately so I spoke to my sailmaker. He said if I bought a new sail it would be stronger and yet thinner material so it would easily go into the mast. It stuck immediately and got scuffed up trying to get it out. Went back to the sailmaker who suggested a behind the mast furler, identical to my headsail furler. So, another 2.5K into the sail. That worked perfectly for the seven years we owned that boat. Some folks say it doesn't sail as well but I never noticed any difference. I have a friend with a newer 42' Beneteau sloop with in mast furling. It's been a nightmare for him for the ten years he's owned the boat. Here's a little video clip of exactly what happens on these poor people's boat.


  2. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    4,599 posts, 73 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
    Here we go again...

    justsomeguy likes this.
  3. JamesG161


    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    1,251 posts, 142 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    25 knot winds? You should have been reefing the main.:rolleyes:

    PS: Tip: the sail was furled incorrectly.

  4. Larry -- DH

    Larry -- DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    16 posts, 1 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    Never seen that on a roller furled headsail. Worst case the furling line jams or breaks, and you disconnect the sheets to wrap it around the foil manually. Face it -- in-mast reefing is finicky and has its problems. Isn't that Les's point?

  5. seadaddler


    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    4,733 posts, 40 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    Is it a Selden Mast and my selden Inmast furling main has a winch on the bottom of the mast and by putting
    a winch handle in it you can help unfurl the sail,this happen to me once when I was in a hurry at the dock and furled the sail into the mast very badly and did everything wrong and so when I went to go sailing the sail was stuck but with help and a winch handle in the winch on the bottom of the mast I was able to get the sail out with out doing any damage and than this time made sure to hold pressure on the outhaual allowing the sail go into the mast very smoothly with out any wrinkling and no jaming of the sail.

  6. Les Pendleton

    Les Pendleton

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    5 posts, 0 likes
    I saw a Freedom 44 cat ketch recently that had a power winch for the mizzen halyard. Apparently, the sail bound on something and the winch continued on. It eventually pulled the top third of the sail up the track without the bottom two thirds. Another modern nicety I don't think I'll even wind up with.

  7. BrianRobin


    Joined Dec 31, 2016
    12 posts, 3 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 351
    Ca Charlottetown,PE. Canada Charlottetown
    I watched the video of your friends boat, an old sail with not much life left in it anyway. I have an in mast mail, a bit sticky when we first sailed the boat on purchase in the fall, but hadn't been used much in the last few years.

  8. Pilgrimtex


    Joined Oct 13, 2013
    113 posts, 22 likes
    Beneteau 37 Oceanis Platinum Edition
    US Seabrook, TX
    Slam time!!
    I have in mast furling and no problems for about 3 years.
    You'd learn a lot. The only failure I had was when the boom car exceeded it's design limits in a storm.
    It may not enjoy the efficiency of a classic rig with vertical battens but makes up for it in other ways.
    I'm 71. I have an elect. Winch to boot. Every line runs to the cockpit and every high tension line leads to the winch including jib furler.
    First leave some slack on the boom via main sheet when furling and unfurling. When furling main; have boom at 90° or up to 2° above 90° to the mast. When unfurling have boom at about 2° below 90° to the mast. Maintain some tension on the main when furling to keep it snug like you would on a furling jib.
    An in mast furled main has infinite reef capability which is a definite plus in heavy weather. Not being bound to the boom also allows you to fill the main in light winds. Etc.
    Don't trash in mast. Don't trash classic. Don't trash external or boom furl. Just read the manual. Geesh.

    BrianRobin likes this.
  9. uncledom


    Joined Jun 11, 2011
    566 posts, 41 likes
    Hunter 41
    US Stamford, CT
    Bendintwos don't have Selden masts they have Zspar I believe with the worm spool for the furling line. Very different from a Selden. The Selden actually is gear driven to a single loop spool that sits on the outside of the mast and can be operated with a winch handle directly if need be. I'm not trying to pick on Beneteaus or Zspar but I believe the Selden furler is superior. I have used both as I have had both. Sail condition and your attention to proper furling per the manufacturers manual are the key. Having a modern light weight laminated sail is also a boon.

  10. chuckwayne


    Joined Mar 20, 2004
    1,240 posts, 14 likes
    Hunter 356 and 216
    US Portland, ME
    read the manual and pay attention to boom angle and has been said. We've never had an issue since switching to a laminate main. with a sail as worn and blown out as that it's lucky it happened in a marina instead of at sea.
    My sailmaker shared an emergency trick with me - carry a set of welder's vicegrips - they have a large flat face at 90 degrees to the handles. If you get really stuck and can't work the sail loose, go up the mast to the stuck point and grab the sail with the pliers. pull out, and if needed continue up the mast until the stuck part is released.

  11. JamesG161


    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    1,251 posts, 142 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    In-mast is just a mechanism. The crew may be finicky.

    The Admiral and I can unfurl our 17' 9" footed main sail in 2 minutes and furl it in 5 minutes. Smooth as silk.

    I wonder why they keep making in-mast furling mains?
    If you read this entire link, you will see a good discussions on how to resolve the mechanism and train the crew not to be finicky.



  12. seadaddler


    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    4,733 posts, 40 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    Most newer sailboats come with in mast and also they love them and most do not have any problems.
    2 things that cause problems with IN mast is a bad sail either blown out and baggie and the other is operator error,if you own Inmast they need to learn how to use it properly.

  13. Rick486


    Joined Oct 1, 2007
    588 posts, 13 likes
    Hunter 44DS
    US Pt. Judith
  14. Mulf


    Joined Dec 2, 2003
    390 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 410
    US Chester, MD (Kent Island)
    I am still using my original sails on my 2002 H410 with Selden in-mast furling. I have had them professionally serviced and cleaned every other season. I have had no problems furling or un-furling ever since I recieved a tip from another Selden sailor to let the vang and the mainsheet loose for the furling operation. I do still set it off to port during furling, but allowing the boom to find its own position frees the sail to find its own level in the furling process.

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