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In Mast or Slab

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Jan 22, 2008
2
Macgregor 26X Phoenix AZ
Hi All,

I'm considering buying a Hunter 33 and debating in mast furling vs. bigger main with slab reefing.

Any comments?
 
Jun 2, 2004
5,802
Hunter 37-cutter, '79 41 23' 30"N 82 33' 20"W--------Huron, OH
Your post will start a debate for sure. I have only sailed two boats with furling mains. I chartered a Hunter 460 for four days, the main was still large, the wind blew, and we still couldn't reach close to hull speed. Another time a day charter on a new Catalina 30 and it was a dog but the air was fairly light. But I have no experience flaking a large main. My H37C is no problem, especially if I use the lazy jacks. I like a big roach main and battens. I am only 69 so would go with the big main. Older folks might like to furl.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,677
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
I have no problem hitting Hull speed on my '05 H33 with In-Mast furling. Should be no major debate. In-mast serves a purpose and people either love it or don't. I could find just as many for as those against. :D



 
Jan 22, 2008
1,483
Hunter 37 C sloop Punta Gorda FL
Cost difference around here is stupendous, that's why I have no experience with furling mains
 
Dec 19, 2006
5,600
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
Depends

We need more info from you like what type of sailing do you do and do you sail single handed much,do you race and want all the speed you can get with the big batten sail.
I have inmast since 2007 and love it but I don't race but living here in Florida Charlotte Harbor and while crewing on another boat saw 2 Hunters with inmast and vertical battens do very well against other none inmast boats,I wish I ordered the vertical battens but I also can reach hull speed and even do very well with heavy wind and the main reefed half way.
I sail a lot without good experienced sailing crew so being able to reef by myself is great and so easy once you learn the proper way to sail with inmast.
While crewing on another sailboat with out inmast we were over powered due to heavy wind and did not try reefing because of so much wind,the 2 hunters were reefed and not over powered and were first and second place in the race with heavy wind rain.
You are going to here so many different pros and cons here for sure,all the bad and good of inmast,I am saying it's all good.
Nick
 
Nov 8, 2007
1,229
Hunter 27_75-84 Lady Lillie Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
Maybe Later

We chartered a 340 with in mast furling from CYC in the North Chanel some years ago. We liked the operation and had no problem with performance.

The Admiral and I see this as a possible future solution if the time comes that we feel uncomfortable reefing the main on our h27, but want to keep sailing. But that time seems far in the future now.
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,982
Hunter 40.5 Harrington Harbor North, MD
Do you want to be able to reef?

In mast furling is not in mast reefing. In fact I've never heard of in mast reefing. Possibly because you can't do it for the same reason you can't reef you jib with a roller furler.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,677
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
In mast furling is not in mast reefing. In fact I've never heard of in mast reefing. Possibly because you can't do it for the same reason you can't reef you jib with a roller furler.
I can still hit 6 - 6.5 knots with the main reefed / furled.

From the Neil Pryde Sails Trimming Guide



Furling mainsails offer the user infinite reefing positions as compared to fixed

reefing points found on traditional mainsails.


 
Dec 19, 2006
5,600
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
In Mast Reefing

Sorry but that's what inmast is all about allowing you to reef the sail making the sail smaller less sail to flatten the boat so to increase hull speed in heavy air,I can reef my main on the fly most of the time like with out pointing into the wind.
Nick
 
Jun 2, 2004
217
Hunter 376 Oyster Bay, LI, NY
Mike, if you have a choice between in-mast furling (reefing - whatever) or slab, I'd go with door #3 and get in-boom furling. You can reef down (with normal horizontal battens) with the precision of slab reefing and if the "impossible" happens and the furler jams beyond repair you can cut the main halyard and dump the whole thing on the deck. Can't do that with in-mast furling.
Just my $.02...
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,677
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Mike, if you have a choice between in-mast furling (reefing - whatever) or slab, I'd go with door #3 and get in-boom furling. You can reef down (with normal horizontal battens) with the precision of slab reefing and if the "impossible" happens and the furler jams beyond repair you can cut the main halyard and dump the whole thing on the deck. Can't do that with in-mast furling.
Just my $.02...

What if the halyard jams at the top of the mast with traditional or boom furler? Cut the outhaul and use the topping lift to wrap the main around the mast, same as can be done with In-mast if the furler jams.
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,982
Hunter 40.5 Harrington Harbor North, MD
I guess my concept of reefing is significantly different.
With the sail partially reefed in the mast/boom. How do you control the shape? Clearly you don't have a halyard or cunningham, I can't believe the main sheet or boom vang does much to tighten the leach.
When I slab reef I still have control of three corners and three edges. With roller furling (wonder why they keep calling it that, things that make you go Hummm) you loose at least one edge and two corners.
It just is not very seaworthy. it does make sail hoisting(?) and lowering a brease though. I never found that was that hard though.
 
Jun 2, 2004
217
Hunter 376 Oyster Bay, LI, NY
To Scott's question and answer of cutting the outhaul, I'm not sure that I'd want to be running circles around the mast to wrap the main if the wind's blowing like stink. Besides, there's the issue of the spreaders which would make that concept almost impossible. By cutting the halyard, the main will just drop and drape itself over the boom where it can be secured.
I'd still rather have boom furling in that situation where I could tie my harness to a jack line, throw one arm over the boom to steady myself and shuffle fore and aft to secure the mess to the boom.
 
Jun 2, 2004
217
Hunter 376 Oyster Bay, LI, NY
And do Bill's point, with boom furling you can still use the vang, cunningham, and halyard to flatten a reefed main - - - just like you would with slab reefing. If you stop and think about it for a moment, the only difference between slab reefing and boom furling (besides the ease of the boom furler) is where the main ends up. Slab reefing leaves the main "furled" on top of and somewhat around the boom. Boom furling leaves the main furled around a roller inside the boom.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,677
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
To Scott's question and answer of cutting the outhaul, I'm not sure that I'd want to be running circles around the mast to wrap the main if the wind's blowing like stink. Besides, there's the issue of the spreaders which would make that concept almost impossible.

Traditional main you would still be at the mast. You can still gather the sail lower down and wrap or gather at the mast and use sail ties and the topping lift to secure.

By cutting the halyard, the main will just drop and drape itself over the boom where it can be secured.

Unless it jams inside at the top of the mast. Cutting the halyard would not drop the sail.

I'd still rather have boom furling in that situation where I could tie my harness to a jack line, throw one arm over the boom to steady myself and shuffle fore and aft to secure the mess to the boom.

see bolded response.
 
May 31, 2007
715
Hunter 37 cutter Blind River
Ed S - I wonder what year your charter boat was. There was a period of time when they were not stellar performers and you might not reach hull speed no matter what the reefing system. Newer Hunters are much better.
I have used both inmast and slab a great deal. I like the inmast for speed and ease of shortening sail and you can also reef going dead downwind although it is not the best for the sail to be dragged across the rigging under pressure. I think quick, easy reefing is most seamanlike.
However, I do much prefer the shape and control of the slab reefed sail. I also like to lower the weight of the rig when shortening sail which one cannot do with inmast furling.
So for long ocean passages or racing, I would probably prefer slab. For short distance passages, especially where the wind is mercurial and change can happen fast and with little warning, such as the North Channel of L. Huron, I would go with inmast.
I have read about far too many who have switched to inboom then had to install an electric haliard winch because all that extra friction unrolling the sail from the boom made it difficult for them to hoist the sail. Now how seamanlike is that?
The best thing about inmast or inboom? Built-in sail cover.
Incidentally, when one orders a Hunter with inmast, the stick is usually higher in order to replace some of the sail area lost in the roach.
 
Jun 7, 2004
245
- - Milwaukee
I have the full size main on my 356 and like it. I feel it gives me a lot of flexibility, better upwind performance and better light air performance. I have to feel it's better off the wind, too, simply because of the added sail area.

I have reefed it myself, kind of hoving to with the autopilot while i do so, and with one or two crew it's quite easy to reef. I've sailed long distances with one reef, with two and, of course, with none.

My only experience with the in-mast furling was on a chartered 38. Interestingly, the only way we could get it to work smoothly was to send two people forward to the mast and a third tending the reefing line in the cockpit. I assume something was wrong with it, and I'm glad to see others find it working so well, but I guess the moral of that story is that there could come a time when more hands are needed to undo a snag on the rollup reefing, too.

As someone above says, there are people that prefer each, and it's really a matter of personal preference. For me hoisting the main and getting underway is not too much of an issue, and a small tradeoff for what I feel is a better sail. That's probably got as much to do with the harbor we're in as anything, and in some situations you may not have the luxury of heading upwind for a bit to hoist. I can always do that, fortunately. So, lots of considerations and it really comes down to personal preferences and needs based on your own situation.
 
Jul 1, 2004
567
Hunter 40 St. Petersburg
Oooo, a food fight. Can I play?

"Traditional main you would still be at the mast." - Not necessarily. With 2-line reefing (tack/clew) led to the cockpit there's no need to go forward.

"Unless it jams inside at the top of the mast." - It could happen. In 40 years it's never happened to me though. I've never heard of it happening. Bearings seizing and lines breaking, sure.

"wrap the main around the mast" - Seriously? Have you ever done it? I can't envision that working on a calm day in the slip let alone in sloppy seas when it's blowing stink. I've never even heard of anybody doing it. I'd even go so far as to suggest that the windage you'd create up high could even endanger the rig in a big wind.

"you can't reef your jib with a roller furler" - Says who? My manufacturer say it's okay. My sailmaker says it's okay. I'd suggest the term "furler" describes what the unit can do, not necessarily what it can't.

Count me in the traditionally rigged slab-reefed group. Absolutely, furling mains can work great. Unless they don't. At that point options are far more limited.
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,677
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Its winter... everyone's bored.... :D

Like I said right at the top. Either you love it or don't. I doubt either side gonna convince the other. ;)

I'm sure we could go back through the archives and dig out all the same discussions.



"Traditional main you would still be at the mast." - Not necessarily. With 2-line reefing (tack/clew) led to the cockpit there's no need to go forward. Not if you cut the halyard, which was the point.

"Unless it jams inside at the top of the mast." - It could happen. In 40 years it's never happened to me though. I've never heard of it happening. Bearings seizing and lines breaking, sure. Murphys law? anything could happen, it's gonna happen out there?

"wrap the main around the mast" - Seriously? Have you ever done it? I can't envision that working on a calm day in the slip let alone in sloppy seas when it's blowing stink. I've never even heard of anybody doing it. I'd even go so far as to suggest that the windage you'd create up high could even endanger the rig in a big wind. Meant secure it to the mast in some manner, not easy but could be done. Windage? why?

"you can't reef your jib with a roller furler" - Says who? My manufacturer say it's okay. My sailmaker says it's okay. I'd suggest the term "furler" describes what the unit can do, not necessarily what it can't.

Count me in the traditionally rigged slab-reefed group. Absolutely, furling mains can work great. Unless they don't. At that point options are far more limited.
 
Jul 1, 2004
567
Hunter 40 St. Petersburg
"Traditional main you would still be at the mast." - Not necessarily. With 2-line reefing (tack/clew) led to the cockpit there's no need to go forward. Not if you cut the halyard, which was the point. - Well, if my halyard runs to the cockpit I can cut it there right? Apparently though I missed the context of the post. My bad.

"Unless it jams inside at the top of the mast." - It could happen. In 40 years it's never happened to me though. I've never heard of it happening. Bearings seizing and lines breaking, sure. Murphys law? anything could happen, it's gonna happen out there? Maybe, but if you're concerned about Murphy I'm not sure mast/boom furling is a good direction to go.

"wrap the main around the mast" - Seriously? Have you ever done it? I can't envision that working on a calm day in the slip let alone in sloppy seas when it's blowing stink. I've never even heard of anybody doing it. I'd even go so far as to suggest that the windage you'd create up high could even endanger the rig in a big wind. Meant secure it to the mast in some manner, not easy but could be done. Windage? why? Exactly how will the main above the lowest spreaders be secured? There's your windage. Now imagine that baggy mess slamming and banging 30 feet over your head in a blow. I can imagine it being bad enough to preclude making way into the wind and certainly making close-quarters maneuvering pretty exciting. At first blush it sounds like a reasonable solution but I've never heard anybody describe the process, let alone having done it.

I'm sure we could go back through the archives and dig out all the same discussions. Maybe, but where's the fun in that?

I don't know about you but I'm not trying to convince anybody. Roller-furling mains can be just fine depending on how and where you use your boat. I'm simply pointing out why it may not be a good idea in some scenarios.

Oh, and I live in Florida, so I don't have an excuse. :)
 
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