In-Boom vs. In-Mast Furling Systems

Hi Steve, I read your comments on the North Sail site regarding mainsail roach. Interesting. I know that for my own experience, a full-battened main with considerable roach (a couple of boats ago) improved performance noticeably, and also seemed to keep the boat on her lines in a range of wind angles and speeds.

I am curious about your thoughts on vertical battens for conventional in-mast furling systems.

I am talking specifically about my Hylas 54. It’s a Frers design with a pretty modern underwater shape. I like the way she sails, but feel that the mainsail performance is marginal. I think I am going to change to a system that offers battens and some roach.

What do you think regarding in-boom vs. in-mast systems? In-boom seems to offer better disaster control if the system fails, and can offer full horizontal battens, but the in-mast systems now also offer increased roach and full battens (albeit up and down), and give greater sail shape and twist control with the outhaul. Any thoughts?? Regards, Rich

Hi Rich: I have never been offshore with in-the-mast or in-the-boom systems. However, from my investigations I would offer the following comments:

1-In-the-mast is more user friendly than in-the-boom.

2-In-the-boom allows more roach, and you do not pay the windage/weight aloft penalties of in-the-mast.

3-There has been a lot of development with vertical battens. Best to check with your sailmaker about how much roach you can add this way.

There is quite a bit of info on these subjects on the SetSail website and within our Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia. Regards – Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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