Self-Furling Mainsails

Hello, I have just purchased your encyclopedia and I am interested in knowing why I can’t find a section on self-furling mainsails. Reading between the lines, I can only imagine that you have little use for them in the offshore environment. I would be interested in knowing if this is true and what you think of these rather popular and seemingly useful inventions. Yours Sincerely, Michael

Hi Michael: If you look in Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia starting on page 717 you will find various furling sections covered. Now, as to what I think of the systems…For efficient sailing, I do not like any of them as there are always compromises to be made with sail shape. For passaging, this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me as you don’t handle the main that much in the context of the voyage. And, properly set up, slab reefing is always going to be as fast, and often faster than in the mast or in the book systems. However, for day sailing, especially where you have a boom that is high off the deck and difficult to deal with, the various furling systems perhaps make sense–as long as you are prepared to pay the very high performance, center of gravity, and cash penalties. Hope this helps. Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

Comments are closed.