Saturday 10 February 2024

What is the best rigged Mainsail?

We have been sailing Our Dreamtime now for 10 years. When we purchased her one of the benefits she had was a fully horizontally battened main sail with a Leisure Furl in boom furling system. We have sailed all sorts of main sail systems, your typical slab reef, roll mainsail with in mast furling and in boom systems.

Inside the boom cover you can see the sail on its furling drum

We watch the faces of sailors when we say we have an in boom furling system, and their faces normally tell the story. Every slab reef sailor knows a horror story about in-mast or in-boom furling that is enough to make them steer well clear, while those that have furling mains wouldn’t put to sea without one. However, many slab reefing systems suffer from problems that make reefing a time-consuming, energetic and crew intensive chore. Perhaps the most common problem is where the halyard is led aft to be handled at the cockpit, but everything else is handled at the mast. This works fine for well-drilled offshore racers, and for day sailing with numerous strong crew members, but can be a different matter for those sailing short handed.

We control everything from the protection of the cockpit

Fully battened main gives us 5 reef points
Our clutches and winches are all in the comfort of the cockpit 

There is little doubt that furling mainsails are gaining in popularity, even for serious offshore cruising boats. In 2018, 38% of boats sailing round the world in the World ARC had furling mainsail. (Latest figures I could find) Hallberg Rassy reports that almost all new owners buying boats over 40ft opt for furling mainsail systems, with Discovery reporting a similar trend. So has the reputation of furling mainsails been unfairly tainted, and are they more prone to user error, or have the systems ironed out the glitches?

We definitely feel they have been wrongly accused of failures. Having sailed with all methods and having problems with them all, the only one that was a quick fix was the in boom furling system. Many furling system problems that we have discussed with their owners, normally come down to lack of maintenance, old sails or incorrect use of the system. 

Why did we believe and still do believe it is the right option for us. 

One person can quickly and easily raise, reef, or furl the mainsail without leaving the safety of the cockpit. Just unroll the mainsail from inside the boom furler and go sailing. If the wind comes up, simply reef the mainsail by rolling it back into the boom furler to the desired height. With Leisure Furl, each batten becomes a reef point, so for us we have 5 mainsail reefing options. 

The sails are coming up to 20 years of age. Here you can see both systems
Traditional slab reefed MizzenSail and the in boom furling system of the Mainsail

The sail holds a beautiful shape due to the fully battened cut, we still get great performance, even now when it is on it last days. When you’re done sailing, there is also no need to get up on a rocking and dangerous cabin top to flake and sail tie your mainsail, or to stuff it into a large and unsightly lazy jack pack. With Leisure Furl we simply push the button on the electric winch, roll the mainsail back into the boom furler and pull the integrated sail cover closed. It’s that easy!

We would like to add here this is not a sponsored post it is a system we have now used extensively and believe it is an amazing option for short handed sailing.

We would love to hear of your experiences with any type of system. Let us know your thoughts in comments. 

Cheers R&K   

Thank you to all who support us through watching our videos, reading our blogs or who step up and support us though Patreon and Ko-Fi. You inspire us everyday to be creative 🙌

You can help us out and support our creative work for FREE. 
By watching, 👍, 🔔, Subscribing, Commenting and best of all Sharing this video or blog with your friends 

If you would like to make a donation towards our creative work, you can by heading over to Ko-Fi they take no fees so the support goes directly into helping us buy and upgrade equipment 

Do you want more? 
Patreon gives you that … you get behind the scenes updates, 
Patreon only photos and posts, you can watch our 
episodes ad free and before they go public … you get it first!

Another way of support is through buying from our store.
Checkout the range of books we have available 

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love to read your comments regarding our blog, what you enjoyed and what you might like to see more of. Please leave us your thoughts.