In-Boom Reefing

Question: Would you, if you had the chance to refit free of cost considerations, stay with your slab-reefing system, or would you yourself seriously consider in-boom reefing? If so, why?

Answer: We looked at Leisurefurl some years ago. The system looks attractive but is a 25 to 30K refit for Morgan’s Cloud to do it right, way beyond what it is worth to us. If it were free we would look at it very seriously since it would allow us to reef more easily and from the cockpit. The other big attraction would be getting rid of the chore of taking the sail cover on and off; non-trivial on a boat of Morgan’s Cloud‘s size, particularly with lazy jacks.

Our big concern with Leisurefurl is whether it will truly let you reef going downwind with the boom out. We would not consider any system that requires us to round up to reef: You could get wet doing that (!) and, anyway, it’s not safe in heavy weather. Even when going to weather, if it is rough, we will quite often bear off to reef.

Also, slab reefing is simple and relatively easy to fix. Most “labour saving systems” are anything but. However, people used to say that about roller furling headsails.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Dick Stevenson May 12, 2011, 11:58 am

    Two friends with boom furlers report that they only reef/douse w/ ease when their sail is completely unloaded. The more load the more difficulty. I have a boat where I can slab reef twice from the cockpit. The third I must go to the mast for the tack. I can reef in 2 minutes alone and take a few minutes after for fine shaping and I then have a lovely sail shape. I agree to not consider any mainsail handling system that does not allow you to reef going downwind. We just finished a passage where we ended up reefing the main till the third reef and then dousing it altogether in 35-40 knots true. Never an unsafe moment. And no wet except for some spume.

    Reply
    • John May 12, 2011, 1:27 pm

      Hi Dick,

      Sounds like a great system.

      And thanks for the information on roller furling booms. The more I look at those things, the more uncomfortable I get.

      Reply
  • Gianca May 14, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Hi,
    I’ve always been happy with all reefing lines at the mast but with the new design it looked convenient to bring both reefing lines (leech and luff) back to the cockpit. This system has 2 cons, maybe more, one is friction which can be mitigated by a good block and organizer, the other, far more important to me, is the strength at the goose neck. To solve this problem I will use the new Facnor reefing hooks. For a description you can download the catalog at http://www.facnor.com. The hook system is tried and tested on board all the open 60s; they actually use them even for structural forestay and Code 0. It looks reliable and an extra safety strop (splice and chinese button knot) is always good to have. They do not come cheap at around 900$ for the 3ton swl.

    Reply
    • Giancarlo January 5, 2012, 8:28 am

      Ciao,
      i just recived the Facnor reefing hooks mention above,with big disappointment they are so poorly constucted and ingeneered that i will not use them for any reason on the mast.i contact the company explaining my worries and chafing issues and they reply that is perfect and they are not willing to make any change.is not what i call customer care

      Reply
  • Chauncey M Freeman January 4, 2012, 8:29 pm

    ROTA (CADIZ) ESPAÑA

    Shipmate(s),

    I am in the middle of the purchase of an 88′ Mediterranean Centreboard Pilothouse Cutter. Built 1988 by Formosa Boat Building Co Ltd for U.S.Yacht Building Corp she came with an Aluminum HOOD STOWAY 35m keel stepped Mast. THAT Same Hood Stoway Mast will stay with her, however my plans are to Upgrade Her Three Forward Profurl Roller Furling Systems with newer state of the art Electric Roller Furling. I am now 68 years young and do not cotton going forward to lead those sheets to electric winches. Maybe when I was a young Thirty Year Old Navy Senior Chief, but now I do not cut the mustard quite as sharply as I did when I sailed aboard the 120,000 Ton IKE. My problem is that I am new to all this so I am hoping that some of you Old Salts out there could maybe lend me your advise insofar as WHAT I should replace those Three Profurl Furling Systems with. With so many Brand Names and ALL claiming to be the BEST, how can I but seek out the advise of those who KNOW.

    Thanking You All I Remain
    Chauncey M Freeman

    Reply
    • John January 5, 2012, 9:08 am

      Hi Chauncey,

      I have no experience with electric roller furling systems, however, I have always had good good experiences with Harken gear. Our Jib Top roller furler is 26 years old with over 150,000 miles on it, and still working well. I have also found Harken a fine company to work with. More on this.

      Also, the ProFurl systems that you already have on your boat have a good reputation for reliability.

      Reply

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