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Sail & Rigging - In Boom Furling Gear?!
18 September 2012 - 16:22
Join Date: 16 February 2007
Posts: 199

In Boom Furling Gear?!
Dear All,

Apologies if I happen to offend the purist with my inquiry.

I am seriously thinking of fitting an In Boom Furling Gear. The reason is simple: I do sail alone quite often and some time with my wife ( when she is not busy shopping) or with a friend. In all cases, I wish to simplify my sailing handling as far as I can. I see that the X Yacht are fitting these on their boats to clients who wish to. If it is good for X yachts, it must be good enough even for us. Or?

Any ideas, warnings, reprimands?

(47/050 Farouche)

18 September 2012 - 23:01
Join Date: 31 January 2007
Posts: 23

Dear Philippe

for a purist user of our nice boats it is not allowed to go with a furling boom but I can understand your arguments. As a compromise I saw at the US east cost a so called "Dutchman" installation to make it easier to handle the main. May be an alternative? Good luck for the right decision.

Fair Winds



22 September 2012 - 02:04
Join Date: 06 August 2010
Posts: 24

Hi Philippe,
I have experience of 'in-boom' furling and would certainly NOT recommend any of them. When you need it most, and just like single line reefing, these systems can jam or snag far too easily.
Lazy jacks (as we call the system in UK waters - the Dutchman Jan recommends) is by far a much simpler and more effective system for singlehanding.

Fair winds,

(36/021) Seamróige.

22 September 2012 - 08:23
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 162

Even though I do not have any bad experience with in-boom or in-mast reefing systems, I do not fully trust a system where I cannot see or easily reach the central components. Plus, I have witnessed quite a number of problems with the in-systems on other boats, usually of the same nature: the system jammed in a moment where the crew definitely wanted the sail to be taken in.
On the other hand, the 47 is a big boat -- I sail our 48 alone frequently, and I know that in some conditions I do not like to go forward to reef or take the main in. I am not always fast enough to have the reefing done before the unpleasantness starts. So, Philippe, I can fully understand you.
The purists will frown whatever change will be made -- on the other hand, some things were simply not around when our boats were built but would almost certainly have been installed otherwise (self tailing winches ...). So why not consider a one-line reefing system with a reefing line you can handle from the cockpit? You would need to lead the main halyard to the cockpit as well (hello purists!), but you would have a system you can handle without leaving the cockpit. Plus, you can see all the parts, and in case of failure, going back to a jury slab reef is easy. I had that system on a former boat (a 46-footer) and was quite happy with it. I had even installed a downhaul for the mainsail that allowed me to take the main down and secure it without leaving the cockpit. The lazybag was still open, of course, but I had the main out of the way. The rest usually is easier.
Something worth considering, I believe.
Best, Martin
(Age of Swan, 48/039)

23 September 2012 - 08:39
Join Date: 16 February 2007
Posts: 199

Dear Jan ; brian and Martin,

Thanks a lot for your valuable comments that will most certainly help me decide for the right path. Let me just add some precisions to the issue.
*Presently, I do have, and had for many years, the lazy jack system and the stack pack cover on the boom into with the sails drop more or less fine when taken down.
* I also have the full batten main with a fast track on the main as well as the sliding cars, all of which makes hoisting and dousing the main relatively easy.
* Alas, none of this helps when it is time to reef. I still have to go forward and to fiddle quite a lot with different ropes. NB. I still have the heavy original Nautor Boom!
* I hear your arguments about the single line reefing boom and I will look into it. If so, I will approach the same configuration as suggested by Martin. Thanks.
* However, I am surprised by your comments about the furler boom. Of course, I do respect your experience, but the information that I have and the kind reputation that I have been able to source would make these booms a breeze to handle. The reputation of Leisure Furl from Forespar is excellent - as far as I understand. The Danish Furlerboom is less known since they are relatively new on the market but they seem to have quite a success with some strong yacht brands such as the X Yachts.
* All things considered and said, there is one important factor to take into account: the cost. Thus, the "Leisurefurl" boom ( Forespar) or a "Furelerboom" ( Danish) are almost 5 times and more the cost of a single line reefing boom.

Thanks a lot and Cheers//Philippe
(47/050 Farouche)

23 September 2012 - 12:27
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Philippe
You may also consider modifying the present boom to single line reefing, and leading the lines to the cockpit.
Furling booms require that the angle to the mast is staying at a prescribed value for working properly also when the wind pipes up.
Best regards

24 September 2012 - 15:32
Join Date: 16 February 2007
Posts: 199

Dear Lars,

Thanks for your intervention. I think now that I have been thoroughly informed and advised by so many friends that I will go for a Seldén Single Line Reef Boom. It is quite lighter that my original boom. Furthermore, I think that it is a lot of work to try modify my existing boom. So, I will go for a new one. Among the required measurements for choosing the right boom is the Righting Moment. I do not think that I have this figure. Perhaps you have this it?

Thanks in advance and cheers//Philippe
(47/050 Farouche)

24 September 2012 - 20:17
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Philippe
I believe your present boom has sheaves for reefing lines at the aft end, what you need to add is a pair of sheaves at the forward end enabling the reefing lines to be led upwards, and two small lead eyes on the mast - not a major operation.
The reefing lines are led as follows - through the lead eye up to the luff reefing point, down to the new sheave, aft to the existing sheave, up to the leech reefing point, down to the boom, and tied around it, with a cringle in the foot of the sail determining the position.
The sailmaker to put in the foot cringle in the correct position, and blocks in the sail at the reefing points as this will reduce friction in the system.

Selden uses a different arrangement with a tackle inside the boom. You asked about the righting moment, and I believe they use the figure at 30 degrees heeling angle, for the 47 this is 9000 kgm.
Best regards

25 September 2012 - 11:46
Join Date: 16 February 2007
Posts: 199

Dear Lars, Dear All,
Thanks a lot for your comments and suggestions. I will investigate the possibility of rebuilding my boom, although it is rather old and the ends fittings might be quite oxidized and difficult to take apart.
As you understand, I am about to embark in a major outside refit and a reconfiguration of the deck. I wish to reduce the cluttered aspect of the deck, thus, I have few things to ask:
1/ The inner track ( the shorter one going parallel to the regular Genoa track) have never been used by me and I am thinking to take it away, perhaps. See pics.
2/ There is also a middle track in front of the fore hatch. It is seldom used since I mostly use a gennaker nowadays. Perhaps I will eliminate it. See Pics
3/ The cleats in front of the fore hatch are quite far aft and I intend to reposition them as near the entry of the mooring lines in the bow as possible. See Pics.
4/ The coach roof track is for the storm sail and will - I presume - stay where it is.

Thank you for any comments and advises.


47/050 Farouche)

25 September 2012 - 14:09
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

This is an interesting thread and I follow it closely.
I like to mention a caveat regarding the possibility to reef the main without physically going to the mast.
The original rig of our boats includes mainsail slides that pile up at the goose-neck and may prevent the lowering of the leech reefing points.
In my case this problem is solved by "floating" the lower mainsail slides, i.e. the slides up to the upper reef point instead of being solidly fixed to the sail are attached to a single long line passing through small cringles along the sail leech.
By pulling the line, the slides adhere to the sail leech; by slackening it, the leech lower section becomes free without the need to open the track. This set-up is not ideal for the hydrodynamics because it does not keep the sail perfectly close to the mast but makes reefing much easier - even without devices like single line reefing.
I found this setup in the boat and do not know the origin (whether it came directly from Nautor) but I was so happy with it that I had it replicated in the new main.

Daniel, 411/004

25 September 2012 - 15:07
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

I apologize for my mixing up the words "leech" and "luff", but luckily enough I found a good description with graphics of the "lacing line method" here:

Daniel, 411/004

25 September 2012 - 19:41
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 162

Hi Daniel and Philippe,
that is an interesting caveat. Or that is what I thought at first.
We have the original boom on our 48. Reefing is done at the mast as follows: 1, lower main halyard a bit. 2, hook reef eye ring into ram head hook. 3, re-set halyard. 4, tighten reef line on the boom winch.
You notice that we do not do anything with the mainsail slides. So if we can hook the reef eye ring into the ram head hook even though the slides are piling up, this should be possible with a single-line reef that takes the function of the hook and reefing line. The slides should not be in the way at all. Or am I seriously mistaken somewhere?
I have used even the third reef without taking any slide out of the mast rail ... it does work, at least with our sail.
Best, Martin
(Age of Swan, 48/039)

25 September 2012 - 20:44
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Thank you for the interesting information.
In the old days when booms had roller reefing (before mid 70-ies) the mentioned jackline making the lower slides floating was necessary in order to be able to reef, or alternatively each slide had to be taken out through a luff track gate. The mainsails had slides, and luff tapes were considered unsuitable for offshore sailing.
Old S&S sailplans with roller reefing booms may have these things mentioned.
I looked through the S&S Type Plans, but roller reefing was not presented, it is assumed there would be such a plan.
It appears the sailmaker used the same idea with a jackline in your case, but pls note Martin's comment about the luff slides.
It appears you have an unusual arrangement using a hydraulic ram for the luff, but as you say also when a reefing line is used for this the important thing is the position of the luff slides. They have to be far enough away from the reefing points, and the sailmaker has to take care of this.
Best regards

26 September 2012 - 08:21
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 162

oops -- maybe I used the wrong terminology. There certainly is nothing hydraulic involved.
There are two big hooks on the gooseneck "car". I have heard them referred to as the ram’s head, and as the two hooks resemble the horns of a ram, that is what I referred to.
It seems that the sailmaker knew about the distance requiered between the slides (cars) and the luff of the sail. I'm very happy with it. Unfortunately, I still have to go forward to take the reef in ... one more point to do it earlier rather than later.
Best, Martin

26 September 2012 - 11:47
Join Date: 16 February 2007
Posts: 199

Dear Daniel, Martin and Lars,

Thank you all for your informed and valuable inputs. Daniel, I am not sire that I know what a caveat is? Perhaps it is not so important. Martin I was chocked to hear you talking about the hydraulic, but I understand now that it was only a slip of the mind.

Now, as much as I am concerned, I have cars on a track on the mast. These pile up quite much more than a meter or so when the whole main sail is doused. However, I do not experience this as a problem. There are pad eyes on the mast and pad eyes on the sail. With a strong piece of about 50-80 cm I attach the reefing pad eye of the sail to the pad eye on the mast. I have to be on the mast foot to do that! The reefing lines are then taken in at the foot of the mast through a winch (there are four winches around the foot of the mast. Too many! In any case this is an uncomfortable procedure and I do not want to do it anymore. These boats were conceived to be sail by teams of 6 or more!

So, Lars, I have had a very good look at my old boom. What you suggested in terms of adding sheaves is a very good idea, ALAS, to take apart the end parts of this boom is almost an impossibility, unless one simple cut it and ultimately destroy it.

So, I will order a new Seldén Single Line Reef Boom. C'est la vie!

Talking to the Seldén people and with all the information at hand, it was concluded that I would need a B200. It is a little more than 5 meter long, so that it will have to be shortened to about 4,90; which is approximately the actual measure of the present boom. The lines will be led to the cockpit to my new electric winches and that will probably settle that.

May I go back to my genoa tracks! What about this short inner track (see pics) running parallel to the cockpit. I have never used it. I think that I will get rid of it. Perhaps it was conceived within the frame of another era with other sailing configurations in mind than the one we use today. Any ideas?

(47/050 Farouche)

26 September 2012 - 12:14
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

Interesting indeed!
All my boats needed to let the slides exit through the track gate in order to reef so I assumed that it was a must. Now I understand that a wise sailmaker can adjust the distance between the slides in order to avoid such an annoying operation. I consider it almost an enlightenment that opens new hopes in easier sailing!

In the meanwhile I found this nice site that explains a way to build a single line reefing (the Selden way).

Lars, do you think that it would be feasible with our original booms? If the luff sheave/block is fixed externally, i.e. to the "ram hook", the modification to perform looks rather simple. In case two reefs are programmed, the two inner balance blocks could interfere with the inner outhaul tackle and three or four slits are to be made; will all this pose a problem?

Daniel, 411/004

26 September 2012 - 16:43
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 162

Hi all,
that is an interesting drawing that Daniel linked. But isn't it a bit too complicated? And doesn't it stretch the meaning of single-line as well?
What about the following configuration: Line coming from cockpit along the deck. Running through foot block at the foot of the mast on deck. Running upwards through a block that is attached to the luff reef eye ring. Running down again to gooseneck, entering the boom through a sheeve. Exiting boom at the other end through sheeve at boom end. Going to and through reef padeye. Leading down to boom, being tied around it using the buntline hitch.
All you have to do is tighten the single line. You may have to do it twice, as friction tends to cause the two reefing points fore and aft to be on different levels at first, and when they level out there is too much slack in -- but that is easily and quickly done before even resetting the halyard. Worked like a treat on the other boat (z-spar rig).
What is the reason for the complicated balancing block (I do not like to have complicated things moving inside mast or boom ...)? And can anyone tell me where I mentioned hydraulics, even unintendedly?
Best, Martin

26 September 2012 - 18:28
Join Date: 28 July 2008
Posts: 79

Interesting thread; I'm learning a fair bit!

If you are ordering a new boom, have you considerd all the "options" you may want with it?  E.g. Cockpit light ( a bit tartie I know but I'd love a couple for late night drinking/reading) eyes for preventers, end fitting for using as a davit (eg lifting outboards etc) .  I'm sure there are a host of other considerations?

I only mention as everytime we order something, I seem to miss something I would like to have had if I'd known!

I'd be interested to know the configuration for powering your electric winches.  Whilst we sail as a family most of the time, when it comes to "grinding" its generally me!



26 September 2012 - 19:23
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

the advantage of the Selden type reef is that there is an additional 1:2 force ratio in the pull down of the leech reef point - I am not even really sure that this is an advantage. Regarding the circuit you mention, it is exactly the one described in Lars post.

Daniel, 411/004

26 September 2012 - 20:10
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 162

the moving block certainly has the advantage of the 2:1 ratio. However, it has the disadvantage that is also mentioned in the link you posted: it limits the height of the reef that you can haul in with the single line, as the moving block can only move so far.
That probably would not affect the first two reefs, and I do not often use the third reef. However, if I feel that the third reef is actually called for, conditions are usually already quite nasty. Which would make staying in the safety of the cockpit even more desirable ...
Best, Martin

27 September 2012 - 06:59
Join Date: 16 February 2007
Posts: 199

Dear Friends,
Martin, sorry of the hydraulic thing. It must have been my own "freudian slip". As to the rebuilding of my own boom, I am afraid that it must be ruled out. As I said earlier, the ends are so oxidized that it seems rather impossible to take them apart. Furthermore it is so heavy that I cannot carry it by myself. I want a lighter boom with a proven system. I assume that the Seldén Single LIne Reef boom is right. It is a very proven system.
As to the extra things on the boom, I will most certainly look in to that. Thanks for tip. Furthermore, my sail maker will attach 4 sheaves in lieu of the pad eyes on the main sail, one on each point of reef ( 2 points for each reef). This system is largely promoted by the germain firm making the parasail. it reduces the friction tremendously and makes the reefing a breeze.
As to allowing the cars on the mast track to slide out from the mast at the level of the boom when reefing: it is simply out of the question. It sounds like a nightmare. On top of the work and hassle involved, I, particularly, cannot do that ever, since, if I do, the small balls inside my cars will go out and end up in the sea. Not Good. Thus,they are hold in place in the cars as long as the cars are on the track.
Adrian: I have placed my new electric winches on the coaming of the cockpit just by the spray hood in lieu of the old one. The new are the EVO Lewmar EST 65. However, fitting the heavy (14 kgm each) big electric engine under the cockpit from the aft cabin was a nightmare. There is no space and one has to fiddle so much and to be very creative and thorough. It took a week measurement and re-measuremant and cutting and so on to get the things in place. Afterwords, I think that it was worth the effort: Boy, they really made my life easier! Now I can tack and gibe all by myself from the cockpit. These wiinches will also be used, in combination with gamers, for hoisting the main, for reefing etc.

Furthermore, few years ago, I mentioned this treatment PROPSPEED from New Zealand for the propeller and the propeller shaft. WEll, it works perfectly well. I have just lifted Farouche and after 3 years in the water, there was very little barnacles on the propeller. See pics.

Stil no comments concerning the inner genoa track???

(47/050 Farouche)

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