Roller furling mainsails

Published on 18 may 2017 at 0h00

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If we are honest, we have to admit that we all have secret thoughts about no longer having to go to the mast foot to hook the tack of the second reef, no longer having to take in the kilometers of the 3rd reef pendant (inevitably the longest), not hesitating to take in the first or second reef, no longer having to untangle the mass of knots piled up at the mastfoot or in the cockpit, and being able to hoist (or rather unroll) without the lazy jacks getting in the way of the maneuver. Better still, without the pendants, lazy jacks and bags, your boat’s lines will be more refined, won’t they? And finally, you will no longer have the task of folding the sail when furling, which aboard a catamaran can sometimes involve acrobatics worthy of a trapeze artist.

Be honest, this idea has certainly passed through your mind. But you have probably also heard on the pontoon grapevine about a lot of misadventures, which has made you hesitate, or even abandon the idea of putting it into practice. In first place, the (real) risk of trapping the sail in the profile, which can happen following poor handling of the line and the foot rope, which is let out with no synchronization (or lines which slacken off with time) in the mast mandrel. Then there is the raised center of gravity of a roller mast, due to the sail being rolled aloft. Finally, the concave shape of the sail, which loses 15% of its area, is also prohibitive on multihulls, which always have a large roach. For sure, a ...

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