Most issues with in-mast furling are caused by operator error. The best way to furl the sail is to furl it carefully. The space inside the mast for the sail is not very big. This means that the sail must not be too bulky or it won’t all fit in the mast. This means you would have to start the process all over again.
To get a perfect furl every time you must do the following . . .
- Get your boat on starboard tack . Avoid furling the sail when on port tack (port tack is great for clockwise furling). This causing the sail to slide along the groove in the mast and creates friction.
- Once on starboard tack, turn so that the wind is just over the starboard beam.
- Always look at the sail while furling.
- Slowly ease some outhaul and mainsheet.
- If your sail has vertical battens make sure that they are parallel to the mast while furling (if reefing leave batten just outside groove).
- Do not keep too much tension on the outhaul but do not let it out completely. Putting too much tension on the outhaul can cause the foil to bend inside the mast.
If you have completed these steps and are still having problems consider the following . . .
- Is your sail blown out and baggy? This may cause it to become bulky and jam up inside the mast.
- Is your halyard too tight? The extra tension can cause the sail to bulk up at the luff.
- Fighting friction? If your furling lines run through blocks make sure that they are working properly and that angles between block are as wide as possible. Try Washing with fresh water or using McLube to help things run smoother.
- Double check backstay tension. Is it too tight? The bend in the mast can effect how effective the turning of the foil is.
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