Moody 38 (90s) In mast furling as standard

Robert Thomson

Robert Thomson
Temporary Member
Hi All. I was wondering if all the 38's both 90's and later were sold with inmast furling as standard? I have only seen one so far for sale with a conventional battened mainsail, possibly a retrofit. What would be the views of current or past 38 owners in opting for conventional v inmast furling. Thanks.
 

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Member
Boat name
WILD THYME
Berth
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
Hi Robert,

No answer yet from a M38 owner, so I'll have a go.

As former racers, when we bought our M425 9 years ago we were quite sceptical about the in mast furling main, so we looked into replacing it with a conventional one. Our conclusion was that the only good way to do this was to replace the mast, which we weren't willing to do, so we replaced the sails (we knew this was necessary at purchase) and learned to use the in mast furler.

After sailing with it for 2 seasons, we were glad we hadn't changed it and now would not be without it. In a performance sense, these yachts were designed for in mast furling, so the lack of roach in the main is not an issue. Also, in a masthead rig, the genoa is the powerhouse, particularly to windward.

We mostly sail 2 handed and reefs go in and out in both sails without hesitation as the weather requires - it really is very simple.

The one thing in mast furling doesn't tolerate well is a blown out mainsail. If you have no experience of this system or your experience is based on charter yachts with knackered sails, I recommend that you give it a try on a boat with decent sails.

Our sails, made by Parker & Kay are now nearly 9 years and about 8000 miles old but still set furl and reef well.

Peter.
 

Paul Kember

Paul Kember
Member
Boat name
MIRAGE
Berth
Poole
Boat type
Moody 38 CC
Cruising area
Solent and South Coast
Robert,

As an owner of a Moody 38 which has in-mast furling I agree with what Peter has said and agree with the importance of having a good quality main sail material, in our case a vectran strengthened cloth.

Care my be taken when furling and unfurling and ensuring the boom is set correctly to aid this. We have marks on our topping lift and vang control lines to easily set this.

Again we do mainly two up sailing and enjoy the ease of sail control without the need for trips to the mast at any point, and of course we have an infinite number of reefs in the sail!

We replaced our mast last year (after having another boat attach itself to our standing rigging with their anchor and bend our mast) and did briefly consider paying the extra for a more traditional slab reefing type setup by after chatting with each other we decided not to, however the new mast has the latest Selden in-mast furling hardware which is an improvement over the original Kemp setup (but it is 20 years newer and 3 generations later). Final point of note to ensure the bearings at the top and bottom are kept equally maintained to help with a balanced furling load,


Regards,

Paul
 

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Member
Boat name
WILD THYME
Berth
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
Final point of note to ensure the bearings at the top and bottom are kept equally maintained to help with a balanced furling load,

Regards,

Paul
+1 for this. I am saddened (but no longer amazed) by the number of yachtsmen who religiously maintain their engines, but leave all the sail handling gear, including main and genoa furlers untouched from year to year, then are surprised that it doesn't work well.

Peter.
 

Robert Thomson

Robert Thomson
Temporary Member
Peter and Paul Thank you for the very helpful replies. I'll certainly make a note about checking the furling systems on purchase if i go ahead with an in mast system equipped boat. I also note the issue with blown mains. Ive sailed a couple of charter boats with these but they were thankfully conventional stack packs. My ongoing concern with the inmast furling is; what plan B is if the furling jams with a full main and strengthening wind? The point about preventative maintenance is very relevant to reducing the risk.
In relation to partial or fully battened mains are these compatible with the old furling systems or just a potential source of jams with little performance advantage? Sorry for all the extra questions but like Peter am also from a racing background and struggle to let it go ! Maybe I just need to calm down and realise i won't often have a full crew of strong lads or ladies to count on.
 

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Member
Boat name
WILD THYME
Berth
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
Hi Robert,

There are basically 3 options for roller furling mains. The original idea was no battens, for which the leech is cut concave i.e. a negative roach. The next development was short vertical battens which are arrabged so that they do not overlap when the sail is rolled up - this means that they only add one battens worth of extra fatness to the roll. In this case the leech is generally cut straight from head to clew. Lastly full height vertical battens, cut with a full roach. These add considerably to the size of the rolled up sail, so it's important to select a cloth which is thin enough to ensure that the roll doesn't get tight in the mast chamber - much easier with modern laminates.

When we bought our sails in 2010, part of the spec was 10 year / 10000 mile lifetime, which made the full height batten option very expensive at that time, so we went for short battens.

All this info courtesy of John Parker, the most patient of sail makers, who will have to wait a year or two for our next order.

Peter.
 

Robert Thomson

Robert Thomson
Temporary Member
Peter
Thanks much appreciated. i have read about in mast furling but have not had any practical experience (so far) of using it.
Your insights and information are very very helpful.
Robert
 
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