The Great Furler Debate

In the CW forums, members are weighing the pros and cons of mainsail furlers. "Community Spotlight" from our June 11, 2008, CW Reckonings

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CW reviewer Andrew Burton was impressed with the performance of GMT's furling boom (above), but in the CW forums, members are skeptical about the reliability of some mainsail furlers.Andrew Burton

The cruising community can be slow to embrace new technology. Because a gear failure at sea can quickly become a life or death scenario, a degree of skepticism about newfangled gadgetry is probably prudent. On the other hand, technological advancements such as roller furling, GPS navigation, and electric winches have made cruising more accessible for everyone.

In the CW forums, the latest tech debate concerns the pros and cons of mainsail furlers. The consensus seems to be that safety-conscious cruisers should steer clear of in-mast furlers, with several community members citing instances of mainsails jamming at critical times during the reefing process.

Other members find no fault with the systems. "I know at least one couple who circumnavigated with in-mast furling and liked it," says lobodoug.

Do you have experience using mainsail furlers? Toss in your two cents in the CW forums. Click Here to join in the discussion.