It’s no mistake that today’s boat builders offer furling masts on nearly all models. Cruising sailors choose the configuration because of the ease of use when it’s time to set our douse the main sail. Rolling the main along the long edge means less work for the crew and less time to transition between sailing and non-sailing modes.
The tradeoff has been that with in mast furling, the sails are less able to utilize a powerful leech profile. If the 2015 Annapolis Boat Show is any indicator, it would seem most savvy cruisers choose the convenience of using their main sail often over the slightly higher performing conventional sail profiles.
“In mast furling has been available for years but sailors are always torn between the convenience of in mast furling and the performance of a conventional main sail. Now you can have it all!”, said Scott Alexander of Seldén Mast USA with a grin. He continued, “It’s really because of the sail Elvstrom has built and the way we build our rigs. Both are top performing products and by putting them together, now performance furling main sails are reality. It’s in the details. For example, Seldén is the only mast builder that suspends the main sail luff rod at the top of the mast to create a tensioning effect. We’ve built our masts this way for years, but now the payoff is a furling mast that performs so well that it can handle the higher performance Elvstrom sail. Now you can have in mast furling convenience with the performance of a conventional rig”.
It seems now we may be welcoming a time when sailors no longer have to choose between convenience and performance, but instead can enjoy both due to the exceptional performance of the Seldén furling mast and Elvstrom FatFurl performance main sail.
Photos courtesy of Elvstrom Sails, UK on a Hallberg-Rassy yacht.
More information can be found at the Seldén and Elvstrom sites:
Selden Mast: www.seldenmast.com