We’ve heard of running a mainsail loose-footed, but until the other day we’d never seen anyone running one ‘loose-luffed’. Judging by the above photo, this method doesn’t seem to offer optimal performance!
Of course, on closer inspection it became obvious that this boom-furled sail had either unrolled itself accidentally, or its bolt rope had pulled out of the mast. Apparently the crew was unable to furl it in — or perhaps they simply didn’t see it due to the limited visibility beneath the boat’s bimini.
In any case, we know that roller-furling mains are a bit controversial — especially among offshore sailors. The two times we’ve chartered boats with such devices we’ve had no problems, but we know other folks haven’t been so lucky. For example, a boat within this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump fleet had major problems with its roller main and was unable to use it for much of their crossing.
If you’d like to share your input on the subject of in-boom or in-mast main furling systems, please drop us a line. We’d love to hear both the pros and cons.