This letter is for all of the "older" sailors that think they are getting too old to sail. You know, those day's when you are hoisting the main and you start thinking about buying a trawler. Well, I thought that some day when I get that way I'd do the same thing. By the way, I'm 72 year's old. My wife, Terry and I bought a brand new Tarten 4100 and equipped it with a Leisure Furl system made by Forespar. What a great system. It has done to the mainsail what jib furl has done to the jib sail. It's simple in function and beautifully built. Leisure Furl has all of the great features that the ads talk about. Until you actually use the system, you don't realize it's true value. Several weeks ago my knee went out and there wasn't any way I could function on the new sailboat. Well, my wife decided that this shouldn't stop us. So off we went. She, weighing in at about 110 lbs. against over 900 square feet of sail was going to take me sailing. Well, that's what she did. I was useless. We have a great sail and continue to sail while my knee heals after surgery. So all you people that say it's too hard to sail, try thinking about the boom furl. In the long run it's cheaper than buying a trawler and a lot nicer.
In August I went to a Boom Furl Rendezvous at New Bedford Yacht Club that was hosted by Forespar and other marine equipment manufactures. There I meet some great people. We sailed on other boats that had Boom Furling and was shown some neat tricks in handling my system. Bill Mosher, Alan Massey and Tom Peelen were really great. I can't say enough about the good customer follow up that they demonstrated. I learned a lot and had a great time.
I want to write and thank you wholeheartedly for the rigging knife and sail bag you sent me upon my purchase of your Leisure Furl system. The system operated error free on my Sabre 426 from the start…in calm weather and winds gusting to over 30 knots. Even when I mistook the topping line for the main halyard I was able to reset the boom position relative to the mast with ease to prevent binding when furling. You have a spectacular system and would recommend it without question to any prospective client.
I couldn't be happier with the Leisure Furl and the rig you built. Quality work all the way around. I love it! And thanks again for taking the time to explain how it all works. Your clarity and patience are much appreciated and the red spot is a God send. I am passing on your good information to anyone who steps aboard as most folks don't know the intricacies of that system, which once mastered, is the best.
I am sending you this note, to let you know, how pleased I am with the Forespar boom furling system. I just came back from Hungary where I used the system a lot. It performed very well all the time, just as you said it would I also wanted you to know how pleased I am with the help/assistance you and Bill gave me with the shipping and the installation process. Everything went great.
Leisure Furl brought back the fun of sailing. The big main on our prior boat, a Sabre 42, was getting too much for just my wife, Kathy, and I to handle. I took a chance and had Chuck Poindexter's Sound Rigging install a Leisure Furl boom. The resultant ease of handling our main reignited our love of sailing. It eliminated the "tension convention" associated with reefing and dousing the big main on the Sabre.
With our new confidence in hand and in anticipation of retiring and spending more time on the water, Kathy and I started looking for a new and larger boat. With the help of Bob Snyder and Howard Taylor of Dodson Boat yard in Stonington CT, we found our dream yacht, a Hinckley So'Wester 51, that did not have an in mast furling main. We bought her in 2005 in Newport Beach, CA. We trucked her back to Dodsons and began a major refit. Once again Chuck installed a Leisure Furl boom. UK Halsey made us new sails. And the dream stays alive.
Being able to readily furl both the main and the genoa means we do it sooner, which keeps us in control and in the cockpit.
Thanks to Leisure Furl we have had many more days and weeks of sailing - cruised to new places and met new friends.
wanted to write you a thank you note for the products we have on our 2006 Catalina 440. Primarily I wanted to let you know how the leisure furl has worked over our now 14,500 mile journey which includes sailing through the Roaring Forties of the southern Pacific off the Chilean coast.
The option to have a Leisure furl was one primarily of cost in the beginning, but now we see this as a safety feature not a convenience or performance option. While the fully battened main does make the boat sail better under all conditions the biggest advantage is being able to reef quickly and easily. Our boat carries a 3 year old and a 6 year old which means there is only one person driving the boat most of the time. In gale force winds we can reduce sail, maintain speed and reduce heal keeping everyone smiling during our more than 50 overnight sails in the past 18 months.
All things on boat break, but since Tony did his tune up on our rig we our Leisure furl has worked flawlessly in all conditions. One of the advantages we did not anticipate was the wear on our mainsail. Our mainsail looks near new and with very little wear on the stitching despite the fact this sail has been up and down hundreds of times. Surprises like this are always welcome as we are a budget oriented sailing family.
Thank you for all your efforts to make this affordable. I think most sailors think of this system as only for the Hylas, Morris', Hinkley's, but it's not just for show, it really works even 2200 miles offshore when things have to work. Our 'price point' point Catalina is the envy of all the Swan's and Halberg Rossy's we have run into here in southern Chile who look at our rig with a quite awe. Little do they know it's a bargain.
We have a big year coming up, 9,400 more miles by December 1st. I'm sure we will have lots of things to fix, but we are confident that our Leisure Furl system will work great no matter what mother nature has to throw at us.
My wife and I took delivery of our 48' Tayana, Hokulani. Early in November we began our cruise to Mexico. Over the next two seasons we put over 7,500 miles traveling as far south as Acapulco and north into the Sea of Cortez (including the "Bash" home each year). Our Leisure Furl system worked perfectly. For the most part, it was just the two of us on board. The comfort of being able to raise, lower and reef the main sail from the safety of the cockpit really put our minds as easy no matter the time of day or sea conditions. To be able to easily handle the full batten main and maintain efficiency on all points of sail added to our cruising experience. We have had absolutely no wear, chafe or jamming problems. I highly recommend the Leisure Furl system.
"This may be the smallest boat (26' Chrysler-1978) that you have ever put one on. I hope that I have the record! I did it because I sail single-handed a lot and I can control everything from the cockpit without having to go forward. When I go out, I can set the sails in 5 minutes or less with no problem. It's great for me!"
As recreational day sailors and occasional cruisers of the California Coast and Channel Islands, we wanted to thank you for our Leisure Furl system. We have used your system 4-5 times a week for the last 1 1/2 years and it has been infallible. It has worked to perfection. We feel safe and secure, even when we get caught in conditions over our heads, and in any circumstance, the convenience is always to be enjoyed.
I have often thought, suppose my doctors were to say to me, "We can do this heart operation that costs 10 to 15,000 dollars and you will be able to sail for another 20 years". I wouldn't hesitate for a minute.
I feel that in addition to safety and convenience, Leisure Furl can take the place of bum-tickers, worn out cartilage in our joints, muscular strength that just isn't there any more and extend our lives in an activity that is so enjoyable, we never want to quit doing it.
If this long overdue letter was written to the "product" LEISURE FURL, rather than the developer/seller, I would begin by thanking Leisure Furl for being there and operating "above and beyond the call of duty" during times of turmoil and stress. I would remind Leisure Furl (and relive the hard times) of SKYWAVE passage-making from New Zealand to Fiji in 1995 and of the winds that went from 10 knots to 45 knots in seconds, and how the Leisure Furl system, in partnership with our Lewmar electric self-tailing winch, handled the situation easily. And I would remind Leisure Furl of SKYWAVE running down wind and of reducing the mainsail from a full main to a small sail with two deep reefs, also in a matter of seconds. After arrival in Fiji, over a beer at the Royal Suva Yacht, I would have acknowledged that Leisure Furl has significantly extended my sailing/cruising life.
Thanks to Leisure Furl, I am no longer exhausted at the end of a passage from having to reef and unreef many times each day on my watch and on Barbara's watch; I am no longer at risk from having to leave the safety of the cockpit many times each day rather than once each day to check for chafe; and I am able to sail faster and more comfortably because no longer is there any hesitation to reef or unreef-there simply is no work involved in the process-Leisure Furl does it all. Wrap a line on the winch; open the rope clutch, push a button, and the sail goes up and down-really quite efficient and simple!
When we crossed the Pacific in '92, I had to leave the cockpit many times each day, during sunshine and black nights, during good weather and bad, and each time during that twenty-five day passage I was a little more exhausted. Leisure Furl has eliminated all of that!
When friends and family visited us during that first year, it was an effort to go "day sailing", mainly because I didn't want to deal with the mainsail. Take the cover off, hoist the mainsail, reef the mainsail, drop the mainsail, fold the mainsail, put the cover back on the mainsail to protect the sail from the sun. Leisure Furl has eliminated all of that!
Our Leisure Furl Coastal, in boom, mainsail-furling system has been installed on our Catalina 30 for approximately six months now. We could not be more pleased.
The system has worked flawlessly from the day it was installed. It has given us the confidence to sail short-handed in conditions where we would have hesitated with a conventional reefing system. My wife especially likes not having to deal with the sail ties and the dirty mainsail cover.
The design, engineering and production quality of the Leisure Furl Coastal system is better than other systems that we looked at.
The Leisure Furl system on the new Apogee 58 "Sea Leaf" has been a resounding success. It actually works in all kinds of conditions; the sail looks perfect and even Mrs. Leaf is now perfectly comfortable reefing on her own! I am happy to report that two major articles have been written and will be published in upcoming issues of SAIL and YACHTING magazines. Unfortunately, scheduling made it impossible to get the boat to Annapolis for the boat show which starts later this week.
Hello Forespar, Congratulations – The Leisure Furl was sea trailed on Saturday for the first time in 25 knots of breeze. It performed perfectly without a hitch. It looks very sleek with the taper. Again-Thank you for building this beauty that will be a big part of our futures.
I wanted to let you know how happy I am with your Leisure Furl system. I have a 48' catamaran. As you know I sailed it to New Zealand from the USA. One of the concerns we had was reefing the mainsail. It seems that storms blow up at night and my wife use to worry every time I would go up on deck to reef the mainsail in the pitch black and stormy night. It always took the two of us to do this task. I had a jiffy reef system but it still took an effort to reef. So naturally you put it off to the last minute or after you put in a reef you were hesitant to take it out again. After 12,000 blue water miles I decided upon arriving in New Zealand to look into a furling main system.
I looked into many options, and then I meet you at the boat show. Boy was I fortunate! You installed my new Leisure Furl system in time for us to leave for the season. We went to Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, and back to New Zealand. What a joy it was to use Leisure Furl. I can now reef and un-reef my mainsail by myself from the cockpit. I never have to go on deck since my jib is roller furling also. It is a snap to put the main up or down at a flip of a switch. I always get a kick out of wowing off as we leave port with several boats. They have people on deck struggling to get their main up and I just sit in my captains's chair with drink in hand and raise my main. It just blows their minds, I love it.
We never had a problem with the system on the whole trip and I feel it is one of the best investments I have ever made in my boat. There is no price on safety at sea. I consider this system an essential safety system for the boat. I am happy for you to use this letter in any way that may help you with a customer that is not quite sure about your system.
All I can say is I LOVE IT!!! Thanks again for introducing me to your fantastic Leisure Furl system.
Further to our recent telephone conversation, I confirm that I have just completed a 3000-mile voyage in "Kiwi Dream". We left Aukland, New Zealand for the Bay of Islands, and there joined the Tonga Regatta Fleet on the 25th of May. We sailed via North Minerva Reef to Tongatapu, Atata Island, and then via the Southern Lau Group and Kandavu to Lautoka and Musket Cove, Fiji. After a few days there, we sailed on the 20th of June for NZ, arriving Opua on the 2nd of July, and back to Gulf Harbour on the 3rd of July.
The weather for the voyage out, between NZ, Tonga and Fiji was ideal, with 20 knot SE Trades predominating. The weather for the return voyage to Fiji/NZ was bad news, with winds from the Southerly quarter all the way, averaging 30 knots, and for one period of about 36 hours, blowing 50/60 knots! (The accompanying copy of a letter to friends at Musket Cove gives more detail on this sector of the voyage).
I think this cruise was a good test for the Leisure Furl Mainsail, and thank goodness we had it! Not having to leave the cockpit in rough seas was really appreciated by the crew. The Leisure Furl performed faultlessly throughout nothing broke, or jammed, or caused us a moment's concern.
As I see it, one of the main benefits of your system (apart from its ease of use) is the fact that it makes it easy for whoever is on watch to have the optimum amount of canvas up for the wind strength. Reefing in, or letting out more sail is so easy that the job gets done when it should be done, not when it has to be done!
Our old main only had two reef points; on the journey back from Fiji, at times even under double reef we would have been carrying too much sail. With the Leisure Furl we were able to proceed (up to 50 knots) with 5' to 8' of main up (and still attain hull speed!) Because the wind was from the south we needed to be close hauled all of the time, and for this reason used the Genoa and the storm jib very little; we found that we could point higher using just the main, flattened out as much as possible, so it did most of the work in getting us home.
Your Leisure Furl is a good system. I was happy enough with it, puddling around the Gulf, and I particularly liked coming back from day sailing, and being able to roll the whole caboodle down in a trice, rather than having to flake the sail onto the boom, and tie it down as in the bad old days. Now, having cruised extensively with it, I feel better for knowing that there are more advantages to it than just saving a lazy man from a job he would rather be without, at the end of a day's sailing!
I unhesitatingly recommend Leisure Furl, and you may use this letter as you please.
I wish to express my enthusiasm for the LEISURE FURL mainsail system that you fitted to my Beale 33', "CENTERFOLD", around a couple of years ago.
As you know, I race the yacht seriously and as well as many club races, I also sailed in the class champs. The competition here was hot as many of the yachts had quasi-professional crews, i.e. sail makers, etc. on board.
After dropping worst performances we ended up with two seconds, a fourth and a fifth, which was very satisfactory and certainly as well as the yacht had performed previously, before the Leisure Furl was fitted.
The total ease of handling and the sail shape achieved at any point of hoist, must make it a serious consideration for any yacht above 30' that is not sailed consistently with a full crew.
While I have a few moments, I thought I would just drop you a line about my experiences with LEISURE FURL.
As you probably know, I am now delivering yachts around the Pacific-yes, you're right, indeed a very pleasant vocation!! As well as keelers, I have been lucky enough to deliver four multi-hulls, the largest being TRIPTYCH, a 70' trimaran. We took it up to Fiji and got it into the charter business for the owner-five months of pleasure, I can tell you. And, if I may say so, our life was made immeasurably easier by having the LEISURE FURL. Two of us (it needs one to steer into the wind) could handle the big main like a trailer sailor. We had winds of 50 knots going up there, and we passed right through a race fleet hove to, largely because we had so much control of the main. The main would be up and down nearly every day for five months, and I can honestly say we had no wear, or chafe, or problems in that time. The last trip to Australia on a 45' cat with ordinary slab reefing, we had four people up every time we reefed. I would be confident in handling a 70' boat again with just two people, and I can say that in all my years sailing, and I have done 50,000 ocean miles, I have yet to see a system that comes anywhere near yours.
I hope this doesn't sound to flowery, but I sincerely mean it, and would recommend it to anyone who is even thinking about going offshore to make it almost top priority. It really is-when you need it, you appreciate it.
As you know, I have it on my 42' catamaran and I am planning to sail to Chile, my choice not in a small way was influenced by knowing I have a simple reefing system, that appears to be almost fool proof (it does need to be set up properly at the start, with the topping lift angle correct and the mainsheet needs to be released to unload the sail for general furling), but I guess I cannot praise the system enough. If any customer ever wants to confirm this, I am quite happy to talk to them-and no, I don't want to work for you!!!
When I ordered my new Catalina 42 this spring, I investigated boom-furling systems. I quickly learned that Leisure Furl is the leader. I have not been disappointed in my choice. Our Leisure Furl boom reefs and furls beautifully and the tapered profile is very good looking.
I would like to pass along my thanks to the Forespar crew for their fine workmanship and service.
I sent PS a follow-up letter/article last fall with our experience-they planned to publish it, but they never did. Our conclusions have not changed since then (though we now have 1,600 miles on the boat). Here it is below: In the April 1 edition of Practical Sailor, my letter regarding the Leisure Furl was published. The focus of that letter was on the research we did into the system before choosing it. We did not yet have extensive experience with it, and promised a follow-up. The boom is on our Tartan 4100, and we now have about 1,100 miles on her this summer, and plenty of experience with the system. The bottom line is that it is an outstanding system and the more we use it under a variety of conditions, the more we love it. We did not want any compromise on sailing performance with a mainsail reefing system, and we have yet to see any. In fact, in many respects, I think we outperform traditional systems.
Our system was professionally installed by Sound Rigging Services of Essex, Connecticut, a service we highly recommend with such a system. We have an electric main halyard winch, highly recommended for bigger boats, and you should have a solid vang. Our sails were built by Halsey Lidgard Sail makers in their Connecticut loft. They have extensive experience with building sails for Leisure Furl. The sail has six full battens and a full roach-try that with an in-mast system. It is made with "Hydra Net" from Dimension-Polyant, a weave of Polyester and Spectra/Dyneema. While Leisure Furl says that traditional mains can be recut for the system, most say it is a compromise, and full satisfaction with the system will not be achieved.
When you raise the sail, just put the halyard on the winch, and keep some tension on the furling line to ensure a good wrap (similar to unfurling a head sail). The furling drum is on the forward side of the mast. Furling is a simple operation. When the system is first installed, you experiment with boom angle to ensure the roll is uniform (does not creep forward or aft). Once this position is identified (took us all of 15 minutes), just mark the line for the vang at the rope clutch. From that point on, you just return the vang to that mark. You put the furling line on the electric winch (in our case), and put the halyard on a second winch to keep the sail from free falling. This results in a good wrap in the boom.
Raising the sail and furling should be easy, and it is. However, it is the reefing performance under adverse conditions and ability to modify sail shape that are the true test for this or any furling system. First the sail shape. There is no out haul or Cunningham. The shape of the foot of the sail and the luff tension are controlled by the amount of wrap on the mandrel in the boom. When you raise the the sail, it looks like the sail was cut too long. Not true. The bottom of the sail is quite full, and if completely unfurled, it results in a loose luff tension and lots of shape to the sail-good for sailing off the wind. As the wind builds, or the closer to the wind you sail, just start rolling the sail without easing the halyard. The luff tightens, and the sail flattens. As the wind builds and the main has been flattened as much as possible, it is time to reef. No need to be pointed into the wind. We just ease the main sheet, not to the point of luffing, but to take much of the load off of it. You then furl as described above. Once the halyard has been cleated, it is important to continue furling the sail to tighten the luff and flatten the sail. The result is beautiful-perfect sail shape, a smooth airfoil, and no furled sail to deal with. It is recommended to reef to one of the battens, but you essentially have infinite reefing points through much of the sail.
We have reefed in up to 35 knots of true wind, all from the safety of the cockpit. We reef when we should, because it is so easy to do. The sail shape remains spectacular, no wrinkles or luffing, so we sail fast.
How easy is it to furl? Our 7 and 10-year-old boys do the furling. They set up the lines; we adjust the vang to the mark for the boom angle, and keep the tension on the main halyard. Furling and properly flaking a large main is no longer a chore. The system isn't cheap, but it is well worth it for us. Specifying it on a new boat, as we did, will save a significant amount of money. I don't know how Leisure Furl compares to the other systems on the market now, but this one certainly works, and I can't think of anything to be critical of. Engineers are coming up with designs that make sailing easier and often safer, without compromising performance, and I certainly don't feel that I am less of a sailor because I am taking advantage of these products.
I am writing to let you know how much we are enjoying the Leisure Furl that you fitted to our Farr 1020 last year. For the most part, our sailing is confined to local cruising often with my wife and myself as the only crew on board. The fact that we can now so easily reef the main without the need for me to go up on deck has greatly added to our pleasure and means that we are doing a great deal more sailing. Moreover, the boat is performing much better in strong conditions with the main retaining optimum shape. There was however, one particular day that the system really proved itself. It was on 18 January, when you may recall we had strong winds with gusts of up to 50 knots. On the day we sailed around 100 miles. At no time during the day did anyone have to leave the cockpit and in total we made about 20 adjustments to the main. We never felt over powered and the fact that we could reef quickly without the need to go up on deck greatly added to the pleasure of the sail. We were able to ensure that we had the correct amount of mainsail for the conditions as they changed during the day and although we could have done this with conventional sail reefing, I doubt whether we would have made as many sail adjustments but probably would have maintained minimum sail rather than optimum sail. Those aboard that day were full of admiration for the system.
I hope it will not be too long before the class association allows the fully battened main and Leisure Furl. It is a system that is both simple and efficient and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone seeking to get better performance and enjoyment from their sailing.
Your LEISURE FURL which I saw at the Tokyo Boat Show, made me write this note to let you know how much I have been enjoying it for the last five years since I had it installed on my 38ft sloop "Second Glance" which I had purchased in Wellington to do the first Fukuoka Race.
I had left Japan in May to do a circumnavigation, which took me the next 25 months to see my wife again. I left Japan with two other friends, however, I had sailed the last 7,000 miles single-handed, as you can imagine, my friends, being good husbands, could not continue such a suicidal voyage through Suez when the Gulf was still critical after the war.
Your Leisure Furl had been my most reliable deck hand for t 45,000 miles including my last 2,500 mile solo trip to Guam without any trouble or maintenance work.
I feel that you LEISURE FURL will be very popular in Japan, with the popularity continuing to grow with the systems' exposure. I will be more confident I made the right choice to purchase your LEISURE FURL (which was still under development if my memory is correct) during my 1988 stay in New Zealand.
P.S. By the way, I am thinking of another solo trip to Los Angeles next year, which will be another 15,000 miles for my sailing mileage and that of your LEISURE FURL.
A Tall and Powerful Rig on Kanter 53' (Excerpts from)
The rig is tall and powerful for fast passage making and includes a retractable spinnaker pole on the bow. The basic sail plan provides 117 sqmt (1268 sqft) of sail area. After talking to many satisfied Neil Pryde customers and examining the finishing details on our Cruise Plus and Tradewinds™ sails, Mr. Chowning chose Neil Pryde as his sailmaker.
Together, we worked extensively in choosing the deck gear, layout and sail selection for short-handed cruising. The final sail complement included a Spectra® full-batten mainsail, a Spectra 130% Genoa (each using Dimension Spectra laminates), a Dacron heavy- weather staysail and all-radial cruising spinnaker with a dousing sock.
For handling the powerful full-batten mainsail, the ultimate in easy sail handling would be an in-the-boom furling system. A New Zealand designed system called the Leisure Furl was chosen. This proved to be a very good solution, and complemented the "hi-tech" look of the boat. It is infinitely reefable and maintains good sail shape when rolled partially for heavy air. It also has an integral cover, so even the chore of putting on the sail cover is eliminated. Based on these attributes and ease of handling, I think we will be seeing more of these in the future. The sails turned out perfect, both in terms of actual fit and shape. The builder, the designer and the owner were all impressed with the results.
During the test sail on San Francisco Bay, we easily achieved speeds of 10 1/2 knots with perfect control. With its striking blue-green hull, modern lines and innovative rig, Can Can is a fine example of the modern performance cruising vessel. She will cruise in San Francisco Bay for over a year or so before taking off for an extensive worldwide cruise.
We at Neil Pryde are proud to have been part of the Can Can project!
Boat of the Month is True Love (Excerpts from)
Ed Rutherford had the pleasure of sailing the newly delivered Waterline 53 "True Love" in September from Victoria to San Francisco with the owners and one of the Waterline staff. Waterline Yachts uses UK Northwest sails almost 100% on all of their boats. Everyone was pleased with the performance of True Love's UK sail inventory provided by Tim Knight and UK Northwest in partnership with UK Hong Kong. True Love had a very fast passage-essentially 4 days logging over 200 miles/24 hours consistently during the trip. The conditions were perfect for a shakedown cruise, wind anywhere from a steady 20 knots to winds sustained in the high 30's to 40's.
The crew used all the sails at various times including the 165% Matrix Flasher. Wing on wing proved to be the best combinati9on, even during the period of highest wind. The Leisure Furl main sail system worked flawlessly. Ed is a true believer of UK mains in a Leisure Furl boom, as this was his third trip to San Francisco with this combination.