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In-mast furling systems have come a long way. Forget the hollow-leeched, baggy triangles we first saw decades ago; a well-specced modern in-mast system can offer more sail area than a traditional slabreefed mainsail, so the performance gap has narrowed significantly. Nevertheless, just about every sailor has heard a horror story about in-mast furling, and many are swift to condemn these furlers without ever having actually used one.

Yes, in-mast furling can have its issues, but most of these are caused by operator error. We live in an age where we expect everything to just work. Let off one line, pull another and the mainsail should disappear like the money from your wallet when you take kids out for an ice cream. And when it binds or jams, it can’t possibly be your fault.

So what

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