The Antares 44i comes standard with your choice for an electric in-mast furling system with a vertically battened mainsail or the Antares exclusive MainTamer with a traditional mainsail for easy handling.
Antares installed it’s first furling sail in 2008 and the popularity of this offering continues to grow to this day. Currently, 50% of new orders are for the in-mast furling system.
We asked Antares owners Paul and Suzanne Daniel, who are entering their 4th season of sailing aboard s/v Cinq à Sept, to comment on the reasons why they continue to be so enthusiastic about their choice of in-mast furling on their Antares.
The furling mainsail aboard the Antares“The number one issue is one of convenience. It is so easy to use the furling system. It makes the whole experience easier and more pleasurable and encourages more sailing,” said Paul.
“I’ve talked to quite a number of sailors, including racers who have gone to the furling sails, and they have all told me the same thing – ‘added enjoyment for reduced amount of work and effort.’ So you’re doing more sailing because it’s easier. “ Adding that if you can get five minutes of sailing in, then why not?
Paul explains that with the furling mast, not only is reefing easier and less prone to difficulty with cars and lines, but your choice is infinite. Instead of having one or two rigged options of what might constitute a reef, your possibilities are endless.
“Not only do you have the safety benefit in the more flexible reefing, but a huge factor for us is that we don’t have to go topside to deal with any problems. We have never lost a reef and our reefing was done from the safety of our cockpit,” said Paul.
The Genoa and Screecher wing on wing for downwind sailing.The common question is what is the price you have to pay for less roach as far as performance? According to Paul, the loss is very minimal.
“Keep in mind that on the Antares you wouldn’t be using the main for downwind sailing [Genoa and Screecher can be flown wing on wing]. When you do use the mainsail, you are close hauled or close reached.” Adding that he has yet to find any evidence that demonstrates a substantial performance loss.
“When we did our passage from Martinique to Barbados and then back to Guyana, we did some extended travel and on a broad reach, with the Genoa and main, we maintained 12 knots for over 6 hours in 25 knots. And we’re loaded with tools, extra fuel and the necessities of a full time liveaboard,“ said Paul. “I’m a lifelong racer and we’re entering our 4th season on our Antares. It’s worth knowing that you don’t have to throw away performance with in-mast furling.”
Gord and Debbie, who have more than 10,000 nm in their wake in the first two season aboard their Antares s/v Bella Luna, also chose the furling mainsail option. Link below to watch video of Gord deploying and furling the mainsail.