|Beneteau 423 close reaching under a 140% jib and RF main|
After pondering the alternatives and doing the math, we chose to go all the way and put a new rig in the boat. You're probably wondering why someone would take a perfectly good rig out of a boat and exchange it for something that is usually more work to set trim and douse. My answer is that RF mains work well for many things, but they can fail in ways that could be inconvenient at best and dangerous in some circumstances. They also can't deliver the performance that a full battened main can. In terms of danger, all you have to do is visit the B423 message board to read about a range of problems people have had with their RF main sails. Sails jammed in the slot, batten pockets torn, more jammed sails, maintenance issues on the furling system, etc. Don't misunderstand me, most B423 owners seem to love their RF main sails and have very few problems with them. But if you're planning for offshore cruising to remote places with a shorthanded crew, you want your rig to be 100% manageable in all conditions. So it's out with the furling rig.
As it turns out, we can do the conversion for a very reasonable price if we manage it well. US Spars, the company that built the original B423 rigs happens to have some mast extrusions left over from the production days, and agreed to build a new classic rig for us at a very attractive price. We found a local rigger here in SoCal who will take the old rig on consignment and we can surely sell the sail at Minneys, our local marine surplus store. So with the new rig, modifying the boom and buying a new mainsail, I estimate that the entire project will cost around $15.000.
|423 with classic main and stackpack|
We will include a 'Battcar' system, lazyjacks and a Stackpack to make sail handling easy. With full battens the sail falls neatly into the pack, eliminating the whole flaking exercise. More importantly, the sail can be reliably reefed in all conditions. I'll keep you posted on the progress for this project.
|Mainsail neatly stowed.|