New PowerFurl Boom for boats from 38-55 feet


Date: 1 February 2010 - for immediate, unrestricted release Media contact: Jay Kiley (401.253.8802):


Bristol, RI (USA) – The success with their PowerFurlTM booms on larger yachts induced GMT Composites to develop additional versions of this furling boom system to suit sailboats smaller than the 55-100 foot yachts which were the first adopters. Now, there are PowerFurlTM systems matched to yachts from 38 to 55 feet. They share nearly all the advantages of the larger units including the incredible weight savings of carbon composites but at lower cost and smaller size.
This will allow a wider range of boat owners to enjoy the superior attributes of GMT’s in-boom furling: the benefits of full-length battens and larger supported roaches for better sail shape and significantly enhanced sailing performance (in marked contrast with the hollow roaches needed with in-mast furling/reefing), as well as less heeling moment because of the weight savings in carbon fiber composites. In addition, in-boom furling for reefing lowers a sail’s center-of-effort and thus further reduces heeling in heavier-weather sailing.
The new PowerFurlTM models employ a carbon composite boom, but at reduced section sizes to remain in pleasing proportion for smaller yachts. Like the larger PowerFurlsTM, GMT’s new units are available with either hydraulic or electric drives. In both cases the motor is mounted inside the mandrel at the gooseneck-end, a much cleaner and more structurally sound placement than on the mast or at the outboard end of the boom: no drive-shaft tunnel needs to be drilled through and weaken the mast and the swinging momentum of outboard-end motor placement is avoided.
GMT PowerFurlTM, in all models, uses an innovative and proven effective sail-feeder and sail-track system. This low-profile solution is very light and also eliminates the large, unsightly setback of the sail tack seen in systems produced by other suppliers. These factors, along with the in-boom motor, allow furling/reefing and unwinding/hoisting to be done, even when sailing off the wind. Most other boom furling/reefing systems have been known to jam unless operated with the boom trimmed tight to the centerline with the vessel headed directly into the wind, a shortcoming which adds discomfort and can imperil crew safety; not so with PowerFurlTM.

Helping to hold down costs, the winding mandrel for the new, smaller PowerFurlsTM is aluminum, in lieu of the carbon used in larger PowerFurlTM booms: the strength and weight considerations for carbon construction were less critical for mandrels shorter than 20 feet. Overall, these PowerFurlTM booms are still far lighter, as much as half the weight of all-aluminum furling booms, and far easier to maintain since the finish on the carbon composite shell does not pit or corrode like aluminum.
The operation of PowerFurlTM is virtually as simple as pushing a button on the cockpit control panel. This makes the PowerFurlTM system a wise choice for shorthanded sailing and for owners who do not want to send inexperienced crew forward when bad weather conditions suggest or demand reefing or when furling in congested or rough waters .
In making the announcement of these new, smaller PowerFurlTM booms, which GMT will begin delivering in Spring 2010, the Company also announced that engineering studies and construction drawings have been completed for PowerFurlTM booms larger than the ones in use today. GMT’s larger PowerFurlsTM are intended for 30-50 meter (100-160 foot) vessels, and GMT said that delivery of this range in PowerFurlTM booms would be possible by Fall 2010.
All models of GMT’s PowerFurlTM can be designed into new-build projects or retrofit into existing vessels.
More information on the new PowerFurlTM booms is easily accessed through GMT’s website. Those interested should go to where there is also a demonstration video.