Random Questions and Answers

Leisure Furl

Question: What’s your impression of the leisure furl in boom sail? Is it everything you hoped for?

Does it deploy and reef with ease compared to other systems?

Upon first looks, I have some reservation about binding while reefing or retracting the sail. Are you able to keep sufficient tension on the main halyard while retracting the sail to prevent things like this from happening?

Any different techniques required when the breeze picks up?


We'd be OK with conventional sail with lazy jacks. But here's what we wanted to avoid.

- A big sail cover that has to be stored somewhere when sailing. All the hassle to put it on and off. We would probably be lazy sometimes and not put it on and that's bad for the sail.

- For us, with conventional sail, we always struggle not to get the main get stuck in one of the lazy jack lines when hoisting.

- We don't like in mast furling. Main reason: You lose sail area since you cannot have horizontal battens. You have all that weight high up when you're in bad weather. If the furler fail, in a gale, at sea, that would be really bad.

- We don't like the Dutch system: We've sailed it and it doesn't fold as elegantly as advertised, unless the sail are old and soft. It's a hassle to get the sail cover on since it has to be slotted for each line going up.

- We do like the in boom furl, and we've found it easy to use. It's really neat to have endless reef points, even though it's best to reef to a batten. But that give us 6 reef points, and that without a single reef line to control in the cockpit or at the mast. Reefing is done easily from the cockpit. There are 2 things that must be considered when reefing and lowering the sail. You must have that right boom angle (to the mast and the boat). Angle to the mast to make sure it rolls straight. Which is accomplished by having a mark on the topping lift and also eyeball it. We've figured it out and it's not a big deal. Angle to the boat, the boom should follow the center line as well as possible when reefing. So it's essential to come up into the wind more than other reefing systems. This is a slight disadvantage but OK with us.




Solar. Do you have any reservation about the flexible panels mounted on a soft Bimini with regard to service life?

I have pondered this and have considered some type of arch or method of using framed panels as they seem to last much longer. It’s always an ongoing debate and your perspective would be valued much.


We had the same debate when choosing panels. And we could have gone either way.

Our thought of hard panels on a structure.

- It's hard to get it to look good, even though I find function more important than looks. They are a bigger wind target, heavier and the structure also adds weight aloft. It's very sturdy which is good.

Soft panels.

- Stealth installation. Low weight, low wind capture, and no need for a structure.

Over time experience and reflections:

Nov-2019: In the Chesapeake when we were docked in Deltaville, the remnant of hurricane Michael came over us and one panel flew off and disappeared. That was an expensive learning experience. We had almost 50 knots of wind. Future will tell if the life of these are good enough.

Jan-2020: Three panels had now gone bad. one way or another. The 2 aft rectangular ones had the upper layer transparent film de-laminate. They still gave full power though. Solbian warranted both and sent us new ones without charge. One of the square ones had a short in the junction box,. Solbian warranted that one as well.


Battery placement

Question: With regard to the battery placement, are those in the aft portion of the saloon? Having them in the starboard settee seems like a lot of weight on that side of the boat, so I wondered about that as I was researching prior installations

Answer: Yes, it's in the aft portion, and it's more centered than the starboard settee. One of the points that all Outbound owners told us was that the boat always leaned to starboard because of that (unless they had low levels in the starboard diesel and/or water tanks. So that and the fact that we wanted Firefly batteries, we convinced Phil (the owner of Outbound) to move the batteries. This gave us the side benefit of a huge storage, easily accessible in the starboard settee.

Over time experience and reflections:

Apr-2020: We replaced the Firefly batteries with Lithium, and gained the mid battery box as additional storage.


Back-up tiller auto pilot

Question: Under redundant systems what is “Back up tiller auto pilot…”? Is that referring to the Windvane also?

Answer: Yes it's on the Windvane. Look at there website.



Anything Negative?

Question: Is there anything negative to report about the boat? I have yet to get a negative comment on the Outbound other than a subjective appearance comment. Not sure if this is due to owner’s bias or not.

Answer: Everywhere were we go we get very positive comments of our boat, which is encouraging. I'm trying to think about anything negative or disappointing so far. But have a hard time finding it.

However, here are two things.

1. The exhaust outlet is a little bit too low. It gets under water when doing more than 6 knots. This cause a back pressure on the engine that are supposedly not optimal. I haven't heard any Outbound owner complain about it and the life of their engines seems normal. But one of the mechanics at our marina in Barrington told me that. And the fix should be easy at the factory, since there's plenty of space to move it higher.

2. The propeller axis is not totally in line with the boat, it's tilted slightly. The negative effect of that is that, while motoring, the wheel is pulling in one direction. According to Outbound, this is intentional. It make it possible to get the axis out without removing the rudder. There's no effect while sailing. I would have preferred it to be straight.



Question: Can you talk about the insulation you put in the boat? Is that factory or was it something you had to work out with them? I like the sound of it and really like the sound of the hydronic heat for cooler times and higher latitudes. Is the insulation a two part urethane sprayed onto the hull bottom, sides and underside of the coach roof? Does it impede the ability to do any type of work to the boat by limiting access? Did they specify an “R” value? R being the resistance to transfer of heat, like in a house attic or side wall? If it is spray foam, then a typical value would be about 7.2/inch. Any concerns about the possibility of excess condensation? We get condensation in our boat when it’s cold so it really doesn’t matter. I’m guessing any that formed would make its way to the bilge anyway right? Trying to envision what it would look like before they started tabbing in the bulkheads and installing the floors etc.


The insulation is a factory option, not advertised a lot. But easy to get. It's pricey though (7K). We got contact information of two Outbound owners before we made our decision. One that have the insulation and one in the north west (Seattle) that has been sailing high latitudes without the insulation. We communicated with them and both were promoting the insulation. In a nutshell, the one with it told us they never regretted it, and the one without it told us they would have chosen it if they known about it. So we went with it.

It's a really hard decision since you cannot make (or really hard to do) a side by side comparison. We just played it safe, and took it.

We do believe that it helps both in cold and hot climate. The fridge and freezer will do a better job when in an insulating environment. And we'll be more comfortable regardless of heat or cold... as I said before, future will tell, since we're only 6 month into the boat.

The insulation is Divinycell, and here's the marketing blurb for it. "Divinycell is a semi-rigid PVC foam used as a sandwich core material when strength, stiffness and low weight is desired. It has excellent insulating properties and a closed-cell structure that makes it impervious to water. 5 lb./cu. Ft."

It’s ½ inch, applied to the hull all the way up to the deck (nothing in the ceiling). Space wise and access wise, it's not a problem at all. You hardly notice the space it take since it's molded into the design. Of course it take some volume, but we don't know the difference. You have to Google Divinycell to get the R-value.

I'm not worried about a problem with excess condensation, since the Divinycell is molded in as a part of the structure.

The hydronic heat is great. It's a very low electric draw, silent. When motoring it uses the engine heat to heat the boat, no diesel burner involved. So free heat :-)

The other benefit is when in hot climates, not running the engine, the hydronic heat can be used to only make hot water. So at anchor for a while, wanting a hot shower, others have to run the engine for an hour... We just run the heater.


There's plenty of stowage in the garage. Mainly because we've opted not to have a washer/dryer and not to have a generator. This space is absolute perfect to have. And the fact that you can open it to the cockpit and be able to stand up is great.


There's descent room in the heads for storage. We opted for the sink to be outside the forward head, instead of getting another hanging locker there (and the sink in the head),. Reason be that if you have the sink in the head means that you have to move the holding tank to the salon settee, and have a macerator for the tank. So you loose storage there and have one more thing that can break (the macerator). We like our holding tanks to be gravity fed. And we like the storage in the salon.

Skip the forward head?

I would not do that, and here's my reasoning. 1. Redundancy. 2. Stay longer at anchor/dock.

1. We've chosen to have the aft head electric for convenience for ourselves, but also for guests not that familiar to a marine environment. However, we all know that boat heads are not always working, so we have a manual head in the forward cabin as a backup if we run out of power, or the aft one break (or clogged). We just do not want to have to break up a good vacation/anchorage because of one malfunctioning head.

2. At anchorage or at dock, we divide the heads in a "Number 1" and a "number 2" head. If you want to stay for a longer period, you holding tank will fill up. We use that aft head for "number 2 business", using the holding tank. We use the forward head for "number 1 business" letting it out. We're not worried about "number 1" getting out. This way we can prolong our stay in one spot quite a bit, without polluting our "number 2" at port or at anchorage. Not everyone would agree with this method, but we believe it’s OK.


Horizon is a 5'6" draft, which is the shallow draft. We picked that since we're more interested in the places we would like to explore, than speed upwind. The "normal draft" is 6'7" i think. Not a huge difference, but look at the Bahamas, and it will give you much more choices with 5'6".

Other questions:

#1: In the StarLink forum chat on the forum, you mentioned incurring significant Iridium GO costs for weather data while at Minerva Reef. What plan were you on during that period?

[A&A] We had prepaid minutes up until that point. Buying 600 minutes per year (US$849). This has been sufficient for us. We've now switched to PredictWind SIM cards and their unlimited plan. That is US$150 per month, but can be turned off for periods of no use. However the shortest on-time possible is 2 month (first and last). We have high hopes for our StarLink, but will not do passages without our Iridium operational as well.

#2: What do you have set up for a secondary anchor and rode? Where is the anchor and rode stored?

[A&A] We use a Fortress FX37 anchor with 200' 5/8 Nylon 3 Strand anchor line and 40' 5/16 HI Test Anchor Chain. This was delivered as a second anchor by Outbound at the time we bought ours. Not sure if it was standard or an option though. We've only used it once when we anchored in extremely loose mud, and the Rocna just did not set. But the Fortress, set to the "loose mud angle" did well. We have used it on occasion as a stern anchor just to keep the boat aligned with the swell.

#3: How do you find charging your electric outboard batteries? Will your solar panels and wind generator keep up with the cycle while in port?

[A&A] With two batteries for the outboard, we can go 10 hours in 2 knots (=20 NM). With that we charge one of the batteries at the most once a week. And in cases where we are in a marina we of course charge with shore power. Depending on the circumstances, we might occasionally have to run the engine an extra 20 minutes to replenish. But never seen this as an issue.

#4: What do you have for a life raft set-up? Do you use the deck locker for stowage?

[A&A] The life raft is in the transom deck locker. We've added a couple of layers of flooring material at the bottom (the type used in showers etc.) so the life raft is sitting higher than any standing water in the box. We did drill a couple of drain holes in the box. We also store 2 life west in there. This is for two reasons. Firstly to always have them handy, second to prevent the life raft to move around in the box. Know that some Outbounders store their life raft in the box only on passages, and use the box for snorkling gear or spare gas tanks for their outboard when inshore.

#5: Where did you have your Hydrovane installed? Was the stern reinforced at all for the mounting of the vane?

[A&A] We had it installed in Barrington, Rhode Island in the US. The stern itself was not reinforced. But the bolts has big load bearing "washers" on the inside.

#6: Do you have a (storm) staysail on an inner forestay? Have you used it much? Has it been useful?

[A&A] We don't have a staysail, and never felt that we needed one. With todays fairly good weather routing apps and services, and the fact that we are never on a schedule has prevented us from ending up in really bad weather. Partly luck of course. Our storm tactic is to heave to. But have never ended up needing to use it (more than practicing it). Our in boom furler gives us infinite reefing points, so we have been sailing with main alone on our 3rd and 4th reefing point. Worst weather for a longer time we've been in was 50 knots of wind. And Horizon sailed well (beam reach) on the 4th reef.

#7 I don't believe you have a bowsprit...how have you found flying an asymmetric without a sprit?

[A&A] It works well. We use a sleeve (the ATN tacker). I guess a sprit would make the shape slightly better. But we are very happy with this set-up. For safety, we use a no-force snap-shackle at the tack. We have a string to the cockpit and can release the tack whenever the wind is too strong, or we are afraid of broaching. The asymmetrical then turns into a "flag" and can easily be retrieved into the sock.

#8: What is your preferred downwind sail plan?

[A&A] Asymmetrical alone, without the main up. Some people think it's dangerous to fly the spinnaker without the main. But we have the safety release to mitigate any danger. At sea, with big swells, the main collapses a lot and put big shock forces to boom and rigging. The asymmetrical is flying without any bad forces or noise at all. And we often do close to hull speed with the spinnaker alone.