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@howard wrote:

By the way, I’m very pleased with the spar, but yes, it did take a stiff drink.

As always, you get what you pay for. 😉 Here is another happy user of the Bartels system.

There are some pictures of the Bartels system posted here: http://www.wayfarer-international.org/WIT/useful_skills_of_all_kinds/Reefing/jib.trysail_and_furling_gear.html

Do not order the extension (fork) below the drum as shown in the pictures. It is not needed. It was an option to try out that I discussed with Mr. Bartels, in case the drum wouldn’t fit. It brings the sail up to a higher position, something we don’t want if it is not really necessary. The extra fork from Bartels will set you back for about 15 pounds!

If you have one of these “spinnaker sheet catchers” that insert into a (Holt) bow plate, you may want to file two flat sides to the bottom drum pin. That will allow the spinnaker thingy to fit the bow plate together with the Bartels drum.

When I bought mine I also looked at the spar by Holmes, the Plastimo spar and the one from Bartels. The Plastimo was dismissed quickly for it had too much plastic parts that could break easily. Also the huge drum just doesn’t look right on a W.

FWIW, I found yet another manufacturer of small boat reefing systems: http://www.top-reff.de/ They seem to have nice stuff but I have not looked in to this one because I already had my Bartels installed when I discovered them.

Did I mentioned Holman yet? http://www.holmanrigging.co.uk/ Some of the UK cruisers seem to be very happy with it. Personally I do not like the big drum for aesthetic reasons. AFAIK the spar is not a closed profile with a separate sail groove but but just a tube sawn open. This allows the spar to twist more then Bartels’s closed profile. I am not sure about the construction though, you better ask Matt773 who sails a Holmes spar.