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Old 27-08-2014, 08:09   #1
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Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

Sailors,

I'm not cheap. I'm frugal, darn it. I can't afford to be a "West Marine" kind of sailor. I'm more of an "Ace Hardware" fellow. That said, I'm working on a DIY roller furler for the headsail on my 22' Westerly Cirrus. I know there are some who will be tempted to scold me for making something as important as this out of plastic, but this is what my budget allows this season. So....

I've seen plans and videos all over the web for these gizmos and all are fairly straightforward, but only a few have foils over the headstay like my design. Basically, it's a roller at the bottom followed upward by a pvc pipe foil with a slot cut all the way to top for the sail's bolt rope to slide up. I've removed the sail's hanks. My back yard testing shows the sail sliding easily up the foil without binding. With the load spread down the length of the foil when fully extended - and it does fit snugly into the slot - I don't expect the force to be enough to rip the sail from the foil. (My bolt "rope" is actually steel cable. The sail came off of an older style non-foil furler.)

To reduce halyard wrap at the head, I've put a sliding collar over my foil that will attach to the head of the sail and will carry the sail to the top. I've added a "cap" at the end of the foil to stop the collar at the top, and there is a good quality swivel on the halyard.

Outside of the expected comments about risking my life, has anyone else done or seen this type of project? I'm not looking to be talked out of it, just looking for a little advice on design (especially the halyard wrap issue). This is not a world cruising craft, and I'm not prone to going out in fierce winds, etc.

Ok. Loins are girded. Sock it to me.

Mark
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Old 27-08-2014, 08:18   #2
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

Is your groove all the way through the pipe? I'd be a little worried about the torque twisting the pipe and chewing through the canvas of the sail......but you won't know unless you try!!


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Old 27-08-2014, 08:26   #3
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

I'd be concerned about the sail pulling out of the slot under wind load. It still amazes me how high the loads are on a sail and sheets above 12 knots. Let us know how it works out.
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Old 27-08-2014, 09:53   #4
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

Everything seems nice and tight in the slot, yet enough room to raise the sail without binding. I guess I'll just have to try it out and report back with my findings. Thanks for the input!
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Old 27-08-2014, 10:36   #5
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

What schedule is your PVC?
Ya got pix?
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Old 27-08-2014, 10:45   #6
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

It's Schedule 40 PVC (at least I think so). I'll post pics this weekend to show the details of the design, and maybe a video, if it works. Otherwise I'll post pics on my Wall of Shame in the basement.
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Old 27-08-2014, 11:25   #7
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

i think i would also worry about the sail being 'torn' out of the slot under load...

question: 1.5 or 1 inch pvc?

idea: drilling a hole thru the pvc and using a nut and bolt to 'crimp' the slot closed / tighter might help reduce the risk.

idk about chaffing either... maybe something like this: http://www.componentforce.com/userfi...otector_lg.jpg

pics (or it didnt happen).

-steve
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:20   #8
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

If you slit the tube it will lose some rigidity and the groove may/will open up and let the bolt rope out. I envision a spectacular fail. Remember the drum will start at the bottom so your foil MUST resist as much torque as possible.

But I do love you way of thinking.

What happens if you use continuous foil (pipe) and modify the sail so that it has a luff pocket alike a surfer sail? Such a sail, if attached at the top (swiwel) and at the bottom (drum) is unlikely to run away, and a continuous, uncut pipe may transfer the torque / torsion much more efficiently.

Let us know how this project develops. It sounds very good already.

b.
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:23   #9
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

I'm using 1" pipe, although other plans I've seen call for 1 1/2". I thought the smaller diameter would be stiffer and less prone to flex the groove to the point of the bolt rope coming out. I cut my groove carefully (although not perfectly) by hand, went over it with a Dremel tool, then sanded it inside and out to get rid of any roughness.

I've fitted all parts together on the lawn at home and everything works smooth. The sail goes up the slot easily, and I've tugged on it fairly hard in places to try to pull it out of the groove. Seems to fit good and tight.

I liked the idea of your insulating material and actually considered attaching a long length of stick-on weather stripping along the groove. But I thought it would certainly come off under wind and water and I didn't want to over-think the project or weight it down. I think crimping it with bolts might mess with the integrity of the plastic and give it more points where it could fail.

With the great feedback from this forum, and from friends here, I'm really anxious to get to the marina this weekend and test drive the design. The silver lining is that I'm only out of $40 if it fails, and I can possibly use it on my little Falcon 16' that sits on a trailer in the driveway.

I still plan to buy a righteous furler when the budget allows, but I want to try this. I recently put on a bimini top that makes it a tad more difficult to scamper to the foredeck to douse the jib in a hurry. I mostly sail singlehanded and thought furling from the cockpit would be a nice safety feature.
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:38   #10
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

i think you are better off with 1"

an alternative to using bolts is using end caps.

-s
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:55   #11
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

If you can find the schedule 80 your chance of success is way better.
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Old 27-08-2014, 13:35   #12
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

I didn't think of using 80 until after I had bought and cut the 40. Cheap (I mean frugal!), remember? If it all does a crash and burn I may try again, or just save my doubloons over the winter for a manufactured one. I'll know for sure in a few days.
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Old 27-08-2014, 14:39   #13
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

Curious as to how well it works for you, and for the pics of progress!
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Old 27-08-2014, 14:45   #14
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Re: Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

I'll wager it will work great in normal winds. You go man.
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Old 27-08-2014, 14:46   #15
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Do It Yourself PVC Roller Furler

If chafing is an issue, maybe a couple of layers of cloth tape, like medical tape might help, on the pipe of course.
I think it will work, or if it slips out I'd try the Sched 80 before I gave up.
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