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Old 19-07-2012, 18:59   #1
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Location: Boston area
Boat: Little Harbor 46 (1988)
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Hood Profurl control box adjustment

I bought a 23 y/o boat last year with a Hood Profurl in-mast electric furling. The boat did have some documentation on the system, but it seems the original control box has been replaced with a more modern version. I don't have a doc for that. The box is very hard to access and I can only see the circuit board inside with a mirror - until I start disassembling the cabinetry around it anyway.

My issue is that the overload protection cuts in way too soon, before there is any substantial load on the motor. When in overload mode the alarm sounds until the motor is ready again which can be from 5 seconds to a very annoying 15 or more seconds. This happens both when rolling the sail out and back in.

My old documentation tells me there was an adjustment potentiometer in the box for the overload circuit. Makes sense, but I can't find a similar adjustment in my newer control box. All I seem to have is one toggle switch. When I flipped it to the other position I'm happy to say my early cut out problem went away - I can furl in and out all day. But now I'm worried I simply have no overload protection and sooner or later I'll fry the motor.

All experience with these systems gratefully accepted.

JR
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Old 20-07-2012, 11:44   #2
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Re: Hood Profurl control box adjustment

JR,

I suspect this is a Hood Stoway system and not related to Profurl which is a French furler manufacturer.

I would work on reducing friction rather than dialing up the potentiometer. There are some bearings that may need service or replacement. Since you're near Boston you should be able to find some older riggers who know the system well.
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Old 20-07-2012, 12:08   #3
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Re: Hood Profurl control box adjustment

Hi JR,

Your "cousin" with the Bristol 47 here. I went through some issues with my in-mast furling Hood Stoway unit last year and would highly recommend calling Eric Pearson in Jamestown, RI at 401-423-1568. Tell him that Dan from New Mexico with the '86 B47 referred you. Although I wound up having to send him the motor & gearbox for a rebuild, Eric patiently went through all the troubleshooting with me over the phone first. He used to work for Hood and did many of the original installations, including mine! In any event, this is who many of the riggers I've talked to use, and I can't recommend him highly enough.

Btw, the potentiometer -- assuming you can locate it -- was one component Eric advised not messing with. As islandplanet suggested below, your issue may likely have more to do with another component. Hopefully it's just a corroded wire or something on the control board. If not, feel free to contact me if you need to get into the motor/gear unit (hopefully not!).

Dan
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Old 22-07-2012, 13:56   #4
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Re: Hood Profurl control box adjustment

Oops, yes Stoway. I have a Profurl up front.

I kept the boat at the Hinckley yard in Portsmouth RI over the winter - and this of course was the original home of Little Harbor, and Ted Hood is still around. They know these boats better than anyone. The riggers that took the sails off in Oct experienced the problem and said it was going into overload way too soon and too easily. So I had a complete overhaul done of the Stoway motor, gears and top swivel. So all that is as good as new. They also thought that maybe my mainsail was out of shape and was rolling badly, so I had that inspected by North Sails and they said it was all good.

My winter work list included Hinckley inspecting the control box but they never got to it and I was tired of waiting. Spoke to one of their experienced electricians who said just tweak the potentiometer - but he never looked at the box to confirm my version.

I'm very confident this is not a friction of binding problem. Since I flipped that switch I've had no overload failures and the system turns easily. It's really a delight when it works right. I might be worried about nothing.

Dan, thanks for the connection to Eric. He's close by and I'll give him a call.

JR
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Old 22-07-2012, 20:22   #5
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Re: Hood Profurl control box adjustment

I didn't realize you had the motor/gears overhauled, etc. I still have my old control box and am not familiar with your replacement. I do know there are two, separate solenoid relays inside the box that kick in depending on which way you run the toggle switch. Could be one of the two has some corrosion or has seen better days. When I was cleaning up all my connections after having the motor/gear unit overhauled last year, I went ahead and replaced both of them. They were inexpensive, std. electrical components.

FWIW, my control box is located under a settee not far from the base of the mast. When I first got the boat, there was a fair amount of leakage around the mast partners and it resulted in some corrosion around the control box wires. Eventually I stopped the leaking & cleaned up or replaced wires. It sounds like my box is more accessible than yours, however.

Coincidentally, I took possession of my Bristol from NE Boatworks, just down the road from Hinckley in Portsmouth.

Good luck with resolving your Hood Stoway mystery, and say hello to Eric for me should you contact him.

Dan
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Old 22-07-2012, 23:38   #6
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Re: Hood Profurl control box adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_spyder View Post
They also thought that maybe my mainsail was out of shape and was rolling badly, so I had that inspected by North Sails and they said it was all good.

JR
We've replaced furling mains that had a bit too much belly develop to furl well. Did the loft that inspected it hang the sail or just look at it on the floor? If I can't see what the sail looks like on the boat which is really the best way to inspect, suspending the corners under some tension will roughly simulate sail shape in about 4 knots of wind. I'm not sure if the Stoway system is more sensitive to shape than the newer systems. Did the loft know it was for a Stoway? I replaced a main on one boat with a Stoway where it wasn't furling due to shape and the sail wasn't in too bad a shape.

For anyone with in-mast furling, we like to use a Sailkote treatment right after the sail is built to reduce friction and provide a tighter roll. We put a set of sails on an Amel ketch with all furling rig. The owner reported he could hear the difference in how the motors didn't have to work as hard as they did with the old sails.
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