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Old 08-09-2016, 13:46   #1
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Hydraulic Headsail Furler

Ok this is my next big project, well maybe not that big .

I have a Profurl NC42 fuler , and let me tell you that it is a real bear to get my 130% headsail furled when it is blowing 20 knots plus . This has got to go !! My main is a breeze to handle , I dread my headsail!

Ok so I am designing a Hydraulic system with the motor mounted beneath the rope drum and a power pack in my anchor locker. I will drive it using direct gears or a stainless chain and sprockets , Then enclose it with a very nice fiberglass cover that will be easily
removed and afford some protection from the elements .

I have talked to a hydraulic specialist and he says this is well within the power range of a 12v system. I used the max amount of torque and rpm from a spec sheet supplied by a Harken hydraulic furler as a starting point .

The furling line will still be used a normal and I can furl it by hand if I choose to , i will just have the option to push a botun and have the hydraulics do the work . Deployment will not change , the motor may slow the unfurling process down a bit but the motor will hold no pressure against the process.

Any one ever do this before , any suggestions?

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Old 08-09-2016, 16:14   #2
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

big sailboats use electric or hydraulic furlers. The Amel Supermaru has electric everything, almost. The boat is loved by the older gentleman sailor. Perini Navi yachts have monstrous furlers. I rarely have difficulty furling my 150% genoa on my 38 footer. We turn the boat so that the wind is on the beam, loosen the sheets and start pulling the furling line. Once the sail is loose with no pressure on it, it comes in fairly easily. Even when there is some pressure on it, I can usually find a lull in the wind enough to allow me to reef.
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Old 08-09-2016, 16:43   #3
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

I would agree with dylmn, we have the same profurl model and if the sheets have any tension, the profurl is a pain in the #$# to furl. But if we slack the sheets, my 110 lbs. wife can furl the headsail no problem in +20 knot wind. The drum bearing have been known to go out on the units but you would notice this is any wind condition. On another note, if you are getting rid of the profurl, I could always use the spares.
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Old 08-09-2016, 17:38   #4
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

Bear away and blanket the headsail behind the main for a quick and easy furl.

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Old 08-09-2016, 17:54   #5
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

Trust me , I'm not new to this . My last boat was 48 feet with a 75 foot mast and the next size up Profurl and it was even worse to furl , this boat is better, but not much , in a blow. Im a strong guy but my dodger is taking a terrible beating from floging sheets . In need to get it in faster. This seems like a good idea . Been thinking about a power furler until I saw the price . I think for a harken power furler it worked out to be around 20 grand US , by the time I'm done with the install and the difference in dollar it would be closer to 30,000 Canadian , so I have plenty of room to play and tinker until I get it right .
My wife needs to be able to shorten the foresail without me in the middle of the night .

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Old 08-09-2016, 18:18   #6
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

I'm wondering why we don't have this problem -- a 58' boat and manual profurl headsail furlers.

On most points of sail, simultaneously easing the sheet and hauling in on the furling line with an electric winch does the trick for us. I find that it becomes immediately obvious if the sheet isn't eased sufficiently (increased tension in furling line, furler stops spinning) or is too slack (flogging clew). If the crew can ease one line while winching in another it is a one-person job on our boat. On a number of boats I've sailed up to 44', I've always been able to reef headsail with hand-tension alone, but we are far beyond that even in moderate conditions.

Other than the swivel twisting on the extrusion and jamming aloft, requiring replacement, I've found the manual furlers work well. Hydraulic might be easier, but I would think that the added complexity would weigh against it on a 45' boat. I find that the other hydraulic systems (autopilots, and even vang & backstay) do require maintenance and repair. Just something to consider....
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Old 08-09-2016, 18:19   #7
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Hydraulic Headsail Furler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Bear away and blanket the headsail behind the main for a quick and easy furl.

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I bear off regularly in "BearAway" to furl the jib. Works well. I have used this method this since having my C-22, 25 years ago. Works even better on my Profurl. Gloves also helps immensely with the itty bitty furling lines.


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Old 08-09-2016, 18:32   #8
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

I do know a chap who lost his larger boat off Victoria cos his self-engineered hydraulic furler died at the wrong moment leaving him blown onto the rocks - do make sure it is sound engineering. If you can produce a reliable item I will take 4!😆😆


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Old 08-09-2016, 18:47   #9
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

You do not want the pack in the anchor locker. The pack should be in a bone dry location. There are electric valves on the pack and these HATE humidity.

Have fun building.

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Old 08-09-2016, 19:02   #10
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
You do not want the pack in the anchor locker. The pack should be in a bone dry location. There are electric valves on the pack and these HATE humidity.

Have fun building.

b

Yes I agree , I could put the power pack under the v berth .
I will post updates on this thread as the build proceeds .


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Old 08-09-2016, 19:06   #11
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
I do know a chap who lost his larger boat off Victoria cos his self-engineered hydraulic furler died at the wrong moment leaving him blown onto the rocks - do make sure it is sound engineering. If you can produce a reliable item I will take 4!😆😆


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This is why I will leave the manual furling line intact and ready to go . All the retail setups require you to go forward and crank a little winch handle in case of failure . Not a good option when the wind is up and the flogging has begun 😂

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Old 08-09-2016, 19:28   #12
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

There was a mention of bad bearings and being able to tell in any wind. That is not always true. My old Hood Seafurl on a 44 footer would tell me when it needed bearings by being very stiff in a squall. It worked fine under normal conditions but the extra strain would make it terrible. A new set of bearings and it was OK in any wind conditions. I had to change bearings about every three years. You might try a set of new bearings before going to all the trouble of hydraulics. Just a thought! ____Grant.
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Old 08-09-2016, 19:52   #13
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

Bearings!!!
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Old 08-09-2016, 22:39   #14
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

I really think something is wrong with your furler. On our 54' we had zero issue furling the 155% Genoa by hand. It shouldn't be that hard.
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Old 08-09-2016, 22:51   #15
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Re: Hydraulic Headsail Furler

We love our Reckmann hydraulic furling system. Good luck with your project.
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