I, too, have a ProFurl system (my third) and before you go to trying to remove and press the bearings apart... try adding more tension to the headstay. I have found that even new drum & foil sections can be difficult to turn smoothly and make a popping rattling noise
when turning by hand if the foil sections are loose and drooping around a sagging headstay.
And the manual is not very clear on how to go about tensioning the headstay.
What I had to do was:
- remove the sail and furling line.
- remove the two lower allen screws holding the link plates to the drum.
- mark the foil where it enters the top of the drum section with a fine Sharpie pen.
- use your halyard to take tension on the foil with a rolling hitch.
- loosen the straight slot screws found on opposing sides of the plastic drum. This should now allow you to raise the drum assy enough to reach the lower wire terminal.
- secure the drum assy up & out of the way with the rolling hitch tail.
- lubricate the terminal threads.
- remove securing pins from studs.
- hold the base of the wire terminal with a wrench and use a large crescent wrench to tension the turnbuckle.
- when satisfied with the tension replace cotter pins and carefully lower the drum assy until you see the mark on the foil.
- tighten the drum screws and reassemble in reverse order.
You'll know right away if this did the trick when you're rolling the furler
line back onto the drum.
If the difficulty and grinding noise
persist... then the bearings are the most likely problem. As mentioned above - the bearings are carbon steel
with plastic seals
and if seawater gets inside the bearing it will corrode and eventually seize the drum & swivel assemblies.
I have yet to personally try to remove the bearings from my drum and upper swivel assemblies - but have helped several friends try on other boats and I have come to conclude that the old bearings are next to impossible to remove without further dammage... even at a talented machine shop... and it is most cost effective (and far easier) to simply purchase
& install new drum & upper swivel assemblies.
ProFurl systems are about half the cost of all the other popular systems and their spare parts
are equally affordable.
But try tuning the rigging
first before going through the hassle of removing the headstay & furler