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Old 01-11-2008, 07:44   #1
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ProFurl furler failure

The final preparations for our annual 6-month cruise to places farther south required a shakedown sail on Moble Bay a week ago to make sure all systems were A-OK. After motoring into the Bay from the ICW we unfurled the main and then tried to unfurl the genoa. The genoa would not unfurl. The drum was completely seized. The 7-year old furler has a 5-year warranty. The sealed unit has no maintenance or lube requirement. A rigger has visited the boat and confirmed the cause of the problem (i.e. no halyard wrap, etc.). Here is the gottcha. A new ProFurl drum costs $1300. I can get a whole new Harken roller furler system for $1600. Guess what I am gonna do? Seems like the folks at Profurl (a French company) who were bought by Wichard (another French company) are pricing themselves out of the roller furler business. Any thoughts out there on this? The rigger says the old drum should have lasted many years longer.
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:58   #2
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Seizing up of the bearings in a Profurl is not that uncommon. I much prefer the open delrin bearings of a Harken. Incidentally I have a 20 year old Harken and a 4 year old Profurl. From what I understand the Profurl gives you some warning that the bearings are going when it gets progressively harder to furl the sail. Did you experience this? One other thing, I remember a while back a bunch of Profurls had bad bearings and were replaced. You might want to speak to Profurl about this.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:25   #3
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The older Profurl units are starting to have bearing failures--you shouldn't need to buy a whole new drum, as the bearings are replaceable. Talk to the Profurl dealer.
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:27   #4
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You can obtain information on parts etc. from the Technical Manuals link on Profurl's web-site at PROFURL - sail reefing systems for boats (headsail, mainsail .

Regarding replacing the Profurl with a Harken System, the following from Profurl's web page is worth noting:

Quote:
Question : What is the difference between a reefing system and a PROFURL furling system ?

Réponse : A PROFURL furling system is used to completely furl the sail away, the system cannot be used for reefing/reducing sail area. It's an "all in or all out" system.

Unlike a reefing system, it does not allow for reefing.

It's AN "all or nothing" system.
We installed a Harken System on our First 42 in the Spring of 2002 and it has proven very robust and reliable and one can reef with the system.

Good Luck.

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Old 01-11-2008, 09:45   #5
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Interesting that the Profurl cannot be used for reefing. Why not? I have a Profurl on my 393 and Neil Pryde sails. (all standard equipment). The manuals say it can be reefed and the genoa has reefing point on it and the sailmaker even gives you the optimum car leads when on the different reefs. I have reefed this headsail many times. I'd be real interested in knowing why it can't be reefed.

Ha, I found the answer. That note is for the Profurl EC furling system which is for flying sails not for furling genoas.
"Profurl's EC furling systems are designed to be used with removable sails. For example light genoas or reachers, storm sails, staysails and fisherman sails."

The Profurls most of us have are reefable.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:13   #6
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The Pro furl is a great and robust system. I reefed with mine on two differnt boats. Defintely check out the bearing replacement.
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Old 01-11-2008, 22:54   #7
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Get one of these ...it will be the last one you will have to buy.
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Old 01-11-2008, 23:08   #8
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I have had a Profurl LC 42 Classic Furling System for fourteen years. It made a circumnavigation, and it's still going strong.
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Old 01-11-2008, 23:20   #9
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We have had problems wit Profurl on our 60 ft 2 times. The bearings where completely gone but, even in Oman we were able to get the job done and replaced the bearing which we had to fly in from europe (very odd size and allthough there is thousands of bearing shops nobody had them or could order them). Finally took the bearings out and replaced the bit. Made an extra hole in the casting and fitted a grease nipple in order to be able to put grease in it in the future. The problem is that the seals are effected after a long time and can let water trhue. All in all it is in my opinion a poor system which needs a LOT of improvement to say the least. And the parts are way to expensive. We cleared the job finally for around 200 euro where anything Profurl comes up with is around 1500 incuding the 'special - we -take-you-for-a-ride' tool. Yeah, right.
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Old 04-11-2008, 20:45   #10
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Thanks to all who replied on this thread. As is usual, I continue to learn from those who post. If this furler failure had been discovered much earlier in the summer or soon after returning from Central America this past April perhaps I would have persued a repair if that is indeed an option. I am not so sure that the bearings are replaceable at least at the local level. The rigger I have employed only offered me the option of buying a new drum as previously stated. And the profurl drum costs about the same as a Harken system that will work for me. Since I am real anxious to clear out of here before the cold fronts get any worse, I chose to buy the Harken. Hey, I get a whole new 5-year warranty.
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