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Old 29-01-2016, 11:29   #1
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Roller furler for 45'+ boat

Hello friends,
I'm going to be re rigging in the next couple of months and I'm starting to get everything I need before I pull my mast to reduce downtime. I have a 47' cutter sailboat with hank on headsails. I would like to get a furler for the forsail. I have looked for threads regarding this but most are either old or for smaller boats. I'm looking for advice from other that have bigger boats and have experience with furler and/or what brands have stepped up in the years.

I have looked at harken, profurl, and seldon/furlex to see what they offer. I figured a recent thread for this for bigger boats was needed, hopefully others down the line can use it as well.

Regards,
Ronnie

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Old 29-01-2016, 11:51   #2
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

I've had experience with Harken and Profurl with boats in the 40-60 ft range, and my advice would be to go with Harken.
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Old 29-01-2016, 13:37   #3
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I've had experience with Harken and Profurl with boats in the 40-60 ft range, and my advice would be to go with Harken.
Thanks, yea I'm really leaning towards the Harken MKIV and the Furlex 404.. I need to see what the Furlex pricing is as defender doesn't sell them I guess.

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Old 29-01-2016, 14:03   #4
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

We sell lots of Profurl each season , Facnor is cheaper but the quality is not really good, Furlex is complex if you need to repair overseas, Harken is nice but those profiles sections are a pain in the ass, an Profurl is robust an easy to repair... Cheers.
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Old 29-01-2016, 14:54   #5
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

What size & length of headstay do you have?
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Old 29-01-2016, 15:09   #6
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

I went through this process a couple of years ago and decided the only two options that made sense were Hood and Harken. There are reasons and fans for both and I doubt you would regret choosing either.

Forget exactly why since it was a couple of years back but after looking at all the pros and cons I went with Harken.
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Old 29-01-2016, 15:27   #7
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

A lot depends upon what your intentions for the boat are. Obviously, any of the major marques will work. Some are more durable than others, some offer lower frictional losses, some fancy add-ons like easily removable drums for racing, some light weight aloft, some have independent swivels at the foot for draft reduction when reefing. All of those are good features... ranking their importance isn't easy!

If you are going long term cruising, especially to out of the way places, durability and freedom from unique parts are important factors. The best furler in those respects that we've ever had was a Reef-Rite, made in the Bay of Islands in NZ. It was extremely sturdy, used common automotive bearings and seals available anywhere there are automobiles, had "bullet-proof" foil joiners, and a built-in ratchet mechanism that took the loads off the furling line when operating in the reefed mode. Disadvantages were heavier than many (due to very robust foil sections) and slightly more no-load friction than the open race Torlon bearing types. We loved it.

Just another option to consider...

Jim
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Old 29-01-2016, 15:34   #8
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
We sell lots of Profurl each season , Facnor is cheaper but the quality is not really good, Furlex is complex if you need to repair overseas, Harken is nice but those profiles sections are a pain in the ass, an Profurl is robust an easy to repair... Cheers.
Your experience ain't the same as mine. The Las Palmas Profurl rep and I and my crew spent two days trying to replace a seized bearing in an R430 furler. We never could get the sucker out, but after all the pounding the bearing started to turn again. We and we were on a delivery schedule, so we sailed the boat across to St Lucia and replaced the whole unit there. In our efforts to get the bearing out, two of the section pulled apart halfway up the headstay. We pasted them back together and it held across the pond., but I was not impressed with the plastic fastener design.

OTOH, I disassembled my 15 year old Harken #3 by myself when I replaced my headstay. It may have been due to a great original installation, but the pieces came apart easily and looked like new.
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Old 29-01-2016, 15:35   #9
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

I'd go with Profurl, if not that then go with Profurl, or maybe Profurl......
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Old 29-01-2016, 15:45   #10
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Your experience ain't the same as mine. The Las Palmas Profurl rep and I and my crew spent two days trying to replace a seized bearing in an R430 furler. We never could get the sucker out, but after all the pounding the bearing started to turn again. We and we were on a delivery schedule, so we sailed the boat across to St Lucia and replaced the whole unit there. In our efforts to get the bearing out, two of the section pulled apart halfway up the headstay. We pasted them back together and it held across the pond., but I was not impressed with the plastic fastener design.

OTOH, I disassembled my 15 year old Harken #3 by myself when I replaced my headstay. It may have been due to a great original installation, but the pieces came apart easily and looked like new.
When you get a seized bearing is 1, lack of maintenance or sailing with toasted bearings for to long.. 2 ,a faulty unit under warranty..

The bearings in the drum don't come with a Hammer and brute force anyway, there is clips and spacers and they come free with heat,,, we use a propane torch ..

To replace the bearings the whole drum need to come apart, and here come the problem , not a profurl fault, mostly a dealer and boat builder major fault,,, 99% of this furlers are installed without corrosion inibitors compound and without Loctite in the screw sections,,, then the owners blame the furler, when in fact with a proper installation they last years troublefree... Is one of the most reliable furlers out there, I'm sorry you have a bad experience with a Profurl...
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Old 29-01-2016, 20:28   #11
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
A lot depends upon what your intentions for the boat are. Obviously, any of the major marques will work. Some are more durable than others, some offer lower frictional losses, some fancy add-ons like easily removable drums for racing, some light weight aloft, some have independent swivels at the foot for draft reduction when reefing. All of those are good features... ranking their importance isn't easy!

If you are going long term cruising, especially to out of the way places, durability and freedom from unique parts are important factors. The best furler in those respects that we've ever had was a Reef-Rite, made in the Bay of Islands in NZ. It was extremely sturdy, used common automotive bearings and seals available anywhere there are automobiles, had "bullet-proof" foil joiners, and a built-in ratchet mechanism that took the loads off the furling line when operating in the reefed mode. Disadvantages were heavier than many (due to very robust foil sections) and slightly more no-load friction than the open race Torlon bearing types. We loved it.

Just another option to consider...

Jim
Hey Jim,
I'll be using it for cruising mostly.. I would like to have a double track foil, but I believe most of the majors can accommodate that.

I'll look into the reef rite, thanks. Although I am not sure yet if shipping from NZ will be cheap.

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Old 29-01-2016, 20:30   #12
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Your experience ain't the same as mine. The Las Palmas Profurl rep and I and my crew spent two days trying to replace a seized bearing in an R430 furler. We never could get the sucker out, but after all the pounding the bearing started to turn again. We and we were on a delivery schedule, so we sailed the boat across to St Lucia and replaced the whole unit there. In our efforts to get the bearing out, two of the section pulled apart halfway up the headstay. We pasted them back together and it held across the pond., but I was not impressed with the plastic fastener design.

OTOH, I disassembled my 15 year old Harken #3 by myself when I replaced my headstay. It may have been due to a great original installation, but the pieces came apart easily and looked like new.
I have read on multiple forums about the sealed bearings failing and/or getting seized and removal being near impossible. I can't imagine all of them are neglecting everything the same way.

Hence, I'm leaning towards the Harken or the new furlex systems. Just didn't want to rule out the Profurl as the newer stuff may be better?

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Old 29-01-2016, 20:32   #13
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I'd go with Profurl, if not that then go with Profurl, or maybe Profurl......
I feel like there is a brand out there called Profurl.. I just can't be certain. Wink

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Old 29-01-2016, 20:36   #14
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

As a side bit, I have read on sailing anarchy where the foil grooves that are on Profurl are not sized correctly. It was said that #5 luff tape was sketch and had pulled out and #6 was a pig to haul up. That said they never had the same issue when they switched furler.

I do like the idea of open bearings be that torlon or stainless, they can be rinsed and flushed with hot water and a mild soap or salt remover. Sealed bearings don't offer that.

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Old 29-01-2016, 21:57   #15
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Re: Roller furler for 45'+ boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
When you get a seized bearing is 1, lack of maintenance or sailing with toasted bearings for to long.. 2 ,a faulty unit under warranty..

The bearings in the drum don't come with a Hammer and brute force anyway, there is clips and spacers and they come free with heat,,, we use a propane torch ..

To replace the bearings the whole drum need to come apart, and here come the problem , not a profurl fault, mostly a dealer and boat builder major fault,,, 99% of this furlers are installed without corrosion inibitors compound and without Loctite in the screw sections,,, then the owners blame the furler, when in fact with a proper installation they last years troublefree... Is one of the most reliable furlers out there, I'm sorry you have a bad experience with a Profurl...

What maintenance is one supposed to do with a sealed bearing? I can't even begin to guess how many Profurl units are tossed into the dumpster per year just in my small marina. They seem to last between 3-5 years. The rebuild cost with labor is just short of a new one and that just doesn't make sense. Furlex is the favored replacement and they seem to last.

Here is a small cut and paste from Profurl's website. …maintenance-free :
The ball bearings are sealed in grease to eliminate any risk of corrosion. Additionally, two double-lipped seals ensure that the drum and halyard swivel are totally impermeable to sand, salt and water, or other impurities. You can forget about maintenance with Profurl reefing-furling systems!

Does that mean they are designed to be disposable?


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