I don't know if Raku still has this furler or still needs help. But I can take a look at it for her. There are usually a number of things that contribute to a poorly operating system.
The furler she has doesn't have sealed bearings. They are open race
bearings. The most important thing with these is to rinse them with fresh water
after every salt
bath. Then a light lube or dry lube is about the best you can do.
They can be replaced.
As was pointed out, the centering clamp is very important. But also, there is a hole in the drum where you are supposed to attach the old hank on tack shackle. That is supposed to keep the drum from rotating. Sometimes there are issues getting it just right and the drum is allowed to move too much.
There is supposed to be a little play between where the drum, with no halyard
tension rests on the centering clamp and where it pulls up against the tack shackle.
The way it's designed is that the halyard
tension pulls the entire system up. When it's just sitting on the centering clamp, it's doesn't roll, but when you lift
it a little it will roll fine. So the position of the centering clamp is important.
Another part that often gets overlooked is the top bearing. It centers the top of the extrusion like the centering clamp does for the bottom.
As always, a halyard restrainer is a must
unless there is the recommended angle between the halyard and the forestay. And frankly, that's rare. Halyard wrap is almost inevitably going to occur at some point and will possibly damage, (bird cage) the headstay at the masthead, (where you won't see it).
I've seen one headstay, using this same furling system, completely twisted off and only the halyard was holding up the mast
, (B and R rig).
That wasn't the fault of the system but the installer.
Lastly, you can reef these systems
. It is important to use the size line that grips the best. But after rolling it in and before sheeting it home, to make sure the sail doesn't roll out accidentally, you have to go forward and secure the tack of the sail.
It can be done by tying the tack shackle, on the top of the drum off to the pulpit rails on either side or some other strong point. You can have a short length of strong small diameter line with a snap shackle that you use for this.
Clip the snap shackle to the tack of the sail and then lash it to something. Though it requires going forward, it does allow reefing.
Anyway, the bottom line of what I'm trying to convey is that it is not very common, especially with these older systems that the trouble is a single
thing like lubrication. And secondly, these, and often many other older systems get bashed unfairly. The problem is that often they were not installed correctly and that they aren't completely understood by their owners/users.
There are often a couple of fairly simple things that can be done to dramatically improve performance.
Are you in the Gulfport marina Raku?