Originally Posted by rkrafter
I'm looking seriously at a Harken MKIV, Unit 2 for the boat.How much can I expect to pay for sail modification to work with a furler? I have a large inventory of sails
and prefer to modify as opposed to buying
Most lofts love to do furling conversions as there is a lot more profit in service than in new sails. But let's dive into a quick reality check. Furling sails are built quite a bit differently than a hank on sail. Yes you can put luff tape on the sail and it will go on the furler but the luff curve and camber of the sail will not be right. Then there's the matter of adding a UV cover. That usually runs about $7-8 per foot. The luff tape is only a few dollars per foot. And it gets even better (for us sailmakers). If your current
headsail is full hoist or nearly so, chances are it will have to be recut to fit as the luff will be too long. Ka-ching, ka-ching. The clew of your recut sail will be higher and thus sheeting angles may be improper.
Reality check part 2. Once you add furling you probably won't be changing sails that often. So it makes no sense to convert your entire inventory unless you're a racer
. And if you're a racer
, you should probably leave things as they as the end result of all this will be likely to disappoint you.
More on costs:
When you start adding up the costs, converting a hank on sail to roller furling
is a substantial percentage of a new sail. If the sail you convert is well used, your cost per season of use is astronomical. We don't recommend converting any sail that has less than 80% of life remaining.
We like Facnor quite a bit. With Harken, you get a good unit but it doesn't come at a reasonable cost. Most people have to hire a rigger to install their Harken. With Facnor, you get a well engineered unit that is designed for ease of installation
. Facnor is very well known and highly regarded in Europe
. They are well priced. Install time averages about half a day and as little as a few hours for those who are experienced.
Alternatives: Rather than spending a bunch of cash on adding suncovers, consider an ATN genoa
I'd almost be willing to wager that a new headsail and a Facnor furler would sell for less money
than having a Harken professionally installed and having an existing sail recut. At the end of the day you have an arguably comparable or superior furler and a sail that is properly designed and built for your furler.
We are not opposed to doing furling conversions. We're in business to make money
. However we also believe that our clients deserve to know the relevant facts before parting with money they worked hard to earn (unless of course they're in Congress ;-) Sorry about the cheap
shot if you're one of those 535.