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Old 13-03-2014, 17:55   #1
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Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

I need to make a decision in the next couple months, installing my first roller furler. I've used a lot of them, but never for a long period. Anyone have INFORMED observations, gripes, suggestions? Harken and Pro-Furl are my present choices. The max headsail will be a genoa, 600+ feet, cutter rigged multihull, with removable staysail.
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Old 13-03-2014, 20:06   #2
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

The ProFurl on my boat is something more than 10 years old and still works fine. I've owned the boat for 8 years and it was put on quite some time before I bought it by the owner before the owner I bought it from. Pulled the large inspection screws on the furler base recently just to check and still full of grease and no sign of leakage.
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Old 13-03-2014, 23:27   #3
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

I don't think either would be a bad choice. I have owned both and its a bit of a coin toss. In the real long run Harkens system may last longer as Profurl has sealed bearings and history has shown some of them fail over time.
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Old 14-03-2014, 00:04   #4
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

As Robert Sailor says, they are both good. Make sure it is installed correctly, using anti seize on screws where necessary, and keep the stay tight. I put my Profurl on in 1984 and its hasn't missed a beat, touch the teak.
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Old 14-03-2014, 07:37   #5
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

Either are good choices. I had a profurl on my other boat for 15 years without an issue. I have two facnors on my current cutter for 4 years and they perform flawlessly too.
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Old 14-03-2014, 08:56   #6
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

I have also had both with no issues. I have the Harken MkII now.
Some friends of mine just completed a circumnavigation on their Tayana 37 pilothouse and had to replace their ProFurl in Africa after finding Torlon balls on their deck one morning. They also told me that ProFurl was useless as far as customer service went.
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Old 14-03-2014, 09:04   #7
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

Unless there have been some changes I'm not up to speed on Profurl uses sealed bearings, not torlon.
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Old 14-03-2014, 09:27   #8
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Unless there have been some changes I'm not up to speed on Profurl uses sealed bearings, not torlon.
You are correct...
"• Carbon steel ball bearings :
Reliable operation... The ball bearings are one of the essential components of a reefing-furling system. This is why Profurl opted for carbon steel ball bearings packed in grease within the sealed drum. As stainless steel is "softer" than carbon steel, stainless steel balls tend to be crushed under high loads. As a result, it is difficult to operate the furler. Conversely, carbon steel balls are tougher so they allow the furler to operate correctly even under high loads. On some reefing-furling systems a thrust ball bearing is associated with the bearings in the halyard swivel to provide additional load compensation. …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!"


So it must have been maintenance free steel bearing they found on deck
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Old 14-03-2014, 09:31   #9
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

That I have definitely heard of
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Old 14-03-2014, 10:14   #10
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

Roy you are welcome to come to Kona Kai and see my Profurl.

I think the Profurl is more robust, but I would buy the Harken next time. Why? The Profurl is more firm on the rolling. The Harkens I have used spin much easier, and the drum is removable if you want to race.
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Old 14-03-2014, 10:22   #11
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

I've had 3 pro furls and really like them. The Harken stuff seem good though too. I had Harken Batten Cars on my Catamaran. Let me tell you, there's nothing like trying to retrieve a bunch of Torlon balls to attempt to reassemble when one comes apart! So the Plastic bearings may not be bulletproof either.
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Old 22-03-2014, 10:15   #12
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

We have one of each on the boat. I would give the nod to the Pro-furl. The reasons are minor. You have many more options with lead angle for the furling line with the Pro-furl. The stopper knot for the furling line in the Harken is in a place that will chop off your finger if you need to mess with it at sea The extrusion on the Pro-furl seems a little stiffer. As to bearings, the Pro-furl is quieter.
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Old 23-03-2014, 16:17   #13
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

I just installed a ProFurl c350. This was my first installation of any type of furler. The instructions were a bit confusing, and it took four trips to the top of mast to complete. I'm satisfied that I made a good decision. ProFurl seems to be very well built. I was impressed in their bearing system and the perfect machining of each parts. Fit and finish was superb. Roller is a bit stiff. I have no problem pulling it in but the wife may not be able to. I have a high cut headsail so using the ProFurl long links worked perfect. Also it was priced right on defender and included the long links.
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Old 23-03-2014, 17:38   #14
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

I spent several days in the Canaries while a rigger tried to replace Pro-furl bearings on a delivery. The steel bearings were not only frozen, they were stuck inside their aluminum holders. Finally, after 2 days of beating on them failed to get them out, they started turning again. I shot half a can of WD40 into the bearings and sailed to the Caribbean, where the owner promptly replaced them with Harken. OTOH, my Harken furlers have gone over 100,000 miles without problems.
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Old 23-03-2014, 17:41   #15
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Re: Roller Furlers: Harken vs. Pro-Furl

ProFurl have the halyard restrainer built into the top: we call it Darth Vader. Harken needs a separate halyard restrainer. Both good quality items.
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