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Old 29-10-2012, 23:15   #1
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Roller Furling Stuck

Hi- new boat and discovering the nuances of it. Tried to unfurl the genoa and here is the problem.
The sail is furled and the spool on the bottom end is empty with the line gathered and stowed back in the cockpit. This is new to me and I understand that when the sail begins to unfurl it would or should spin and both the top and bottom ends. And when the sail unfurls the lower spool would then take up the line on the spool in order to furl it back up later.
So when attemping this in the slip in calm air- I losened the port and starboard sheets and began to unfurl and after about one revolution I see that the halyard at the top end begins to get wrapped up around the furling rig and stops. Now this is certianly not normal and to me it would appear that the swivel at the top must be stuck and should be free to rotate so the sail would unfurl. Am I correct in my understanding? Any thoughts as to why or what can happen to jam or stop the swivel? Repairs?

Thanks Randy
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Old 29-10-2012, 23:43   #2
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

First thing to try Randy is to make sure your halyard is good and tight. Good luck
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Old 29-10-2012, 23:47   #3
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Thanks- I should have noted that I did check that and it is tight- on the winch and secured. I dont know pounds of tension but understand that this shoud be hauled very taught.

If it does have the proper tension is the next logical thing that the top of the rig could be stuck?
Assuming you have something similar- how tight do you tension the halyard? Is it just by feel and experience?


Thanks Randy
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Old 30-10-2012, 03:20   #4
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Is the sail all the way to the top of the stay? If it's not and there and there is no pennant to make the halyard attachment close to the swivel, the halyard will rap around the stay.
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Old 30-10-2012, 09:00   #5
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Hi yes the sail is all the way up and from what I can see and from what I understand the rig looks to be set up properly.
I have a call into a local rigger and maybe my best bet is to have him check it out. I will know for sure the source of the problem if there is one and learn some in the process as well.
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Old 30-10-2012, 09:28   #6
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

I have a Harken MKII furling system and had similar problems when I bought my boat. The jib halyard should be firm, but not too tight. I got a "feel" for it eventually. On my furler, the jib halyard should pull slightly to the rear when raised. The thing that helped me most was a good fresh water rinse of the drum assembly and the halyard swivel making sure to get into the bearing area. After allowing everything to dry, I applied a liberal coating of McLube Sailkote Dry Lubricant. This has become a spring maintenance item for me.

If you don't have the instruction manual for your furler, you may be able to download it from the manufacturers web site.
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Old 30-10-2012, 09:59   #7
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Harkens are notorious for halyard wrap. Always have the swivel within a couple of inches of the top. If the sail is not a full hoist add a pennant either to the head or the tack but the main thing is to get the swivel within two inches of the top of the foil.
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:23   #8
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Great this is exactly the kind of detailed information I was hoping for. I have to admit that I don't know the brand name- I saw it but with all the other items I am reviewing and learning I failed to write it down but I do know that it is not Harken.
So what I understand from you guys is that the less of the halyard that is exposed at the top then the less chance it would have to wrap around the rig and of course given that the tension was correct. When you suggest adding a pennant if necessary- am I correct in imagining this to be a wire w/thimbles extension of the top of the rig in order to get the jib halyard nearer to the top in order to prevent it from wrapping? I assume a rigger could make this or maybe available pre-made at the likes of West Marine? When looking at mine it see about 6-8 inches of the halyard end exposed between the top of the mast and the top of the rig.
Also- you guys mention a good rinse and lubrication of the top swivel. Can I assume that if I release tension on the halyard I can fully lower the furling rig to the deck or dock to inspect and rinse/lube and simply hoist back with proper tension? I don’t mean to sound totally ignorant but it’s all new to me from an owner’s perspective. I have used them many times but from a chartering situation and have not done my own maintenance.
Thanks much for the information - great way to learn.
Randy
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Old 30-10-2012, 10:32   #9
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Randy,

Yes I use a short piece of wire rope with a couple of thimbles on the ends but, in a pinch, you can just use some strong line and tie the tack down with it. I put the thimble on the tack as this raises the sail off the deck and the visibility is better. The main thing is that the swivel has to be very close to the top of the foil.
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Old 30-10-2012, 11:00   #10
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

I have my pennant on the tack just to get the jib off the lifelines. Quoting my Harken manual, "The halyard swivel should be within the top four inches of the foil". The closer to the top the better. Originally I cranked on the jib halyard with a winch and handle until it was extremely tight. This is when I had most of my binding problems. Now I still use the mast winch, but I only pull by hand until the halyard is well snugged. This seems to help prevent the swivel from binding. Gently furling and unfurling a little at a time sometimes helps the swivel to spin. You may have to unwrap the jib by hand if you can't get the halyard swivel to free up. After lowering your jib and cleaning everything (I used a garden sprayer), be sure to wind up the furling line on the drum before raising your jib. Make a note of which side the line should be wound on so you don't have to lower your jib again and rewind the furling line.
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Old 30-10-2012, 11:23   #11
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Please have a read of this doc by Harken on the subject of halyard restrainers. They recommend one if the angle is less than so many degrees.

http://www.harken.com/pdf/4410.pdf

The real question is, is the halyard getting wrapped because the top bearing is siezed, or is this happening because the halyard gets caught because the angle is too shallow?

A restrainer on my halyard fixed my wrap issues for good. It's worth mentioning that years of wraps had shredded the halyard down to one strand of wire, so I had to emply a rigger to install the restrainer block AND cut the halyard back to sound wire and re-terminate it.

Having a look with binoculars might allow you to see what's causing the wrap.
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Old 30-10-2012, 11:54   #12
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Best to use synthetic line like Dyneema, etc for the pennant. The line is super easy to splice and work with, won't chafe, is lighter than the wire and stronger. Check the internet out for splicing instructions for these new synthetics. Splicing them is really easy. Also a good excuse to change over to synthetic line halyards if your wire halyard is compromised.

It's your money but adding a halyard control device and pennant is very doable on your part. One piece of gear that has made my working on the rig super easy is a Mast Climber from ATN ATN Mastclimber | Single Handed Bosun Chair | Climbing the Mast or the Topclimber http://www.topclimber.us The ATN version has easy to attach rope climbers that don't need to be threaded from the bitter end. Find the ATN way more convenient to use with a halyard. You'll have to chose whether the additional cost is worth the better climbing hardware. You cold also make up a similar device using mountain climbing hardware and harness. I've found the Mast Climber seat/harness to be way comfortable having hung in it for an hour or more working on the mast. The beauty of these climbers is no help needed in going up the mast and no one to accidentally dump the halyard and drop you or get an overide on the winch and strand you. The Mast Climber is one of the best buys I've made for the boat and has paid for itself many times over. One call to a rigger will pay for it.
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Old 30-10-2012, 12:08   #13
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Thanks very much good advice I will check out these pieces of equipment.
I have never spliced a line before but then again I have never owned a boat before either. So much to learn. Thanks again.
Randy
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Old 30-10-2012, 12:29   #14
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

I never did anything on a boat till I built one. But then I'm dumb enough to do such a thing. You never learn unless you try. If you screw something up, you can always call in the expert and write it off to a learning experience. Good luck with the halyard problem.

As someone else has said, you've really got to get up to the swivel and see if it is the problem or the halyard lead. I had a problem with the upper swivel on my furling. Went up using my trusty Mast Climber and figured out I had a problem. Did the prep work getting the furler ready to bring down then dragooned a couple of fellow dock mates and had the furler down on the docks in a few minutes. Reinstalled the furler after replacing the upper swivel with the same help and in about the same time. With replacing the swivel doubt if I'd of gotten by under a boat unit for fixing it. My cost after the Mast Climber was just the new swivel and a new cone for the Norseman terminal. Replaced the swivel just as precaution since I had the rig down.
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Old 30-10-2012, 12:37   #15
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Re: Roller Furling Stuck

Can I add two comments here. Firstly, Roller furlers halyards chafe at the masthead for some reason that I have been unable to fathom. - and of course the makers(Harken) would be totally shocked to hear that such a thing could happen. ! Day sailing does not seem to show this up, but an ocean crossing will find you with a genoa held up by the rolls around the forestay and the chafed through, halyard slumped at the bottom of the mast. So on to secondly, climbing the mast to re-reeve a new halyard I have used a Mastmate most successfully - singlehanded, - mid-ocean. Not voluntellerey (geez I wish I could spell) but what one might call, "character building". !
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