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Old 19-01-2015, 15:09   #1
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Suggestions for furler operation

I have recently purchased a boat that has both a Selden Mainsail [in mast] furling system as well as a Selden Furlex headsail system. I intentionally looked for a boat with these systems, as I believed that it would make the sail management much easier. Particularly when single handing.
Both systems are extremely hard to operate. Either direction is very hard, and not at all a pleasant experience.
I would love to see some opinions and possible checklist that I could use to trouble shoot the problem. It may very well be operator error, as maybe I am not properly operating the sails. Or maybe some sort of servicing of furlers, or halyard adjustment etc.
HELP, I really want to enjoy the setup that I have, and I know that it is a common product. I can't imagine that everyone has these difficulties.
Thanks
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Old 19-01-2015, 19:10   #2
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

Can't speak to the mainsail situation, but I have a older Furlex on the genoa. Unlike many furlers, the Furlex requires periodic maintenance, including lubrication. If this practice is not followed, the original grease in the bearing races solidifies and the bearing drag becomes greater, and can completely seize up in extremis.

So, I suggest a simple test: with the sail fully furled and no load on the sheets, how hard is it to rotate the foil and drum ? It should be quite free and not have any "hard spots" as you make 360 degree rotations. If it isn't free and easy, read your manual about where the lube points are. I found it neccessary to force engine oil through the bearings to flush out years of accumulated crap and old grease; proper degreaser might work better but I had none at the time. This should free things up... if the bearings are not shot. I eventually disassembled the lower unit and found about half of the (allegedly) s/s balls to be way out of round. A few were simply gone. Replacing them and properly greasing the races restored the furler to normal operation. A similar program is useful for the upper swivel as well. FWIW, the Furlex in question was around 25 years old, and had been used hard for most of those years.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 19-01-2015, 19:37   #3
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Suggestions for furler operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimholden View Post
I have recently purchased a boat that has both a Selden Mainsail [in mast] furling system as well as a Selden Furlex headsail system. I intentionally looked for a boat with these systems, as I believed that it would make the sail management much easier. Particularly when single handing.
Both systems are extremely hard to operate. Either direction is very hard, and not at all a pleasant experience.
I would love to see some opinions and possible checklist that I could use to trouble shoot the problem. It may very well be operator error, as maybe I am not properly operating the sails. Or maybe some sort of servicing of furlers, or halyard adjustment etc.
HELP, I really want to enjoy the setup that I have, and I know that it is a common product. I can't imagine that everyone has these difficulties.
Thanks

How old is the boat? Have you tried flushing the base of the headsail furler with a steady stream of water from a hose while slowly rotating it. Sometimes salt can crust up in there. How much halyard tension do you have? Too much can cause problems. How much mast bend do you have? How old is your mainsail? Baggy sails on the main can cause problems. What kind of wind conditions are you in? How big is your boat? There are a lot of variables at play.


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Old 19-01-2015, 19:45   #4
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

Not sure what Selden models you have,but here is a link.
Sparepart lists : Seldén Mast AB
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Old 20-01-2015, 08:39   #5
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

I have in mast furling by a different manufacturer. When I bought my boat my 200lb son could barely crank the furler. I figured I was in for a big bill until a wise yard man advised me to check the resistance at each point where resistance could occur. I replaced all the blocks along the way with good quality ballbearing blocks and found the furling line was one size too big and binding. Once I replaced that the furler worked great. I'd still follow the manufacturer 's recomendation with respect to lubricating but a series of small changes could solve your problem. Good luck.
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Old 20-01-2015, 09:08   #6
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

We have a Bamar in-mast furler, and have had a problem unfurling the M/S for nearly 11 years...we could not find the problem, and wrote it off to a bagged-out sail binding. It finally jammed(sailing out of Athens), and as we tried to unfurl the sail we finally heard a loud "pop" and the luff suddenly went limp. Turned out the bearing in the top swivel went dry, then started binding more and more until it finally locked up....the "pop" was us unscrewing the top swivel! Found a rigger in Athens, and while Bamar was of no help, they fund a proper sized bearing, replaced it, and it's worked great ever since (+3 years now). Moral of the saga....Check your upper swivel bearings too!
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Old 20-01-2015, 10:49   #7
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

Cant help with the main, but for the headsail furler, along with flushing out/lubing the lower unit, it would help to drop the head sail and flush out the top swivel as well.
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Old 20-01-2015, 11:09   #8
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

I have a Selden in-mast furling and can attest to the trials and tribulations when their not working smoothly. The furler is directional, make sure your feeding the sail into the mast clockwise. The angle of your boom to the mast is crucial in getting your main to roll in and out evenly.
The bearings both top and bottom need to be cleaned and lubed annually.
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Old 20-01-2015, 11:11   #9
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

Google "mainsail furling issues" and read for weeks.
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Old 21-01-2015, 09:23   #10
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimholden View Post
I have recently purchased a boat that has both a Selden Mainsail [in mast] furling system as well as a Selden Furlex headsail system. I intentionally looked for a boat with these systems, as I believed that it would make the sail management much easier. Particularly when single handing.
Both systems are extremely hard to operate. Either direction is very hard, and not at all a pleasant experience.
I would love to see some opinions and possible checklist that I could use to trouble shoot the problem. It may very well be operator error, as maybe I am not properly operating the sails. Or maybe some sort of servicing of furlers, or halyard adjustment etc.
HELP, I really want to enjoy the setup that I have, and I know that it is a common product. I can't imagine that everyone has these difficulties.
Thanks
You have to read the answers and assemble in your mind the overall list parts of the furler/s. Once you have this list, just go systematically through it until you find the culprit. For instance, the mast furler:
Top swivel
Bottom swivel
In mast spiral pole
Inhaul (furling) line
all blocks from mast to cockpit
sail luff

I may have forgotten something, but this is the general idea.
And one thing more: when you furl the main, note that it is not going into the slot at right (90deg) angle, as it is wound on the inside pole. So you may try to keep the boom not exactly into the wind but at an angle that creates the most convenient angle for the sail to enter.
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Old 21-01-2015, 10:42   #11
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Re: Suggestions for furler operation

I can't offer up much on in mast furling, & some good stuff's already been posted on headstay furlers, but... I'll toss in my $0.02

First, it'd pay to download the schematics & maint. manuals for both units, as well as digging around on the manufacturers website's. You never know what you might turn up in say the FAQ's section. Plus, of course, POC's for their gear's always listed there. So you can always give'em a ring.
If you do, the following may take a couple of calls, but try & find the guy who's worked there for 20yrs, is tech savvy, has a cool head, & an easy going personality. And establish a good rapport with him. - You know, the whole "How to Win Friends & Influence People" thing. Before digging into the meat of the problem.

For more info sources, you could also poke around a few other manufacturer's websites in order to familiarize yourself with designs & components. As some are far more user friendly & helpful than others.

On forestay furlers, one of the more common problems is the halyard either binding, or wrapping itself around the headstay. That, & or having a poor lead to the upper swivel. And I'm guessing that some of this applies to in mast furling too.
So if you've tried sorting things out from the deck level, & no joy. Then after a couple of read throughs of the manual, tuck said reference in with your "going aloft" tool bag, & go & have a look at things up there. Which is likely something you should do at some point soon, even if things are working right.
Also remember to tuck a camera into your pocket to snap a bunch of shots of things up there, for later analysis.

If after a trip aloft, you still haven't sorted it out, if you're tool savvy, it's easy enough to detach the headstay, with the unit on it. So that you might have a look at things down where it's easier to work. Plus it'll let you get 2nd opinions a lot more easily. As well as allowing you to disassemble a few things, much as Jim Cate suggested. And, you can also sleep on things, & be able to work on the unit(s) more easily the next day.

From there, it's hire a good rigger time. If things are still all snarled up.


PS: Be cautious as to what you take apart/know what it is, having read the manual. Otherwise, things like bearings heading off in 30 different directions, or small vital pieces heading for parts unknown may occur.
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