Well the saga continues. I talked with some very old salty salty dogs
and they recommended that I go with the rigger. Said it will be cheaper in the long run, and I agree with them.
I chatted with the manufacturer of my Seafurl 705 LD furler
and got the original manual. Turns out that they recommend 1 & 3/4 " between the top of the furler
foil and the swage at the top of the headstay. My boat has about 5-6" which explains in part the halyard
wrap problems and the very finicky way I have to adjust the halyard
tension to keep the halyard from wrapping.
I can see why the person who installed the furler did it - you buy foil segments in 3-5 foot lengths and to buy one to only hack off the first 3-4 inches seems rediculous. I've advised the riggers I'm seeking a quote from of this issue and hope that they can find a chunk of Seafurl compatible foil from scrap or something.
A halyard restrainer ironically was not recommended by the furler manufacturer. They simply recommended another chunk of foil and having the installation
done as per the factory recommendations. I think that the halyard restrainer may actually negate the need for it, but they say otherwise.
Also worthy of note is that the stay did not break in and of itself, it snapped out of the swage. Interesting for some experiencing this problem on a tight budget
- a crafty rigger might be able to reswage the stay into a new pin and not replace the sucker at all, although I dont know if it would have the same strength. I was under the impression that the successive halyard wrap problems had caused some meathooks up there making the problem progressively worse until it snapped - but it actually just popped out of the swage. Might save me a hundred bucks on the stay because the rest of it is in great condition.
I had so many different people at the yacht club with so many different opinions. Given that my Seafurl is a line drive (continuous) its not so easy to just disconnect the stay at the bottom and slowly bring it down. There is a whack of deck hardware
that the continuous line runs through that would have to be removed - the other option being to hack through it but it needs to be continuous thickness braided at the joint which is pretty hard to do. I love my continuous furler I dont understand why they ever did it any other way so I dont want that line hacked apart. Beyond my rope
My advice to anyone else suffering the same fate: if you dont know how to do it already get the rigger. I heard some pretty awful tales from some very experienced sailors about doing the rigging
themselves. One hilarious one about a home made dinghy
that got demasted in a light breeze and furious paddling to try to get back to shore until the boat capsized. The remaining guy on board tossed a life jacket, and the overboard
guy threw it back at him because he was standing in four and a half feet of water
as the beach was shallow. They pulled the boat back and got the rigging
done by a rigger and the boat lasted for 45 years with no further rigging ever needed.
I had a lot of people with a lot of different ideas on how to go about it but it made me wary. In squamish there are regular 30 knot
winds on a sunny day and I dont want to take any chances. If this thing came unwound at sea I would be wishing I had bolt cutters aboard to drop the whole rig in the water
which makes me cringe at the expense.