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Old 09-07-2007, 05:57   #1
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Choosing a new roller furler. Help

We took the new to us Com-Pac 27 out for a sail yesterday. It has a CDI unit on it. Whe we installed the genoa on a perfectly calm morning it was very difficult to roll up the sail. Later on in the day a micro burst hit and when we went to roll up it was exceptionally difficult. The CDI has to go.
Now what to replace it with. Our last boat had a Harken which I installed. Of course it was a much smaller boat but it worked flawlessly. I beleive the MKIV units can be installed right over the exsting forestay, is that true? Right now the harken is the front runner but what else should I consider? Hood, Profurl, Schaefer, Plastimo, Bamar....? There are a few manufacturers out there but which are the really good ones?
Thanks, Bill
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:36   #2
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I've had Profurls and Harkens. I really like the Harkens once you've got used to their idiocyncracies and know how to prevent halyard wrap (use a pennant if it isn't a full hoist). I'm a bit wary about Profurls because they have sealed bearings which do go from time to time. With the Harken you just have to hose down the bearings once in a while.
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:22   #3
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Having too much slack in a halyard or forestay will make furling difficult to the point where it can almost be impossible on any furler. I would look closer at the how the system is set up and not be too quick to give up on your current furler. You should be able to examine the parts and see why it is so hard to operate. If it is fine in a clam and ahrd in a breeze then

For your sized boat I don't think you can pick a new one that won't serve you well. Our last boat had a Schaefer that is now almost 20 years old and as good as new. Current boat has dual Harkins and they have a lot of miles on them as well. The truth is furlers are eveloved to the point where they are all good. As you get into larger masts the diffeerences start to be a bit more seperated but not at the size you will need.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:47   #4
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Thanks for the replies. The forestay is pretty taught, I'll check the unit over pretty good today but I'm thinking it's gone.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:55   #5
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Which CDI unit is it? Does it have the ball bearing upgrade or is it using the bushing? If it is a FF4 or FF6 and has a bushing you might want to talk to CDI (or whoever sells for them) about getting the ball bearing kit. I use the FF4 and the only time I have had any difficulties in furling is when I let the sail unfurl too quickly without sufficent drag on the line so that is was difficult to pull as the line was loose on the drum.

If this is an older CDI and not the FF series you can forget everything I just said and ignore me.
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Old 09-07-2007, 14:30   #6
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I second FrankZ, we have a CDI FF on our boat and it works fine. Halyard wrap is not possible since it has its own halyard and doesn't use the one on your boat, which is also cool since we now have two spare halyards. Only trouble we've ever had with it was due to the furling line being old and stretching when we furled. We changed it for a new line and that solved our problem. Definitely check with CDI re the ball bearing kit, other people I've heard from with CDI's with hard furling problems the kit fixed their issues and it is a lot less expensive than chucking out the furler and starting over. I was going to junk ours as well, but I kind of like it now. As FrankZ said, if it's a FF, otherwise forget what I just said too.
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Old 09-07-2007, 15:42   #7
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When you say FF you mean flexible furler. Then I guess that's what I have, didn't know CDI made anything else.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:38   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmiller
When you say FF you mean flexible furler. Then I guess that's what I have, didn't know CDI made anything else.
Yes FF = Flexible Furler.

From what I understand the older CDI furlers used an aluminium foil instead of the PVC they use now. Bit of a differernt design betwixt the two, and not compatible in parts (and parts for the older ones aren't available).
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:23   #9
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Well I have a 20 year old Harken and it it such a simple unit. The guy that did my rigging wanted to replace it with a more modern unit simply because it is OLD technology. How technologically can you get to roll a sail around a foil? It still works great. I simply keep the bearings clean and the drum polished.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:14   #10
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Originally Posted by jdope71
I second FrankZ, we have a CDI FF on our boat and it works fine. Halyard wrap is not possible since it has its own halyard and doesn't use the one on your boat, which is also cool since we now have two spare halyards. Only trouble we've ever had with it was due to the furling line being old and stretching when we furled. We changed it for a new line and that solved our problem. Definitely check with CDI re the ball bearing kit, other people I've heard from with CDI's with hard furling problems the kit fixed their issues and it is a lot less expensive than chucking out the furler and starting over. I was going to junk ours as well, but I kind of like it now. As FrankZ said, if it's a FF, otherwise forget what I just said too.
I agree as well. I have a new CDI FF 7. It works great. It is very simple and FURLS just as well as any other brand. It has less ability to change headsails but it seems strong and works great for reefing.
Make sure you have the proper furling line diameter. If yours is too wide it may jam the furler. The bearing is another possibility. Do a good one over before you commit to a new one.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:32   #11
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Another vote for Harken

I have a 2005 Harken MKIII over the existing forestay, using the existing halyard at 51'4" in length from the roller to the masthead.

It's got at 150% genoa on it and my 100lbs wife furls it in in any conditions.

There is almost no resistance from the mechanism. All the resistance is from the sail itself.
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Old 11-07-2007, 00:45   #12
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As someone posted before, unless something is broken and can't be fixed stay with what works. I have Profurl on the 140% Genoa and on a behind mast main and they are simple and easy to use. At my age this is important. I handle everything from inside the Pilot house. This system is 20 to 25 years old and still works good.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:17   #13
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There may be a really simple cause.

My Furlex works beautifully. Except one day I went to reel the sail in and it jammed. What had happened was too much line on the drum, and so it filled up and started to bind on the outer casing.

So when the sail is fully furled, check how many turns of line are around the drum. The Furlex manual says there should be 3-5 turns with the largest sail fitted. I would also check when fully unfurled to see if there is reasonable clearance.

It also helps to apply a bit of tension on the leeward sheet when furling, to ensure the drum loads up cleanly and tightly.

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