I replaced the top swivel and the top section of the foil. The foil was pretty badly beaten up from before I owned the boat. Don't know why but think the dinged up foil had something to do with the problems. The plastic bushing in swivel is replaceable so that would be the easiest way to start to try and solve the problem. Noticed that the bushing is loose in the new swivel and they no longer use the set screw that locked the bushing in place.
Mine happened after a Transpac so had more than a few thousand miles behind it since the last time the sail had been down. Most of that was sailing wing and wing with the swivel pretty much riding 90 degrees off the fore and aft axis which may also have had something to do the bushing twisting on the foil.
Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier.
For anyone else who experiences this problem, the easy, simple fix is to simply round out the inside of the swivel, both the delrin insert as well as the aluminum. There is no reason that the lower portion of the swivel shouldn't be able to rotate around the extrusion.
This is a problem only on the Profurl systems that don't have a round extrusion.
I have spoken to Profurl about this issue and they confirmed that there is no problem with this procedure.
Not having taken it apart yet - does this also apply to older Profurl Classic R25? The lower portion of my swivel WILL rotate. The R25 extrusion is not round but has a number of fine ribs that look like they're meant to support (guide?) the swivel. I seem to remember the round extrusions have these too, perhaps to reduce friction. The hole in the swivel itself seems round and it has a sizeable amount of play, perhaps 1/16" or so., but even slightly skewed (which is bound to happen under some load) it will bind immediately - and stick like glue.
Lubrication does not seem to be an option (imagine a whole greasy extrusion...)
The only way to drop the foresail is now to make REALLY sure the halyard side and sail side shackles line up precisely, and load up the halyard slightly to force the swivel to remain straight up. That makes dropping a sail a two-person (plus tiller pilot) task, and hoisting is slightly worse. Really needs fixing.
So that means mine is now binding heavily, especially on seams between different sections of extrusion.
- how much play is there supposed to be around the extrusion?
- can I tell whether the bushing needs replacement, without taking the swivel off the forestay for a look inside?
I disconnected the furler and brought it down to the dock. Once the furler was on the ground, it was easy to gently pound the top fitting of furler off the extrusion. It would go back on the extrusion without a problem but decided to replace it since I didn't know how long the furler has been in use and whether it might happen again. Will be sailing the boat back to the mainland eventually and don't want to lose the ability to lower the sail. I'd replacled the headstay about 6 months before I left for Hawaii and it was sliding fine. Assume it was the 14 straight days of near 90 degree pull on the slider from sailing wing and wing.
Knotheads solution would be the easiest fix as long as it doesn't create any other issues.
Thanks a bunch for the quick reply!
Forgive me for being slow on the uptake, but I just want to be sure: when you say that you "disconnected the furler", did you mean disconnect the whole furler assembly? Ie, take it off the forestay (did you need to install a temporary forestay in the process?), slide out the extrusion foil and frozen swivel off, and then deal with the problem on the ground?
(the reason I ask for the clarification: I'm not sure if you meant instead that you disconnected the swivel block, and if that was the case, how you could do that when it is frozen to the foil)
Btw, I also wondered what is the role of the screw located on the side of the fixed part of the swivel
I disconnected the furler and it's stay and lowered the whole assembly to the dock. The upper swivel will come off the furler without removing the stay, IIRC. I put a new top furler foil extrusion section on mine which meant I had to cut the stay and redo the Norseman terminal. That had nothing to do with swivel, just my paranoia wanting to remove any possiblity of it happening again by replacing the foil section as well as the swivel assembly.
It's relatively easy to lower the furler assembly. Two people can do it though a third person is nice. You tie a halyard or line to the furler extusion with a rolling hitch or two, pull the pin and lower it while the other person pulls the pin on the furler drum section and walks it out along the dock as the foil comes down. The person at the top will have to come down from the mast and support the middle section of the foil as the foil is lowered to alleviate the bending force on the foil. This is where a third person would be nice. A relatively easy evolution that takes maybe 10 minutes or less once everything is in place.
Te set screw is there to hold the plastic bushing in place. ProFurl has discontinued using the set screw or at least my new upper swivel didn't have itl. Don't know if it allows the bushing to rotate or just that it wasn't needed.
Thank heavens for the ATN Top Climber. I was able to do all the prep work myself before calling in a dock mate to help with the lowering.
It would be interesting to see what Profurl has to say about the problem.
__________________ "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
roverhi: thanks a bunch for the information, things do appear a lot clearer now, and I'm comforted to hear you say it is 'relatively easy' (!) even though from where I stand now it looks a lot more complicated than you make it sound :-) I will update this thread after I attempt the procedure over the next couple of weekends.
Question: where did you buy the new top extrusion section? Does Profurl typically have these items in stock, or did you have them done in a machine shop? Here all these things take a long time to order and get very expensive by the time they are shipped, clear customs, etc..
sy gilani: many thanks for your docs and fantastic instructions, this will be invaluable information to me and I'm sure to others who face a similar situation. (with the proviso, of course, that the swivel block has already come down...). Btw, your cross section drawing clearly shows your background as a machine design engineer!
Just want to share the resolution of my similar problem - at long last! To be honest, the prospect of taking down the whole forestay and electric furler assembly seemed too daunting, so I just lived with my swivel stuck up the mast all this time, until a trip to Turkey earlier this month from which I just came back. In Turkey, I not only took delivery of an A2 gennaker from the folks at Elvstrom- Moby Marine in Marmaris (fabulous people), but also got the darn swivel fixed.
Moby Marine had recommended M2 Yachting Svcs which does all their rigging work, and they sent one of their technicians to help me with the problem Only 1?, I asked innocently, after reading all the aforementioned advice. Don't worry was the answer, we do this stuff all the time.
Sure enough, Badar, the rigger, in his very comfortable chair, was up the mast in no time, and with very precise instructions, had me slowly winch up the swivel up the forestay after removing the genois shackle. (He helped it along with a few rubber mallet knocks). In 5 minutes the swivel was free from the foil, and it took him another 5 to extract the twisted broken bushing and yet another 5 to replace with a new one. The rest of the time he retightened with loctite some of the foil screws that were out - thus confirming Barnakiel's diagnosis above that the loose screws created the mess in the first place.
Total time: probably 45 minutes to finally have my front sail go up and down again- sheer happiness :-)
Voila. When a pro does it, it seems so easy, right?
Thanks a bunch to all who posted on this, and my warmest recommendation of M2 Yachting out of Marmaris if you need any rigging work and happen to be near the area.