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Old 27-05-2020, 04:24   #1
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Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

I thinkt the pricing for electric or hydraulic winches and furlers are beyond any reasonable figures.

Has someone built up a DIY (electro/hydraulic) furler or equipped a winch with an DIY motor?

Thanks.
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Old 27-05-2020, 05:58   #2
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

The standard solution to inexpensive furling is a winch bit with a Milwaukee electric drill. Designing and building your own electric furler would involve finding a compact corrosion resistant high strength gear train, finding a compact weatherproof high torque dc electric motor, and packaging all that in a very strong and corrosion resistant housing. Then you would have to integrate it to a furler. You would also need to include a way to revert to a manual system if the motor died. You would also need to do testing. You don't want it to break at the worst possible time. A lot on engineering would go into that project. If you are a competent mechanical and electrical engineer, with access to 3d metal printing, or a machine shop, and your time is free, it should be possible.

Or, maybe you can find a used electric furler.....

Be Safe out there
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Old 27-05-2020, 07:12   #3
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

OK more facts:
for a 50 ft boat a furler is from 8 - 10.000 USD hydraulic or electric version
(Worth at max 1500 USD)


OK it is also a lot but I would accept 1500 USD as fair price but I am not willing to throw a lot of money in someones throat who sells far east fabs only with a 5000% profit. I feel really stupid doing this.


I did some research for a semi electric / hydraulic construction
unfortunately in german only:


The motor and pump: (around 500 €)
https://www.hytec-hydraulik.de/aggre...ltwirkend.html

Hydraulic motor for furler: (around 250 €)
this has to be adopted with a big gearwheel on the furlers downside and a small gearwheel on the motor itself:
https://www.hytec-hydraulik.de/hydraulik/hydraulikmotor-om-315.html

Of course the gears should be boxed in some sort of Gearbox and there has to be some "crank handle" to reef manually to but for me it looks "buildable"
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Old 27-05-2020, 07:46   #4
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

OK. The hydraulic motor you suggested appears to made from steel, with a steel shaft. On the foredeck it would not last. The shaft would rust rather quickly, then the shaft seal goes. I think you need either a stainless ot bronze motor. Or, you could develop a housing for that motor protecting it from salt water and air, not an easy task.

Interestingly, that motor will operate at a speed of 10rpm, which is ideal. On the other side, its max speed is 190rpm, way too fast. So, either a gear train or some other way of limiting motor speed.

Additionally, the motor is reversing, so you need a way of reversing the hydraulic flow. Normally this is done with a manual valve. You could use an electric valve, but they cost more.

Then there is placement of the pump, near the motor, or closer to the cockpit. Each has trade offs.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this, but developing a reliable system which will last for years requires some engineering.

Have fun.
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:02   #5
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

To get around all the negative aspects of having the gearbox on the bow, why not do a hybrid rig?

Use a regular furler, but run control lines somewhere protected that you can house the gearbox safe, sound and dry.

Instead of running hydraulics or electrics up to the bow, run a control line. Then keep all the complicated stuff indoors or under some form of protection aft.

Don’t look for “hydraulic motor for furler “. Look for “low rpm hydraulic motor” and use something readily available anywhere. Then protect it and run a control line from it.
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:23   #6
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
To get around all the negative aspects of having the gearbox on the bow, why not do a hybrid rig?

Use a regular furler, but run control lines somewhere protected that you can house the gearbox safe, sound and dry.

Instead of running hydraulics or electrics up to the bow, run a control line. Then keep all the complicated stuff indoors or under some form of protection aft.

Don’t look for “hydraulic motor for furler “. Look for “low rpm hydraulic motor” and use something readily available anywhere. Then protect it and run a control line from it.
Sounds like a windlass. Capstan up top, gear box and motor down below. Actually, an electric windlass with a winch style drum could do the job. Wait..... isn't that an electric winch?
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:29   #7
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Windlasses manage to have strong electric motors and gearing and are corrosion resistant, so it can't be 'that hard'. Most live at the bow and are constantly exposed to green water, yet continue to work happily for many many years.
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:34   #8
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Defender has electric winches on sale now. A "40" is about $2,000, discounted from a list of $3,700. Its more than the $1,500 target, but you know it will work, has a warranty, and has value when you sell your boat.
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:34   #9
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchondesign View Post
Sounds like a windlass. Capstan up top, gear box and motor down below. Actually, an electric windlass with a winch style drum could do the job. Wait..... isn't that an electric winch?
The thread title says “cheap
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:36   #10
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
The thread title says “cheap
The cheap solution is a winch bit with a Milwaukee. The OP referenced a hydraulic pump, motor set up that was over $1,000.
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Old 27-05-2020, 08:50   #11
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitchondesign View Post
The cheap solution is a winch bit with a Milwaukee. The OP referenced a hydraulic pump, motor set up that was over $1,000.
Maybe bicker with him instead then?
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:02   #12
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
The thread title says “cheap
Originally Posted by Pitchondesign
Sounds like a windlass. Capstan up top, gear box and motor down below. Actually, an electric windlass with a winch style drum could do the job. Wait..... isn't that an electric winch?


Well hold on - for this there is not much power needed - though here is a cheap solution for a capstan:

In fact this could be a cheap solution for a winch but might be a problem to fix for a furler:

look at this: only around 650€ and maybe adoptable to a common 2 speed winch:

https://www.svb24.com/en/quick-aster...h-capstan.html

in fact the layout is nearly the same as original electric winch gear
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Old 27-05-2020, 10:12   #13
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Use a regular furler, but run control lines somewhere protected that you can house the gearbox safe, sound and dry.



OK the probem:
the genny has 72 m˛ and around 60 kgs. furling is not possible with the reef-line from the cockpit but only at the foredeck. from 20+ knots I have to us the winch on the main mast to get it in.

Manageable but I consider it as dangereous and it was not safe with a bora rising from 20 to 35 knots within 5 minutes
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Old 28-05-2020, 11:03   #14
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

On the rare occasion we can't bring in the genoa reefing line by hand, we simply run the reefing line to the primary jibsheet winch, so no need to leave the cockpit. The reefing line leads along the deck, aft to just outside the cockpit.
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Old 28-05-2020, 11:12   #15
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Re: Electric or hydraulic Furlex - cheap solutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
On the rare occasion we can't bring in the genoa reefing line by hand, we simply run the reefing line to the primary jibsheet winch, so no need to leave the cockpit. The reefing line leads along the deck, aft to just outside the cockpit.

Yeaah of course I tried but impossible for me. I would even break the reefing line. With the line it is only possible on the foredeck using the main mast winch.
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