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Old 08-08-2016, 21:40   #1
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Furler Foil Lock

So we installed a new furler (Harken MKIV Unit 1) on our 1983 Catalina 30 last weekend. Unfortunately the top foil that we cut to fit was just an inch too long such that the notches for the bottom foil clamp are just below the foil clamp (the notches are show on pg 22 of the manual). We can tighten down the foil clamp and the foil assembly does stay in place but it's obviously not as secure as I would be clamped into the notches. I haven't called Harken yet but I'm pretty sure they going to say to take it down and shave and inch or two off so that it aligns. So any tips on getting the thing back down (it was a bear to get up on a narrow dock with the stick up)? And has anyone had the same issue where they didn't clamp on the notches and have been running the rig that way for a while? The lower fitting for the forestay is mechanical so if the foil falls on top of it there would be a risk of rigging failure - probably regardless of the amount of Loctite that I use. Any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2016, 23:14   #2
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Re: Furler Foil Lock


Is the drum of your unit the turnbuckle body?
Can you undo the turnbuckle, thus raking the mast back?
Or, maybe if you unscrew the top thread an inch (that's the stud) and screw in the bottom thread (that's the toggle) you will have a longer wire without changing overall stay length. I think the threads are different so you may do 18 turns for the stud, if you have a 5/8" thread, but only 16 on the toggle.
Not sure if that will work but I am sure I will be corrected if there is someone out there with a Harken furler. Be carefull to leave enough threads of the stud screwed in. Good luck
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Old 09-08-2016, 23:33   #3
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Re: Furler Foil Lock

One other simple answer is to go aloft & shorten the foil with the stay in place. You'd need to remove the cut off section in pieces, but that's easy to make happen. And avoid the temptation to use a Dremel for this. It'd be way to easy to goof. Thus creating a lot more work, possibly to include needing to start over, after fixing the rig/stay/foil.

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Old 14-11-2016, 19:57   #4
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Re: Furler Foil Lock

I've been meaning to report back to the forum on this post. So we did speak with Harken and they confirmed that it is crucial to align with the notches so that the furling mechanism can't slip over the mechanical fitting on the forestay and potentially cause a rigging failure. We weighed the options and ultimately decided to take the entire assembled furling system back down. This decision was made easier because we found a third person to help. Getting it down was of course easy. Once down I shaved a piece off of the top foil and we were ready to put it back up (quick note: my earlier suspicions about Harken's diagram seem to be correct, i.e. the piece that I shaved off was almost exactly the same length as the bottom toggle that they include in the diagram where you calculate the total length). In any case, the part that we were dreading was now upon us. With three people this took a couple of hours and a lot of frustrating coordination. The method that worked had two key components. The first is pretty simple - as you push the foil up onto the stay twist with the direction of the wire rope twists. This really seemed to help - probably reduced friction just enough to help the momentum that you build pushing it over the stay and through the foil connecting holes. The second thing that really seemed to help is a little harder to describe. You can get the first few foils on without a problem but as it starts to get high up the stay the flexing really takes hold and the spreaders start to get in the way. At this point we found that we needed two people on deck and a "pusher" on the dock. The pushers job is obvious but it's important for the pusher to continue twisting while they push. Then one of the people on deck has to guide the foil up and on the forward side of the spreaders (needs to be a fairly strong person - long torque arm = lots of force). The third person needs a 14 foot dock stick which they use the hook to twist and grab the forestay and pull it down into the hole on the top foil while the pusher is pushing up. Doing this you cant get over that critical spreaders point and then with a bit more futzing you can then slip it up to the top. This method worked for us and we've been using the new furler with great results. Probably the most important lesson here is that all of this can be avoided if you do NOT include the length of the very bottom toggle (the one that attached the bow chainplate) in the length calculations.
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