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Old 12-07-2020, 21:23   #1
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Profurl halyard swivel failure

Saturday when I unfurled the genoa it was kind of stuck, it wouldn't turn more that 3/4 of a full turn. I gave it some "encouragement" and the sail unfurled. After a couple minutes I noticed the sail had a weird shape and was coming down. The swivel had splitted and there was a part up in the mast with the halyard and the other half down with the sail. After we anchor I went up the mast to get the halyard down. Now this is what I have:



Just starting my research to see if is junk or it is a matter of replacing bearings and seals. Could find an exploded view of the swivel, so not sure how it is held together, I haven't seen any setting screws so not sure what actually failed. I read lots of posts of frozen swivels, but none actually separating. Anyone experienced the same problem?
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Old 12-07-2020, 22:00   #2
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

we had a similar issue with a facnor swivel recently. ours did not split...just seized ie would not swivel.

took destroying the forestay before we realised what was happening

we replaced ours with new swivel. if you want to sleep soundly, that is really the only answer in my opinion. repercussions of not being able to furl the headsail could be too serious. in any event, as far as i'm aware the swivel cannot be re-built

new cost was a$1253

nb : profurl and facnor are now part of the same group

cheers,
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Old 12-07-2020, 23:41   #3
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

it's smoked

That curse of sealed bearings.

I've gotten away from Profurl stuff and went to harken MKIV units.

LD
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Old 13-07-2020, 06:41   #4
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Based on my knowledge of the N31 model, it looks to me like either one of the circlips that support the bearing has failed either due to corrosion of the circlip itself or to damage to the grove that the circlip fits into, or the bearing has failed and separated into two parts. Either would be repairable.

I guess you have seen this Profurl Bearings

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Old 13-07-2020, 10:15   #5
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

As lamadriver said this is the curse of sealed bearings. More so on Profurl. They are steel bearings and depend on lip seals to keep the water out. When the seal fails the bearing will follow. I had a Profurl and had to replace the bearings and seals every few years. It has been replaced with a Furlex which has give no issues for well over a decade.
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Old 13-07-2020, 15:47   #6
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Thanks for the info. I'll remove the whole thing and assess if it is repairable. If I can just replace the bearings and seals, I'll extend the life of it. If I have to spend $1.2k in a new swivel, I'll bite the bullet and install a different system.
Thanks again!
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Old 13-07-2020, 16:28   #7
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

If you are interested in having some else repair the swivel, I recommend Sailing Services in Miami, FL. If you do not want to do the work yourself, give them a call. Sailing Services - Rigging, Lifelines, Winches, Furling Systems, Supplies, Ropes

I found them to be easy to work with and quite helpful when my lower bearing needed replacement. In 2015, I sent them my lower assembly, they examined it, pronounced it not economically repairable, returned it to me, then coached me through the repair. [My labor rates were lower than theirs. and my patience was greater than theirs.] Five years later all is well.

The SKF bearing and seals bought locally from Dixie Bearing cost me $186.24.

Bill Murdoch
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Old 13-07-2020, 17:11   #8
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
As lamadriver said this is the curse of sealed bearings. More so on Profurl. They are steel bearings and depend on lip seals to keep the water out. When the seal fails the bearing will follow. I had a Profurl and had to replace the bearings and seals every few years. It has been replaced with a Furlex which has give no issues for well over a decade.
I wonder if Profurl changed the design or materials. We have Profurl I installed back in 1997 and it is still fully functional. Last time I had it on deck to re-sew the UV cover on the genny, I didn't notice any external signs of corrosion.

What is the better alternative to SS steel bearings considering the high loads encountered in the furlers? I don't really know.

The boat has spent the last 5 years mostly in the tropics. It gets a lot of tension when in use, as the genoa is fairly large on our boat. I would buy another if this one failed.
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Old 13-07-2020, 17:17   #9
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
I wonder if Profurl changed the design or materials. We have Profurl I installed back in 1997 and it is still fully functional. Last time I had it on deck to re-sew the UV cover on the genny, I didn't notice any external signs of corrosion.

What is the better alternative to SS steel bearings considering the high loads encountered in the furlers? I don't really know.

The boat has spent the last 5 years mostly in the tropics. It gets a lot of tension when in use, as the genoa is fairly large on our boat. I would buy another if this one failed.

The bearing is not stainless steel. That is why they fail when they get wet. They rust.
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Old 13-07-2020, 17:37   #10
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

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Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
The bearing is not stainless steel. That is why they fail when they get wet. They rust.

Thanks for that info, and I will be inspecting ours more often now!
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Old 13-07-2020, 17:59   #11
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Prices of bearing vary wildly. But when the part is high up and difficult to service, Quality SKF ones make a good sense.


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Old 20-07-2020, 16:09   #12
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Now I am puzzled about why did the bearings failed. There is not a single indication of rust in the failed bearings, only that most of the balls are gone.
So After hours of working under the sun in 95 degrees, including diving in the clean marina waters to get a bracket that I dropped, I removed the furles and brought the whole thing home to disassembled it, expecting to find the bearings failed due to water ingress, but the grease looked fine and absolutely no rust on the bearings and all the clips where still there. I did put some force on the furler before it broke, but definitely not enough to break a bearing is such way. The foil seems to turn freely around the stay and the drum turns fine. Any ideas..?
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Old 20-07-2020, 16:17   #13
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Call your Profurl dealer. I seem to remember that they had a (lifetime maybe?) guarantee on the bearings.
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Old 20-07-2020, 16:23   #14
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

Thanks, but I already bought the bearings and seals. I am worried that this is going to happen again. I called a rigger to check it, lets see what he says.
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Old 20-07-2020, 16:27   #15
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Re: Profurl halyard swivel failure

BTW my advise to anyone doing this is to get some serious circlip pliers. I broke three of them until I went to Autozone and got the biggest one the had.
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