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Old 26-10-2017, 16:35   #271
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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Thanks Kenomac. I assumed it was electric, but you're right hydraulic makes more sense. How do you like it? Does it make it easier to manage your headsails?

- Joe
The Reckmanns in the video are electric, the company makes both electric and hydraulic. The Reckmann hydraulic is a dream to operate, smooth and the sail furls with the push of a button. There's also a "just in case" manual over-ride which we've never needed to deploy. Many times, we tack using the furler to bring the sail in by 50% prior to tacking. No failures to date after 6 years.
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Old 26-10-2017, 20:42   #272
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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What do folks here think of the electric headsail furlers? Anyone have experience with them?

See in this video from 0:30 - 1:00

Push button furling from the helm. Manual backup using a winch though you have to go to the foredeck for that.

I've noticed these on some of the boat reviews for 50'+ yachts. How long before these become more common? Would you want one?

Eliminates the furling line run back to the cockpit. My wife struggles with that sometimes. I've had line overrides in the furling drum. I've had charter boats with badly maintained drums to the point I had to winch the jib *out*. Seems to me this would eliminate those issues and potentially be more reliable, not less.

Joe
Look at Amels, they've been doing this successfully for years.
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Old 26-10-2017, 21:05   #273
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

It's too bad there weren't internet forums 25 years ago. It would be fun to go back and see how many folks back then would proclaim with great certainty that hanked-on headsails were the only reliable option, and that roller furling was just a passing fad, and had no place on a 'proper' offshore boat.

No reflection on anyone here, but it's interesting to see the long, long period between introduction and final acceptance of new stuff on boats. It's a wonder we don't all still have tarred hemp rigging and flax sails, the resistance to change is so strong.
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Old 26-10-2017, 21:11   #274
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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It's too bad there weren't internet forums 25 years ago. It would be fun to go back and see how many folks back then would proclaim with great certainty that hanked-on headsails were the only reliable option, and that roller furling was just a passing fad, and had no place on a 'proper' offshore boat.

No reflection on anyone here, but it's interesting to see the long, long period between introduction and final acceptance of new stuff on boats. It's a wonder we don't all still have tarred hemp rigging and flax sails, the resistance to change is so strong.
I learnt in business "people hate change and the person that implements it"....which was often me... Lol.
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Old 26-10-2017, 22:24   #275
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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It's too bad there weren't internet forums 25 years ago. It would be fun to go back and see how many folks back then would proclaim with great certainty that hanked-on headsails were the only reliable option, and that roller furling was just a passing fad, and had no place on a 'proper' offshore boat.

No reflection on anyone here, but it's interesting to see the long, long period between introduction and final acceptance of new stuff on boats. It's a wonder we don't all still have tarred hemp rigging and flax sails, the resistance to change is so strong.
Hmmm... 25 years ago, eh? That's when I finally found a furler that was well enough designed and built that I thought it strong enough for offshore cruising... so I finally bought one. It was a Kiwi Reef-Rite, Bob Graham's pet development project, and still the most robust furler I've ever seen.

Been through a few others in the ensuing years, and now that i'm officially an old fart, wouldn't care to go offshore without one. But for quite a few years there I was a nay-sayer, and I think with due cause, for there were some pretty dodgy furler systems around.

I wish I could get my head around all this new fangled fibreglass stuff...

Jim
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Old 26-10-2017, 22:53   #276
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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Hmmm... 25 years ago, eh? That's when I finally found a furler that was well enough designed and built that I thought it strong enough for offshore cruising... so I finally bought one. It was a Kiwi Reef-Rite, Bob Graham's pet development project, and still the most robust furler I've ever seen.

Been through a few others in the ensuing years, and now that i'm officially an old fart, wouldn't care to go offshore without one. But for quite a few years there I was a nay-sayer, and I think with due cause, for there were some pretty dodgy furler systems around.

I wish I could get my head around all this new fangled fibreglass stuff...

Jim
Fiberglass? Now that's just way too radical for me. Give me oak. Maybe Ironheart.

The first furler that I sailed offshore was in 1989-90. It was one of the original Hood units. We did about 7,000 miles on that one, it held up fine. I don't think that anybody had thought of a foam/rope luff back then, though. At least we didn't know about it. Reefing wasn't happening, that's for sure. But, the sail was way out at the end of the bowsprit, and it was nice to not have to go up there and muck with it.

Come to think of it, my next boat also had one of these old Hood units too. This time with a padded luff on the sail, though. Much better.

Good times.

We still have a hanked-on staysail, even in 2017. My nod to the old ways.
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Old 26-10-2017, 23:13   #277
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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The Reckmanns in the video are electric, the company makes both electric and hydraulic. The Reckmann hydraulic is a dream to operate, smooth and the sail furls with the push of a button. There's also a "just in case" manual over-ride which we've never needed to deploy. Many times, we tack using the furler to bring the sail in by 50% prior to tacking. No failures to date after 6 years.
I had a Reckmann (manual) on my last boat. What an awesomely engineered piece of gear that was. I love the way they do their foils. It's surely much stronger than the other guys. Just a guess, but the way they distribute the torque is genius.

If I were in the market for a furler, their stuff would be at the top of my list for sure.
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Old 27-10-2017, 01:49   #278
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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I had a Reckmann (manual) on my last boat. What an awesomely engineered piece of gear that was. I love the way they do their foils. It's surely much stronger than the other guys. Just a guess, but the way they distribute the torque is genius.

If I were in the market for a furler, their stuff would be at the top of my list for sure.
It's not that strong. Maybe it's just the model I have, but I managed to snap the foil twice. I am not the only one to break it. I have now got their beefed up foil strengther insert. It should have been on the original supply. Typical marine engineering. Wait till it breaks then beef it up.
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Old 27-10-2017, 02:04   #279
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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The Reckmanns in the video are electric, the company makes both electric and hydraulic. The Reckmann hydraulic is a dream to operate, smooth and the sail furls with the push of a button. There's also a "just in case" manual over-ride which we've never needed to deploy. Many times, we tack using the furler to bring the sail in by 50% prior to tacking. No failures to date after 6 years.
Famous last words...I had a burst hose and had to use the override. It works very well, just really slowly. If you use a drill to operate it then it is as fast as the powered furler.

Check out the hoses and if they are the steel reinforced type then I would just replace them after a number of years prophylacticaly. The steel rusts and the hose bursts. Sometimes you see a bulge or a ripple as a warning first. Mine are all Kevlar reinforced now.

And whilst I am on the subject of furler failures, get an oil seal for the mast furler. That is steel reinforced and will fail at some point and put your main furler out of action. You'll need a little ATF fluid to top it up too.

Oh yes, hand pump seals and cylinder seals too. They all fail. Ditto check valves and this and that.
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Old 27-10-2017, 05:15   #280
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

I replaced both hydraulic hoses five years ago when I struck one of them with my anchor causing a leak. Now they’re wrapped for uv protection and I carry a spare, along with being more careful with the anchor.
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Old 27-10-2017, 05:48   #281
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

There's a pretty good reason why it takes quite awhile for people to accept innovations in design of ocean going yachts – Jim touched on it – the journey from 'this seems like a no-brainer' to 'this has proved to be a good design' goes through quite a bit of 'jesus , that wave just tore that thing to bits...' or worse 'they were never heard of again' ; solo round the world race yachts dropping keels reminds me of a case in point...
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Old 27-10-2017, 09:17   #282
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

The reason I brought up the powered headsail furlers is that sail handling is concern for me in going with a larger boat. We don't have one yet, having only done charters, but wife and I are targeting a 49'-55' when we buy in two years time.

Seems like powered headsail furlers - with manual backup and spares - can help with sail management.

I appreciate the insights on weak points, so I can prepare for them. That's very useful. For folks with basically philosophical objections I would point out that all of you have driven cars with hydraulic power assisted steering and don't have much concern about that. I've driven manual steering cars and much prefer power steering :-)

Joe
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Old 27-10-2017, 12:25   #283
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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There's a pretty good reason why it takes quite awhile for people to accept innovations in design of ocean going yachts Jim touched on it the journey from 'this seems like a no-brainer' to 'this has proved to be a good design' goes through quite a bit of 'jesus , that wave just tore that thing to bits...' or worse 'they were never heard of again' ; solo round the world race yachts dropping keels reminds me of a case in point...
Well, a keel fell off an Oyster not too long ago, too. It's not limited to radical designs at all.
If we were to reject any innovation on the grounds of something similar failing at some point, we would still be using stone tools. I say this a little tongue is cheek, of course, but I still view the resistance to change as a bit excessive on the cruising side of our sport.

But, no condemnation of anybody's personal choice, of course.
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Old 27-10-2017, 12:34   #284
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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The reason I brought up the powered headsail furlers is that sail handling is concern for me in going with a larger boat. We don't have one yet, having only done charters, but wife and I are targeting a 49'-55' when we buy in two years time.

Seems like powered headsail furlers - with manual backup and spares - can help with sail management.

I appreciate the insights on weak points, so I can prepare for them. That's very useful. For folks with basically philosophical objections I would point out that all of you have driven cars with hydraulic power assisted steering and don't have much concern about that. I've driven manual steering cars and much prefer power steering :-)

I think they're a great idea, particularly for wives. Just remember to really unload the sail before you hit the button! There have been some really spectacular failures of these systems when folks did the wrong thing. That's probably the only real downside in my view-that you can easily cause damage if you're inattentive.

On another note, we winch our furling line, every time. It's a hell of a lot easier than heaving on it by hand. We have to be careful to unload things with this method, too, but I think it's a great way to go, if you're careful.

Jenny can handle the headsail on her own this way, without the winch, it's not happening. So, that's an option too.

Joe

I think they're a great idea, particularly for wives, or just folks who aren't that strong. Just remember to really unload the sail before you hit the button! There have been some really spectacular failures of these systems when folks did the wrong thing. That's probably the only real downside in my view-that you can easily cause damage if you're inattentive.

On another note, we winch our furling line, every time. It's a hell of a lot easier than heaving on it by hand. We have to be careful to unload things with this method, too, but I think it's a great way to go, if you're careful.

Jenny can handle the headsail on her own this way, without the winch, it's not happening. So, that's an option too.
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Old 27-10-2017, 12:46   #285
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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... For folks with basically philosophical objections I would point out that all of you have driven cars with hydraulic power assisted steering and don't have much concern about that. ...
Not so much philosophical, more a case of 'can I fix it myself (or just toss it and replace)?' If not then for some venturesome cruisers it has no place aboard. No one wants to spend their whole vacation repairing refrigeration systems, autopilots or watermakers - simplicity is king, at least on small boats.
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