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Old 04-12-2022, 23:21   #1
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New foil or old furler with re-rig? Opinions needed!

Hi everyone,

I could really use some opinions here...

So, I have a dilemma with my boat (Islander Bahama 30) that I need to deal with. I have forward rake and a 13 year old Harken Cruiser 1 furler. I am looking at re-doing the backstay and forestay to fix the forward rake and get normal, slightly aft rake. To partially fix the problem I added a toggle under the Harken toggle a few weeks ago. This took out a few inches of the forward rake, and improved handling quite a bit. I point well in moderate to heavy air. But, I still have lee helm, and in light air I have crazy handling - she pulls uncontrollable, low-speed 360s if she points too high at low wind speeds. There is is still about 7" of forward rake, and the shroud tension is very loose; about 15 % breaking strength (because of the added toggle). The current backstay does not have a tensioner, and the turnbuckle is closed all the way; it cannot be made shorter.

So, in short, the forestay is too short, and the backstay is too long, and the furler is 13 years old, but works.

So, here are the choices I now have, as I see them:

1: Either keep the old Harken furler, or put a new furler on, or go to a double racing foil.

As regards this choice, I really do not want to pay for a brand new furler at the moment. I'm sort of neutral on furlers anyway, and I do want to do some club racing. That said I live in SoCal and I take a lot of less experienced people out. Having a furler makes it easier to get rid of the jib while staying the cockpit, which is important when I have less experienced people aboard... then again I have two winches on my mast, and I already use the one to raise the jib on the furler; I could probably use that to one-man-douse the jib if needed (I'm picturing myself doing this with one other, inexperienced sailor). I'm 40 and in shape, I don't need a roller furler for any physical reason. And like I said, I really don't want to spend $3000+ California 10% sales tax on a new Harken unit.

My big concern is that taking the fulring system down after 13 years will end up destroying it, given the potential corrosion and the loc-tited track sections. Plus, if I change the size of the forestay, will that meant that the furler will be completely off afterwards? If I could lengthen the forestay while keeping the old furler I would do so just because it makes no sense to dump it when it's working fine. The jib I just bought also has foam and Sunbrella for the furler, but that doesn't bother me too much; I assume it will work just as well in a foil. Foils are much cheaper

2: Replace headstay or add a few more toggles

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. I've seen a few boats at my marina that have two or even three toggles below their furling units. Is this safe or advisable? This would be a relatively easy fix; I already added one toggle and I could add more if needed.

3: Hydraulic, mechanical, or worm-gear backstay?

I've received a lot of competing opinions on this. I am not fundamentally opposed to any one particular form of backstay tensioner. If I go hydraulic I would get a new Harken unit. If using a worm-gear I've been pointed to Selden by my sailmaker, but they are quite rare in the US, so getting one would take some work.

4: Hire a rigger or do it myself?

I'm really quite tempted to just rig it myself with sta-lok. Especially if I go to a foil. If I did do it myself I would probably go with a Harken backstay unit simply for the simplicity. Is there any good reason not to do this myself?

Literally any and all thoughts and opinions welcomed. Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2022, 23:34   #2
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Re: New foil or old furler with re-rig? Opinions needed!

You can replace the forestay wire without disassembling the furler... if you use mechanical terminals on at least one end of the wire. i've done this several times now and it isn't hard to DIY.

That seems like a good approach for you from what you have said.

Jim
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Old 05-12-2022, 01:01   #3
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Re: New foil or old furler with re-rig? Opinions needed!

Longer toggle in the furler, if the backstay wire its in good condition, cut it to the right dimension, you can swage a new terminal or use a sta lock terminal .

Me? hire a rigger for a hour to help you with the measures , 7 inches its to much, if the furler work properly keep it, definitely a rigger its a good option.

Hidraulyc backstay tensioners are the devil, tired to replace some old navtec tensioners due leaks , seals, etc...
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:01   #4
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Re: New foil or old furler with re-rig? Opinions needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
You can replace the forestay wire without disassembling the furler... if you use mechanical terminals on at least one end of the wire. i've done this several times now and it isn't hard to DIY.

That seems like a good approach for you from what you have said.

Jim
Thanks for the info. How did you do that?
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:15   #5
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Re: New foil or old furler with re-rig? Opinions needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachduckworth View Post
Thanks for the info. How did you do that?
Remove entire furler (sans sail) and lay out flat. If it has swaged terminals, cut off the one that extends furthest from t he assembly. If it has mechanical terminals, remove one and cut off the distorted end bits, leaving an undisturbed end. Unlay a few inches of the outer strands of the wire and cut off the core wires. Lay out the new wire in line with the end. Unlay a few inches of the outer wires and cut them off, leaving the core intact. Bring the two ends together and re-lay the outer wires of one over the core of the other, effecting a "long splice" of the two bits of wire.

Then with one person pushing on the new wire and one pulling gently on the old from the other end, slide the new wire up through the furler. Install the new terminals. Put the furler back up.

Consider doing any required maintenance on the drum bearings, etc whilst it is down and accessible.

Jim
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