Given the age of the furler, and the fact that you should probably replace the forestay when replacing the furler, I would go with a new unit. There have been a lot of advances in furling gear in the last 16 years.
Furlex, Harken, and Facnor are the brands I'd recommend.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.