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robrichtx 07-11-2001 04:21 PM

Question on Roller Furling Jib
I have a Catalina 27 (#4221) and plan on adding a furler.

Could I get some opinions from those of you who traded in your hanks for rolls?

What kind did you get, why did you get it (harken, CDI, etc...) and how much did you pay for the conversion?

Most importantly, how satisfied are you with it? Will it reef adequately for you?

My primary reasons for going to a furler are ease of use and the ability to reef quickly in the face of a thunderstorms (get some nasty ones here in Central Texas).

Thanks for your time!


JEFryar 07-12-2001 04:29 AM

Question on Roller Furling Jib
I added a roller furler to my O''Day.
It''s a Harken that utilizes the same halyard and does not have any connection to the forestay. This is what I have learned.
1. The shape and cut of any jib you plan to use is critical to the performance of the system and how effective it will reef. My working jib is too full at the top and does not furl will. In fact in 20kt winds it will not roll.I end up with a balloon at the top which requires me to take it down. Not a pretty sight.
With a smaller jib which I use in winds over 18kts works very well and I can reef it to almost any desired size.
I still hank on my genoa because of the afore mentioned experience.
2. The shape of a reefed jib... well... pretty much suckes. It does not have the shape of and will not preform as a smaller jib.
3. This system does make it a whole lot easier to take down and change jibs. This is my primary reason for adding it because I single hand my boat most of the time.

With all of that said. I still change to a smaller jib early and do not rely on the system at all in critical situations as a squall.If I had the resources I would buy new headsails cut specifically for roller furling/reefing.I suggest you discuss this issue with whomever you plan to purchase the system. The properly cut foresail will have an extra sail cloth to protect the rolled cloth from the dreded UV''s and some sort of foam to help maintain a more useful shape when reefed.
Good sailing

Denr 07-12-2001 08:58 AM

Question on Roller Furling Jib
I have owned two boats that had Harken units pre-installed. With the exception of the occasional flushing of the bearings (accomplished with a garden hose) I''ve not had any significant problems. However, I did not respond to tout the virtues of the Harken furlers.

When the velocity of the wind increases to the point that a sail area reduction is necessary to keep the boat "on its feet", perfect aerodynamic shape should not be of critical importance. What is important is that you continue to move the jib lead car forward to maintain the correct lead or sheeting angle for the amount of sail you do have exposed. Too much lip service is given to the "perfect shape" when head sails are partially furled. If a quick reduction in sail area is desired to thwart a knock down during t-storms, then it sounds as if you''re on the right track. My advice is not to get your shorts in a knot about sail shape. Carpe Diem dude!

sehopkins 07-14-2001 01:49 PM

Question on Roller Furling Jib
Amazing, I have always thought the exact same thing about reefed roller furling jibs and I''m too inexperienced to know what I''m talking about. Let''s see, decide between living and good sail shape. Well hmmmm...

However, this leads me to a question of my own (refer to "inexperienced" comment above). My Hunter 26, which I purchased used, came equipped with CDI roller furling. The only thing I use the jib halyard for is raising and lowering the mast; it is not attached to the jib in any way, nor did the previous owner (not a pro himself) have it attached to the jib. Is that correct? I am not in a position to change jibs at the moment, not having a second jib, but I still want to have my boat rigged correctly.


pmills42255 07-23-2001 01:52 PM

Question on Roller Furling Jib
I just installed a Harken MKIII on my boat. The directions called for unstepping the mast, but I did it with the mast up. Took a little nerve, but otherwise a straight forward install. The components are nicely made, and sturdy. The system works like a dream. I am using an old 150% genoa and it furls nicely. As far as reefing, well, it does, and what I want is a smaller sail, and that is what one gets. Understand how the thing is supposed to work and it will go together any way you want. I did need to buy a swag fitting because the existing one has to be cut off. Think about what that means when you plan the install. If the existing system hasn''t got many threads left to use in the turnbuckle, you need to extend it the length you cut. If the turnbuckle is right to the end, you can use the threads to make up the differance. My ONLY concern is and still is the swag fitting. I wish I knew more about them. I also bought the wrong pin but managed to shrink it with a file and a drill.
have fun
Paul Mills

Tao 08-15-2001 12:53 PM

Question on Roller Furling Jib

I am a new sailor with only about 3,000 miles behind me,but I think the roller is the way to go for the very reason you stated plus anything you can do from the cockpit in heavy weather spells safety for all hands aboard.One of my experiences was sustained wind that came up suddenly with my jib out all the way(150%).It pushed my cats speed up to 12 knots and the ride was really uncomfortable for the seas.It only took a minute or two to reef the jib from the cockpit to about 10% and speed came back down to a comfortable 8 knots with good helm control.What the sail looked like never entered my mind as I was concentrating on performance. I have a Harkin unit and I really like it.

salty57 04-21-2008 04:54 PM

Harken furler
Rob, use care when selecting a rigger or DIY. i had a harken unit 0-MKIII put on my catalina 27 a couple yrs. ago. unfortunately we don't use the boat near enough and part of the reason is the battle we have w/the furler. just today i met with a new rigger and found that the top swivel is too far down the foil and the halyard wraps-not everytime-only when the wind freshens and you need it the most. also the lead angle from the deck to the drum is not 90deg. and the drum loads all at the top-no riding turns but a mess just waiting to happen. on the rare occassion when the stars are in perfect alignment, the unit works great. i'm satisfied with the quality of the equiptment-harken is good stuff, but it only works as well as the guy who set it up. close doesn't count on this job-best wishes.

Giulietta 04-21-2008 04:56 PM

Salty...Rob since then had a few problems..

He backended Mike Tyson on a sunday after noon, 3 weeks after he wrote that post in 2001, and is no longer with us....sorry to break the news

sailingdog 04-21-2008 05:23 PM


That is the portagee's way of saying you really need to check the dates before you reply to a thread. This one was dead and buried for six plus years when you responded. Chances are pretty likely they've either figured out how to use a furler or gone back to hanks.

US27inKS 04-21-2008 09:49 PM

And here I was about to toss my 2 cents in. Thanks for saving me Giu.

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