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Old 12-22-2000
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Replacing Standing Rigging

I am replacing my standing rigging and have a late '70s to early '80s-vintage Hood headsail furler. I am looking for any technical advice regarding removal and reinstallation of this system.

Mark Matthews responds:

Any furler that has done 20 years of duty is likely a candidate fore replacing. Roller furlers allow unparalleled ease of sail handling and one important option—the ability to safely shorten sail from the cockpit when the wind pipes up. While each furling unit does essentially the same thing, there are important design-specific features to be aware of when choosing the right one for your boat. Among the factors you should consider in your purchase decision are sail type, drum and extrusion construction, the maintenance the unit requires, along with fairlead options and bearing materials, as well as the type of sailing you plan to be doing.

Whether you’re racing or cruising, or doing a little bit of both, there’s little worse than worrying about how a mast will fare in rising sea states. Installation details are critical to the success of the unit and can literally make or break your day. Choosing the correct size roller furling unit for your boat is a factor of boat size, forestay length, and headstay diameter. It’s also important to know the age of the forestay when installing a roller-furling unit, as once the forestay is inside the foil, inspecting the rigging can only be done by removing the furling unit. Replacing this critical part of the standing rigging before installing a new unit provides confidence when you need it the most. Proper toggling at both ends of the furler is important, as in addition to rotating, units also move side to side and front to back. Excessive movement causes premature wear and needs to be guarded against, as does chafe in the placement of fairleads.

There’s a myriad of options when it comes to choosing a roller furling unit, but we’re ready to offer our expertise at anytime. For assistance in choosing and installation, contact call our Spar Shop at 1-800-234-3220 or send a request via email to rigging@sailnet.com.

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