Should a Roller Furler be Hard? - SailNet Community

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Old 07-07-2013
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Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

Hi, all,

I have a Harkin Roller Furler on the fore stay for my jib. When I start to roll up the sail, it starts off fairly easy (as I would expect), then about half way through it becomes extremely difficult to roll up. I've lubed the top "spinner" and the lower drum. The "tubing" looks straight all the way up.

Any one have any suggestions on what might be the problem? I've read that these can be finicky, but this seems excesive.

Thanks, I appreciate your help.
Frank
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Re: Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

Check for halyard wrap
Read more here http://www.waldenrigging.com/sitebui...reventions.pdf
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I don't think you want to lube those IIRC but any event I suspect halyards wrap too. you made need a restrainer if you dont
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Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

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Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I don't think you want to lube those IIRC but any event I suspect halyards wrap too. you made need a restrainer if you dont
The docutmentation for my older Harken furler (MK2?) has very specific instructions on how to lubricate the bearings in the unit. May be different for the newer ones.
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Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

Harken makes this product called "One Drop" designed to lubricate ball bearings. You meantioned lubing the bearings. What did you use? The trouble with most lubricants is that they also attract and hold dirt which inhibits their free movement. I would thoroughly clean out the bearing races. Use dish detergent and copious amounts of water. Repeat several times. Flush well. There are bearings on the bottom of the spinner as well as the top and it is hard to clean them. When dry, put one drop into the bearing races and spin the unit to coat all bearings. Let dry and repeat. Hopefully you will find that your furler operates better. It has helped my old furler.

As others have said, look up and check for halyard wrap. That should NOT occur! If it has, it would be the cause of your problems and must be rectified. There are tremendous forces up there that can damage rigging components possibly leading to rigging failure if not addressed. If you get halyard wrap, perhaps your halyard is too loose? Perhaps there is not enough of an angle up top causing the halyard to wrap around the forestay. If so, you might need a block attached to the mast to get the halyard away from the forestay and create that angle. Talk with a rigger for help.

The last option would be replacing the bearings in the unit. The bearings might have gotten damaged and need replaced. Contact Harken for help there.

Good luck!

Tod
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Re: Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

Thanks very much for the responses. The lubricant I used was Sailkote which was recommended by a manager at the local West Marine. I'll pull it down and do a thorough cleaning of top and bottom bearings as suggested. Thank you for the link to the PDF, that was very informative. It provides quite a few things to check.

This forum is a great place to tap the wealth of knowledge and experience you all have. Thanks again,
Frank
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Re: Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

Check you furling line also. It should have a straight as possible path. Any sharp angles or extra friction could cause it to be hard to furl.
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Re: Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

+1 on checking the line. We struggled with ours and finally checked all the blocks that the line ran through on the deck. They came with the boat. We discovered two had sheaves that were so worn they had sharp-ish edges.
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Re: Should a Roller Furler be Hard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
The docutmentation for my older Harken furler (MK2?) has very specific instructions on how to lubricate the bearings in the unit. May be different for the newer ones.
My bad, one of the primary reasons I selected Harken was no need to lube it, just spray once and a while with fresh water. I just assumed all Harkens, older models even, were the same.
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Tension on the Halyard

When I roll my jib/genoa up, I release some of the halyard tension and backstay tension. This lessens the friction on the top and bottom bearings and allows it to rotate easier. When I mean release the tension, I mean 2-3 inches max on the halyard. The next time I unroll the sail, I crank the halyard up for the appropriate wind conditions, which removes the "slack" I intentionally put into it. Repeat each furl/unfurl.

Also, Roll the head sail up when on a run and blanketed by the main. Less sail pressure, easier to roll up. Trying to roll it upon a beat is tough.

DrB
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