Best Furling gear system? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-15-2006 Thread Starter
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Best Furling gear system?

What's the best Furling gear/system, Harkin, Profurl or Schaeffer. I have a 38 ft Panda Sailboat and I'm done with "hanking" at all hours of the day and night. Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-15-2006
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Take a shot

Practical Sailor recently (this past summer, I think) did a report on various roller-furlers. Essentially they found most all of the big names to be pretty good. They do each have different features that might be important to you - things like sectioned extrusions might make it possible to self-install one, for example... or you might not like them because the setscrews might loosen. You're going to have to do some of your own homework on this one, to find out what you think matters, and which meets your needs best.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-15-2006
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I agree with PaulK, i checked out that article as well. When I was shopping for one I talked to all the manufactuers at the annapolis boat show. You'll find the main differences are sealed or un-sealed bearings, the material of the bearings (torlon (sp?) or SS), and how the extrusions are put together.

I liked the Schaefer unit the best, and they've gotten great reviews but that comes at a price of course. The rest were'nt far behind and I was able to get a great deal on a ProFurl. I work on sunsail charter boats all summer and they are almost all equipped with ProFurl's which tend to get a real good beating...Yet they still work and are maintenence free with the sealed SS bearings. They also come with the wrap-stop feature, just a plastic disc at the top to prevent wrapping the halyard around the extrusion..which could really ruin your day.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-15-2006
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Consider FurleX

We have had excellent experience with our FurleX gear ( . Over the past five years its operated without a fault. Its very quick and easy to take off the drum if you want to race with a full hoist sail. I like the fact that it shows little wear for its age, cleary constructed with quality materials - SS bearings, etc,. Its more expensive than many bigger names, but seems to show up on the many better quality boats. We certainly feel we have gotten our money's worth.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-16-2006
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Have owned Furlex, Schaefer & Harken

The only one I never had a problem with was the Schaefer. The Furlex (plastic" and Harken (black anodized aluminum) really faded out and I had problems with the extrusions on both. I had a couple of the "plastic parts" on the Furlex break and that's why I prefer the all metal construction of the Schaefer. Perhaps Shaefer has it right using round extrusions time will tell??

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-17-2006
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Check out Hood

There are so many good furling systems available that it's difficult if not impossible to name the best.
I have installed, repaired and maintained just about every brand out there and they all have their good points and their drawbacks.
More important than the brand of furler is how it was installed and how it is used. The problems that seem to occur most often can usually be traced back to installer error or operator error.
With every system, steps must be taken when installing to avoid the possibility of halyard wrap occuring. (by far the most common problem I encounter) Even ProFurl, with it's "wrap stop" is not immune if the luff of the sail is too short and a pennant isn't used or if someone slakened the halyard and forgot to harden it up again before sailing. Profurl also has the problem of the extrusion screws backing out as the headstay deflects because they are threaded into the extrusions instead of the connectors. Yes, even when installed with red locktite. I have seen this happen on a number of B&R rigs.
Having said that, I still think ProFurl is a good system.
Cost seems to be one of the biggest factors in determining which system people opt for. The Hood 808, 707 are a well designed a affordable furling system. They have utilized ideas from some of the other popular systems and have come up with an affordable and reliable system. And no, I don't work for them.
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