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  #1  
Old 10-02-2006
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Furlex Furler

Hello,
We have an old Type B Mk 2 furlex furler and I'm hoping that someone might have experience with repairing and/or maintaining this model. Later Furlex furlers use a completely different system for the luff track so even furlex dealers are having trouble assisting me. If you know anything about this model please let me know and I'll fill you in on my particular problem.
Thanks in advance.
Andrew
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Old 10-02-2006
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Pretty familiar with even some of the weirder gear.... what is your question??
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Old 10-02-2006
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Thanks for giving it a go. Now to try and set this out in some vaguely logical fashion.
Here goes !
Furlex Type B has an extruded aluminium channel with twin sail tracks that instal over/around the forestay. This extrusion is in a number of different pieces that are joined by an internal guide and an elongated u-shaped piece of bent rod which locates in holes that are predrilled into the extrusion.
Last weekend we noticed that a gap of approximately 100mm (4 -5 inches) had appeared between the second highest piece of extrusion and the next lowest. (Extrusion is in five pieces). This allowed the luff rope of the sail to pull out of the track and had we not noticed in time would have ultimately torn the sail from luff to leech. We managed to juggle the bits enough to allow the sail and the top swivel of the furler to be lowered to deck and after a fair bit of fiddling around seem to have the loose pieces reattached.
Now, the gap can only have happened as a result of the top section of extrusion coming loose from the second down allowing the top section to ride further up the stay than it should. I cannot for the life of me figure out how this happened, why it happened, is it going to happen again nor how to stop it happening again.
To date all of this has been done from deck. Furlex say that to install you start at the bottom, assembly your way to the top (with everything lying on a flat surface) and the forestay running through the extrusion. You then raise the forestay and extrusion, finally connecting to deck. Question is , if I need to completely dismantle the furler can it be done by working up , by that I mean instead of disconnecting the forestay at the masthead, can I leave that attached, lower everything else to deck, repair, then reassemble up the stay.
Whoa ! I'm not sure that even makes sense to me but if it makes sense to you, what do you think ?
Many thanks for your offer of assistance.
Andrew

ps - couple of scanned pages from the furlex manual that might make things a bit clearer are attached.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Pretty familiar with even some of the weirder gear.... what is your question??

Last edited by tdw; 02-07-2007 at 01:37 AM.
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It sounds like the extrusion design is the same as they're currently using, which has an outer extrusion that has the two grooves, and has a polyethylene liner to prevent corrosion between the aluminum and the stainless steel forestay.

There is a small piece that acts to connect the two extrusions, as it has a pin that fits into a hole in each extrusion. It sounds like this piece either failed, or more likely was not installed in the original installation.

You can install the system from the bottom up...I just replaced the lowest furling foil section on a Furlex headsail furling unit two weeks ago...and know that you can do it this way.

The main problem is that you have to take the Sta-Lok connector apart, and then pull the foils off. You will need a new wedge for the Sta-Lok fitting.

To remove the Sta-Lok, you need to remove the drum, and loosen the top spring coil that holds the upper bearing races for the furling drum in place. That will allow you to remove the screws that hold the top of the furling drum fitting that holds the foil.

Once you have the furling drum removed, and taken the Sta-Lok apart, you should be able to slide all of the extrusions down off the bottom of the headstay until you get to the section where you need to replace the connector plate.

BTW, while you're doing this, you might as well clean and re-grease all four sets of ball bearings in the furling drum assembly. Beats having to do this all over again later.
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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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That's what I wanted to hear. Splendid chap ! I had presumed that this was doable but wanted confirmation before I went in and screwed up the whole thing. The trip to the top of the stick to disconnect and lower the stay was not on my list of fun things to do before I die. Now all I need to do is get hold of some of the connecting pieces and a wedge. Not sure if the connectors are even still being made or sold. Worst case, I guess I could have some made up for me. We shall see. Many thanks for you assistance, I'll let you know how it turns out.
Cheers
Andrew
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TDW-

I do have a contact over at the US distributor, if you need any help, let me know via PM.
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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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Old 10-03-2006
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"The trip to the top of the stick to disconnect and lower the stay was not on my list of fun things to do before I die."Please, don't attempt to remove the extrusions from the headstay with the system up. It's not a problem to lower the furler. I hope I misinterpreted sailingdog's advise, (if so I apoligize), but you will not be a happy camper if you try to do this repair with the system in place.You have described an older model Furlex. The newer systems have a button lock which works just like the older models which had what is best described as a bent rod. These bent rods have been known to fail and that is probably what happened. Furlex systems are supposed to be sold and installed by trained dealers so it more than likely was installed correctly.One more thing. When you disassemble the sta-lok you will be left with a portion of the wire that will probably not be able to pass through the distance tube or the connectors without a lot of difficulty. You would be well advised to cut the deformed wire off where it protrudes from the bottom of the unit and and resign yourself to replacing the headstay with a new wire.
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Yes, you should definitely remove the headstay and attached furling unti from the boat before trying to do any work on it. If I gave the impression that you could work on it when it was still attached to the boat, that is completely wrong.

As for removing the Sta-Loc fitting, the deformed wire isn't that much of a problem, and you don't have to replace the headstay, at least in my experience. Getting the Sta-lok fitting apart is a basic nightmare...that's why they're called Sta-loks.. If you remove the wedge, and then re-lay the cable strands, it should allow you to take the polyethelyne corrosion tubing and extrusions off pretty easily.
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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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Old 10-03-2006
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Let me try and make sense of all this as I obviously missed something. Removing the furling gear itself is not a big deal. I've already lowered the upper swivel which is of course attached to the head of the sail. Removing the rest of the furling gear from the stay can be accomplished as per the Fulrex manual with the headstay still attached at the masthead. I understand the bit about the little bit of excess wire, Furlex say you lose 5mm which is of no account to me as I'd like a bit more tension on my forestay as it is. My basic misunderstanding was/is that I had then thought it was possible to reassemble the furler with the stay still attached at the masthead. To clarify this point, are you now saying that to reassemble I need to completely remove the forestay, reinstall the furler with the stay lying on the dock , and then rehoist the forestay with furler attached ? Obviously I would rather do this without having to undo the masthead end of the forestay but if needs must then needs must be obeyed.
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Thanks for your input. Have a look at my reply to Sailingdogs post. The gist of my confusion is whether or not I need to remove the mastehad end of the forestay. I understand that I need to completely dismantle the furling gear and I take your point about the extra bit of wire. My main concern was/is whether I can reassemble and reinstal the furler without removing the masthead end of the stay.
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