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LWinters 12-16-2006 08:29 AM

Famet Roller Furler for Cruising
I've got a Famet Reefurl roller furler on my Allied Mistress. I am questioning picking up what few spare parts are necessary to maintain this 20 year old furler or upgrading to a new design. The Famet still works perfect, has an internal halyard so no wraps, has no bearings to rust, rot or jam, and a heavy duty drum that is supposed to be able to take the loads generated by a reefed sail. The only draw back I currently see is that it is older technology. It was originally marketed as bulletproof. After about 2 days of searching I found the company owner who is still supplying parts for the systems so it is servicable.

Should I keep a system that still works fine and is reliable for cruising or should I upgrade to a newer, more high tech model? i.e. Profurl. What variables am I missing in this equation and what would be the real benifits of a newer model? All feedback much appreciated.

Goodnewsboy 12-16-2006 09:36 AM

It sounds like you have something that works well. You also seem to have a source of parts at least for the moment. In addition, I suspect that a good machine shop could take care of you except for foils.

Older technology that works beats new technology that might not.

Why change?

sailingdog 12-16-2006 02:16 PM

If it ain't broke, don't fix it... Also, introducing a new furling unit could bring other problems with it... Most manufacturers insist that you replace the forestay, if it is older than a few years...

mjname 12-18-2006 11:44 PM

Is the forestay 20 years old? if it is you might want to replace that before you take off for a long time. I have a Hood Rolling Furling and it came down on the last sail... nothing more frustrating than having your half rolled jib laying the length of your deck.

If your rigging is 20 years old make sure you inspect it. Look for small cracks on the turnbuckels and rust where the wire is fastened together. I later found rust and even some brooken strands on some of the lines. Opps... I guess I didn't want to see it before.

LWinters 12-19-2006 04:31 PM

Rigging is about 8 years old, but looks and inspected well. The roller isn't as nice and shiney as I would like, but seems in great working order. I guess I am wondering about the advantages of the newer models. What caused the switch between the internal halyard and bearingless systems to the new fangled halyard swivels and plastic or stainless bearings?

Bellita 07-18-2009 07:14 PM

In an attempt to keep on topic - I'll post my question here:
I have two Famet Roller furling units - Type A and B. The main difference between the two is the internal halyard hole for the units to mount around the forestay - Type A has an 8mm hole to take 5-7mm forestay wires and Type B has a 14mm hole to take 8-12mm wires.

Here's my question - I have a 7mm wire, which would seem to dictate the Type A. My issue is it's off my old boat and was my staysail rig, so on the Yorktown 35 I'm trying to resurrect, it will be approx 7 feet shorter than I desire ( I need 40', the Type A is 33'), which would limit the amount of sail I can carry forward. The Type B is long enough (actually 46' and I can remove 2-3' sections to match perfectly) and I have an offshore sail that would match my foretriangle perfectly. I'm wondering if the difference between a 7 & 8mm wire would be great enough to stop me from going ahead and using the Type B unit on my headstay - any riggers out there or people in the know that could help me here?
These are really robust units and don't really flex, so outside of rattling about a bit, i'm unclear if there would be any downside. They were bulletproof on a previous boat so I'd love to use one on this one. Would sure appreciate any advice folks may have. Thanks!

wyejay 01-27-2010 10:26 AM

The Famet company has been an up and down operation in recent years. Four or five years ago, the company couldn't be located and the owner of record didn't respond to inquiries.
However, it's flying again. Still in Kansas, as before. The current operator is David Freer at
Here's hoping he has a long, successful run. But for peace of mind, I seized the moment and ordered two sets of roller furling bushings for my spares kit. They were shipped promptly, without advance payment. Just mail me a check, David said.
At $5 a set, the greatest buy since pizza by the slice.

cruisingmom 01-28-2010 05:17 AM

Famet is Bulletproof
I have a Famet roller reefing system on my main - Whitby 42. It really does appear bulletproof and the only part I replaced when I went to refit last year was the 2 nylon bushings. I wish my headstay roller reefing system was a famet.
Keep the system

wendel 08-31-2012 03:24 PM

Re: Famet Roller Furler for Cruising
Famet Roller reefers are well ahead of
the pack if you are a fan of frictionless, no bearings, simple, repairable, and
Bulletproof reefers I've had one on my Pearson 39 for 30 yrs and never even lubed it.... Nothing to lube! The designer should win an award. Once you've seen them in action one wonders why any other design was even brought to production? Keep it on ....... parts have always been available

Drew Whitler 02-15-2014 10:26 AM

Re: Famet Roller Furler for Cruising
I just bought a 1983 Watkins 27 with roller furling main (vertical) and roller furling jib with Famet reefing systems on it. I cannot figure out how to get the sails out of the reefing system. Many ideas...boat had no info about these systems,

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