Roller Furler Lubrication? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-29-2007
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Roller Furler Lubrication?

The roller furler on my Pearson 30 is VERY difficult to furl. It started doing this last fall (soon after I bought the boat), and is worse now. I should have dealt with it when the mast was down for the winter, but forgot about it.

I have to use a winch to furl it under any wind condition - even downwind with the motor running. The drum turns freely - the hangup is at the head. When the jib unfurls, the wind isn't enough to get it out all the way, and I have to go forward and manually rotate the drum a couple of revolutions.

It is like this whether or not a sail is acutually rigged. The halyard is not fouled.

SO, I'm wondering if I need to go up the mast and lubricate it? Is this a normal maintenance requirement?

My other thought is that the headstay may be more taught than it was when the furler was installed, and perhaps the fixed part is pulling up against the rotating part too much. The headstay was too loose last season, so I tightened the backstay more this time. Perhaps I should try loosening it a bit and see what happens. There's no adjustment on the headstay.

Thanks!

Last edited by ereuter; 05-29-2007 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 05-29-2007
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It may be as simple as increasing the tension on the forestay.
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my roller furler is 28 yrs old (schaeffer) and requires no lube according to te owner's manual. only cleaning as with a hose to wash out salt deposits from the torlon bearings. don't know what you have for a system, but unless you really cranked the back stay i can't believe you can put enough pull pressure
on the fittings to stop them from turning unless you have a defective head stay swivle.
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Old 05-29-2007
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You may first try easing the headsail halyard - could be too much tension on the head swivel bearings. Going aloft should only be necessary if the halyard is wrapped.

If it's not wrapped, then release the halyard to drop the head swivel for rinsing with fresh water - then lubricate.
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Old 05-29-2007
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Depending on the type of furler you have, it is also possible the the bearings that allow the foil to turn on the headstay could have been damaged. Does the drum/foil turn freely w/o the sail on it??? Dropping the sail to inspect should also allow you to have a look at the upper swivel.
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The head swivel turns freely - the thing that is hanging up is the device that links the rotating parts to the headstay. It is difficult to turn even without a sail on it.
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Can the part be removed from the furler and headstay? Can you replace the bearings in that part?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ereuter
The head swivel turns freely - the thing that is hanging up is the device that links the rotating parts to the headstay. It is difficult to turn even without a sail on it.
It sounds like you're saying the drum is hard to turn. If so, I had the same problem. When the sail is unfurled, the furling line is rolled up on the drum. I found that the previous owner had replaced the furling line with one that was oversized. When the sail was unfurled, and the line was rolled onto the drum, it made such a thick roll that there wasn't enough room on the drum to hold it all. The result was that the mechanism would jam before the sail was completely unfurled. I could unfurl the sail the rest of the way if I went forward and turned the drum by hand. I'm replacing the furling line with the size specified by the manufacturer. I'm finishing a bottom job and haven't launched yet, but I'm sure it will solve the problem, because, after I removed the old furling line, all parts of the system turned freely.

Last edited by Sailormon6; 05-29-2007 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 05-30-2007
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No, the drum turns freely - it's the connection at the top that is hanging up. If I rotate the drum by hand, it twists the foil and springs back.

I tried slackening the backstay yesterday, and the problem went away. But it's now too loose.

I think that my furler doesn't have a headstay inside of it. There is a swivel connection at the bottom and another at the top, and nothing within the foil. A little scary. I think I'll put that on the list of things to upgrade.

Eric
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Old 05-30-2007
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I have a first generation Harken Roller Furling....20 something years old and was doing exactly the same. Washed the roller bearings well and applied some Harken MacLube and increased the tension in the halyard. It has been working perfectly ever since. With one hand.
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