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post #1 of 16 Old 10-15-2007 Thread Starter
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New Roller Furling

We're thinking of changing our very old Harken system. Any preferences - Harken, Furlex or others? Boat is a Beneteau First 345 now being used for weekend cruising.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-15-2007
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For years, ProFurls and Furlex's have ruled (e.g., a few years ago you'd find almost nothing else but ProFurl on the charter yachts in the Virgins....where furlers get a lot of use and abuse). Schaefer's seem to be pretty good these days.

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-15-2007
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We are just planning to add a furler to our 34 footer - and at the moment are favouring Harken's new cruising model.

It lacks the removable split drum, and sports a slightly heavier foil extrusion . But, like you, we don't race this boat anymore and the cost savings is considerable.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-15-2007
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I was told by our rigger not to buy the cruising model. He was told this by a Harken distributor. Apparently it was designed to meet the budgetary constraints for certain low cost production cruisers and the quality of the equipment is nowhere near as good as the standard Harken Mk 4 model. It is radically different from the Mark 4 and if you contact Harken I am sure they can explain the differences better than I. I can't seem to recall the differences offhand, or perhaps I'm blocking out the vacation week where the torque tube on our old furler broke on the second day of our trip, forcing me to make a split decision on a furler to buy .

We have the Harken Mk 4 furler (which replaced our Mark 2 this season). It's way overkill for us (we don't need the dual tracks or the removable drum) but we do like the way it keeps the sail shape as you reef the genoa. We can actually do a third reef with it and keep a decent shape vs. our old furler only supporting two reefs. Apparently it rolls up the belly of the sail at a faster rate than the top and bottom.

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Last edited by labatt; 10-15-2007 at 11:22 PM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-15-2007
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Thanks Labatt

I'll have to investigate further.... but there's still time to do so.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labatt View Post
I was told by our rigger to not buy the cruising model. He was told this by a Harken distributor. Apparently it was designed to meet the requirements as standard equipment to keep costs down on some production boats and the quality of the equipment is nowhere near as good as the standard Harken Mk 4 model. It is radically different from the Mark 4. If you contact Harken I am sure they can explain the differences better. I can't recall them offhand, or I'm blocking out the vacation week where the torque tube broke on the second day of our trip.
The same was told to me by the rigger at our marina, also a Harken dealer and a Harken design consultant.

I can also second the ability for the new Harken unit 2 for maintaining great sail shape when furled. I was experimenting with it a few days ago in 25 knots and was very impressed with the performance/sail shape it was able to maintain, even furled almost to storm jib size!

I asked a similar question a couple of months ago and many made great recommendations for furlers, Profurl, Furlex, Harken, Schafer, all great units, but ultimately, I went with the Harken MKIV Unit 2 for economics, convenience, and design.

BTW...I had the yard install the unit for me, but I helped and observed so I can hopefully resolve and issues if/when they happen, I hope you can do the same, it was lots of fun to see it go together. If your in the Baltimore area and are interested in the Harken product I can direct you too whom I purchased mine...you wont find a better price!

Last edited by T37Chef; 10-16-2007 at 04:48 PM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-16-2007
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Alado

Don't forget Alado. They cost a fraction of the others, are easily installed, and work well. I have one on my 35' boat.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-16-2007
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practical sailor did a review of furlers a while back - i'll try to find the issue and let you know. i suspect that no matter whom you speak with - everyone will have something good to say about their harken, schaefer, pro furl, CDI, etc furler.

Riggers will tend to tell you the virtues of those furlers they carry and install vs., those that don't.

I would guess that most of the mid-range furlers are probably all the same - with some minor feature differences. Most modern furlers are very well engineered and much better than furlers from the 70's-'80's.

Some folks (big and small boats) love the CDI furler which is arguably the cheapest most simple furler design on the market.

I have a ProFurl ca. late 80's/early 90's from what I can tell. It works OK although it was sized too small for my boat. It has the twin luff grooves (not really needed unless you have twin genny halyards - although it is nice to have a replacement sail pre-fed and ready to go...) But only useful for racing.

Removable drum is good if you want to throw on a larger headsail - that is what I like about the profurl - i can get a racing blade or genny on easily.

At the end of the day, it depends upon what you plan on doing - it sounds that you're doing weekend cruising - so assume only 1-2 nites - how far do you plan to sail and how long is your sailing season?
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-16-2007
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Schaeffer - My Vote

I don't have a lot of experience with the others, but I have only heard very things about Schaeffer. My boat came with Schaeffer and it has been no problem.

I have seen a lot of boats with Harken. Usually when I seen a lot of one brand for an item, it usually means it is the commodity brand (Home Dept stuff) or it is the only brand for that specific item. Nothing against Harken, just an observation.

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post #10 of 16 Old 10-16-2007
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Quote:
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I have seen a lot of boats with Harken. Usually when I seen a lot of one brand for an item, it usually means it is the commodity brand (Home Dept stuff) or it is the only brand for that specific item. Nothing against Harken, just an observation. DrB
So 11 of 12 Americas Cup boats use Home Depot grade equipment uh? Just kidding...I looked hard at the Schaefer, but couldn't justify the extra $1000 +-

Last edited by T37Chef; 10-16-2007 at 04:52 PM.
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