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  #1  
Old 06-15-2008
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Harken MK-IV Furler - What I like...

Hi All,

Last spring I installed the new Harken MK-IV furler. It was a brand new model so I did not want to be premature with a one season review. Well, after a full season, all be it short compared to many in warmer climes, we have put about 2100nm on it with zero issues. It has worked flawlessly and it installed easily.

One feature I really like is the ability to keep and have access to a head stay turnbuckle.

This is how user friendly the Harken MK-IV really is:

Step one: Loosen these four bolts and pop the retainer plate out off the corresponding notch on the foil (you do not need to take them all the way out, just loose, a NICE feature to prevent losing the bolts):

Step two: Remove this pin and slide the drum up the foil and snug down the previous four screws to hold the drum up and out of the way:

Step 3: Adjust your turnbuckle! Yes it's that easy!!!



P.S. The ONLY thing I do NOT like about this unit is the CRAPPY furler line it comes with!! Harken are you listening? This has been a MAJOR complaint with just about everyone I know who owns a MK-IV. This black line with red tracer SUCKS!!!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-21-2008 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 06-15-2008
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We're into our first season with this furler.. installed it over the winter. So far no problems either, but at this point we are using it strictly as a furler, not a reefer.

Definitely agree with Hal re: the supplied furling line - a replacement is on the list. It would be nice to see Harken respond to this complaint.
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Old 06-15-2008
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We reef..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
We're into our first season with this furler.. installed it over the winter. So far no problems either, but at this point we are using it strictly as a furler, not a reefer.

Definitely agree with Hal re: the supplied furling line - a replacement is on the list. It would be nice to see Harken respond to this complaint.
We are using ours to reef and it works great. It seems to keep a decent furled head sail shape too. Highest winds reefed so far have only been in the high 30's..
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Old 06-16-2008
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It looks well-built there Hal.
On the Shaeffer, it's diffilcult to get to the turnbuckle.
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Old 06-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
It looks well-built there Hal.
On the Shaeffer, it's diffilcult to get to the turnbuckle.
Schaefer's are well built but not as user friendly and surprisingly more expensive. I had one, Schaefer 2100, on my old Catalina and it worked great but when it came time to buy a new one the Harken had had features and price!
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Old 06-16-2008
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We've got a Harken Mk IV and it seems to "slip". We have two reef marks on our genoa. We'll reef to the second reef, and after a couple of hours it will "slip" to the first reef. Here's what our rigger said when I asked him to look into it:

The new Harken furlers have a really nice independent tack swivel- the extrusions rotate with the drum, but the tack is free to spin until the luff 'catches up' with it. I think when furling, the sail is rolling up ok and leaving the tack behind (as it should) to flatten the sail during reefing. But, later on with more wind, the sail rolls tighter and tighter giving the result of more turns needing to be added. It would appear that it is slipping, but it is really just getting a tighter roll on the extrusions. Does this make sense?

In short, it is working fine but you may need to pre-roll a few more turns than you think necessary to accomodate this tightening.

Personally, I don't like the fact that my sail slips in heavy wind.
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Old 06-16-2008
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Thumbs up Agreed

Our new Harken Unit 2 Mk IV installed July 2007 has been working flawlessly. Everything halekai36 said I would agree with 100%. It is that easy, when I moved the line to the port side I had to adjust the drum, easy and took less then 2 minutes!

One note, I should have raised the height of the drum due to the proximity to the anchor & roller, otherwise love it!

BTW...I inquired with Harken about the crappy furling line and was very pleased with how they reacted to my inquiry...here is their response (I removed names & email addresses and start at the bottom which is my original email, the others are the replies from Harken!

************************************************** *****
Hi Michelle, our customer Shawn is one of about 20 who have complained about the line. It was developed to be as strong as the old MkIII line but smaller in diameter and less expensive.fficeffice" />>>
I think it is time that we get our salesperson from Yale Cordage to give us a visit to talk about our customers concerns. Please set up a meeting within the next month.>>
Thanks Michelle and thank you Shawn for contacting us about this problem.>>
> >
Greg
Senior Engineer - Furling Technical Manager

Harken Inc.
>>
>>




Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 10:06 AM
To: Shawn
Cc:

Subject: RE: Unit 2 Line>>

> >
Shawn,>>
Please let me know how this proceeds as adjustments are employed. Customer feedback both positive and negative can be a very useful tool for improvement. Thanks again.>>
Jim,>>
> >
Jim
Tech Service Group Leader>>
>>
Harken Inc.>>

> >
From: Shawn
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:17 PM
To: Jim

Cc: ffice:smarttags" />Dan
Subject: RE: Unit 2 Line>>



> >
Jim,>>
>>
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question and explain the rational behind the line chosen. I should have clarified that my main grip with the line is the grip it doesn’t have. Being a cruiser most of the time, I don’t wear gloves, I feel a line sold on a cruising furler should be easier to grip, especially when wet

Nonetheless, I will be sure to regularly check everything you advised me too.>>
>>
Regards,
Shawn>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
-----Original Message-----
From: Jim

Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 3:23 PM
To: Cc: Dan
Subject: FW: Unit 2 Line
>>
>>
Shawn,>>
Good after noon, sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with our choice of the furling line used in the new MK1V and cruising furlers. On the other hand I am happy to hear the kind words regarding the performance, construction and design of our units, thank you for that. I would like to answer your question about the choice of line and offer a couple of ideas that may help you better manage the headsail furling line. For many years we sold a double braided Dacron line with the furler as the furling line. It was selected for its strength value and a size diameter that could be easily hung onto with the assistance of the ratchet installed as the last block in the lead block system. When the manual furling redesign came along we looked at all of the options available and tested dozens of materials, constructions and diameters from well known cordage manufactures while staying within the strength limitations we needed to meet. I was involved with that testing. We tested some stiff lines, some flexible lines, double braded and single braided lines and we even tested a line with two distinct different diameters in the same length of cordage much like a tapered line. We set and furled and set and furled all day, changed the line out, make notes and move onto the next line. At the end of the exercise we found that there was very little difference in performance between these very different lines, they all worked very well. When it was all said and done we decided on a single/solid braid line which was slightly smaller than the double braided line we replaced. The single braided line is stronger than the line we used to use and just a hair smaller in diameter with approximately the same hand hold and feel. >>
Having explained all of that. There are a couple of things in the rig that can cause difficulty furling. The most common are a halyard that has too much tension on it causing excessive friction in the ball races in the halyard swivel and not enough tension on the head stay which will also make things more difficult. If you feel that the head stay is even a little to slack put a couple of turns on the turnbuckle body and slack the halyard .250” or .375” and try it again. There should always be a ratchet used in the furling line lead block system and the ratchet should be mounted at the furthers location aft. The line should lead aft through the ratchet and then back forward covering as much of 180-degrees of the sheave as possible. The way this works is that hauling out on the sheet to set the sail automatically charges the furling line back onto the spool as the sail sets. As the sail sets it drags the furling line over the ratchet sheave which is set so the sheave cannot turn in the direction the line is moving while it charges back onto the spool which impedes the line going back onto the spool which forces it back on the spool in a much more orderly fashion. When it is time to furl the sail the furling line is hauled on which causes the sail to be furler around the foil system. Because the sheave can only turn in the direction of the line as the furling line comes off of its spool it is assisting you hang onto the furling line at a ratio of 15:1. It is not reducing the load at all but the faceted sheave turns only in the direction it needs to to furl the sail, it makes the load on the furling line much easier to manage by hand. >>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
Jim Tech Service Group Leader>>
>>
Harken Inc.>>

>>



From: Shawn
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 8:24 AM
To: harken@harken.com
Subject: Unit 2 Line
>>

>>
Hello,>>
>>
I have recently…August that is, purchased and installed a new Unit 2 for my Tartan 37. I am very pleased with its performance, construction, and design…with the exception of the line that comes with it. It is crap, really bad! Why put such a line on a Harken product then charge $2000 + for it. I don’t get it….please explain. >>
>>
You can read on Sailnet here http://www.sailnet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39946 how many others feel the same.>>
>>
Shawn

Last edited by T37Chef; 06-16-2008 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 08-04-2008
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I'm considering the recently introduced Harken Cruising furler as a replacement of the Hood continous line furler that came on my Catalina 36.

From what I can gather, the "Cruising" unit is a no frills version, but offers the same design reliablity and ruggedness of the MkIV. The difference between the units seems to be the crusing version lacks features that racers would use like the removeable drum for full hoist sails and it comes with a single groove round extrusion vs. the aero shaped 2 groove extrusion of the Mk IV. The price difference is about $800. I can't see the above features adding that much value for our use, but if there are any signficant internal design differences it might be worth opting for the Mk IV.

Anyone know anything about this new offering from Harken?
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Old 08-04-2008
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One word of warning about the MKIV. The "tang" of metal connecting the head swivel to the halyard has shown a tendancy to fail. As in, mine did fail halfway through the Hook race. Harken responded immediately and sent a new (re-designed) swivel assembly at no charge. $43 to pay the yard to retrieve my halyard, along with the shackle and broken tab of extruded aluminum that formerly connected to the swivel car that came down rather unexpectedly with the sail. That, and two hours of personal labor and problem solved.

According to Jim at Harken, the Unit 1 and Unit 2 MKIVs have had the problem, apparently due to an underdesign in the interests of limited weight aloft. I bought mine in March 2008; no clue if/when all the units on the market have the older design versus the new one. I just installed the re-designed unit last Saturday, so far, so good.

While I was disappointed that the failure occured, I will say that Harken stood up immediately and took responsibility for the issue without even a hint of denying there was a problem. So yes, I'd buy the unit again, but I would find out which swivel car I was getting...
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Old 08-05-2008
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Midlife - From what I was told, and having spoken to Harken about it, the "Cruising" furler is not anything like the Mk IV. It was designed to meet the price point of the production boat manufacturers that wanted to say they had Harken equipment on board. It is not built to the quality of the Mk IV and should not be compared to it.
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