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post #1 of 6 Old 08-18-2008 Thread Starter
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Furler - Replacing and new installation

Been awhile for a post - as been sailing. This weekend my furler died and have to replace it. The bearing at the wheel at the bottom seem to be lodged and the top of the furler - the spindle there is cracked and as result halyards get stuck and in yesterdays case - sheared the jib halyard and the genoa on the furler track just came dancing to the deck.

The current one is a Pro-Furler - 10 or so years old.


I am thinking since I am racing and intend to do more in terms of racing this fall / winter - Looking at the Harken MKIV.

My question is:

What is entailed on doing this oneself.

1. Can I do this at the pier?

2. How many people do I need for the install.

3. Just how difficult is this for the most part and if you have done it before - any tips you can share?

4. Opinions from those that race on the Harken MKIV? Should I consider others (cost is not a major priority for me - quality and performance is).

Thanks much

-- Jody

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-18-2008
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Jody- I don't have any experience with the H mark IV, but did have a mark III. I can't say I anything bad to say about it other than seemed a bit touchy on the halyard tension and tension on the sail when furling. I went with a new Profurl on current boat due to increased value for dollar, didn't have to cut the forestay. I was able to install it by myself in about 2 1/2 hrs. with the mast up and have no problems with it in the past 2 seasons.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-18-2008
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If you're planning on some serious racing, and depending on your sail wardrobe, you might want to consider not mounting a furler, as you tend to loose a lot of sail area on the bottom. Don't know the mark IV myself, but be sure it has twin slots as to be able to change sails simultaneously.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-18-2008
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If you're planning on racing and want a furler, might want to look at the Facnor furlers. They don't use a drum, since they're a continuous line furling system.

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-18-2008
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The serious racers I have known stay away from roller furling. If you must go with roller, twin slots will speed sail changes on a long race. Most short races usually stay with the same sail, because time limits your ability to make up what you lose changing sails. For the benefit of readers of this thread who do not now have roller furling headsails, I would suggest Sailcare. Three of my friends (Weekend cruisers, not racers) have taken a 150 Genoa, sent it to Sailcare, had it cleaned, stitches repaired as needed, recut to use a roller, Sunbrella protective edge added, and returned with a new roller furler. The furler took 2-3 hours to install over the existing headstay. All three boat owners (a 25 S2, a 33 Hunter, and a 34 BBQ grill - excuse me, I meant to say Catalina) were very pleased with the results, and told me they got a nice discount because they got the whole package. It has to be better than sending it out to be cleaned, taking it to a sail loft to recut, buying a furler, and having three suppliers to deal with when it doesn't live up to expectations!

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-18-2008
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Jody,

There are other threads that mention the Harken MKIV. Here are the answers to your questions from someone that installed a MKIV Unit 1 on a J/36 (over rod rigging):

1. Yes. You'll most likely have to remove your forestay and stretch it out on the dock. If you haven't done this before, I suggest you consult a rigger beforehand. But, yes, it can be done at the pier and you shouldn't have to unstep the mast to get the forestay off. You will need a flat work place the length of your forestay for about two hours.

2. Once the forestay is off, one person in about two hours or less (I consulted the instructions every step of the way) can install the MKIV. Running the furler line after the forestay is back on will probably take you another couple of hours.

3. The instructions that come with the MKIV are pretty easy to follow. If you can turn an allen wrench and squirt some 3M-5200 down some holes using a 20ml syringe (allen wrench, 5200, and syringe supplied), then you should have 90+ percent of the skills needed. The only thing that you'll probably need that isn't supplied is a hacksaw and a file.

3.a. Advice: Carefully measure your forestay and contact Harken...you may not need to buy the extra foil and connector if advised to do so. My sail feed sits about 3-1/2 feet up the forestay...consider this if you plan to use any of your existing jibs (non-long-link toggle, and about the same height my tuff-luff was set at). Read the instructions carefully before you begin. Instead of building the MKIV from the top down, it may be easier to build it from the bottom up (ie which end of your forestay is easiest to disassemble). If you're creative, have measured your forestay carefully so you know exactly where to cut the top foil, and can get the foil lengths onto the bottom of the forestay; you could get away with NOT having to remove the forestay from the top of the mast (many "if's" and I wouldn't have tried it on my first installation...but if all the "if's" fell into place, someone who's already installed one would probably go this route). If you have to cut the uppermost foil, a small piece of fine sandpaper will remove any burr left over after filing. 3M-5200 can take several days to finally cure...once you get the forestay back onto the mast, leave it for a week before sailing. Make sure you route the furler line so it exits at a 90-degree angle, otherwise the line will bunch at the top or bottom of the spool. Some tension/resistance on the furler line is desired when pulling on the jib sheets to deploy the sail and/or letting more sail out.

4. High-end racers do not like furlers. The major drawbacks are added weight aloft, greater windage, along with a less than optimal sail shape when reefed. For club racers and/or performance cruisers, a jib furler that converts to a headsail foil makes perfect sense. The MKIV drum disassembles and can be removed in minutes without disconnecting the forestay. What is left is a double-tracked aluminum headstay foil. Again, because it is aluminum instead of plastic, it does increase your weight aloft. And, because it has to be able to rotate around your forestay, it will be bigger than a plain sail track system and thus will create added windage. But, when the race is done and you're sailing back to your marina, you won't have to send someone scrambling to the foredeck to change sails with every change in wind speed.

I'm not connected to Harken in any way. The reason I went with the MKIV is that it had all the options and capabilities I was looking for. So far, it has been trouble free, but I've only been able to have the boat out a few times since I installed it.

Now, if you've read all of this and accidentally cut your top foil too short on a MKIV Unit 1, I'll get you a fantastic deal on one foil length.

Whatever you choose/decide, I hope all goes well.

Thanks,

Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
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