Join Date: May 2008
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
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.
Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"