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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-04-2009
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Ditching the CDI?

I'm thinking of removing my CDI Furler. But let me explain myself before being seen as a heretic!

Last weekend, I took my new boat,(a 1995 Catalina 250 WB - Don't laugh. The price was right!) out for her maiden voyage. I'm a new trailer sailor, and am learning to sail her on Lake Mead. As I was raising the mast, I noticed that the luff extrusion on my CDI was really warped and bent. Warped to the point that I had to loosen the backstay almost as far as it would go, and wrestle with the furler to get it hooked up.

After tensioning the backstay and upper and lower shrouds, the luff extrusion still was warped. After I got everything hooked up and tensioned, I went ahead an launched (a different adventure all together! ) I motored around for a bit, and finally put up the boom and bent on the mainsail. I went forward to bend on the headsail, and it wouldn't go all the way up, possibly because of the bend, or an obstruction in the extrusion. That was pretty frustrating!

Overall though, the boat behaved well, the wind was light, which was good for a newbie like me, and there were no nasty surprises (although I see a centerboard cable replacement in my future). But that darned furler!

Some background: Before I rescued her, this boat was sitting in a storage facility on her trailer for almost 5 years. Original owners, beautiful condition and one heck of a steal! But she had been neglected. The reason, I believe, that the luff is so screwed up is that it has been sitting in the Las Vegas sun and heat, and has taken on a permanent bend.

The admiral is getting tired of all the money being spent on outfitting the boat at this time, so, I had the harebrained idea of just removing the furler and perhaps waiting until I can afford a new luff extrusion or furling unit. I also think that a standard headstay would be a little easier to deal with on a trailer sailor. The added benefit would be that I would gain the experience of dealing with a hanked-on headsail.

But, this leaves me with a couple of questions: Would it be foolish to go without a furling jib as a new singlehander? And, more importantly, is it possible to convert the headsail to a hank-on without sending it to a sail loft or spending ridiculous amounts of time and effort?

Thanks, and sorry about the long-winded post!
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Old 11-05-2009
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No, I don't think it would be foolish to go without the furler. I learned to sail without a furler (40 years ago) and currently do not have a furler and am not planning to buy one for future coastwise and offshore use. But you will have to get the jib modified by a loft for hanking on to the forestay.
Brian
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Old 11-05-2009
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I can not help to wonder by the time you have the jib modified (hanks and crinkles) you might be real close to the cost of a new extrusion. The extrusion is a couple hundred bucks.

CDI - Flexible Furlers
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Old 11-05-2009
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I installed a CDI furler on a prior boat. The extrusion came coiled and needed to be laid flat for a couple of days to get it to lay strraight. A few years in the Vegas heat might give the extrusion a permanent bend, but I'd try laying it out flat in that sun for a while to see if it would heal itself before replacing it.

And while furlers are not a necessity, as mitiempo points out, they certainly are a convenience. I used to single hand a lot and once I went with a furler, I'd never go back. Just sayin'.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
And while furlers are not a necessity, as mitiempo points out, they certainly are a convenience. I used to single hand a lot and once I went with a furler, I'd never go back. Just sayin'.
Too right!! Furlers do have disadvantages, but in my opinion the advantages outweigh by a huge factor.

If this is indeed a plastic foil you are dealing with, then I agree with a previous poster about laying it flat in the warm sun.....

Stuart
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Old 11-05-2009
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I'm guessing you have an older CDI with alum extrusions? They got bent from wrong handling when the mast was dropped. Many trailer sailors use a pvc pipe to support the furler, or tie it along a board.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Removing the roller furler from your boat would be like removing the air conditioner from your home.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Thanks for the replies!

It's obvious that folks love their furlers! I can definitely see the advantages of having one. I'm just a bit worried that the one I have may need more work/funds than I can provide at this time.

I was hoping that the modification to the jib could be a DIY job, but I take it there is more than just adding the clips to the luff?

I guess I'll try to remove the extrusion and lay it out somewhere. The difficulty will be finding a place to lay it out. I live in an community with a rabid HOA! I may have to get crafty...

While I have the furler off the boat, what can I do maintenance-wise to make sure it is going to perform well and be reliable?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 11-05-2009
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You have the plastic luff then? a heat gun could work... if your careful. Many people lay them in the sun when it's warm out. it needs to be straight.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
You have the plastic luff then? a heat gun could work... if your careful. Many people lay them in the sun when it's warm out. it needs to be straight.
Yes, it is the plastic luff. It says in the manual that a heat gun may not work, but I'm willing to try - it's out of warranty anyways!
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