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  #1  
Old 05-26-2011
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Schaefer Furling conundrum - toggle or no toggle?

Hi All,
I just got off the phone with my marine surveyor. He's warned me of grave consequences of using the furling system "as-is" on the boat I am about to purchase because the forestay is not attached to the mast via a toggle. However, the Schaefer website clearly states that the forestay does not require to be modified for use with this system.

The unit is a Schaefer Snapfurl 700 circa ~2005.

The seller of the boat believes he has installed it correctly.
The surveyor says that he has handled several insurance claims because it was not toggled. Albeit, not from the Schaefer brand furlers.
I will be calling Schaefer in the morning, but I suspect they'll just repeat what is on their site.

Does anyone know if a toggle is required or recommended?
Has anyone heard of problems with a Schaefer furler shearing off the forestay?
Is there sufficient grounds to ask the seller to reduce the price to cover the cost of the new forestay and perhaps shortening furler and luff of the genoa?

I was comfortable following Schaefer's installation instructions until the surveyor said that all the other brands require a toggle for such a system and that this has been a common problem that's been around for a while.

Any experience you care to share on the above would be appreciated.
(Not to rush things, but the sale completes on Saturday... so QUICK! Thanks)
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Old 05-26-2011
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All stays and shrouds should have toggles. Their isn't a modification required by Schaefer because the toggle should have been there to start with. All stays will move a bit under sail. The forestay will move the most with the side pressure on the sail and if there isn't a toggle - top and bottom - the tangs will fatigue and eventually may give way causing the loss of the rig.
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Old 05-26-2011
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Hi Brian,
The stay is attached the mast like any other boat; via a ball-type fitting.

The surveyor says that is proper for a regular stay but improper for a furler; He would like to see a universal joint type of swivel between the stay and mast to ease the tension of the roller furler that wraps around the stay.

When I look at the system, a swivel seems unnecessary as the furling unit shouldn't cause unnecessary torque around the forestay. In other words, I believe the necessary swivel is integrated into the furling system and is not required on the forestay itself.

How do you have your furler attached aloft? Did you need to cut the stay and fit a swivel?
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Old 05-27-2011
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I don't currently have a furler.
I'm not sure what the answer is with a ball type fitting. Most boats do not have a ball type fitting. They have a pin to which the forestay is attached as shown below in the diagram and picture. With this type fitting, which is the most common, a toggle is required whether there is a furler or not.
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Schaefer Furling conundrum - toggle or no toggle?-fig-15.gif   Schaefer Furling conundrum - toggle or no toggle?-imgp0463.jpg  
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Old 05-27-2011
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Hi Brian.
There are other types of stay fittings as well, but what you show does not include a toggle/swivel. What you show is a shackle, which is normal. The forestay fitting is slightly different on my boat but for the sake of this thread you can consider them the same.

What the surveyor is requesting is that I add a swivel/toggle below the shackle allow the forestay to rotate under load. This requires cutting down (replacing) the forestay and shortening the furling system by probably 4"... I don't know if that will impact the sails yet or not.

At any rate, I think it is unnecessary and will call Schaefer in the morning to confirm. Hopefully someone else with Schaefer furler experience will comment here as well.
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Yes, not the ideal picture I agree. It's too dark to walk the dock here to take a pic and it's the best I could find on the net.
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Old 05-27-2011
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A toggle is not the same thing as a swivel -- a toggle IS essentially the same thing as a shackle. A toggle is not supposed to allow a stay to rotate on axis, it is supposed to allow for un-fair leads where the stay attaches, as exaggerated in this illustration:

(this is actually my backstay, but it get's the point across). Any stay that carries a sail should be toggled at the top and bottom whether the sail is on a roller furler or not, because sails apply a sideways load to the stay. And it is a good idea for all the rest of the stays and shrouds to be toggled as well.

Perhaps the furler should should have a bearing that allows it to rotate around the foil, and of course there is the halyard swivel (and you want to be sure the halyard lead is such that there is no way it can get wrapped around the furler foil), but I've never heard of a swivel on the stay itself.

FWIW, I have a Schaefer 2100 roller furler unit, and do not have any kind of swivel on the stay, but the stay is toggled. The furler was installed by professional riggers, and has subsequently been removed for winter storage annually, by several different professional riggers, none of whom have ever mentioned anything about how it is set up or lacking a swivel....
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Thanks guys, lets not get hung up on the term toggle. What you guys are calling the toggle is what I referred to as the stay fitting. And that's fine, we're talking about the same thing there and that's not the issue as my headstay is fitted to the mast just fine, so lets drop that part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catamount View Post
Perhaps the furler should should have a bearing that allows it to rotate around the foil, and of course there is the halyard swivel (and you want to be sure the halyard lead is such that there is no way it can get wrapped around the furler foil), but I've never heard of a swivel on the stay itself.
The top of the furler has a bearing which rotates the sail around the foil and is attached to the halyard with a swivel as you describe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catamount View Post
FWIW, I have a Schaefer 2100 roller furler unit, and do not have any kind of swivel on the stay, but the stay is toggled. The furler was installed by professional riggers, and has subsequently been removed for winter storage annually, by several different professional riggers, none of whom have ever mentioned anything about how it is set up or lacking a swivel....
This is exactly the information for which I was searching. It appears that your furler does not require a swivel on the stay and supports my feeling that the surveyor is incorrect. The surveyor is stating that I need a swivel below the toggle...

Since I don't just want my own opinion validated, is there anyone that HAS heard of a swivel on the headstay??
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Old 05-27-2011
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Engineer types DO get hung up on words, because nomenclature should be concice.

I would not swivel a layed line that is under high load unless there was no obvious alternative. Strength is reduced when the line rotates and begins to unlay.

: : PYTHON - High Performance WIRE ROPE : :

"Do NOT use Python® Ultra wire rope attached to a swivel. The rope WILL unlay resulting in an unsafe condition."

Whether forestay wire is the same, I do not know.

Code zeros and some small boats are one thing--the forestay rotates and there may be no foil (or it rotates with the stay). Conventional furlers are another. My furler is factory (Hood) and is toggled. Creating a swivel that would turn freely under a full forestay load and endure would be an engineering marvel.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 05-27-2011 at 07:33 AM.
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FWIW, my headstay is rod, but PDQ does raise a good point -- if your headstay is wire rope, inserting a swivel into the stay could cause more problems than it is supposed to solve. But I still don't understand the problem your surveyor seems to think is an issue -- furlers are designed so that the foil rotates around the stay on a bearing - the stay itself doesn't rotate. I suppose if the bearings were to seize up, that might be a problem but I suspect you just would not be able to furl (or unfurl) the sail. Unless you've put your furling line on an electric winch and are just not paying attention, it's hard to imagine generating a enough torque that you could shear off your headstay...
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