I installed an Alado A2 furler myself a couple of weeks ago and thought some might find the installation details useful. Bottom line: the Alado construction is very nice and the way it goes together is clever. One person can
do the job but it's best to do this on a fairly still day. I prefer to make things as hard as possible, so I chose a breezy day.
You can read about the Alado assembly on their site--I won't go over it all here. But basically, you install most of it over an in-place stay, working from the bottom, only detaching the stay at the bow (with a temporary line in place, obviously) to slide the final pieces and drum on. No climbing the mast.
The aluminum airfoil-shaped foils come in 5-ft halves that slide together over the stay in a solid tongue-and-groove fashion. Basically, you snap nylon bushing halves over the stay, enclose the bushing between two foil halves that are slid into the existing part, then haul that part up the stay with a temporary halyard hitched around the lowest pieces, slide the hitch down, and repeat. The joints are staggered for strength. At the end you cut the final pieces to the appropriate length, unfasten the stay, slide the last halves on, follow that with the drum (which has a 1.5" clearance), refasten the stay.
Sounds simple, and it was, until those last two pieces. With the wind blowing, the assembly bowed considerably which pulled the stay up into the foils, leaving not enough at the bottom to get my final bushing on. I'm not sure at the moment how I finally pulled it off--possibly some burst of kinetic mental energy. If you don't trust your supplies of psychic power, it's best to have a friend helping at that point.
One non-obvious thing about the Alado construction: it has no built-in way to keep the outer drum from turning, except some cast-in eye straps which you're supposed to use to tie off to each side of your bow pulpit. Hmmm. That would get in the way of my anchor, but I found a less obtrusive spot that works, and thin Amsteel line looks less cheesy to me in that application. In the future, I might fashion something from aluminum stock that bolts to the hole directly below the furler like the old Hood unit used. All you're doing there is resisting some twist.
I've only been out once with the new furler, but I was happy with it's performance. I like the shape of the foil, it unfurled and furled easily, held a reef fine.