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  #1  
Old 04-27-2012
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Fun with Furlers--Alado

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.
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

I've been using an Alado for 6-years and I love it! It's built better than any similar, sheave furler I've come across, it took me about 45 minutes to install on both my Catalina 27, and my Morgan 33 O.I.. No pins to fall out, big drum that makes furling a breeze, no lubricating required. It's a great system, and It's probably the lowest priced system on the market. It was rated as the #1 by Practical Sailor Magazine, which is exactly where I would rate it as well.

Yep, you should have picked a calm day for installation--it just makes life a lot easier.

Cheers,

Gary
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

I have been using an Aldo for two years. Very easy install by one person for a small boat in about 45 mins and not much can go wrong with the rigid foil or the robust drum. Larger boats should probably have two people to install, one to pull the halyard with hitch to foil, and one to install the next bushing and foil section.
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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

OK, so as I understand it, everyone but me can install one of these in about 45 minutes. Maybe I can get a job with Alado testing as their worst-case installer?
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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

Thank you for this post. I have have my Alado furler for over a year now and have not attempted to install it yet. I was worried it might be much harder to install than than the youtube video with no sound made it seem. Thank you for boosting my confidence. Looks like ill have a furler for this season after all!

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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

By all means, go for it crazystrause. Here's some other suggestions:

1. Practice your rolling hitch beforehand. This is the hitch you'll tie to the low end of the foil assembly that will hold it up as you build from the bottom. The tension on a rolling hitch has to be from the correct side to tighten instead of slip. If you are spatially challenged like me, it would be smart to practice it on a vertical pole, not horizontal. Might as well make it just like the real situation.

2. Have some duct tape handy. I used small pieces a couple of times to temporarily hold a foil half in place.

3. The centering bushing that goes in the drum after snapping around the stay is sized for a stay wire, not the neck of a fitting like a turnbuckle. This was problematic for my setup, I needed the drum to be on the upper end of the turnbuckle, not higher up on the wire. The solution, recommended by the helpful AladoUSA rep, was to drill out the bushing to 1/2". All that bushing is doing is centering the drum, so no harm in making it fit your needs.

4. I think the manual is correct that the position of the luff feed gates is not crucial within a pretty generous range. I, for some reason, over-sweated this.

5. The alloy the foils are made of is hard! I had an old fine-toothed blade on my hacksaw and found the cutting hard work. A Skilsaw might have made things easier.

6. It's not a bad idea to have a helper with you. Extra hands, extra brain can't hurt--the extra hands at least.
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Last edited by arf145; 09-03-2012 at 06:17 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

I know this thread is months old, but I've been teetering on whether or not to give Alado a chance. Hard to find reviews from actual owners. Always hear about a guy who knew a guy who walked the dog for a guy... Really appreciate the info, update, etc. I'm going to give it a shot.
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Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

Have at it SailingChance. I've now been using the Alado for a few months and am very happy with it. One more thing I've learned. Use the lowest stretch line you can for the integral halyard. The rope I used slacked off a little under tension and I had to re-tie the halyard at the furler base a couple of times with the sail unfurled to get the tension right.
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Old 09-04-2012
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Thumbs up Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

I just recently ordered an A1 furler and hope to install it this week. I can't yet speak to the performance of the unit, but the build looks good and the customer service has been phenomenal. FedEx gave us some trouble on the delivery but the Alado folks went out of their way to resolve the problem and keep me informed.

I'll try to post some pictures of the install and the unit in action.
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Old 10-09-2012
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Re: Fun with Furlers--Alado

We are going to install ours this weekend but we cannot figure out from the silent video how to tension the halyard. One bitter end is attached to the head of the sail and the other is looped through the piece on the drum but then how do we tension it. A picture would be helpful.
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