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post #1 of 17 Old 02-12-2013 Thread Starter
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Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

I'm looking at either a Harken MK IV or a Furlex 200s for our sailboat. The luff is 45 feet and I have similar pricing for both units installed. I do not like the appearance of the new Harken ESP. I had a Harken MK III on an earlier boat and the white plastic bearings were spalling on the unit. Little pieces of hemispherical plastic were coming off and a couple of bearings were worn so much they popped out of the race on the lower unit. The furler was 5 years old and we were the second owners. Spoke to a rigging shop which were also dealers for Harken and was told that the black Torlon bearings are way tougher than the white bearings and also UV resistant. Sold the boat and the new boat didn't have roller furling. Wish it had but no money left after a new diesel was acquired (another story). When we had the Harken roller furler I got a wrap around the drum once (was more careful with the furling line after that) and found it exceedingly difficult to clear the jamb. Dropped the sail and unshackled the head, then anchored and played with the thing. This turns me off of the Furlex because the drum is closed. Searching the net, no one seems to have anything bad to say about the Harken MKIV but quite a few posts about unhappiness with the Furlex 200S. Having said that I believe that the Furlex 200s has been around since the early 90's so maybe there's more units out there. I would be interested about the experiences of people who own either of these units. I suspect that both are very, very good at furling and reefing headsails and that owner happiness might mainly be due to the quality of the installation.
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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

We have had our Harken IV for three years now. It has been flawless and an upgrade over our old Hood which was 20 years old. The Torlon bearings just should be washed out with freash water occasionally.

Harkens at the time were the only furler with double swivels top and bottom which allowed for the sail to furl from the middle aloowing better sail shape when furled as you maintain some of the length along the forestay. Not sure if others do now.

The Harken also has a double slot.

Harkens open drum allows adjustment and maintainence easily also if necessary.

We have a halyard preventer wrap preventer also.

To prevent drum wrap when furling, unfurling keep some steady pressure on the furling line and make sure angle from the drum to the deck/ first block is the correct one.

dave


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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

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Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
I'm looking at either a Harken MK IV or a Furlex 200s for our sailboat. The luff is 45 feet and I have similar pricing for both units installed. I do not like the appearance of the new Harken ESP. I had a Harken MK III on an earlier boat and the white plastic bearings were spalling on the unit. Little pieces of hemispherical plastic were coming off and a couple of bearings were worn so much they popped out of the race on the lower unit. The furler was 5 years old and we were the second owners. Spoke to a rigging shop which were also dealers for Harken and was told that the black Torlon bearings are way tougher than the white bearings and also UV resistant. Sold the boat and the new boat didn't have roller furling. Wish it had but no money left after a new diesel was acquired (another story). When we had the Harken roller furler I got a wrap around the drum once (was more careful with the furling line after that) and found it exceedingly difficult to clear the jamb. Dropped the sail and unshackled the head, then anchored and played with the thing. This turns me off of the Furlex because the drum is closed. Searching the net, no one seems to have anything bad to say about the Harken MKIV but quite a few posts about unhappiness with the Furlex 200S. Having said that I believe that the Furlex 200s has been around since the early 90's so maybe there's more units out there. I would be interested about the experiences of people who own either of these units. I suspect that both are very, very good at furling and reefing headsails and that owner happiness might mainly be due to the quality of the installation.

I've personally owned both units. They are both excellent. That said I did not go with the Selden this time around as I had a few nickle & dime issues that pushed me towards the Harken.. Harken also has some of the best product support in the industry..

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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

I have sailed many with both and they both seem to work fine. I have a continuos line furler and it cant overwrap. Sailed on a 40'er with the new Facnor flat deck furler and it was very easy to use. no overwrap possible as it has webbing instead of line. very cool furler and well made.

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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

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I have sailed many with both and they both seem to work fine. I have a continuos line furler and it cant overwrap. Sailed on a 40'er with the new Facnor flat deck furler and it was very easy to use. no overwrap possible as it has webbing instead of line. very cool furler and well made.
I installed a Facnor flat deck furler last spring (FD230), it works as advertised.
Looks like well designed unit, easy to maintain and install (did it myself).

It also have room for a turnbuckle inside the furling drum, something the old Furlex didn't have.

To disassemble the Furlex I had to destroy the head stay, the Facnor can (if needed) be disassembled and assembled with normal tools without destroying anything.

Price seems to be competitive for the Facnor unit

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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

I should add that I have read the 2009 Practical Sailor test of headsail furlers. They rated the Furlex 200s best in their opinion. I believe the Harken MK IV was their next choice although they suggested that all modern furlers they tested were good. They did not do a evaluation after several years of use however.
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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

The Harken has a very tidy setup for lifting the drum for access to the forestay turnbuckle if you need it.. but I think either will do a decent job for you.

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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

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The Harken has a very tidy setup for lifting the drum for access to the forestay turnbuckle if you need it.. but I think either will do a decent job for you.
Yes thats true as I had to adjust mine this year. I was suprised it only took an allen wrench to open up the drum halves.

Dave


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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

I sail Colgate 26s with Harken IV furling units. The unit's placement on the Colgate is a little too low, the drum can hit the bow rail in some circumstances. The top of these units are a plastic disk that break within a few weeks of use - forever after unless the furling line is very attentively eased and trimmed, a jam is likely. Replace the unit and it happens again.

The big issue is somebody made a design mistake in an otherwise faultless and lovely boat. An underlying issue is the Harken unit has too much thin plastic. My Furlex 300S worked as well after 12 years as when new. I know the 200S isi a smaller unit, my advice would be to look at both side by side and see if one looks more solidly constructed than the other...I suspect an answer will be apparent and that the Furlex will be worth the extra cost...

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Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

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Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
I sail Colgate 26s with Harken IV furling units. The unit's placement on the Colgate is a little too low, the drum can hit the bow rail in some circumstances. The top of these units are a plastic disk that break within a few weeks of use - forever after unless the furling line is very attentively eased and trimmed, a jam is likely. Replace the unit and it happens again.

The big issue is somebody made a design mistake in an otherwise faultless and lovely boat. An underlying issue is the Harken unit has too much thin plastic. My Furlex 300S worked as well after 12 years as when new. I know the 200S isi a smaller unit, my advice would be to look at both side by side and see if one looks more solidly constructed than the other...I suspect an answer will be apparent and that the Furlex will be worth the extra cost...
Could correct it being low with a toggle assembly and a few inch shorter headstay

I disagree with the thin plastic description. Harken is generally known for superior products. It appears yours is not installed correctly if you keep having the same problem

As far as the jam. And it happens to all furlers at some time. Which is easier to correct and fix....an open body drum or one which is closed


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