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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s
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Thread: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-21-2013 01:57 AM
Starbuck
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

We decided to go with the Harkin MK IV. From reading many posts on the net and the feedback on this forum, it seems that the Furlex Nd Harken are both excellent quality. The installed price for the Harken with a new forestay and turnbuckle was $50 less the the Furlex (which comes with a new forestay). it came own to who was doing the install. The Harken dealer I have dealt with in the past (he re-rigged a Contessa 26 for us) and all the shop does is rigging. The Furlex dealer rigs new boats for the dealers and installs electronics, heaters, etc. I'm sure both would do quality work but I know the Harken does and the quality of the installation is what seems to make the biggest difference for furler satisfaction. Thanks to everyone who offerred advice.
02-13-2013 05:50 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
True, Harken makes generally great products, but FWIW, the top of this furler is a plastic disc with a thin lip subject to breaking. Or at least all six examples I have personally used have had this characteristic, and all broke..

Yes, the problem appears due to the Colgate install, but I'd bet you'll get the same result by lowering the spinnaker pole on the unit.

As to jamming, the Furlex never jammed provided the line lead was correct. I do not believe in ten years I ever removed its cover due to a jam. Hands down, a better unit by far.
If I agreed with this I would have purchased a second Furlex.. The cost was the exact same or within $30.00 to me (head stay included).

Our Harken has performed flawlessly. It reefs the sail better than the Furlex did, and the little plastic bearing race cover on the top swivel has not failed on me yearly like it did on the 200S...

Our plastic cover plate over the drum has had zero issues so I suspect the proximity of the bow pulpit to the furler drum is probably not a Harken issue... I also race on a boat with a MK-IV and it too has performed flawlessly..

Both are excellent units but I would go for a third Harken over the Furlex if I needed another furler... I also like the Schaefer but it does not reef as well and is more money than Furlex or Harken..

I think all the furlers from the big four are excellent. Schaefer, Furlex, Harken and Pro-Furl. I've owned all of them at one point or another plus a Hood Sea Furl and an old Hyde Stream Stay. Our current Harken replaced the Hyde Stream Stay..
02-13-2013 04:31 PM
sailingfool
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
... the furling line escapes the drum cage and locks itself, effectively 'jamming' the furler. It's only happened during sailing, never part way through a furl or unfurl. Requires a trip forward to straighten out. I suspect it happens at the end of an unfurl with too much slack in the furler line...
Faster, I have also assumed that to be the reason for Harken jams, the issue with part of the top being broken, is that the unit will consistently jam if any slack is permitted while unfurling.
02-13-2013 04:26 PM
chef2sail
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
We have the Harken Cruising furler (similar to MKIV but single groove and fatter foil) and the only issue we've had is occasionally, for reason's I've not yet been able to nail down, the furling line escapes the drum cage and locks itself, effectively 'jamming' the furler. It's only happened during sailing, never part way through a furl or unfurl. Requires a trip forward to straighten out. I suspect it happens at the end of an unfurl with too much slack in the furler line.

Other than that (and regretting not going for the full MKIV after all) the only beef is the crappy, slippery furling line supplied with the unit.
They have changed the line in the last two years. Keeping pressure when unfurling is important to prevent a jam as is cleating off the furling line once it is pulled out. That will help as we had the same issues.
02-13-2013 04:06 PM
Faster
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

We have the Harken Cruising furler (similar to MKIV but single groove and fatter foil) and the only issue we've had is occasionally, for reason's I've not yet been able to nail down, the furling line escapes the drum cage and locks itself, effectively 'jamming' the furler. It's only happened during sailing, never part way through a furl or unfurl. Requires a trip forward to straighten out. I suspect it happens at the end of an unfurl with too much slack in the furler line.

Other than that (and regretting not going for the full MKIV after all) the only beef is the crappy, slippery furling line supplied with the unit.
02-13-2013 03:46 PM
sailingfool
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
...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
True, Harken makes generally great products, but FWIW, the top of this furler is a plastic disc with a thin lip subject to breaking. Or at least all six examples I have personally used have had this characteristic, and all broke..

Yes, the problem appears due to the Colgate install, but I'd bet you'll get the same result by lowering the spinnaker pole on the unit.

As to jamming, the Furlex never jammed provided the line lead was correct. I do not believe in ten years I ever removed its cover due to a jam. Hands down, a better unit by far.
02-13-2013 02:49 PM
overbored
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
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
Raising it up will make the problem worse the top of the drum hits on the bow pulpit . its a Colgate 26 design flaw
02-13-2013 01:53 PM
chef2sail
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

Quote:
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
02-13-2013 01:01 PM
sailingfool
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...
02-13-2013 11:28 AM
chef2sail
Re: Harken MkIV or Furlex 200s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
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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