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  #1  
Old 07-28-2007
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Tough furling

We have recently purchased a CS 36, and is our first experience with roller furling. We were out in 10 knots of wind and with the sail flogging like crazy my wife tried to furl it. It wasn't going to happen. I took the furling line and heaving like hell on it I was able to slowly pull the sail in. I can't imagine having to shorten sail in a blow without using the winch (which the manufacturer insists should never be done). The furler is a Harken, and larger than the one usually chosen for this size of boat. I checked the blocks and fairleads and they are all okay, and the furling drum rotates easily enough, albeit with a little squeaking. The sails are heavy, offshore weight and may be part of the problem? Is this usual and should we be considering using the winch when it is difficult to reel in the foresail?
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Old 07-28-2007
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Nope, not unless you're the proverbial 90lb weakling :-)

On a 36-footer, you should be able to get the genoa furled pretty easily, especially in only 10 knots of wind.

I'd check the tension on the headstay, be sure everything is turning well, find the cause of the "squeaking" and correct it, and try unfurling/furling your genoa a number of times at the dock, making adjustments as you get the hang of it.

Generally, too, you don't want the sail flogging all over the place. Rather, de-power the headsail but keep a little tension on the sheet to prevent flogging as you roll in the sail. Often, the first turn or two is a bit difficult in a breeze of wind, but it goes easily thereafter.

Check also the turning block closest to your pull; these are often blocks which can be set to turn in only one direction.

Bill
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Old 07-28-2007
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Too much halyard tension. That's usually the problem. Your unit is a Harken 02 I think. Flush the bearings with a fw hose. I have a CS36 Merlin with the same unit, never had any problems, nearly twenty years old now. Never had to use a winch, Harken says thats a no no. Also check that the swivel is turning freely. When we furl my wife eases the sheet and I haul on the furling line, ease,furl,ease,furl, ease,furl. This works well on any point of sail unless it's over 25 kts. When it's blowing real hard you have to ease the sheet more and let it flog a tad.
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Last edited by Vasco; 07-28-2007 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 07-28-2007
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Hello,

My last boat (a 28') had a Furlex that worked great in all conditions (until the retaining strap broke, but that's another story). It was easy to furl by hand.

My current boat (35') has a Hood system that was not easy to use at all. I could furl it in 10 kts of wind, but more than that required the winch. I have since learned that how I operate the furler has a very large impact on how easy or not it is to furl. On my boat, I have learned to:

1. Ease the sail out when unrolling it. I used to just release the furling line and then pull the sheet. In a 10kt wind the sail would come out FAST, and the furling line could bunch up on the drum. That made it more difficult to furl the sail. Now I keep tension on the furling line as the sail comes out.

2. Make sure there is proper halyard tension. Too much or too like makes it harder to furl.

3. I cleaned the lower bearings (can't reach the top) by spraying WD40 into the drum, bearings, etc. The WD40 cleaned out the old salt. Note that the owners manual states the bearings do not require lubrication. On my Furlex system the bearings got greased.

4. Pay attention to how the sail furls. My boat furls counter - clockwise. So I have learned that if I am on a port tack (sail on the starboard side of the boat) and I sail on a deep reach, the sail has a natural shape to it that makes furling easier.

If i follow my steps the Hood system is easier to furl that it was before. It's not as easy as my Furlex was, but I don't need the winch anymore.

Barry
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Old 07-29-2007
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We have a Harken, and we go down-wind and ease the sail while furling. Rather than pulling straight back on the furling line, I leave it cleated, and pull to the side, take up the slack, cleat, ease the sail and repeat until fully furled.

Also, over time the furling line can become twisted and make it more difficult to use. I try to remember to remove the twist as part of our end of the sailing day procedure.

BTW, a possible problem could be halyard wrap. There needs to be enough halyard tension and the halyard is supposed to angle away from the stay to avoid wrapping. Happened to us, and the remedy was a preventer I think it is called. Check the furling installation guide for the proper angle and how to solve the problem with a preventer. If you don't have the guide, I think it is available for download from Harken.
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Old 07-29-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TejasSailer View Post
BTW, a possible problem could be halyard wrap. There needs to be enough halyard tension and the halyard is supposed to angle away from the stay to avoid wrapping. Happened to us, and the remedy was a preventer I think it is called.

Halyard wrap will happen with a Harken if the swivel is not hoist right to the top of the foil, it has to be within 2 or 3 inches of the top. If your sail is not a full hoist put a wire pennant on it, either at the head of the sail or the tack. I put the pennant on the tack so that I get a bit more deck clearance. I don't think it's halyard wrap in HoffaLives case because with halyard wrap you can't furl the sail at all!
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Old 07-29-2007
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I was told by an "old salt" yesterday that putting the wind to beam with just enough wind in the sail to prevent flogging will help. Very different from my last boat with hanked on foresails where you turn to wind and flake the sail as it comes down. Learning curve steepens! I'll also go over the furling system today and do some lubing as the PO told me the boat hadn't been used much in the last 3 years, so I think I know what that might mean in terms of maintenance. Thanks so much for all the great advice!
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Old 07-31-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post
I was told by an "old salt" yesterday that putting the wind to beam with just enough wind in the sail to prevent flogging will help. I'll also go over the furling system today and do some lubing as the PO told me the boat hadn't been used much in the last 3 years, so I think I know what that might mean in terms of maintenance.
We had exactly the problems you are having; with a brand new Harken unint 2.5. Here are some comments about it:

1. Dont "lube" anything! Harken furlers are designed to be run without lubrication on the bearings; so the worst thing you can do is put lube in! Give them a generous washing with a spray nozzle after each sail and that's all they should need.

2. You should be able to reef or furl a flogging headsail; if you can't there is something wrong. It might take a strong pull it to furl but it should be do-able without a winch. We can reef our headail in 30-40 kts of wind (now).

3. When fruling the sail it is easiest done while sailing nearly DDW. If you steer downwind until the headsail just begins to luff due to shadowing from the main it will ease the windload and allow the sail to furl more easily. If you are having problems with a "stuck" furler this is a good way to get the load off of the sail and hopefully reduce the amount of force needed to get it to roll up.

4. Heavy dacron sails are more difficult to reef or furl than light ones. My 105% yankee cut is heavy dacron and it requires more than twice the force as the light 125%.

Here are the problems we had to solve:

1. There was no wire pennant between the top of the genoa and the swivel; so the halyard was too long and was getting wrapped around the foil above the swivel. Adding a pennant eliminated the "jamming" due to this.

2. The headstay tension was not adequate for the heavy dacron sail. The headstay was sagging while the sail was hoisted. The flex in the foil was preventing it from rotating easily. Adding backstay tension helped reduce this "friction". If you have a hydraulic backstay tensioner; make sure it is tight before you furl the headsail.

3. Luff tension needs to be adequate in order for the weight of the sail to be supported along the luff instead of on the foil. We always tension the luff before we leave the dock and slacken it after we return. If we don't have adequate luff tension it requires mor effort to pull the furling line when it comes time to reef or furl, so I know this is a big factor on our boat.

HTH...
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Old 07-31-2007
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You might want to try out the furling in zero wind, just to base line how it operates then. After this, in wind, try at different pointing angles to find the one where the furling works best.
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Old 11-07-2010
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Thanks everyone contributing to this thread. I have been fighting my furler also. I have lots of useful suggestions to try.
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