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cap'n chronic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This month I will be dropping my mast to have some deck work done and While its out I have been thinking of replacing my furling unit.
I have an old school hyde streamstay one furling unit.
I replaced all the bearings/retaining nuts on it last season and it works well.
My concern is that this is a 30 year old unit and it also serves as my forestay.
I am concerned on how strong this thing still is and dont even want to think about what the end results will be if it lets go under sail.
Me and my wife plan to do some extended cruising this summer and im trying to take all precautions to make sure the boat is safe.
I have been looking at different units from a bang for buck standpoint and would like some advise.
I was leaning towards this unit as it would suit my needs and the price isnt too bad:
Harken: Cruising Furler
but then I have seen these CDI furling units and the price is even better but I know nothing about them.
I dont want to buy junk just because its cheap but due to the other repairs on the boat my budget is limited.
Any thoughts/advise?
 

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Telstar 28
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993 Posts
I'd avoid the CDI furlers, as Harken or Furlex make a far better unit IMHO. The CDI furlers use an integrated halyard, and that can make adjusting the headsail luff tension difficult. They also have other problems, like coming apart in high-load situations... that are less than desirable.
 

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Alado

Simple, inexpensive, easy to install yourself. That's it. End of discussion. Time to close this thread.
 

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Splashed
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I never heard of the Alado, but if you want to go the "less expensive" route, Plastimo also makes some low cost furling systems, that are OK. Depending on how much it is going to be used, I'd still go for more expensive furlers as those discussed herein
 

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I'm very happy with my CDI

So were 100% of the other people who bought CDI according to a survey by Practical Sailor. Parts are readily available, service is excellent, and product is very functional and well designed.
Read about it and decide - CDI - Flexible Furlers
 

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Old as Dirt!
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Based on our experience with 3 different furling systems, I'd say go with the Harken. It's about as reliable as you're going to find. the Company always stands behind their products in the unlikely event you do have problems, and the units seem to continue to work no matter how much they are abused or mistreated (tho' I reccomend neither).

FWIW...
 

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I have a Schaefer

and it has been pretty good to me and the PO. It has ceramic bearings, a simple design, and it has never jammed. Maintenance is a simple as an occasional fresh water rinse of the bearings.

My cousin had either a Furlex or Profurl, Furlex I think, on his previous boat and he said it always jammed and eventually broken. He ended up replacing it with a Harken.

DrB
 

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One of None
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I can't afford even a cdi just now, but from what I see in all furlers other then the continuous types with large sheaves is the effort required because of the small spool the line goes around. larger spool = less effort (imho) I had a cdi on my hunter 23 it was great. many people I know have cdi also and love it... but they are not blue water sailing.
 

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I also have a Streamstay dating from 1972. I talked to the local guru a while back and he said that as long as you keep the bearings in good shape (i.e. well lubed and no water in the fittings) and don't kink the furler taking it up and down, that it is good forever. The aluminium rod is much stronger than any replacement. A potential problem is that the rod hardens as it ages and loses some flexibility. But the only time that is an issue is taking it down or putting it back up.

But then again I have this bias "Old is better than new"
 

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cap'n chronic
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235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I also have a Streamstay dating from 1972. I talked to the local guru a while back and he said that as long as you keep the bearings in good shape (i.e. well lubed and no water in the fittings) and don't kink the furler taking it up and down, that it is good forever. The aluminium rod is much stronger than any replacement. A potential problem is that the rod hardens as it ages and loses some flexibility. But the only time that is an issue is taking it down or putting it back up.

But then again I have this bias "Old is better than new"
What does everyone else think about this?
like I said, the unit works flawless after servicing it last year.
I like to sail hard and the thought of failure is messing with my confidence in the boat.
 

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cap'n chronic
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Simple, inexpensive, easy to install yourself. That's it. End of discussion. Time to close this thread.
I saw these units getting whored out on ebay.
None of the local shops carry them.There must be a reason for that.
 

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Personally

Personally I find value is stuff that lasts, performs above average and the company stands behind it. There are more Harken dealers in this country than CDI and Alado have combined. If I need parts for a Harken, haven't needed them yet, I have seven plus stocking dealers in a 20 mile radius of Portland, ME. CDI dealers? Alado?


Take a look at the Alado site and check the price for a 36 footer. An Alado for a 36er is $1495.00 and a Harken Unit 1 is $1354.00 or $150.00 LESS. While you have a 33 footer the cut off for the next Alado model down is 32 feet. A Harken Unit 1 would be perfect on your boat.

John Harries, a sailor I know, and high latitude world cruiser has over 100,000 NM on his 16+ year old Harken furler. Show me even ONE CDI that has 100,000 NM on it. He has changed the bearings in it once in 100,000+ nautical miles that's it..

IMO there is just no comparison in quality between CDI, Alado and Harken. Harken is a far better built furler that actually reefs well due to the independent top and bottom swivel bearings.

I have personally had a CDI fail and on that boat I upgraded to a Furlex. I have also owned Pro-Furl, Schaefer, Hood, Harken & a Hyde Stream Stay too. The Pro-Frul, Schaefer, Furlex & Harken units I would buy again not so much for the others.

To answer your question I feel the Harken is the BEST value for more reasons than just price..
 

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What does everyone else think about this?
like I said, the unit works flawless after servicing it last year.
I like to sail hard and the thought of failure is messing with my confidence in the boat.
I was in the same exact shoes you were. My new to me boat that I bought 2 years ago had the same Hyde Furler and I always heard that too that as long as you take care of it, it will last forever....Well 3 weeks ago on the first sail of the season in 5-10knts of wind the part that connects to the mast sheared off and the only thing that prevented the mast from coming down was the halyard. So in my opinion, replace it. I was lucky that it happened to me on a calm day. As of yesterday the rigger just finished installing a new Furlex furling unit as well as all new standing rigging. I am not saying anything bad about the Hyde unit as it has lasted 25 years BUT it is definetely not bullet proof or forever lasting like I have heard before. Just like everything else it goes over time.

In terms of new furlers, I was told by a number of people furlex was near the top of not one of the best so I went with that. Have only used it once so far but it seems good.
 

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In terms of new furlers, I was told by a number of people furlex was near the top of not one of the best so I went with that. Have only used it once so far but it seems good.
Furlex is a great furler and right up there with Pro-Furl, Schaefer & Harken. The nice thing about the Furlex is that it comes as a complete kit with a new head stay included. My only complaint with my Furlex 200S was that the black plastic turned a grayish white in about three years due to UV...
 

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Furlex is a great furler and right up there with Pro-Furl, Schaefer & Harken. The nice thing about the Furlex is that it comes as a complete kit with a new head stay included. My only complaint with my Furlex 200S was that the black plastic turned a grayish white in about three years due to UV...
Oh man hopefully that doesn't happen but as of now I am just happy to have a working furling unit as well as bright and shiny new standing rigging.

Oh PS I just replaced my shaft packing with GORE GFO based off your site and posts and my shaft problems after packing with PTFE flax 3 weeks ago are gone! Thanks for that.
 

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Telstar 28
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I like my Furlex 200S... works well...must have changed the plastic, cause mine still is pretty black... ;)

Furlex is a great furler and right up there with Pro-Furl, Schaefer & Harken. The nice thing about the Furlex is that it comes as a complete kit with a new head stay included. My only complaint with my Furlex 200S was that the black plastic turned a grayish white in about three years due to UV...
 

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cap'n chronic
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235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
After a day of calling around, internet research and speaking with friends, here are my thoughts....
From what 2 rigging shops told me the cdi units are not up to par with other units.I was told they wouldnt recommend these units on anything above 26 feet.
This is also comming from a local cdi service center/distributer.
Just as SD said they have had reported failures.preventing that is the whole reason for the upgrade.
I dont care about what practical sailor had to say, they would give good ratings to anything with an ad in their mag.
As for the alado I couldnt get much local feedback so thats probably a good sign to stay away.
Profurl,hood,furlex and shaeffer do not offer units in my price range.
I installed a harken on my last boat and never had any issues in the 6 years I had it and my father has had harken units on his boats for more than 25 years and said he has never had an issue/failure(but then again he gets 2 foot fever before they get old enough).
I like the mkIII or mkIV because of the double foil, which will come in handy if I decide to race in the next couple of years but the price is over $1000 more than the cruising unit which is otherwise perfect for my budget and the type of sailing we currently do.
 

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I just replaced a streamstay with a shaeffer. I could have repaired the streamstay, but was worried that I would spend $600 in parts to have a 20 plus year old system that I would not trust. Keep in mind that loosing the headstay is not the only possible problem. Mine jammed with the sail half out when the top swivel failed. The wind was low enough that I could untie the sheets and muscle the sail around the headstay a few times and then drop it. In a big blow I would have been stuck with a foresail flailing itself to death and no good options (I actually thought I might have to motor the whole boat around in circles to unwind the thing). Replacing your streamstay with a better quality unit is the safe way to go.
 
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