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Schooner Captain
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes I surprise myself.
I had been playing with ideas to make our furler into a pushbutton system for a long time.
$6500 I can have a proper one, gasp.

I had thought of a harbor freight winch, but I realized that would be very slow.

Our furler line needs to move about 35'.

What about a captive winch that would fuel or unfurl 35' of line?
So I thought a bit, and came up with this:
TRAC OUTDOOR PRODUCTS Fisherman 25 Electric Anchor Winch | West Marine
I would hook this to an amp meter, that would be right next to the switch. So if the furler gets stuck, I don't damage anything.

Thoughts?

http://newcontent.westmarine.com/content/images/catalog/full/12869616.jpg

<$150
 

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Senior Member
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At best it's going to take 30 seconds for furl the sail (60 ft/min no load)... seems like a long time when you can do it by hand in 5-10 secs most days?
 

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Schooner Captain
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At best it's going to take 30 seconds for furl the sail (60 ft/min no load)... seems like a long time when you can do it by hand in 5-10 secs most days?
I can do it in about 20-30 off the wind.
 

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I've got an electric furling winch on my boat, thanks to the PO. Frankly, it's a waste of resources and needless complication. If the loads are high enough to require the winch, you risk damaging the furler and/or sail. Better to fall off to the point that you can do it manually.
 

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Sometimes I surprise myself.
I had been playing with ideas to make our furler into a pushbutton system for a long time.
$6500 I can have a proper one, gasp.

I had thought of a harbor freight winch, but I realized that would be very slow.

Our furler line needs to move about 35'.

What about a captive winch that would fuel or unfurl 35' of line?
So I thought a bit, and came up with this:
TRAC OUTDOOR PRODUCTS Fisherman 25 Electric Anchor Winch | West Marine
I would hook this to an amp meter, that would be right next to the switch. So if the furler gets stuck, I don't damage anything.

Thoughts?

http://newcontent.westmarine.com/content/images/catalog/full/12869616.jpg

<$150
Seems like a dumb idea, to me... Hey, you asked, right? :)

What happens if something jams/craps out with the sail halfway furled? How are you gonna free that line?

By far the easiest way to mangle a headsail furler is to put it to an electric winch... Just ask Dr. Stanley Paris...

 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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4,525 Posts
Sounds like you are trying to solve a problem that isn't really a problem. If you are having problems getting the sail furled manually figure out the root cause of that problem and fix it. If you get that electric winch can we start a pool on how long it lasts? I would choose a low number. After it quits (in the middle of some ocean perhaps) you are back to your original setup that seems to not work well.
 
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Old as Dirt!
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3,487 Posts
Buy yourself a Milwaukee Right Angle Drill (see/click-on Milwaukee-M28-28-Volt-Lithium-Ion-1-2-in-Cordless-Right-Angle-Drill-) and a Winch Bit for less than $500.00 all up and all of your winches will/can be "electric". We've used the Milwaukee Drill since 2006 and have been very happy with it. Even my 105# (much) better half has no trouble trimming or furling the head sails or hoisting the Main.

FWIW...
 

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Schooner Captain
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2,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the only issue with it now is its hard to do on a port tack with the sail full.
It comes down to running back and forth in the cockpit, or trying to balance two sheets.
Its just a bit of a pain when in the cockpit solo.
 

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the only issue with it now is its hard to do on a port tack with the sail full.
It comes down to running back and forth in the cockpit, or trying to balance two sheets.
Its just a bit of a pain when in the cockpit solo.
I think you need a change in technique.. why would you even want to try and furl the sail when it's full???? Bear off, put the headsail in the lee of the main and furl it one-handed...
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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4,525 Posts
Faster beat me to it.
 

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Schooner Captain
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2,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I should disengage my autopilot, fall off the wind, perhaps with the seas going abeam, roll in the genoa, go back into the wind, reset the autopilot, trim, then keep going? seems to be more of a pain then simply reducing genoa when needed, no?
 

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So I should disengage my autopilot, fall off the wind, perhaps with the seas going abeam, roll in the genoa, go back into the wind, reset the autopilot, trim, then keep going? seems to be more of a pain then simply reducing genoa when needed, no?
Hmmm, I'm not envisioning a long and happy life for that furler of yours...

If you'd like to prolong the life of your sail and the furler, yes... They may not make to Antarctica, otherwise...

Perhaps you should consider the switch to a powerboat, instead?

:)
 

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Schooner Captain
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Complaining about having to set an autopilot, is like complaining about the brand of free beer your buddy brought over. It's just against the rules. :)
and if the beer was an odule?
:p
We have an alpha 3000, it requires manual engagement, and a centered wheel during release, and during engagement
 

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sounds like he wants automatic sailing while single handed. is there an App for that? As I get older I also like to make somethings a little easier but still like to feel like I did the sailing. electric furling, auto pilot, program the GPS and you can stay home while your boat goes for a sail.
 

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Schooner Captain
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2,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sounds like he wants automatic sailing while single handed. is there an App for that? As I get older I also like to make somethings a little easier but still like to feel like I did the sailing. electric furling, auto pilot, program the GPS and you can stay home while your boat goes for a sail.
sitting at the helm 14 hours a day on a passage is not what I call a great time. Neither is sitting in the rain. If my boat had a button labeled "Sail" I would press it most of the time, and go have coco.
 

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sitting at the helm 14 hours a day on a passage is what I WOULD call a great time. Get a computer and place it next to the stove in a nice warm house and push the Sail button you won't get wet that way. maybe you need to STEP AWAY FROM THE BOAT for awhile and the fun of sailing will come back.
 
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