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I've got a Famet Reefurl roller furler on my Allied Mistress. I am questioning picking up what few spare parts are necessary to maintain this 20 year old furler or upgrading to a new design. The Famet still works perfect, has an internal halyard so no wraps, has no bearings to rust, rot or jam, and a heavy duty drum that is supposed to be able to take the loads generated by a reefed sail. The only draw back I currently see is that it is older technology. It was originally marketed as bulletproof. After about 2 days of searching I found the company owner who is still supplying parts for the systems so it is servicable.

Should I keep a system that still works fine and is reliable for cruising or should I upgrade to a newer, more high tech model? i.e. Profurl. What variables am I missing in this equation and what would be the real benifits of a newer model? All feedback much appreciated.
 

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It sounds like you have something that works well. You also seem to have a source of parts at least for the moment. In addition, I suspect that a good machine shop could take care of you except for foils.

Older technology that works beats new technology that might not.

Why change?
 

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it... Also, introducing a new furling unit could bring other problems with it... Most manufacturers insist that you replace the forestay, if it is older than a few years...
 

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Is the forestay 20 years old? if it is you might want to replace that before you take off for a long time. I have a Hood Rolling Furling and it came down on the last sail... nothing more frustrating than having your half rolled jib laying the length of your deck.

If your rigging is 20 years old make sure you inspect it. Look for small cracks on the turnbuckels and rust where the wire is fastened together. I later found rust and even some brooken strands on some of the lines. Opps... I guess I didn't want to see it before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rigging is about 8 years old, but looks and inspected well. The roller isn't as nice and shiney as I would like, but seems in great working order. I guess I am wondering about the advantages of the newer models. What caused the switch between the internal halyard and bearingless systems to the new fangled halyard swivels and plastic or stainless bearings?
 

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In an attempt to keep on topic - I'll post my question here:
I have two Famet Roller furling units - Type A and B. The main difference between the two is the internal halyard hole for the units to mount around the forestay - Type A has an 8mm hole to take 5-7mm forestay wires and Type B has a 14mm hole to take 8-12mm wires.

Here's my question - I have a 7mm wire, which would seem to dictate the Type A. My issue is it's off my old boat and was my staysail rig, so on the Yorktown 35 I'm trying to resurrect, it will be approx 7 feet shorter than I desire ( I need 40', the Type A is 33'), which would limit the amount of sail I can carry forward. The Type B is long enough (actually 46' and I can remove 2-3' sections to match perfectly) and I have an offshore sail that would match my foretriangle perfectly. I'm wondering if the difference between a 7 & 8mm wire would be great enough to stop me from going ahead and using the Type B unit on my headstay - any riggers out there or people in the know that could help me here?
These are really robust units and don't really flex, so outside of rattling about a bit, i'm unclear if there would be any downside. They were bulletproof on a previous boat so I'd love to use one on this one. Would sure appreciate any advice folks may have. Thanks!
 

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The Famet company has been an up and down operation in recent years. Four or five years ago, the company couldn't be located and the owner of record didn't respond to inquiries.
However, it's flying again. Still in Kansas, as before. The current operator is David Freer at [email protected]
Here's hoping he has a long, successful run. But for peace of mind, I seized the moment and ordered two sets of roller furling bushings for my spares kit. They were shipped promptly, without advance payment. Just mail me a check, David said.
At $5 a set, the greatest buy since pizza by the slice.
 

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Famet is Bulletproof

I have a Famet roller reefing system on my main - Whitby 42. It really does appear bulletproof and the only part I replaced when I went to refit last year was the 2 nylon bushings. I wish my headstay roller reefing system was a famet.
Keep the system
Andy
 

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Famet Roller reefers are well ahead of
the pack if you are a fan of frictionless, no bearings, simple, repairable, and
Bulletproof reefers I've had one on my Pearson 39 for 30 yrs and never even lubed it.... Nothing to lube! The designer should win an award. Once you've seen them in action one wonders why any other design was even brought to production? Keep it on ....... parts have always been available
 

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I just bought a 1983 Watkins 27 with roller furling main (vertical) and roller furling jib with Famet reefing systems on it. I cannot figure out how to get the sails out of the reefing system. Many ideas...boat had no info about these systems,
Thanks...
Drew
 

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I will trade you my Hood furler for your Famet in a heartbeat. I had the Famet on my last boat for 17 Years with zero maintenance or issues. I have had to replace several parts on my new to me Hood system. One need only look at the schematics of each furler to see how the Famet is simplicity at its best for a cruiser. The ownership history of Famet is somewhat clouded due to the present owner sold the company to an individual who ran into financial issues. The company was taken back by the current ownership and I believe is still for sale.
 

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The FaMet Reefurl system uses a temporary halyard that you tie on to a shackle at the top of the chain where it attaches to the wire halyard. You can see it when you unfurl the sail. Ours has a small shackle in the hole on the slider above the hole where the chain attaches.

The idea is that you don't have to worry about a long halyard twisting around when you furl the sail. That eliminates the need for a rotating sheave at the top of the furling unit and keeps things simple.

The chain on ours is badly corroded. It uses a 45" long 3/8" pitch chain (probably cut to fit), which is found on go karts and minibikes. I can't find anything of that pitch in stainless, and what there is hundreds of dollars. I'm considering #35 Dacromet Corrosion Resistant Roller Chain, which is US$40 for 10 feet on ebay
 

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I expect I’m opening an old thread, but the end of this old thread from Jim talks of the FaMet jib curler chain that I assume is used to tighten the halyard. For the life of me I can’t figure out how to lower the jib. Is there anyone out there who can enlighten me.
 

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Yeah, I'm still around, and so it it. I made a piece of G10 with two holes: one for a long temporary halyard and one for a screw that will fit through the gaps in the chain (probably #6). I secure the piece of G10 with a screw and washers to the chain as far up as I can comfortably reach. Release the chain and let the sail drop on the temporary halyard go up. I pass the other end through a fitting away from the mast and tie it in a loop to the shackle that was at the top of the sail, and leave it like that for the off season so it doesn't clang against the mast or foil.

I bought a simlar furler from Alado for the headsail. It doesn't have the chain tightener, which I miss. That genoa is HEAVY.
 

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Hi Jim,
Thank you for answering my post about the FaMet furler. Still confused. I will be checking for your response, unfortunately I got on something else and forgot about my post. Here is my email [email protected]. If you or someone else can help, perhaps I can pass what I learn along. On my Genoa FaMet furler there is a short piece of chain that tightens the internal luff halyard. I’m good with tying a removable halyard above the chain. Loosening the chain is a different story. Not clear about the g10 you mentioned in your response. But sounds like I need to design my own tool that fits in the square opening that the chain goes around. Rare that I can open up my Jenny without wind. I will try to get a picture of it soon.
 

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Not clear about the g10 you mentioned in your response. But sounds like I need to design my own tool that fits in the square opening that the chain goes around.
Its just a 1/2" x 2" piece of anything strong with holes on each end. I secure it to one of the links of the chain by passing as screw through both of them. The other hole can have a rope passed through it. You could do the same thing with a stout zip tie or piece of cord, but the risk is having it fail and go up the track out of reach.

Just to clarify, this mounts on upper portion the chain as an extension, so you can let it go up the track when you secure the head of the sail. As you pull the sail up the chain will come down to a place where you can finally feed it into the sprocket at the base.
 

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Hey Jim,
Thanks for the quick reply. I got the jib out just long enough to get a good look and a picture. It appears that I need to get an oversized Allen wrench to crank it tight. It’s tight now, but what is actually holding the chain or sprocket tight ? Is it the bolt above the hole for the Allen wrench ?
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There is a removable wrench, but an allen socket in a socket wrench would do well. You want something with some leverage that you can use with one hand. The chain is retained by a rectangular plate that is welded to that shaft, and pointing the same direction (down as the handle coming off). It jams into the sprocket. You could probably figure out something else to jam in there and retain with the upper bolt. While doing so you need to hold the chain tight, so plan for a second set of hands if its more complex than flipping the lever
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