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I'm looking at either a Harken MK IV or a Furlex 200s for our sailboat. The luff is 45 feet and I have similar pricing for both units installed. I do not like the appearance of the new Harken ESP. I had a Harken MK III on an earlier boat and the white plastic bearings were spalling on the unit. Little pieces of hemispherical plastic were coming off and a couple of bearings were worn so much they popped out of the race on the lower unit. The furler was 5 years old and we were the second owners. Spoke to a rigging shop which were also dealers for Harken and was told that the black Torlon bearings are way tougher than the white bearings and also UV resistant. Sold the boat and the new boat didn't have roller furling. Wish it had but no money left after a new diesel was acquired (another story). When we had the Harken roller furler I got a wrap around the drum once (was more careful with the furling line after that) and found it exceedingly difficult to clear the jamb. Dropped the sail and unshackled the head, then anchored and played with the thing. This turns me off of the Furlex because the drum is closed. Searching the net, no one seems to have anything bad to say about the Harken MKIV but quite a few posts about unhappiness with the Furlex 200S. Having said that I believe that the Furlex 200s has been around since the early 90's so maybe there's more units out there. I would be interested about the experiences of people who own either of these units. I suspect that both are very, very good at furling and reefing headsails and that owner happiness might mainly be due to the quality of the installation.;)
 

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We have had our Harken IV for three years now. It has been flawless and an upgrade over our old Hood which was 20 years old. The Torlon bearings just should be washed out with freash water occasionally.

Harkens at the time were the only furler with double swivels top and bottom which allowed for the sail to furl from the middle aloowing better sail shape when furled as you maintain some of the length along the forestay. Not sure if others do now.

The Harken also has a double slot.

Harkens open drum allows adjustment and maintainence easily also if necessary.

We have a halyard preventer wrap preventer also.

To prevent drum wrap when furling, unfurling keep some steady pressure on the furling line and make sure angle from the drum to the deck/ first block is the correct one.

dave
 

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I'm looking at either a Harken MK IV or a Furlex 200s for our sailboat. The luff is 45 feet and I have similar pricing for both units installed. I do not like the appearance of the new Harken ESP. I had a Harken MK III on an earlier boat and the white plastic bearings were spalling on the unit. Little pieces of hemispherical plastic were coming off and a couple of bearings were worn so much they popped out of the race on the lower unit. The furler was 5 years old and we were the second owners. Spoke to a rigging shop which were also dealers for Harken and was told that the black Torlon bearings are way tougher than the white bearings and also UV resistant. Sold the boat and the new boat didn't have roller furling. Wish it had but no money left after a new diesel was acquired (another story). When we had the Harken roller furler I got a wrap around the drum once (was more careful with the furling line after that) and found it exceedingly difficult to clear the jamb. Dropped the sail and unshackled the head, then anchored and played with the thing. This turns me off of the Furlex because the drum is closed. Searching the net, no one seems to have anything bad to say about the Harken MKIV but quite a few posts about unhappiness with the Furlex 200S. Having said that I believe that the Furlex 200s has been around since the early 90's so maybe there's more units out there. I would be interested about the experiences of people who own either of these units. I suspect that both are very, very good at furling and reefing headsails and that owner happiness might mainly be due to the quality of the installation.;)

I've personally owned both units. They are both excellent. That said I did not go with the Selden this time around as I had a few nickle & dime issues that pushed me towards the Harken.. Harken also has some of the best product support in the industry..
 

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I have sailed many with both and they both seem to work fine. I have a continuos line furler and it cant overwrap. Sailed on a 40'er with the new Facnor flat deck furler and it was very easy to use. no overwrap possible as it has webbing instead of line. very cool furler and well made.
 

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I have sailed many with both and they both seem to work fine. I have a continuos line furler and it cant overwrap. Sailed on a 40'er with the new Facnor flat deck furler and it was very easy to use. no overwrap possible as it has webbing instead of line. very cool furler and well made.
I installed a Facnor flat deck furler last spring (FD230), it works as advertised.
Looks like well designed unit, easy to maintain and install (did it myself).

It also have room for a turnbuckle inside the furling drum, something the old Furlex didn't have.

To disassemble the Furlex I had to destroy the head stay, the Facnor can (if needed) be disassembled and assembled with normal tools without destroying anything.

Price seems to be competitive for the Facnor unit

Link:
Facnor - Furler system, gennaker & code 0 furlers, facslide
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I should add that I have read the 2009 Practical Sailor test of headsail furlers. They rated the Furlex 200s best in their opinion. I believe the Harken MK IV was their next choice although they suggested that all modern furlers they tested were good. They did not do a evaluation after several years of use however.
 

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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.
 

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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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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...
 

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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
 

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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
 

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...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.
 

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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.
 

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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.:):)
 

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... 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.
 

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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..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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.
 
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