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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, Please don't groan and say Plastimo what do you expect. The thing is stiff. It is not halyard wrap and is looking like the drum bearings. I am looking for someone who has taken one to bits. I am an engineer and it it needs new bearings I can fit 'em even if it means adapting them from somewhere else or using stock bearings if I can't buy plastimo spares. I could just do with a heads up as to what to expect when I take out the four bolts that hold the drum together. It is one of the old black plastic ones. Don't say chuck it away as that is not an option at present. I have plenty of time but not much cash! Any advice gratefully received.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well with no replies, I decided to just give it a go. I secured the mast using two halyards and was able to unfasten the forestay from the chainplates. I was able to remove the drum unit and the swivel slider and took them home into the warmth! It was pretty obvious that they were the problems. The drum was better engineered than I had been led to believe though both of the bearings were hopelessly seized. Salt water had been getting in. The bearings in the slider were still turning but were choked with old crap and grease. I chucked the bearings in the bin and the plastic bits in the dishwasher and paid a visit to my local bearing factors. Just under £40 for all of the bits. Reassembly was easy and both are now spinning away happily. Will reinstall tomorrow. I expect that will certainly improve the stiff unfurling/furling situation. I have videoed the process and will post when I can edit it. If anyone is looking for advice on how to do this, just ask.
 

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Good job... sorry you didn't get any input, that's probably down to it's not a very popular furler.
 

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Irrationally Exuberant
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Nice work Zuma! It's tough to tackle something like that with no hints from prior doers! You're a pioneer. :)
 

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baDumbumbum
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Thanks for the info; I'm likely buying the 811T for our Ballad. Very popular in the Med & coastal France, somewhat popular in Britain, not so much in the US. Only distributor I know of here is US Spars/Sailcare, who are very helpful to chat with & don't varnish a product's plusses or minuses. One thing I was told is that the SS ball bearings are strong and very smooth when new, but if salt or grime gets in (and it will), they can bind up suddenly. It's not a gradual performance-degradation curve. It helps to rinse them frequently and try to squirt some lube in there, but yeah ... they are more work than Torlon or HDPE bearings. Otherwise, a pretty darn good little furler, by most accounts. Top swivel requires the special dogleg shackle, or it may rub against & unscrew the bearing retainer cap. And like many furlers, it's fussy about halyard lead angles. YBW board will have more Plastimo owners on it.

Thanks for the info & looking fwd to a video; we'll put a set of furler bearings in the spares kit. The 811T, for medium weight boats up to 33ft, runs $800. While I'd adore a Furlex, that's about triple the cost. And I kinda trust the French on matters sailing. They do a lot of it & seem to know their way around boats.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the encouragement, guys. Wife and I refitted the bits yesterday and out on the Mersey today in a blow. Super. Worked a treat. Forty quid well spent. Will now be able to spend money saved on daughters! Yikes!
 
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