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Author Topic: New Furler Recommendations  (Read 158 times)

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Patches

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New Furler Recommendations
« on: October 07, 2019, 03:14:46 PM »

My original equipment Harken Mark 1 furler is ready for replacement.  I was able to get it through the charter season with the help of a new halyard restrainer, but it needs to be retired and there are some deals now on new furling units.  I'm not a racer anymore, and the boat is out a lot (sometimes 3X day in the summer) due to use as a charter boat. Like everyone else with a C34, I've got a 5/16" forestay and 5/8" pin.  I need reliability, easy maintenance, and cheap parts.  So far, my preferences (in order of most preferred) are:

1.  Harken Mark IV:  Lots of good experiences, and can't find any negative comments.  A little pricier, but not by much after I work my Fisheries Supply discount.  High marks for customer support and ease of maintenance with the torlon bearings.

2.  Hood 808 SL:  not much out there in the way of reviews, but what is there seems to be positive. The installation instructions are horrible, but I'm going to have a rigger help with installation.  Good sale price right now.

3.  Profurl C350:  My rigger likes this unit, but there seem to be a fair number of detractors. Criticisms include (1) stiffer rolling, (2) a luff groove which is tight for #6 luff tape-- but loose for #5, (3) sealed bearings on the drum which maybe aren't that sealed, and (4) expensive replacement parts.  That said, walking up and down the docks at my marina I see a higher proportion of Profurls than other brands.

4.  Alado:  I'm intrigued by these Brazilian units due to the ability to easily install myself, cost, and simplicity to maintain.  They get very high reviews by owners.  But something about the design (internal jib halyard) makes me think these units won't reef as tightly and would give poorer sail shape on the luff.  Only saw one in my marina.

Crossed off:

1. Schaeffer:  looks robust, but I don't want stainless pop rivets holing the extruded foil sections together.  Some reported cases of the rivets working to cause the sections to mis-align resulting in raising/lowering problems.

2.  Facnor.  More mixed reviews that steered me away.

I would appreciate feedback by anyone who has direct experiences with any of my preferred choices (1-4).  I'll be pulling the trigger here soon.

Patches

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Analgesic

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Re: New Furler Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 04:38:15 AM »

I went with the Harken 3 years ago at the recommendation of the local well respected rigger.  Flawless performance so far.  He steered me away from the less expensive Harkin stating that it was cheaply built for the commercial charter fleet where price was the main issue since boats were not being purchased by the charter companies for long term ownership. 
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Stu Jackson

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Re: New Furler Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 09:35:17 AM »

Generally, what happens in these kind of threads is that skippers will share with you what worked for them, essentially: here's why I made my choice.

Mine, in 2003 or so, was a ProFurl LCI32.   Has been flawless since then.  Closed bearings, no maintenance.  No halyard restrainer needed, since it comes with the patented "Wrapstop" at the top of the top swivel; I call it the Darth Vader.

It's also the only furler I ever found where the instructions say you CAN use a winch to furl.

Your boat, your choice.  :D

« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 09:37:43 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: New Furler Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 02:27:11 PM »

Patches : Look in the Mainsheet tech Note, I wrote an article about installing a Hood 808.
I changed my rigging at the same time and don't recall having any problems installing the Hood unit!!
 
Still works great!

A thought   :thumb:
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Ron, Apache #788

Patches

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Re: New Furler Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2019, 09:52:26 AM »

Thanks for the responses.

Ron:  I can't seem to access any "tech notes".  If you know, does it require a different password?

I'm still leaning towards the Harken Mark IV because of the tack swivel, which neither the Profurl C350 nor the Hood 808 has.  In theory, that means it will reef the middle of the sail before the head and tack, allowing better (more even) reefing and furling along the luff--especially when its blowing.

I also grilled my rigger a little bit about the various options.  He said he has a Profurl C350 on his boat, but admitted it rolls stiffer than the Harken.  So I asked him: assuming they cost the same, would he choose the Profurl C350 or the Harken Mark IV?  Without hesitating he said "the Harken."

I also contacted both Harken and Profurl for information on each unit.  The guys from Harken responded very quickly, a good sign.

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Patches

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Re: New Furler Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 08:09:41 PM »

Decision made.  Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

I ordered the Harken Mark IV, "Unit 1" furler today.  Before doing so, I checked with the very helpful support people at Harken.  They confirmed that the "Unit 1" would be a good fit for our boats, with our 5/16" forestay size and 5/8" pin size.  They also confirmed there would be no issue with drum size for the 18' foot on my furling headsail.

This is important, because my own rigger had recommended the larger "Unit 2" size.  The price point is substantially more for the larger "Unit 2" furler.  I was able to get the Unit 1 furler and long link plates for 5/8" pin for a price comparable to the discounted price for a Profurl or Hood after using my commercial account at Fisheries Supply. 

Hopefully this can also help others shopping for a new furler.

Patches
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