More on Furler Maintenance from Martin Stansby….!!

By now, FF owners across the country, the world even, will be stripping down their genoa curlers to take a look at the bearings!!  Here’s another comment from Martin:-

As I said a dry lubricated item, squirts of silicone affecting the performance of the unit.  It appears dismantling and cleaning fixed the problem, but in my experience the balls do wear and the units do need serviced from time to time.  I wouldn’t have ever imagined that this would need to be done with any degree of frequency, however if the unit (top or bottom) is becoming stiff or not functioning as it should a quick service usually fixes the problem.  We posted the blog as not many realise how easy it actually is.

Furler Maintenance – by Martin Stainsby….!!

Not disagreeing with Keith’s posting – most valuable to have a guide to dismantling the swivel – but just to let you all know: although I did buy a pack of balls, when I got the furler apart, there was nothing wrong with the balls, not even a sign of wear/pitting. BUT, there was a build-up of repeated squirts of silicone lube; this had left a gunge which was certainly affecting the top swivel.

In the end, a thorough clean-up (and no further squirts of silicone lube) seems to have left the swivel in good condition. That was 2 years ago

Martin (3912)

Servicing Your Harken Furler (How to!)…….!!!

Written by Keith Jamieson

The Harken high-load furler is a pretty great piece of kit making sailing the fifteen all that much easier and helping prolong the life of your jib.  However you may notice that after some time it becomes stiff to use and the action is not as smooth as it one was; this is usually due to the balls in the mechanism becoming, worn, pitted or in some extreme cases falling apart.  On closer inspection of your furler (without the jib attached) you might notice that by grasping the top plate you can move this in a vertical plain quite a bit; a sign that the ball bearings might be worn.

Now Harken do supply a ball kit for both the bottom furler and top swivel so that you can replace these worm items and return smooth operation to the unit; your crew will thank you for this. Alan Bax of P&B tells me that he sells very few ball replacement kits so there must be a load of furlers out there not working properly.  The ball kits can be supplied by Harken direct or from all Harken dealers and your favourite Flying Fifteen builder P&B, Phil Evans Sailing Services  etc.

Here we are going to take you through the process of replacing the ball bearings in the bottom furler unit (the process is similar for the top swivel).  It’s quite an easy process and can be completed on one of the long winter evenings accompanied by bad weather we are currently enjoying.  This might not be the Harken approved method but it works for me.

Stage one – Disassemble your furler.

Having removed the unit from the boat and removed the control line, take the unit to the work bench and get a large Tupperware container, shallow ice cream carton or similar to work in.  This is quite important as the bearings are small and can bounce a remarkable distance if not restrained.  (I have forgone this in the disassembly stage for photographic purposes, it’s more important when assembling the new components).

Furler dis 1The first task is to remove the circlip which holds the thing together, this is a clupet type ring (it has no open ends) and is made from very springy strong steel, it sits under a groove in the top of the barrel pressing down on the top plate (the bit with the label stuck on in the picture).  To remove the    ring (this is the hardest bit I promise) get a small thin flat blade (I’m using an old worn electrical screwdriver) and finding where the two pieces of metal in the rings upper surface over lap insert the blade.  Ease this up over the lip and continue to work round the barrel.  You will notice that the ring starts to spring a part, this is the top piece of metal eases away from the bottom giving the appearance of a flat spring.  Continue working around the metal clip and easing it away from the top plate.

Furler dis 1aFurler dis 1bIn these pictures you can see the two surfaces of the circlip separated, continue easing this up the barrel until it comes off (try not to bend it as you will be putting it back on).

From this point disassembly is easy.

Furler dis 3Remove the top plate

Furler dis 3Furler dis 4Remove the outer barrel cover to reveal the fenestrations which allow you to drop out and through which you will insert the new bearings. (Notice the yellow dust, from the worn bearings in my photograph)

Furler dis 5In this picture you can see the plastic security strip in its locating grove holding the balls in place, in turn held in place by the barrel cover.  Do not lose this strip (which is why it is best to do this work in an ice cream tub or shallow tray.

Furler dis 6Remove the plastic strip as shown, this comes out quite easily to allow access to the balls.

Furler dis 7Now holding the base of the unit (far left in the picture) rotate the inner barrel holding the unit over the ice cream tub or tray with the fenestrations facing down (give it a gentle shake whilst turning) and the balls should fall out.  You can then remove the inner barrel from the unit leaving you with the complete set of disassembled parts.  You will then see the races in which the balls run.  Picture below.

Furler disassembledNotice the bottom plate is part of the inner barrel and the yellow dust from the bearings.  Harken advise that this unit is “dry lubricated” so do not use any form of grease or oil based lubricants in re-assembly this just gives sand and salt crystals something to cling to a wear out the unit more quickly. You can clean the unit with soapy water or a mild solvent but be sure that this is all removed and dry before re-assembly with the new nylon balls.

Next week re-assembly!

You can click here to download Keith’s set of instructions, with photographs, to have beside you as you do it.

Keith will hopefully provide the instructions for reassembly….

Yet More on the Jib Cunningham….!!

This time from Martin Stainsby…

Nice to see we seem to be doing something right!!!
This posting made us think of that Jib Trimming book, which we did get and found quite instructive. One of the key points of that book is adjustment of the jib cunningham in real(ish) time as part of the sail trimming.

So…. anyone got any bright ideas how to incorporate a jib cunningham adjustment into a Harken furler?

Martin and Alison Stainsby

Keels on Wheels’ Ian Preston Speaks on Under Deck Furlers…..

I fitted underdeck furling gear to “Fighting Machine”, 3293 in 1990. The main benefit was in having the attachment straight through to the hull instead of having to have the deck area reinforced to take the load of of the jib tack, thus reducing weight in the end of the boat significantly. There is a chute type hole in front of the forestay but only to give access to the furling gear and save a bit more weight.

The additional benefit of not having the sheet getting fouled under the furling gear, particularly when using bags, became relevant when we were able to remove the forestay, which had previously kept the sheet clear.

The reduction of windage was a factor in the thought process, but I can’t believe it is that significant.

Ian Preston

Chris Turner of Ovington Speaks on Under Deck Furling Gear…..

The boat pictured in the FF Blog at the dinghy show is 3972 now out in Australia.
The under deck furler is a modified Allen Brothers Cat fitting. The boat also used a chute, the furler was rebated in to the underside of the deck so did not affect the spinnaker use at all.
We did have one or two teething problems with the line jumping the drum, but that was quickly resolved.
The new boat for 2013 is on the way and will most certainly be featuring the under deck furler once again.

Chris Turner

Under Deck Furlers…..

You may recall that at the 2011 Dinghy Show, we saw an under deck genoa furler on a Fifteen there. “About time too”, did I hear you all say? After all, the FD’s that I raced in the seventies all had these.

Didn’t catch on though, did it? We don’t have one at our Club yet – but having said that I think that 3948, of which the new lucky owner is Chris McLaughlin, is about to arrive with one fitted.

I asked Phil Evans about it at Alexandra Palace. Usually an innovator, he’s not keen in this case.  First off, it complicates life below deck if you ever want to have a chuted spinnaker. Second, he says it is a devil to fit and maintain. Thirdly, a very good point actually, you can’t take advantage by attaching the tack at deck level as the rules don’t allow it. Our genoa tack has to be 100mm above deck.

So – we’ll wait and see what history does for this idea…..  I’d just like a foolproof way that the spinnaker sheets don’t get wrapped or jammed around the furler kit. We have simple bits of weeny elastic to act as preventers – it works pretty well actually.