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Thread: Roller Furling

  1. #1
    Island Boy
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    Roller Furling

    I have a '75 E27, and I only cruise ( no racing ). I'm concidering installing a roller furling jib, Has anyone done this before on similar size boat, I'd like to Know what is involved , does the sail need to be replaced or modified, any recomendations as to where to get one, make, model, price, etc.
    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Principal Partner Mindscape's Avatar
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    Roller Furling

    Try a search (button in the upper tight) on "roller furling" and you'll get quite a bit of info from this board.
    Frank Bunker
    Mindscape
    The Journey is the Destination
    Ericson 32-3, 1985 - Hull #661
    Kenosha, WI

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Lots to Consider....

    I agree that this site has a LOT of pertinent discussion on this topic.

    You said: "does the sail need to be replaced or modified, any recomendations as to where to get one, make, model, price, etc. "

    Short answer is "mostly yes." And, you should discuss this with a local rigger as well as total strangers on the internet....

    Going by the year of your boat... You need a new headstay unless it has been replaced in the last few years. Once you cover it up with a furler, you will not be inspecting it again...
    Per tests and surveys in PS over the last decade, there are several excellent brands on the market -- I bought Harken, but Schaefer would have been just as good, to name only a couple at the top.
    The sail does need to be modified or replaced. The shape needs to be changed for its new duty of being reefed by rolling in some of it. It needs UV protection on the parts left exposed when rolled in.
    You will find that most sail lofts can give you a near-irresistable deal on a combo of sail and furler. Not to promote one brand over others, but when we went with a new dacron UK(Northwest) genny and Harken furler in the same package order, I got the fall discount on the sail *and* the price on the Harken was lower than a Port Supply price thru a sailing friend.

    This is one of those times where you can really save big by looking at it as a system purchase.
    Interesting quote from a local (retired) sailmaking friend -- most furlers will never be taken down again for a real inspection until: the boat is sold or the owner dies, so do it right the first time...


    We went for a compromise overlap ... a 135 %... you need to get input from other E-27 owners about what size works best on your model and in your sailing venue. You do not want such a large genny that you are normally trying to roll in more than 3 or 4 rolls as the wind pipes up --- shape of sail becomes too compromised, IMHO.

    Best of luck to you, and Fair Winds,

    Loren in PDX
    Olson 34 #8
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 03-01-2004 at 12:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Principal Partner Mindscape's Avatar
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    Roller Furler

    I agree with Loren on all points. Another top of the line furler is pro furl - Probably the net is that there are a lot of great furlers out there.

    With a little luck Seth will reply - I worked with a number of sail makers on a new main and he had great Ericson info, based on his work experience with them.

    My experience with sails that have been recut for a furler work ok - since you are crusising only this may work. It seems like you can get a little better sail shape out of a sail designed for a furler - but probably no enough to matter. You do need to get the UV protection added (or use a cover, a guy at our marine has one, it looks like it works but is not convienent, which is a large part of the point with a furler).

    Loren's point on the comprimise to a 135 is a good one. Very few people I've sailed with actually change the sail that is on the furler, although they often have more than one sail that will fit. So get a sail size that works for you and your location in most of the conditions you will encounter.

    All of this of course is IMHO. Good luck!! Adding a furler should make it easier to get out on the water - and in the end that's the point!
    Frank Bunker
    Mindscape
    The Journey is the Destination
    Ericson 32-3, 1985 - Hull #661
    Kenosha, WI

  5. #5

    An additional point

    If you convert to roller furling and have a hank-on sail you would still like to use occasionally, an alternative to having luff tape installed on it is to attach "kiwi slides" to the hank grommets. You can find them at anzam.com

  6. #6
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    Furler

    Loren makes a lot of good points. Harken is the way I went, when I put a furler on my boat and it is a very good unit. You can probably use a unit 00 AL with your boat as the forestay is not much longer than my 25+ has. Your sail(s) will need luff tape put on which costs around four to five dollars a foot. Not sure what a UV cover costs, but stay away from the sunbrella covers, they are to heavy and affect your sail shape negativly. Good luck and check into deals on new sail and furler combos like Loren said. Ryan

  7. #7
    Contributing Member II Luffin it's Avatar
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    I have a Harken 01 on my 1979 Ericson 27 which I couldn't live without it. I agree with Loren on the 135% which is what I just purchased from Sobstab at Christmas. I replaced a 163% which was too large for the boat. One real nice thing about the 135% is you can see under it without any problems. It was a constant job with the larger sail. I also went with the foam luff so the sail shape would still work at 90%. The sail I purchased has speader patches, single ref, #6 luff tape, sunbrella blue UV and it's 7.3 oz which is heavier than needed. 5oz would probably work as well if not better in lighter wind. I paid $1123.00 which included shipping to Seattle for the sail. The furling system was on the boat when I purchased it in 1991.
    Last edited by Luffin it; 03-21-2004 at 11:03 PM.

  8. #8
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    furler

    I agree with the comments so far, so will tell you what we did for comparison. We had a new Pro-Furl 25 installed. The cost installed, with a new head stay was less than what I could purchase the furler for. Profurl was offering dealer incentives at the time. Be sure and install a new stay at the time you intall the furling unit. We went with a 135% also. Our sail inventory also includes a Doyle UPS (like a big drifter) and a storm sail we are having Doyle make to fit over the furler ( like a gail sail). Your headsail will depend on the winds you normally encounter in your area. If you see 15-20+ on avg. then you may want to go with a 110%. A lot depends on local conditions and how you like to sail. We had a new sail make specifically for the Furler and we love it, especially the admiral.
    Good luck,
    Gary and Terri
    "TerriAnn"
    Dunedin, Fl
    Gary and Terri

  9. #9
    Contributing Partner
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    Gary,
    Is it cost or other factors that leads you to make a custom 'storm' sail instead of going with the Gale Sail?

  10. #10
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    Walter, Just the fact that we had a very good hank on storm sail when we bought the furler. Just saving a few bucks. Gary
    Gary and Terri

  11. #11
    Contributing Member I
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    I recently installed a roller furling system on my 1976 E27. I had a 135 jib in pretty good shape. I bought a Plastimo furling system system from Sail Care Inc. I also had them modify the jib to fit the system. Total cost was araound $1300. I installed it by myself. Slow process, but not difficult. Joe

  12. #12
    Island Boy
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    Talking

    Many Thanks for all the great advice: D

  13. #13
    I have had roller furling on all 4 boats that I have owned. Three I added it and 1 came with it. It's not a big deal to do it. As others have said, add to new head stay (my Furlex came with one in the kit - my favorite of the 3 types I've had).

    As far as converting, an existing sail (if can't do it yourself), it adds up. It is nice to have the UV cover (don't use Sunbrella - too heavy), but unless your sail is in very good shape, it probably does not pay. I just take mine down when I'm not going to use it for more than a few days. In the Northwest, the sail (even with a cover) will get mildewy and just plain dirty if left up very long. Never and I mean never leave it up all winter as most owners do in our marine. That's a sure way to lose it or at least greatly shorten it life. As far as storing the sail bag, I just get the habit of putting it up first thing when I get on the boat.

    As far as size, I have a 140 and a 115 for my E-27. I have not sailed this boat very much as yet, but on my other boats, this combination seem to be about the right to cover almost all conditions for crusing.

    Good luck - you will love having it and make you firstmate happy.

    Bill Hearsey

  14. #14
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    The furling saga

    Well put, Bill!

  15. #15
    Island Boy
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    Being in the Bahamas, I'm going to have to order a furler out of the states. Before I contact a suplier, What measurments do I have to know, is it just the length of the head stay? Great info so far everyone, Many thanks!

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