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Beneteau 321 genoa roller furler swivel top and low parts stuck together

Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
Hi,
This weekend I tried to install my Genoa on a Beneteau 321 (just bought) with a Profurl Genoa roller furler 320 but faced a terrible time trying to pull the swivel up with the Genoa attached. I was able to bring it up but once in place could not roll it around the extrusion as I then realized the top and low part of the swivel that usualy rotate freely from each other are stuck. Any idea what happens and what I should do to solve the problem? Not even sure why in the first place it was so hard to pull up the genoa on the extrusion? I noticed a play between the extrusion and the swivel and wondered if that was the reason?
Thank you for your recommendations. Emmanuel
1618196483654.png
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,707
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
The difficulty in raising the Genoa is primarily due to friction between the lufftape & the slot in the extrusion. I spray the luff tape liberally with sailkote dry lubricant to ease raising the sail; otherwise, I don’t think that I would be able to raise it. Not sure what the problem is with the swivel unless the bearings are frozen. It is a sealed unit; therefore, you can’t lubricate it. I did see on a website or you tube where a guy was able to dissasemble & rebuild it. But, realize that the swivel on profurl furlers is very stiff; it doesn’t rotate freely. You might try spraying it with a lubricant and hitting with a rubber mallet to get it unstuck; however, it appears that you may have to inquire about a rebuild.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
Thank you BigEasy, we tried the teflon spray on the extrusion and will see what is possible with the frozen swivel, maybe calling profurl for advice.
 

DougM

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Jul 24, 2005
2,048
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
It seems odd that the upper swivel would not rotate freely. and that the sail would be difficult to hoist.
I had a profurl. on my boat for about 12 years, the upper swivel was exposed to weather year around even in winter storage and it always rotated easily. I suppose the most expedient way to fix the problem is to order a new upper swivel or find one on an otherwise damaged furler in a boneyard.
Like BigEasy, it was normal procedure to spray the luff tape with maclube, and I could hoist the jib with one hand on the halyard, and the other guiding the luff into the extrusion.
I have nothing bad to say about the Profurl, but due to storm damage, I needed to replace the entire furler. At that time I got a better deal on a Harken and have been pleased with it as well.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
Thank you for your reply. I called Wichard technical support which is in charge of Profurl in the US and they explained that most probably the bearing part of the swivel is dammaged maybe due to the use of WD40 as it is specifically explained in the manual to to do so because of rubber parts inside to protect the bearing grease from escaping. I will have a rigger look at it and I was told there is a repair kit that takes care of the problem. Will let you know next steps.
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,707
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Emmanuel,
Just read a Practical Sailor article about various furling systems.
Pro Furl rep stated in the article that there are several authorized repair centers in the US that can rebuild the swivel. Witchard should be able to supply you with that info if you would like to go in that direction. Read of another sailor who removed it and took it to a machine shop to have the old bearings removed and new bearings & seals pressed back in from the repair kit that is available. And, if you have the means to remove & repress the new bearings, you can diy. Again, please keep us posted, I am sure that I will have to deal with this at some point.
BTW, the article was fairly positive about ProFurl. Simple design and reliable.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
Big Easy,
I got in touch with Wichard and they gave me a list of riggers from their network around here Annapolis MD, I have contacted one who will come over and see what is wrong and what needs to be done. Discussing with Wichard technical support I expect as you said that the bearing will have to be replaced and then no more WD40 used. I will let you know how we progress, the inspection should be in about a week.
 
Aug 20, 2013
161
Beneteau 311 Port Clinton, OH (Lake Erie)
EmmanuelC

I have a Beneteau 311 made in 2000 and we appear to have the same type of furler. For several years I had considerable difficulty hoisting my jib, even with the winch, and even bringing the sail down required considerable effort. I became concerned that I would not be able to get the jib down in some kind of emergency, such as in high winds, if the furling function stopped working. After sending pictures and discussing the problem with Wichard (who has the ProFurl line), we determined that the bushings inside the upper swivel had worn to the point that the swivel was binding on the luff extrusion (foil) . I was able to verify the diagnosis by hoisting the upper swivel without the sail attached, and I could only raise the swivel up the luff extrusion with considerable effort. (Fortunately I had attached a line to pull the swivel back down.) The halyard and sail pull on the upper swivel at and angle, and if the internal bushings that slide against the foil are worn the swivel hangs up. These bushings appear to be made of a sort of hard rubber and so wear would be expected after almost 20 years..

I ordered new bushings for my upper swivel, which were not expensive, but they did not fit my furler. The newer design has bushings that look like rings, whereas my upper swivel and the bushings had "shoulders" that held the upper swivel aligned with the foil.

Fortunately I found a friend of a friend that had rebuilt several boats and had a machine shop up in a rural area of Michigan. He had several old furler parts lying on a shelf and one fit my boat. It was pretty stiff, but after rotating one part against the other for a while I was able to get the upper and lower sections of the furler rotating again.

I've attached a few pictures. The first one labeled shows the replacement swivel and the "shoulders" I mentioned. this part was hardly worn at all. The second and fourth pictures show the original furler from above and below, the furler that was hanging up. The third picture shows the replacement bushings that turned out to have a different design. The inner diameter has some kind of pattern that is suggestive of aligning with the foil shape, but the indentations don't appear to be big enough to be functional. Possibly the new bushings are for the wrong side of the upper swivel.

Good luck!
2nd Furler.jpg
Existing Furler Top.jpg
New Bushings.jpg
Existing Furler Bottom.jpg
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,707
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Discussing with Wichard technical support I expect as you said that the bearing will have to be replaced and then no more WD40 used. I will let you know how we progress, the inspection should be in about a week.
Would be interesting to know the cost of rebuilding the swivel unit vs cost replacement with a new swivel only ( not including new foil and drum).
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
CapitalistSailor
Thank you for your detailed explanation although because of the change in design I would hope Wichard would still be able to let us procure swivel repair kit for either the old design or the new one as I am not sure it will be easy to find, like you did, an old furler part that would do the job?
The appointment with the local rigger to look at our swivel and roller furler overall is tomorrow, once we have a better diagnosis from him I will let you know what we decide to do. I still hope that rebuilding the swivel is possible as this rigger is part of Wichard approved rigger network.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
CapitalistSailor
We had the diagnostic done today, the swivel bearing and bushings are confirmed dead. Reason is the use of WD40 on the swivel that is stated everywhere in the manual a no go that damaged the rubber seal then grease escaped and water came in and corroded the bearing. The Bushing is dammaged like your after 21 years of use maybe part of it is a consequence of swivel bearing getting stuck.
Recommendation is to change the swivel since rebuilding will get us to a price very similar to new but bushings are apparently very difficult to find contrary to the bearing repair kit. Risk is there is no swivel available as this roller furler B29L has been discontinued about 10 years ago. We will receive a quote and will share with you when received.
 
Aug 20, 2013
161
Beneteau 311 Port Clinton, OH (Lake Erie)
EmmanuelC,

Sorry to hear about your upper swivel but glad to hear you have identified a fixable problem. Will the new swivel fit and align with your existing luff extrusion (foil), or will you have to replace it as well?
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
The idea is to try and find a B29L swivel or repair kit for the bearing, rubber seals and bushings but the rigger from Profurl network was not sure that was feasible then we might have to find another solution as you did.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
EmmanuelC

I have a Beneteau 311 made in 2000 and we appear to have the same type of furler. For several years I had considerable difficulty hoisting my jib, even with the winch, and even bringing the sail down required considerable effort. I became concerned that I would not be able to get the jib down in some kind of emergency, such as in high winds, if the furling function stopped working. After sending pictures and discussing the problem with Wichard (who has the ProFurl line), we determined that the bushings inside the upper swivel had worn to the point that the swivel was binding on the luff extrusion (foil) . I was able to verify the diagnosis by hoisting the upper swivel without the sail attached, and I could only raise the swivel up the luff extrusion with considerable effort. (Fortunately I had attached a line to pull the swivel back down.) The halyard and sail pull on the upper swivel at and angle, and if the internal bushings that slide against the foil are worn the swivel hangs up. These bushings appear to be made of a sort of hard rubber and so wear would be expected after almost 20 years..

I ordered new bushings for my upper swivel, which were not expensive, but they did not fit my furler. The newer design has bushings that look like rings, whereas my upper swivel and the bushings had "shoulders" that held the upper swivel aligned with the foil.

Fortunately I found a friend of a friend that had rebuilt several boats and had a machine shop up in a rural area of Michigan. He had several old furler parts lying on a shelf and one fit my boat. It was pretty stiff, but after rotating one part against the other for a while I was able to get the upper and lower sections of the furler rotating again.

I've attached a few pictures. The first one labeled shows the replacement swivel and the "shoulders" I mentioned. this part was hardly worn at all. The second and fourth pictures show the original furler from above and below, the furler that was hanging up. The third picture shows the replacement bushings that turned out to have a different design. The inner diameter has some kind of pattern that is suggestive of aligning with the foil shape, but the indentations don't appear to be big enough to be functional. Possibly the new bushings are for the wrong side of the upper swivel.

Good luck!
View attachment 193014View attachment 193015View attachment 193016View attachment 193017
Capitalist Sailor
I was wondering if the bushing kit you ordered but did not work was the P155016 that did not have the "shoulders" and which in the end you could not use? Thank you.
 
Mar 28, 2021
11
Beneteau 321 West River
Don't know if you want to repair it yourself but Profurl Genoa Furler - Spares for: B29 Furlers | MAURIPRO Sailing might be able to help. Send them an email. Maybe it will come with instructions?? People have done it for other profurl swivels Profurl Bearings

Good Luck

PS: I have replaced the bushings on my B29. The new bushings don't have the nubs. Easy to remove and install.
Joker460
I have the same question as the one to Capitalist Sailor, I was wondering if the bushing kit you ordered but did not work was the P155016 that did not have the "shoulders"/nubs? Is it still possible to use? This is what I have been offered but not sure if this is the bearing kit alone or toghether with the bushings? Thank you.
 
Apr 27, 2010
917
Beneteau 352 Hull #276 Ontario
Joker460
I have the same question as the one to Capitalist Sailor, I was wondering if the bushing kit you ordered but did not work was the P155016 that did not have the "shoulders"/nubs? Is it still possible to use? This is what I have been offered but not sure if this is the bearing kit alone or toghether with the bushings? Thank you.
You will need to send an email and ask them that question.
I only replaced the 2 bushings. The new bushings do not have the nubs. The problem was the nubs wear over time so that they slip over the raised part of the foil and jam. The new bushings allow the swivel to rotate on the foil without jamming, so they say.