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CDI Flexible Furler - Thoughts

Dec 1, 2020
83
CAL 27 Puget Sound (Kitsap)
What do others think of their CDI FF units? I have reached out to various lofts around Puget Sound and gotten mostly avoid CDI, but I question where those opinions are coming from - meaning this is not a profit center for the lofts possibly.

I'm not sailing in winter or offshore. I'm sailing solo and the hank on 135% & 150% is a hassle.

Share your thoughts with me.
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,578
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Head sail furlers are great and make it really easy to deploy and douse form the safety of the cockpit. What reason(s) did your local loft say to avoid CDI FF and did they recommend specific manufacturer(s)? You can find a number of geneoa furler manufacturers here Genoa Furlers | MAURIPRO Sailing
 
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Jun 29, 2010
1,246
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
I have one on my 235. This is my seventh season with it. The extrusion at the bottom, at the luff exit, is wearing. Also, it can be a bit of a challenge to keep proper luff tension. I am planning on replacing it with a Pro-Furl or Selden Furlex either this off season or the next. I find the way you have to "half hitch" the "halyard" at the furler drum to be problematic in keeping proper tension. I would definitely go with a furler but, I would keep your options open and I do also understand the costs involved with the various manufacturers.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,988
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
The lofts that you have talked to are giving you good advise for your boat. Generally speaking, I think the CDI furler is made for trailer sailers since the halyard is integral with the furling. It's made to be much simpler for sailors who take their masts down frequently. Complaints are that it is very difficult to change sails if you want. Also, they are more cheaply built. I think your boat should have a traditional furler but you will probably get exactly what you are looking for if you just want the cheapest furling system to put on a single sail for the season.

If you have a pair of sails and you use them interchangeably, then don't get the CDI.
 
Mar 20, 2015
2,218
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
@Scott T-Bird basically nailed it.

We use the same headsail all season on our trailerable Cataline 22.
CDI furler came with the boat.
It works fine for us, because we only deal with raising/lowering the sail each time we raise/lower the mast.

If i was changing sails while sailing I would definitely use another brand.
(But more likely just switch to hank on sails)

Keep in mind that my boat has the smaller model and is fairly old so my opinion may be altered by that.

That said, if we had a bigger boat i would just get hank on sails. Less complicated. More Flexible. Better trim.
 
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Jul 8, 2012
110
Catalina 28 North East
I've had an FF 7 on my Catalina 28 for 9-10 years and a couple thousand miles, it works well enough that I'd buy another if necessary. As a cruising sailor I don't change headsails, in a pinch I can furl it in a bit sacrificing some sail shape but that is the case with most furlers.
The heavier, bigger CDIs have beefier drums and ball bearings, maintenance is cleaning it out with fresh water once in a while and lubricating the track each season as the sail is installed.
A big advantage in my opinion is the continuous extrusion foil - no joints to jam or bend.
If I wanted to change sails perhaps I'd have considered others, but I don't find the CDI "cheaply made" at all. In my research when I purchased and prior experience with Hood and Harken furlers I did wonder why some were much more expensive.
 
Mar 20, 2015
2,218
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
A big advantage in my opinion is the continuous extrusion foil - no joints to jam or bend.
Agreed. I once helped a guy deal with those issues. So far thr CDI has been no issues. I just bungee it, drum included, to the mast when trailering, and it has been hassle free. The foil extrusion is not indestructible but I can't it being an issue for someone not trailing their boat.

I don't find the CDI "cheaply made" at all. In my research when I purchased and prior experience with Hood and Harken furlers I did wonder why some were much more expensive.
Yeah. I often call them cheap but that implies a qualitative measure.

Inexpensive would be better.


Maybe the OP can visit a boat that has the same CDI furler model, and see and try it ?
 
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Dec 1, 2020
83
CAL 27 Puget Sound (Kitsap)
Thanks to all that posted comments. The boat is a CAL 2-27 so the rig stays up full time.

I using hanks now with a deck jib bag and it works, but rolling it up sounds great when dealing with the sails before leaving the mooring and upon return. When I use the 150% there is just to much Dacron all over the foredeck, the 135% is better but still a lot and when the wind is up and I'm alone on the boat getting it handled is a hand-full.

Those that commented, did you install your furler yourself or hire a rigger to do it when it was not on the boat when you purchased it? There are not a lot of riggers in my area so a self-install is attractive.

If you don't use the CDI with integrated halyard, do you need a 2nd halyard installed to use the other furler styles or is the halyard attached to the upper swivel which is attached the the sail's head, and then hoisted? I'm a total newbie on how these things really work.
 

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,156
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
I have had the CDI on the last two boats I have owned over 30 years of sailing. I installed both myself with the mast up and without problems. The first boat was a 27' and now a 33'. Your sailmaker can help you with this decision and he will have to modify at least one of your headsails with a luff that will go into your furler.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,903
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I've had an FF 7 on my Catalina 28 for 9-10 years and a couple thousand miles, it works well enough that I'd buy another if necessary. As a cruising sailor I don't change headsails, in a pinch I can furl it in a bit sacrificing some sail shape but that is the case with most furlers.
The heavier, bigger CDIs have beefier drums and ball bearings, maintenance is cleaning it out with fresh water once in a while and lubricating the track each season as the sail is installed.
A big advantage in my opinion is the continuous extrusion foil - no joints to jam or bend.
If I wanted to change sails perhaps I'd have considered others, but I don't find the CDI "cheaply made" at all. In my research when I purchased and prior experience with Hood and Harken furlers I did wonder why some were much more expensive.
I had an FF2 for 10 years before I sold my Mac 26S. No problems. I agree with above. You want the bearings for larger units. They may even come standard on them
 
Jul 19, 2013
309
Pearson 31-2 Boston
....

If you don't use the CDI with integrated halyard, do you need a 2nd halyard installed to use the other furler styles or is the halyard attached to the upper swivel which is attached the the sail's head, and then hoisted? I'm a total newbie on how these things really work.
For sail us on furler see
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,246
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
Thanks to all that posted comments. The boat is a CAL 2-27 so the rig stays up full time.

I using hanks now with a deck jib bag and it works, but rolling it up sounds great when dealing with the sails before leaving the mooring and upon return. When I use the 150% there is just to much Dacron all over the foredeck, the 135% is better but still a lot and when the wind is up and I'm alone on the boat getting it handled is a hand-full.

Those that commented, did you install your furler yourself or hire a rigger to do it when it was not on the boat when you purchased it? There are not a lot of riggers in my area so a self-install is attractive.

If you don't use the CDI with integrated halyard, do you need a 2nd halyard installed to use the other furler styles or is the halyard attached to the upper swivel which is attached the the sail's head, and then hoisted? I'm a total newbie on how these things really work.
I installed mine myself. Just be sure you measure measure measure, before you cut that extrusion. You have to use the internal halyard with a CDI furler. There is no swivel and if you start thinking about mods to use one, you might as well just buy a system that does that already as it has all been worked out.
 
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Mar 20, 2015
2,218
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
d you install your furler yourself
It had been previously installed upside down, by "professionals", when we bought the boat.They had trimmed the foil slightly too long too.

I removed and completely reinstalled it correctly.

Obviously the mast needs to be down to do it.

Simple to install IMO....

In full disclosure i just assembled a retracting awning on my house. In every review, the awning is said to be VERY hard to assemble. I simply read the.instructions both before (to plan) and during the assembly. The awning was not dead simple not hard by any means IMO.

As long as you plan the furler install steps and measure everything twice, it should be fine.

CDI has install manuals on their website for further details.

My mast is currently down on the trailer so I can take photos if needed.
 
Mar 2, 2019
209
Oday 25 Milwaukee
I installed the CDI furler as a new sailor on my Catalina 22 . Zero issues ,make sure you have it out in the sun for quite some time and be careful when opening the box . Our Oday 25 came with a CDI already installed . I looked into the ball bearing kit to make furling easier .
I learned here that forestay tension plays a significant role in how much effort is needed to furl .As someone who drops their mast at the end of the season and trailers the boat home .I've found it much easier to leave the genoa on the extrusion .
The angle of the furling line must be carefully considered as well. The closer to 90 degrees you get the better
I hope this helps
 
Dec 1, 2020
83
CAL 27 Puget Sound (Kitsap)
These are all great. Thanks for posting.

Finally looked at the YT videos and see that only a single halyard is needed for any of these various types.

The Schaffer Snap700 seems like a possible compromise, with the single plastic luff extrusion when snapped, but with a top swivel. I will need the rigger to install mast fitting but that would be a minor cost.
 
May 10, 2004
238
Hunter MH 37 Manitowoc, WI
Depends on your boat. I had a CDI FF unit on my H26 for 15 years. It was simple, easy to rig and easy to operate. Big con was it wasn't easy to change sails on the fly, but I've never needed to do it either. We had a trailerable boat, and with some careful handling, we could store the furler in the cabin every winter while the boat was laid up. Honestly, it was less troublesome than the Selden units on my bigger boats.
 
Feb 8, 2014
1,300
Columbia 36 Muskegon
I had a FF7 on my Columbia 8.7 (29 feet) and put a FF9 (their largest model) on my Columbia 36 after the foil on the original Hood unit got damaged. Both worked fine. Had only one jib on the 8.7 so sail changes were no issue. Have two on the 36 and changes are a little harder than the Hood but not bad. I bought the CDI as we planned to take the boat on the Loop and didn't want to damage another foil with the mast down. Plans changed, we bought a trawler but oh well.
 
Jul 8, 2012
110
Catalina 28 North East
The CDI doesn't use a swivel, the whole extrusion from top to bottom rotates around the forestay. There is a toggle at top and bottom of the forestay to accommodate some motion but there should not be any twisting friction on the forestay.
Since the forestay is out of sight covered by the foil extrusion I always leave the spinnaker halyard attached in front of the furler in case of forestay failure. That halyard has to be parked somewhere, might as well use it a a belt and suspenders backup.
 
Mar 20, 2015
2,218
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
Radical idea.
Hehe is does seem rare.

Admitedly, I often dont bother for simple things. That said, 2 minutes of reading can save you time.

Often, instructions suck, and require logical interpretation, even ones that where apparently written by native language speakers instead of Chinglish.:banghead:

But even then, you glean some useful info