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Furlex vs. Harken?

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Ducati

.
Nov 19, 2008
380
Boatless Boatless Annapolis
We are buying a roller furling system for our boat and are down to either Harken or Furlex.

Would like some comments regarding these two products.

Regards
 
Nov 26, 2006
381
Hunter 31 1987 Fly Creek Marina Fairhope,AL.
The only experience i have is with profurl, hood system, and harken. The Harken i just got in and installing next week. The harkens seem like the drum looks to be a bit more beefed up for crusing and less maintenence. As per the harken folks in support, the cruising unit 1 is almost maintence free. Just keep it rinsed good after salt water baths and no oiling/greasiing.

btw the tech guys at harken knows my voice as i called so much.
Support was great both before and after the sale.

Guess its ford verses toyota, chevy.

Fair winds;
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,117
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
We are buying a roller furling system for our boat and are down to either Harken or Furlex.

Would like some comments regarding these two products.

Regards
Both are excellent units though the Furlex is likely to cost more even when you factor in all the "free" extras like a new fore stay.. I have owned both Harken and Furlex and both performed/perform perfectly. If it is a choice between these two units go with who will service you best in terms of a local installer/loft. Harken does have some of the best customer service in the industry though..
 
Sep 25, 2008
615
Morgan 415 Out Island Rogersville, AL
I am very pleased with my Harken, both with its performance and the ease at installing it. The only negative thing about my Harken is the crumby line that it came with. If you get a harken, throw the line away and buy some nice line that feels good to your hands.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,117
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
I am very pleased with my Harken, both with its performance and the ease at installing it. The only negative thing about my Harken is the crumby line that it came with. If you get a harken, throw the line away and buy some nice line that feels good to your hands.

If it's is the original black single core line call them and they will replace it free of charge with a new double braid line if you ask nicely..
 
Dec 1, 1999
2,385
Hunter 28.5 Chesapeake Bay
When I replaced the furler on my boat about 6 years ago, I did a lot research and spoke to a lot of other sailing friends about their experiences. I chose a Furlex 200 as I believed it to be the highest quality -- and perhaps highest price. (Note: Practical Sailor tends to rate all the major furlers as pretty much equal in quality).

Since that time, I would say that I am generally satisfied with the Furlex, but not overjoyed. While the quality and workmanship of the systems components is good, I have sometimes found it hard to reef a big genny in a blow when sailing solo. You seem to need 3 hands at such times. (I admit to being a late reefer). I now compensate by blanketing the headsail with the main when I need to reef or furl the headsail, whenever circumstances allow.

While I originally thought the enclosed drum of the Furlex would be a plus, I no longer think it is. In my early years with the Furlex, I had a few line jams mostly due to not keeping adequate pressure on the furling line when initially unfurling the sail. This allowed line to pile up on the drum and overlap. I do not believe other quality furlers require such care when unfurling but that view is anecdotal. I have found that line jams are difficult to clear with an enclosed drum. I have virtually eliminated the potentail for jams (at least I hope so) by moving the first deck fairlead forward to change the angle of the furling line as it exits the drum and using a ratchet block on the last fairlead aft before the furling line is cleated.

In sum, if and when I replace the Furlex, I would not buy Furlex again.
 

zeehag

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Mar 26, 2009
3,195
1976 formosa 41 yankee clipper santa barbara. ca.(not there)
i love my harken i have on my ericson--easy and no fuss or muss ----cdi on the boat i am sailing with these days is also ok---gets stuck occasionally but is easy to repair....
 
Jun 8, 2004
853
Pearson 26W Marblehead
Furler comments

I would think a furler with a closed drum would be a big disadvantage.
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
Both Furlex and Harken are a pain to repair. If you have ever had to replace a damaged foil you will probably curse both equally.

The Furlex has bearings that need to be cleaned and repacked with grease. The Harken just needs to be flushed.

The Furlex comes with a headstay. It is metric. The pins on your rig may or may not fit the Furlex properly. The metric wire is 316 alloy and if smaller diameter than the Imperial stay it replaces can be 20% weaker. If and when you have to replace the forestay, you must get the replacement from Seldon. Installing the Furlex requires a mechanical end fitting on the stay, if you have never done a Norseman or Sta-Lock the integrity of the furler relies on getting it right. The good news is you can do it yourself.

The Harken is designed to use either Imperial or Metric hardware. Any rig shop in NA can make up a forestay for the boat. You can stay with the proper diameter wire for your rig. I recommend replacing the forestay anytime a furler is installed. This usually requires a rig shop to be involved.

Furlex units tend to be sold as DIY furlers, Harken units tend to be sold as professional install units.

Having a ratchet block or some other method to keep tension on the furling line is a requirement for all furlers with line drums.

Neither Furlex or Harken recommend using a winch to furl the sail. Neither Furlex or Harken have a good option for mounting the drum up off the deck for anchor clearance.

I know the thread is a Furlex vs Harken thread. I will point out that Pro-Furl does not have the repair issues, has sealed bearings (no maintenance), uses existing forestay hardware, is strong enough to use a winch on the furling line, and has the ability to mount the drum high for anchor clearance.

Harken over Furlex every time for me ... Pro-Furl is still #1 IMO.

R
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,887
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Another ProFurl addict

There's another advantage of the ProFurl: you don't need a halyard restrainer at the top of the mast to gt the right angle to the top swivel. ProFurl has one built in above the top swivel, we call it the Darth Vader. Have had our for 10 years, it's great, model LCI 32. The drum is up off the deck and I have great visibility windward.
 
Sep 25, 2008
2,288
C30 Event Horizon Port Aransas
There's another advantage of the ProFurl: you don't need a halyard restrainer at the top of the mast to gt the right angle to the top swivel. ProFurl has one built in above the top swivel, we call it the Darth Vader. Have had our for 10 years, it's great, model LCI 32. The drum is up off the deck and I have great visibility windward.
I just received my profurl c320 today. The drum and darth vader are plastic. Are your's plastic? How do they look after 10 years in the California sun?
I have the c290 I haven't opened the package yet, I am going to sell it on ebay or I have to eat $80 worth of shipping.

I just installed a bow roller. I was concerned that I may end up damaging the furler, but it came with these long shanks to raise the drum up off the deck. I am very happy with what came out of the box.
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,887
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Are your's plastic? How do they look after 10 years in the California sun?
I just installed a bow roller. I was concerned that I may end up damaging the furler, but it came with these long shanks to raise the drum up off the deck. I am very happy with what came out of the box.
Yes, they're plastic, but very heavy duty.

Here's a picture of ours with the long lap links well off the deck, great for anchoring.

In great shape after almost 10 years. Works great.
 

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Jun 9, 2008
1,589
- -- -Bayfield
Both Harken and Furlex are great products, but I like Furlex better and I know you can buy them cheaper than Harken or priced competitively so that price is not a determining factor in your selection. One thing about Furlex is you get a new forestay and so you will not be putting a new furler over an old forestay. This is so that you have quality control over all the components of the system. The comment on metric is not a factor. You supply your seller with the pin size at both ends and you get what you need. The tooling and mechanical make up of the Furlex, in my opinion is superior to all others. Especially the likes of Profurl, CDI, Hood, etc. The bearings and cages are designed to take loads from various directions and that is not the case with other systems. The bearings are SS and so do not lose their shape like most other furler products will do in time. The forestay is completely jacketed with a non corrosive sleeve from top to bottom. I don't know of any other system that does that. Some only touch the forestay where the extrusions connect. This is huge when it comes to insulation from electrolysis. The enclosed drum is not a problem if you do not load it up with too much line and keep a little tension when you furl the sail up.
I have repaired, installed and worked on most furling systems and I simply think Furlex is tops. It is a quality piece of equipment and works whether or not the wind is blowing like stink or not. I am sure you will have success with different systems, but you cannot go wrong with a Furlex. And... Practical Sailor did not say they were all just as good across the board. They rated Furlex the best and Furlex uses that in their advertising. That's my 2 cents.
 
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