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Schaffer Snapfurl 700 ( or smaller 500) - thoughts by owners

Dec 1, 2020
93
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
If you own one of these Snap Furler units I would love to get your thoughts on the unit.

Plus, if you actually installed it - that would be great to hear about your experience with that project.

I asked a similar question a few days ago about the CDI flex furler and learned about the snap furl unit from that thread.

Thanks for any input you will share.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,122
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Rick. Appears you are working your way through the options of furler systems.

While costs are certainly a priority for most boat owners price is not always the best approach to start your search. Defining the waters and type of sailing you intend to explore might be a better starting point. Reason is that the demands on equipment of a local water day-sailor are different from the coastal cruiser or the cruising passage maker.

Your rig, specifically the diameter of your forestay (which incidentally is engineered using the parameters needed by the boat design for the waters the boat is expected to sail) influence the design of the furler.

The design of the furler affects the cost. Systems designed to work smoothly in stronger wind conditions ( such as might be found sailing off the coasts of the PacificNW) will have more expensive parts than those of boats with lighter rigs used in lighter conditions.

Do you want to enjoy the waters of the Puget Sound (ie. Lake Washington, South Sound, enjoying day sails, State Park anchorages, and marinas ), or are you thinking ( once I get a hang of this boat I’m cruising to Alaska and I’m going up the west side of Vancouver Island).

Just a thought.
 
Dec 1, 2020
93
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
John, I agree cost is not the only factor to consider.

Considering my plans are just day sailing or small trips in Puget Sound and maybe sometime to the Gulf or Desolation areas, I don't need a system that can handle crossing an ocean which our Cal's can do.

I read your thread about the planned 2 month trip north and it sound great, but not for me at least in a Cal 27.

Still hopeful some folks with Schaefer Snapfurl will post - but it's interesting that I got lots of input on the CDI inquiry and nothing specific on this option.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,885
-na -NA Anywhere USA
If it is the system that the two halves of the extrusion is put together, they will move when putting the mast up and down on trailerable sailboats. I chose cdi as it is one solid extrusion. I think you mentioned Cal 27 and think you are not trailering which is different
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,122
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
the planned 2 month trip north ..... not for me at least in a Cal 27.
While the boat ( it's size and configuration) might be able to handle the trip, if properly set up, such a voyage (just the time away or aboard a 27ft boat) is not for everyone. I get that.

The point I was trying to bring to the discussion, is the forestay you have on the boat and the way it is attached to the hull are key factors in the design. They play a key roll in the type of furler you can install.

Schaefer Snapfurl
The 700 unit is identified for a boat your size as the top end of its design
  • Perfect for boats from 24′ to 28′
  • Furling and reefing capabilities. GOOD
  • Aluminum drum and torque tube for strength. GOOD
  • Torlon™ ball bearing races. GOOD
  • Fits 5/32″ – 7/32″ wire. Do your Forestays meet this criteria?
  • Extrusion Length – 38′. Is this length compatible with your forestay?
And it is priced about $500 less than the Harken MKIV UNIT 0. While I like the Harken I can see the application of the Schaffer Marine furler in your case.
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,020
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I'd guess that based on price, there are far more sailors in here that purchase CDI rather than Schaefer products. Again, you seem to be focused on products that are primarily aimed at trailer sailers ... ease of assembly when you want to raise the mast quickly. I'll admit that the Snapfurl might be a good fit for your boat. It seems like your boat would be just at the high end of its intended range. I would verify the wire diameter and the forestay length very carefully. This is Schaefer's economy model, with plastic extrusion, one groove. Since you mention that you interchange with 2 head sails, I am assuming that you may have dropped out the CDI for that reason.

I've never been a big fan of shopping for products that just barely match my basic needs or desires so you can take my comments with that in mind. I suggest that a Harken MKIV Unit O or the similar Furlex (Selden) product are the better matches for your boat. These are the 2 that I would be most familiar with. I owned the Harken model mentioned, but I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a Selden for the same boat. Now I own a Schaefer 2100. It had its drum replaced but it is built like a tank and works flawlessly despite the age of the unit. It is an expensive product and I'm not sure I would replace it in kind.

Obviously the Harken and Selden products mentioned are more expensive than the Snapfurl but have more robust features (aluminum extrusions, etc.) These also have extrusions with 2 grooves, so that you don't have to make bald-headed sail changes. Racers think of those things and cruisers really don't care. They may be more complicated to install and perhaps ease of installation is a consideration foremost on your mind. Nobody likes to be saddled with yard bills and installing on your own may be something you are not very comfortable with. With sufficient care, you should be able to handle it. :cool:
 
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AaronD

.
Aug 10, 2014
537
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
I installed the CF-500 on a smaller boat 4 seasons ago, and we've been happy with it. My install notes are here. Snapping the foil together took more time and effort than I expected, but with a little patience, it all went well.

Note that my install on a trailerable boat was in my shop. If you're installing at the dock, you'll have different challenges in getting the foil over the headstay, etc. You might decide it's easier to install the foil on a new headstay (pre-swaged or DIY with compression fittings) and install the foil + headstay + halyard-wrap-preventer in a single trip up the mast. But, then, take my thoughts there with a huge block of salt - what does a trailer-sailor know about mast climbing? :)

+1 on others' concern about installing a product right at the top end of its intended usage range, balanced with my (very anecdotal) experience that Schaefer's working-load ratings seem more conservative than some manufacturers.
 
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Oct 26, 2008
5,020
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
+1 on others' concern about installing a product right at the top end of its intended usage range, balanced with my (very anecdotal) experience that Schaefer's working-load ratings seem more conservative than some manufacturers.
Yes, I wouldn't question the ratings on any of the Schaefer products. Is the Snapfurl connection at the stem fitting easily done when you are raising and lowering the mast? I was always under the impression that the product was intended for that purpose.
 

AaronD

.
Aug 10, 2014
537
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
Yes, I wouldn't question the ratings on any of the Schaefer products. Is the Snapfurl connection at the stem fitting easily done when you are raising and lowering the mast? I was always under the impression that the product was intended for that purpose.
Yes, just one clevis pin to connect the two toggles. I use a split-ring cotter on that one, so it's quick and easy. I inspect the split-ring more frequently and assiduously than the 'normal' cotter pins on most other stays, but it's exposed and easy to check.

I don't think I have any close-up pictures of it assembled, but here are both ends as they're sitting in my shop (furler + tang + double-jaw toggle, and single-jaw toggle mounted to the stem fitting, which is inside my anchor roller).

P6100744.JPG P6100746.JPG
 
Dec 1, 2020
93
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
3/16" wire installed now. Should go up to 7/32 and when this project happens that seems like a good use of some $$.

Calc length is 37.95'


While the boat ( it's size and configuration) might be able to handle the trip, if properly set up, such a voyage (just the time away or aboard a 27ft boat) is not for everyone. I get that.

The point I was trying to bring to the discussion, is the forestay you have on the boat and the way it is attached to the hull are key factors in the design. They play a key roll in the type of furler you can install.


The 700 unit is identified for a boat your size as the top end of its design
  • Perfect for boats from 24′ to 28′
  • Furling and reefing capabilities. GOOD
  • Aluminum drum and torque tube for strength. GOOD
  • Torlon™ ball bearing races. GOOD
  • Fits 5/32″ – 7/32″ wire. Do your Forestays meet this criteria?
  • Extrusion Length – 38′. Is this length compatible with your forestay?
And it is priced about $500 less than the Harken MKIV UNIT 0. While I like the Harken I can see the application of the Schaffer Marine furler in your case.
 
Dec 1, 2020
93
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
Scott - thanks for your thoughts. I'm sort of a DIY type of person which is good since where I live in the wilds of Washington and not near Seattle really (15 long miles away - across Puget Sound) where we don't have easy access to riggers, etc...

I watched the YT 2100 install which is similar to the 1100 for our boat. It's not overwhelming but much more complex than the 700 snapfurl. The Harken V unit 0 or Profurl C290 are other options once you leave the plastic foil and get into aluminum sections, etc.

I have 3/16" wire now and 37.95' calc length. None of my 3 existing headsails have luff-tape all are hanks and likely not great candidates for a roller install. I'm expecting to order a new 135% for the furler this winter.

R

I'd guess that based on price, there are far more sailors in here that purchase CDI rather than Schaefer products. Again, you seem to be focused on products that are primarily aimed at trailer sailers ... ease of assembly when you want to raise the mast quickly. I'll admit that the Snapfurl might be a good fit for your boat. It seems like your boat would be just at the high end of its intended range. I would verify the wire diameter and the forestay length very carefully. This is Schaefer's economy model, with plastic extrusion, one groove. Since you mention that you interchange with 2 head sails, I am assuming that you may have dropped out the CDI for that reason.

I've never been a big fan of shopping for products that just barely match my basic needs or desires so you can take my comments with that in mind. I suggest that a Harken MKIV Unit O or the similar Furlex (Selden) product are the better matches for your boat. These are the 2 that I would be most familiar with. I owned the Harken model mentioned, but I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a Selden for the same boat. Now I own a Schaefer 2100. It had its drum replaced but it is built like a tank and works flawlessly despite the age of the unit. It is an expensive product and I'm not sure I would replace it in kind.

Obviously the Harken and Selden products mentioned are more expensive than the Snapfurl but have more robust features (aluminum extrusions, etc.) These also have extrusions with 2 grooves, so that you don't have to make bald-headed sail changes. Racers think of those things and cruisers really don't care. They may be more complicated to install and perhaps ease of installation is a consideration foremost on your mind. Nobody likes to be saddled with yard bills and installing on your own may be something you are not very comfortable with. With sufficient care, you should be able to handle it. :cool:
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,122
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Rick.
You have Robert Doyle the “Mast Whisperer “ as all refer to him here in Everett, living on that west side of the Sound. He has operated his business in Everett but travels to where he is needed. I’ve worked with him. He is among the best in the PacificNW. Complete rebuild of my Mast and rigging in 2016. Excellent workmanship.

Then there was the fellow running the Longship Consignment shop in Poulsbo, (Aaron I think was his name). He was good and liked to do furler installs. Last talked with him in 2019.

Finally Brian Toss’s shop inPort Townsend is still open. His wife is running the shop and Brian’s appreciates are doing the work. At least that was what was going on last Summer.

Really no need to go East to find rigging expertise.
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,020
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
My Starwind 27 is a very similar boat to your Cal 2-27 (we would have bought a Cal except it sold before we made an offer) and the rigging is all 7/32". We replaced the rigging on our Starwind a few years before we sold it. It was at the same time that we also installed the Harken furler. I was hanking sails before that. I had 2 sails with hanks, but it wasn't any problem and little expense to change them to a luff tape.

I'm surprised your Cal 2-27 has 3/16" wire. It is a robust 27' boat (a little heavier than our Starwind, I know) and I would expect a little more robust rigging. Is it possible that a previous owner replaced rigging and went smaller diameter? Just wondering ... I would agree with your plan to upgrade the wire, but I think I would do the research first to make sure what the designer installed.

Well, I just read an Owner's Manual I found on-line and low & behold, the headstay and upper shrouds are 3/16". Backstay and lower shrouds are 5/32" I'll be!
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2014
16,122
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Scott I think it depends on the year of manufacturer and the mast used by Cal for the boat. My mast is like a telephone pole. When we looked at the specs we found the standing rigging undersized for ocean usage.

Great call, check before you guess.
 
Oct 26, 2008
5,020
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
Scott I think it depends on the year of manufacturer and the mast used by Cal for the boat. My mast is like a telephone pole. When we looked at the specs we found the standing rigging undersized for ocean usage.

Great call, check before you guess.
The Owner's Manual that I found was for a Cal 27 MKIII, I think .... made in Massachusetts. I think @ricksoth might have indicated his is a 2-27, which is a little bit different if I'm not mistaken. The MKIII seemed to have forward and aft lowers and I think I read that the 2-27 has just one set of lowers. That's just from my brief review and I'm not always the most reliable with my recollection! :huh: I recall the weight of the 2-27 we shopped was close to 7000 pounds vs the 5600 pounds on our Starwind 27 (with almost identical dimensions). Cal 2-27 was a very sturdy 27 footer if I recall correctly. I think I would not hesitate to use 7/32" rigging, but as we all have been reading, the chain plates are often the location of failure! Doesn't do any good to increase the wire size and ignore the chain plates!
 
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Dec 1, 2020
93
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
Longship no longer does rigging work. He is focused on his store. He put me in touch with a young guy that did some aloft work for me this Spring, but not sure how experienced he is.

PortTownsend has lots of options as you point out. Good to know there is a "mast whisperer" in Everett if needed.


Rick.
You have Robert Doyle the “Mast Whisperer “ as all refer to him here in Everett, living on that west side of the Sound. He has operated his business in Everett but travels to where he is needed. I’ve worked with him. He is among the best in the PacificNW. Complete rebuild of my Mast and rigging in 2016. Excellent workmanship.

Then there was the fellow running the Longship Consignment shop in Poulsbo, (Aaron I think was his name). He was good and liked to do furler installs. Last talked with him in 2019.

Finally Brian Toss’s shop inPort Townsend is still open. His wife is running the shop and Brian’s appreciates are doing the work. At least that was what was going on last Summer.

Really no need to go East to find rigging expertise.
 
Dec 1, 2020
93
CAL 27 Illahee / Brownsville WA
Puget Sound with short waves and occasional wind can be a serious rig challenge, but for how I sail the boat I may not need the robustness needed compared to sailing in the ocean or S.F. Bay where Seals sails. His old comments on the Cal are at: Untitled Document

... Steve Seal, who worked as a rigger with Cal-Boats, noted that three Cal 2-27’s lost their rigs. He looked into the matter and concluded that the wires were undersized. "Headstay, backstay and upper shrouds were 3/16 inch, but should really be 7/32 inch. The lower shrouds were 7/32 inch, but should be 1/4 inch," ...


My Starwind 27 is a very similar boat to your Cal 2-27 (we would have bought a Cal except it sold before we made an offer) and the rigging is all 7/32". We replaced the rigging on our Starwind a few years before we sold it. It was at the same time that we also installed the Harken furler. I was hanking sails before that. I had 2 sails with hanks, but it wasn't any problem and little expense to change them to a luff tape.

I'm surprised your Cal 2-27 has 3/16" wire. It is a robust 27' boat (a little heavier than our Starwind, I know) and I would expect a little more robust rigging. Is it possible that a previous owner replaced rigging and went smaller diameter? Just wondering ... I would agree with your plan to upgrade the wire, but I think I would do the research first to make sure what the designer installed.

Well, I just read an Owner's Manual I found on-line and low & behold, the headstay and upper shrouds are 3/16". Backstay and lower shrouds are 5/32" I'll be!
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,122
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Steve Seal is a good resource. We talked about Cal's when I was repairing mine. Nice write up about the Cal 27.

The information about the undersized shrouds on the "non Tapered" (sounds better than Telephone Pole) mast is consistent with what I learned and caused me to upsize my shrouds. I had the spruce spreaders. I removed them and replaced with extruded aluminum spreaders from Ballenger Spar Systems Custom aluminum and carbon masts and booms. When we removed the spruce spreaders it was evident they had been ignored for years. They were rotten. Collapsed like a sponge when you squeezed them.