Another furling post - this time Facnor

davel

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There seem to be spate of posts on furling systems at present, so I hope you'll accept one more !

I've been suffering similar problems to Para in his post here although in my case the predominant symptom is extreme tightness when furling away.

I have strong suspicions that the problem lies with a bearing either at the top of the foil or within it and I was planning on dismantling the set-up at the weekend. The boat is currently out of the water so going up the mast is a no no, however looking at the assembly instructions (found on the web) it looks like I should be able to detach the forestay at deck level and drop the furling gear from the bottom.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this? If so, is it possible? Any tips or warnings?
Its a Facnor SD furling system.
 

DirkJ

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1 Jun 2004
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I removed my Facnor furler a couple of weeks ago for good. Procedure is not as straightforward as the installation manual suggests. Depending on how long your furler was in its current position you'll pretty sure destroy some parts. I am a bit short with time now. I'll come back to you tomorow to give you some details.

Fair winds
Dirk
 

DirkJ

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1 Jun 2004
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I am back. Not sure, if mine is an SD. Anyway, it's the one with the non removable drum. But that doesn't matter, since the drum didn't cause me any problem. Source of my problem was the attachment of the forestay. Mine was attached at the bow with a turnbuckle and swaged terminal. Now, the aluminium profile with the internal plastic bushings (or whatever this things are called) and the pieces that connect the profile elements didn't slide over the swage terminal. The terminal was just to big. One solution would have been to cut the terminal off. But that would have damaged the forestay. Other solution was to disconnect the aluminium profile elements and try to push this plastic things out of the profile. To do this you have to unscrew a couple of stainless screws. Stainless and aluminium = not good. After three or so years a couple of those screws were perfectly welded to the aluminium. And since the screws seem to be made of cheap material in no time the heads were damaged with the screw driver. So I had to drill them out. By doing so of course some metal pieces fell into the profile (no idea how to prevent this) which later on prevented to push out those plastic bushings out of the profile. They just stuck somewhere. So at two occasions I couldn't do anything else but taking a saw and destroy two profile elements. I didn't mind, because I don't intend to install that furler again. Mind you, it worked perfectly. I'm just converting to hanked on foresails since I do a lot of racing where the new arrangement works better for me. Anyway, if your installation is similar to what mine was you might face the same problems. Check all those bloody stainless screws in any case before you try something. Ah yes, there are also two or three rivets down at the feeder that you have to drill out. My furler was about four years old. I believe Facnor changed something recently, so depending on how new yours is it might be slightly different.

Fair winds
Dirk
 

davel

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Many thanks for the information which has confirmed my own fears.
According to the installation instructions the foil is threaded up the forestay but I couldn't see how this could be achieved over a swaged terminal. Also according to the instructions, the plastic bearings which are inserted into the foil are split so that the are positioned either side of the forestay and the slid into the foil. So in order to get at the bearings, you have to be able to dismantle the foil.
My set up is about 10 years old so I expect to have the same corrosion problems as you but in spades ! /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

I'll take a look at the weekend.
 

jeremyshaw

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I had to do this job last year - though I got help since I really didn't know where to start.

Our Facnor was 8 years old and the top bearing seized. I think this was probably my fault for not flushing it often enough. Up there out of sight I didn't think of it whereas I flush the bottom drum quite regularly. Our boat sits around a lot in the Caribbean and there's a lot of Sahara dust out there which maybe got into the swivel.

You may get lucky, as we did. First we were able to run the top swage all through the extensions (I have 14mm rigging). Second we got all the s/s screws out without problems or drilling. They are quite likely on with threadlock (my new screws provided by Facnor were "pre-threadlocked") so you may need to heat them first.

Getting the plastic spacers correctly positioned is a bit tricky but can be done with care.

Because I was in Bonaire at the time and could not afford huge delays I just ordered a whole new swivel and subsequently had the new one rebuilt. I have to say I found the UK agent not all that helpful, so I went to the US agent. The price was half (this was when the dollar was 1:1.9) but more importantly the US agent - charlestonspar.com - told me exactly what parts we'd need and got it all right. Of course I was going to pay a shipping charge either way, so that wasn't a factor for me.

You can check the swivel action by dropping it and lashing it down close to the drum with a strop then seeing how well it turns with usual tension on the halyard. I was oafish enough to wait until it completely seized and was lucky not to do more damage to the rig. With the load on those things trying to rip them apart I'm amazed they last as well as they do.

You can download parts PDFs from the Facnor site.
 

davel

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Hi Jeremy and thanks for this info.
Could I just clarify exactly what you replaced? Was it the halyard swivel that had siezed or was it the bearings within the forestay (or was it both)?
 

jeremyshaw

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[ QUOTE ]
Was it the halyard swivel that had siezed or was it the bearings within the forestay (or was it both)?

[/ QUOTE ]

It was the halyard swivel which had seized - or more precisely seized when under load - easing the halyard would probably have helped, in retrospect; I just dropped the sail.

The bearings within the forestay are not, I think, under much load, so it's the swivel (or drum) which is most likely to fail. However it would be prudent to replace them while one has the whole job apart.

BTW here's the link for the parts diagram
http://www.facnor.com/uk/technical_support/technical_brochures/headsail_furlers/fichiers/sd04.pdf
 

IanR

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28 Oct 2001
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I too have disassembled a Facnor SD Genoa furler and Main Furler

Before I did it I bought replacement fittings, I still have the originals which after I replaced them I refurbed myself. I should have saved myself a whole lot of money because the bearings are relatively simple to take apart, clean put in new ball bearings into the races and reassemble. I got replacement stainless bearings as Delron were not available.

The fault and friction occurs because the races get full of crud and grind around, they are not so easy to lubricate without sliding out the large Cir Clips. (Make sure you have a pair of Clip pliers) And get some spare Circlips as the old ones get brittle. By the way If you are going to reassemble these bearings make sure you seek out some aerosol type caps to use as inners for the bearings to retain the balls while you slide them together, and do it on a T tray.....

In fact I had to do the main furler a second time after the mast was put up - Yes its possible if anyone wants to know how - I can advise.

The key difficulty in putting the genoa furler back is in getting the right rig tension so its worth taking recordings of all the measurements on the rig before undoing it and marking and double marking the rigging screws.

If you want more just PM me and I will help where I can

Make sure you put them on the rig the correct way up (fixed vs Swivel) Did I mention I had to do it with the mast up /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

davel

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Thanks for this further info.
I was down at the boat today and I'm 99% certain that the halyard swivel is the culprit when under tension.
I'm planning on renewing rather than refurbing as the whole thing is looking pretty shot - the plastic casing that feeds onto the foil is looking very thin where the load is placed.

I'll check on the price of a replacement but that's almost certainly the way I'll go.

Thanks to all for the knowledgeable advice.
 

dje67

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20 Sep 2007
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Largs
my 100th post!!

I know this is an old thread, but the problems discussed are exactly what I'm suffering with just now. The top swivel on my facnor genoa furler has been getting a bit stiff over recent months, but yesterday became impossible to furl/unfurl. I suspect that the bearings are on the way out. Problem is, the boat is in the water and I don't really want to have to dismantle the 14-year-old furling gear as it will probably never work again...

I opened up the top and bottom covers on the swivel and could see the bearing races quite clearly. I sprayed in loads of carb cleaner, which removed loads of black dirt. At the end, the swivel seems to be free, except when under load. When loaded, it sounds harsh and sticks. I did spray in a little grease, which helped, but the swivel is still sticking.

So my questions:-

is it worth me taking the circlips out of the bearing housing to get better access for cleaning, or will the bearings distribute themselves around the deck?

Anyone done an insitu repair of these swivels before?

Where could i get replacement bearings from and are they standard sizes etc? If so, who supplies?

Ta.
 

30boat

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I have a 7 year old Facnor furler that works perfectly.I had to replace two lengths of foil that had been damaged in a collision last year and had no trouble sliding them over the terminal.The screws came out perfectly because when I first assembled the furler I used Loctite on the threads.Duralac is probably even better.I have a swaged terminal on top and a Staloc at the bottom.
 
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