We have a Furlex roller reefing system installed on our 38ft Sirena. During the last year, rolling the sail in and out has become heavier. Are there any specific parts that need to be greased/replaced every so often?
Make sure that the top and bottom bearings are free to rotate freely. These are ball bearings with Delrin balls, but they do require grease lubrication. Ours has a habit of sticking occasionally, as though a ball has cracked. Make sure that the foil rotates on the forestay without sticking. Ensure that the halyard is not wrapping around the forestay - this can be a serious problem as it will lead to unravelling of the forestay and loss of the rig.
The cause of my increase in furling line loads was nothing to do with the Furlex, it was wear of the blocks on the line itself. Having tried a variety of clever and expensive plastic blocks, I have now reverted to metal lined bullseye fairleads. These seem to have the lowest friction yet, plus they are completely foolproof with no moving parts.
Nothing to add to this sensible advise except to emphasise the need to sort this out. Having your forestay unravel is at best expensive, at worst catastrophic. Fortuntately, mine fell into the former camp and caused by either a sticking drum or halyard wrap.
Nothing to do with Furlex - this applies to any roller reefing system. If the angle between the halyard and the forestay is very shallow there is a risk that the halyard will wrap around the forestay instead of turning the top bearing. The effect for the user is "this has gone stiff, I'll pull harder". Consequence can be that the forestay unravels, they call it "basketing" in the trade, and there is a real risk that it will fail.
The solution is an easy one, instead of taking the halyard direct from the sheave to the top swivel, route it through a bullseye fairlead on the mast. Angle between the two should be something like 30 degrees. Need to bear this in mind if hoisting a smaller sail - fit a strop at the head to put the swivel in roughly the same place each time.
When I first used a Furlex the most useful caution I was given was not to over tension the halyard as this causes sticking - it solved my problem and I have since had many years trouble free use. So simple it is perhaps checking before anything else.