Buying a new furler for my Ericson 27


Member I
I am giving up on my seaflex furler that came with my boat and buying a new furler. (long story)
I am considering the CDI flex furler but was wondering if anyone has any experience/opinions on them.
My largest concern is the internal halyard and what to do with it once the sail is raised.
My second choice is the Harken ESP. My hangups there are difficulty of instillation, difficulty of fitment, and Price plus additional items to make compatible.
For reference I am purely a non racing cruising sailor. No blue water mostly weekend stuff around our local Lake St Clair. May at some point try a great lake and some overnights.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and opinions!

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
I have a good friend who had a CDI furler on his 26' boat for many years. The plastic extrusion is very durable, especially if you trailer your boat. It's almost indestructible, bends easily without causing problems. He loved it, and I would consider it for that size boat, but not for a larger boat. I think a Harken is overall a much better quality, and others also make good furlers, so I would do my research, compare quality, price, etc. But a CDI can work well.


Member III
We added a Harken MKIV to our 30 foot Olson 911S. It is a really nicely built bit of gear. Harken makes great gear and their factory support is really great. However, they do seem to sell you the parts a-la-cart so just pricing the furler package compared to some of the other brands can be a bit misleading. Sometimes you can find decent deals on the furler but the accessories seem less so and can add quite a bit to the cost.

Gary Holford

Member II
I have an older Harken which works well on my 27'. They do have great factory support but as mentioned the accessories can be pricey. I needed a halyard deflector for mine which cost $75. I made one with a few odds and ends.
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Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Hi Chris,

The CDI furler will work well for your boat. They are simple units and quite durable. I have one on my E27. The internal halyard eliminates the need for a headsail halyard so the existing halyard can be repurposed as a spinnaker halyard.

The CDI halyard gets tied off at the furler after raising the headsail. To drop the headsail you tie a messenger line to the internal halyard slide and use that line to hoist. The messenger line gets removed.

If you need a new headsail also, The Sail Warehouse usually has good prices on CDI furler and headsail packages.


New Member
Check out reefrite out of New Zealand. There is a North American dealer in Scramento California.


Member I
Upon further research I am also considering the Alado furler. I am trying to sort out the required sail tape size for both CDI and Alado. My sails currently have size 5 so I am hoping one or both systems are compatible. Harken I know is size 5 but I have decided that Harken is just to far out of my price range at this time.

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Hi Chris and Kch,
It's helpful if you put your boat model in your signature line.

Guy Stevens

Worked on installed, repaired or thrown away all of them. I won't bother talking about the failures on the other units, because I could write a book on the subject.

This is my very simple advice.
There are two brands of furlers that you would want on your boat:
Schaefer and Harken........

Take your pick. If you pick something other than those two, expect to have to replace it with one either of these two sooner rather than later. This is an area where the low cost options are false economies, and will keep you from sailing and having fun on your boat. A good furler makes your boat more fun, a bad furler makes it stay at the dock. Spend the money here and go sailing more often.


Kevin A Wright

Member III
FWIW I put a new Harken on my E27 and had it for 20 years without a single problem. Gave it a hose down with fresh water about once per year and occasionally sprayed a little silicone into the foil tracks but that was it for maintenance. Sold the boat 7 years ago and still going strong as far as I know. Pretty bulletproof unit.

Kevin Wright
E35 Hydro Therapy


Member III
For what’s it’s worth , I just had a rig inspection yesterday on my boat ( E-33 ). I have a ProFurl and the rigger didn’t have a high opinion of them ( although mine is currently working ok ) . He did mention Harken and a few others .