Furler & Drum will not rotate

Ralph Hewitt

Member II
Harken MKIV unit 2
Big gust (25+) popped jib straps at peak of sail (rotten UV) down came sail. Swivel and halyard-forestay too stayed up. Sent man up Mast got swivel and halyard down, not wrapped.
Called harken, said take apart something broke? Not much help there!
Took out 4 Allen screws and took off foil clamp, it must have dropped down on forestay to turnbuckle as now can not get it back on and or drum/furler to trun. Can Not take down as we Moore out (No docks), tough to work on it as winds gusting over 30knts & 6 foot swells. Life in San Juan del Sur Nicaragua this time of year.
Oh what to do... I would go sailing but need a headsail,
any idea's, thanks

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Well, it's not like we are all "checkbook boaters" who always pay a pro work on our rigs, but this furler stuff is foreign to me. For furler problems I do pay a local expert, and so have no real hands-on experience.
I wish I could be helpful, but just do not have any experience assembling or disassembling one. The last time my old furler jammed, repeatedly, I did pay to have it replaced. :(
Wish I had something useful to add, but I do not.
Good luck,

Guy Stevens

OK sounds like the foils fell into onto and have locked around your turnbuckle. This is dangerous, thankfully you didn't shear your cotter pins and have the whole jibstay unscrew.
First as I read your writing you need to raise the foils.
We can use a halyard for this:
Verify the clamp screws and clamp are completely removed, not just loosened.
Visually inspect the clamping area to confirm that the foils have fallen down.
This means that we are checking that none of the notches in the lowest foil that goes into the drum section are visible. If they are visible, you have a different problem. (Such as the furler being installed incorrectly and the foils being cut too long. This is a common problem, people do not understand how to install them correctly regardless of the brand and do not read or follow the instruction manual. I would say 60% or more of boats we have worked on have their furlers installed incorrectly.
Tie a icicle hitch using a short piece of 1/4 inch or so line around the foils just above the drum. The bitter end of this piece of line should have a loop in it. (Spliced if using Dyneema, or a Bowline if using double braid.
Attach a halyard to the loop.
SLOWLY and with a small amount of movement. inch or so, at a time tighten the halyard, until the foils spring free.
IF they do not with a normal amount of tension, then you have a different issue, and the best solution is to secure the mast using a halyard to the stem head, and send someone aloft to lower the jib stay to the deck for disassembly and inspection.
(Lowering the jibstay is reccomended in any case to verify that no additional damage has occurred to the stay itself.