Vidwatts 8:28pm, 2 July 2013
I've finally purchased a Furlex roller furling mechanism and headsail for Aeolus and am at the head-scratching stage of looking at the instructions.

I've compared the diagram in the instructions for fitting the new forestay but can't seem to reconcile it with what I can see of how Aeolus's forestay is fitted, looking up from deck-level that is.

Does anyone have a photo of the standard fitting of the forestay to the masthead. I want to make sure I'm not in for a surprise when I get up there. Unfortunately the photos I took of the mast when it was last down don't show clearly what is there.

Mike A1 5 years ago
I've just uploaded a picture I took of Amare's masthead when I bought her:

Hope this helps.

Skykomish1 5 years ago
It should do as Amare is Aeolus ' Sister boat being built together
PAIXOTO 5 years ago
Good morning,

Please see my pictures might be a help,

Check my gallery Achilles Nº600 Paixoto


Vidwatts 5 years ago
Mike and Pixoto - perfect, many thanks.

I can see now that it is completely different from the examples used as instructions that came with the Furlex so I am now scratching my head as to how on earth I'm going to attach the furling gear to the masthead and get the correct lead on the halyard.

Think I'll post another question.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
Use a wire strop (about 30cms long with loops both ends) to fix to mast as the exiting foestay is attached, then use a D shackle to attach new forestay to strop. Just make sure that you follow the instructions for fitting the halyard diverter to the mast so as to get the correct angle to avoid halyard wrap.
Vidwatts Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Vidwatts (member) 5 years ago
Norman - really helpful, thanks.

How big should the loops be, and should I use a thimble inside them?
spearhead_027 5 years ago
The top, fixing loop should be identical to your existing forestay terminal and, if you go with the shackle system, the exact dimensions don't really matter so long as you have the requisite overall length.
However an alternative to consider is to use the existing forestay top (you don't even have to take it off) with a Sta-lock type terminal fitted instead - use an eye and ensure that it faces fore-and-aft, so that it acts as an extra swivel joint for the increased vibration that it will be subject to.
Only trouble with this system is the extra expense of the eye and fork terminals......
Vidwatts 5 years ago

Just so I'm clear, you mean to cut the existing forestay and fit one of these on the :

then to fit one of these: onto the new forestay to join it?

Could I not just fit a fork onto the old forestay and put the loop of the new one through it?

spearhead_027 5 years ago
Yes, David, putting the fork on the top would work too. When I had this done for fitting mine to Spring Run the (highly competent) yard insisted on using the full Sta-lok system and I have certainly found it to be useful, as you can dismantle it and the foil if wanting to work on the bottom end subsequently. If you put a small hard eye in instead, it will probably be too big to pass down inside the foil. The Sta-lok likewise is probably too big, but you can at least take it off without doing serious damage.
I'm unfamiliar with the details of the Furlex drum, so can't say whether you can do all conceivable repairs without having to dismantle the foil. Mine is a ProFurl, and when I had to replace the bottom section of the foil (under guarantee) the ability to withdraw the forestay and foil simplified matters considerably...
Note the point about aligning the axis of the top hinge. Foils sometimes shake quite violently if you pinch up too close, as well as when about to furl the genoa, and the extra hinge at the top helps soak this up and save fatigue in the forestay eye.
NormanKlipspringer Posted 5 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 5 years ago
I would suggest that you do not use the existing forestay unless you know it's history. For minimal extra cost get new bits. With stainless it is difficult to see if close to failure unless xrayed! Wire rigged tends to fail where it is attached to fittings or is bent. I'm sure a surveyor would agree. What about your insurance if it fails?
Vidwatts Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Vidwatts (member) 5 years ago
I agree Norman and have therefore combined the two suggestions above and have ordered a 30cm length of 5mm 1x19, with a loop on one end and a sta-lok fork on the other.

Now I've just got to get up the mast (there's a cherry picker at the yacht club I can use) undo the top bolt, and replace the old forestay with the new wire. Then I have to measure the length for the new forestay, cut it, fit it to the furling mechanism, fit the halyard diverter to the mast, set up the furling drum, fit the new forestay to the new terminal with the forestay sleeve in place, fit and test the furling line, then hoist the sail and I'm about done :) I may have missed out some steps but will follow the manufacturers instructions very carefully.
spearhead_027 5 years ago
"undo the top bolt" - slight problem there....

Forestay, backstay and both cap shrouds are all looped over one stout
tubular pin, located by a single grub screw. Having loosened the screw, you then have to tap the pin through - which way is determined by which side the forestay lies - and almost certainly one of the cap shrouds will come off before the forestay does. You also have to shift the axle for the spinnaker halliard pulley, as its end projects over the forestay loop to aid its location. I doubt if this is possible with the mast up and any strain on the shrouds, so the cherry picker will only be of use for a preliminary recce if you don't take up my suggestion to put on a Sta-lok terminal in situ. Otherwise you'll have to take the mast down.

I await the outcome with interest! Good luck either way.
Vidwatts 5 years ago
Ian - very pleased you said all that and stopped me from getting way out of my depth at the top of the mast, so to speak.
Fitting a toggle to the existing forestay sounds much simpler.
Vidwatts 5 years ago
Planning on fitting it this weekend: one question (forgive me if daft) but why do I need to fit a new forestay at all - assuming it is in good condition. Could I not cut the lower end to fit the furling drum, run the foil up the existing forestay and fit the halyard diverter? Appreciate that would mean no fork/eye at the top of the forestay but would that matter?
spearhead_027 5 years ago
Yes, you could do that and, for an indefinite time, it will probably work quite happily. However, as I tried to point out in my second post above, the professional position (here) when I came to do this twelve years ago was that it would leave the top end prone to fatigue failure.
I guess you have to decide for yourself whether to invest in the extra hardware - if you don't (and especially if you are continuing to use the existing forestay with its uncertain age) you'll be well advised to inspect it regularly for breaks next the copper Talurit sleeve and subsequent stranding. It's not the sort of thing you can get relaxed about after a certain time - the longer it's there, the more likely it is to fail....
My own experience only extends to a few years with the Sta-loks inserted, which works and allows you a bit more scope when repairs become necessary in some other part of the mechanism, and it could be that, with the over-specification of the standard rigging, it will hold out for longer than you keep the boat anyway - but that's your gamble!
Vidwatts 5 years ago
Finallly managed to fit the Furlex this weekend - severely taxing the limits of my personal level of competency. I'm not a natural at this type of task, never have been, but I'm pleased that I managed it after all. Slightly anxious that I've missed something but there were no bits left over in the box and everything fitted as described.

Now, just need to get Aeolus back in the water for a test sail...

nb for future reference, I didn't use all the old forestay as it would have been too short for the purpose. I inspected the top fitting and saw no evidence for concern (a second pair of eyes more experienced than me confirmed this) so cut the old forestay near the top, fitted a new Stalok toggle and attached the eye in the supplied new forestay to it.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
Well done. Let us know how she sails. My Furlex is fantastic.
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