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How To Replace Your Harken Furlers


Modern headsail furlers can greatly simplify sail handling, making short outings, racing, and longer passages safer and more enjoyable. If you aren’t already considering adding a furler to your boat for the first time, MAURIPRO Sailing came up with several benefits modern furlers offer that you should consider. Enjoy!

  • You can reef the sail in busy waterways for improved visibility ahead and to leeward, instead of raising tack height and permanently reducing sail area.
  • The ability to reef means you can carry a bigger genoa for light wind, and reduce the sail area accordingly as the wind increases.
  • A furler makes the headsail easy to deploy at a moment's notice, so you can spend more time sailing and less time motoring when the wind fills in.
  • The headsail can easily be operated by the minimal crew, so you can sail shorthanded without sacrificing performance.
  • You can easily operate the furler from the safety cockpit, rather than sending the crew to the bow in rough conditions.

Whether you are replacing your old furler or adding one for the first time, there are several options to choose from. The main 2 types of furlers are cruising furlers and racing furlers. Here are some typical characteristics of each:

Cruising, such as Harken's ESP:

  • Round foil, which can handle high loads and easily rolls and furls the sail.
  • More deck clearance for better visibility and to clear bow roller, anchor, etc.
  • Fewer components, making the furling unit more durable and easier to maintain.
  • One-piece fixed drum, spool and line guard.
  • Single luff groove.

Racing, such as Harken's MKIV:

  • Low profile elliptical foil provides a more aerodynamic shape and thus better airflow over the headsail.
  • Twin luff grooves allow for faster hoists, douses, and peels.
  • The removable split drum allows the use of full-hoist sails when racing.
  • Independent halyard and tack swivels furl the sail from the middle instead of ends, giving improved sail shape when reefed.

Once you have determined which furler best suits your needs you just need to figure out what size furler will work for your boat. Harken's headsail furling/reefing systems will work form boats 22′ up to 80′. You can generally narrow down which furler you need based on your boat's LOA, but to make sure you get the right unit you will need to know your headstay length, diameter, and clevis pin size.

We at MAURIPRO Sailing constantly test the products we offer to help you and sailors worldwide select the proper sailing gear and Sailboat equipment for their on the water needs.

Upgrade your boat today! Our tech consultants are standing by to help you select the right furler for your needs. Send us your comments and let us know about your experience with any of the products mentioned above!

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