Anatomy of a furler
The drum is cast in Scotland, laser cutting is carried out by a nearby business and the aluminium extrusions are bought in. Everything else is done in-house, from final machining of the drums and welding together all the sheet material through to machining the top swivel from solid 1¾in stainless steel.
When you buy a furler Sailspar need to know your boat’s forestay length and diameter, the fittings used at the mast and deck and the length of the run aft for the furling line. They’ll then recommend one of their three furling drum sizes and build you a furler to suit your boat, assembling it from its component parts in their workshop. Everything is trial-fitted before shipping, so there shouldn’t be any problems putting it together.
In the package comes the drum, pre-assembled with the tensioning bottlescrew, ball races, drum shield, diverter sheaves, furling line and double blocks to lead it aft. There’s also the top swivel, a nylon bush for the top of the foil, enough foil sections to make the system, aluminium joiner pieces and nylon bushes to sit within the foils. Finally there’s a top-hat arrangement which sits on top of the drum and covers the bottlescrew, a halyard diverter, all the screws you need for assembly and a new, over-length forestay with the correct top fitting swaged in place.
We received a 106-25-105 system, which means that it had a 106mm drum with 10.5m of 25mm foil sections. Our forestay length is just over 9m, so that left us plenty to play with.
Component parts in the workshop