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Tuff Luff Luck (Installation)


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'Tis the season for new stuff like this for many of us in cold country. Anyone have the latest tips and tricks for an easy installation in cool weather over 1/4" wire using 1706? I need to place a new extrusion over the forestay. Looks like a PIA so want to make it quick as possible.

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Thanks folks. Sounds like I'll need two cases of beer, not just one.

Next question: Is it easier to do this job with the forestay rigged on the boat, or on shore, suspended and tensioned between two immoveable objects? The rig is in the boat, minus the forestay which I didn't put up knowing I had to do this job. If it is easier to do it on the boat I can go up and install the forestay before inserting the Tuff Luff.

Will report back.

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So do it in the boat. 

We'll be lucky to reach about 13 C on Saturday. If we don't get the job done this weekend we will miss the start of the first series and opening day. I'll bring the hairdryer and preheat as we load the foil on. Roger that on lube.

I had the idea of attaching  the spin halyard (knots; tape) to the foil to aid in the upward motion and then going up to disengage the halyard from the foil. Anyone try that?

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Put one on last weekend. As said, sunshine and soap the stay repeatedly as it goes up. Note that it is directional (top &bottom) and if it is a harken product do not apply anything to it like clubs or boeshield. Rig up is the way we always do them. Good luck!!!

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1 hour ago, rico said:

I had the idea of attaching  the spin halyard (knots; tape) to the foil to aid in the upward motion and then going up to disengage the halyard from the foil. Anyone try that?

Certainly a good idea, as I've seen them go for a float test.

Use a small diameter spectra line with polyester cover, a couple of proper rolling hitches, and some duct tape, and clip the halyard onto that.

Don't know about the hairdrier, you might need a big heatgun to burn the foil properly. Otherwise come to Fiji for the job, it's 30 C on a cold day here.

 

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We just wrestled one of these Harken Carbofoils on.  It was easily the hardest and most stressful job I've had to do on the boat.  Unroll it 24 hours in advance if possible.  Let it sit in the sun.  Putting it in a hot tub might have worked... You will need a proper heatgun and a good extension cord (our was smoking until we switched directly to the 30amp line) if you want any chance of getting it on.  Lots of soap.  Do not use McLube.  Fitting the barrel nut onto the top part over the bow in the water is stressful.  Plan on it taking the whole afternoon.  You'll need two people and a sense of humour. 

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Thanks Ultra. I'm obviously a bit intimidated too.

But based on what I have read, the Tuff Luff setup and installation is different from that of the Harken Carbo, yes?  Anyone else recommend NOT to use McLube on the Tuff Luff?

A description of the soap process would be helpful.

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Joy dish soap and water.

I was only speaking of lubing Tuff Luffs. I only did one Carbofio; install and ran it thru a bucket of dish soap. Still got some awful blisters.

Two people that I know switched Back from CarboFoi; to Tuff Luff. The Harken product lasted half as long as the Tuff Luff.

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Work on your vocabulary beforehand.  Don't get to the full range of your expletive repertoire in the first hour. 

Biggest I've done single-handed is a 40'er with the rig up. 

&^&($ -(&^%*&*))!!!!  (*P)(B!!!   ^&(*^&#(!!!   %@@^$#@%^ < ))*^%$#!!!!!  ^$^^O!!!  Q$%@#%* -*(%%&*)!@!!!!!!  YAY!!!

That just about covers my experience.

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Yeah total shitshow this weekend. Fail. Way too cold (peaked at 10 C) despite morning sun on our dear island that is in the process of flooding in the meantime anyway.

Learning to share:

-Schaefer (Tuff Luff) no longer sells a 36' extrusion. You'll get a 46er.

-If your forestay is significantly less than that (46'), you'll have an offcut to practice with. Well worth doing so that you  can hack up the practice piece with the pry device rather than your end product. Seriously - do this before deciding if the full install is viable in the conditions of the day

-Call Schaefer if you need advice. They still have humans joyfully ( :) ) answering the phone who are patient enough to talk the process through

-Let the coil relax the twists over time, like for days. Straighten that thing out!

-Support our local providers of boat shit -- they are invaluable (shout to Rigging Shoppe)

-Forget about the spring series; there will be more of them

I will report back more positively when I get this done. In the meantime I guess it's OPB's which is a nice problem to have if you think about it.

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I've installed a few over the years, just recently on my J29 MH last fall.(installed in 50's temps.) Never a problem with any of them although you do need a decent amount of hand strenght. That was my second carbo foil i've installed. First time was on the deck, this last time with the rig up. Definately easier with the rig up. Hour and a half job by myself, including all the taping and seizing on the pre feeder.   

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5 hours ago, GTim said:

I'm going to be doing a 40' long carbo foil this week, rig down, forestay tied between trees. Sounds like its going to be a biotch.

Get a lot of tension on the forestay.  No, I mean A LOT of tension.

Good luck.

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7 hours ago, GTim said:

I'm going to be doing a 40' long carbo foil this week, rig down, forestay tied between trees. Sounds like its going to be a biotch.

If you’re doing it on land and it’s not hot out, a weird idea worked for us a few years ago. We left the Carbo foil rolled up in the back of an SUV with the heat cranked to the max. Then we cracked a window and fed it out through there as we installed it. Worked surprisingly well. 

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Keep the ideas experiences coming. Some good ones here - thanks. I love the car heating idea, though not at all practical in my case. I feel like the curls need to come out completely also.

GT, good luck and let us know how it works out - temps included.

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I'm in a holding pattern till this fucking weather improves. However, the headfoil is "relaxing" in my back yard until then. It appears that it uncoiled a good bit over the past 2 days even with no sun, 40 degree temps and rain. Supposed to be warmer with sun tomorrow might give it a try. I cut it to length and drilled for the end cap. Just need to snap it on.

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Squal, nice offer and I'd pay you for it too (at least in beer and stories) if you were up on our Great Lake that is breaching its banks right now. I don't think you are.

For now we wait and will do sailpast sans foresail.

GT, how'd it go?

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Tried to snap it on this weekend but I would need about 8 more hands to have completed this alone. Even when it was warm and I used soapy water, I'd get a foot or so attached and when I would try to slide it toward the top, as soon as I relaxed my grip, it would jump back off. I knew right away I didn't stand a chance alone so I said fuck it. Going to wait till this weekend when the mast is up and more bodies available. having a TIGHT forestay will help immensely.

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On 5/20/2019 at 9:04 AM, GTim said:

Tried to snap it on this weekend but I would need about 8 more hands to have completed this alone. Even when it was warm and I used soapy water, I'd get a foot or so attached and when I would try to slide it toward the top, as soon as I relaxed my grip, it would jump back off. I knew right away I didn't stand a chance alone so I said fuck it. Going to wait till this weekend when the mast is up and more bodies available. having a TIGHT forestay will help immensely.

Tight headstay is much easier. The hard part is getting it started. Once you have 3-5' snapped on the wire, its just a matter of keeping it lubricated and sliding it on. 

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I've been installing these things for decades.
Spray McLube on the foil, and on the headstay 3' to 7' from the bottom.
If it's sticky, I put a icicle hitch on the headfoil with some aged 6mm polyester and have someone pulling it up on the halyard. I even have an electric motor put in the winch handle socket to assist.

On the icicle hitch, I put a downhauler and slide the knot down the headfoil when done.
When you go to attach the lower support device, ease the backstay off to remove the headstay stretch.

A real nice clamp are these rod clamps from McMaster Carr

https://www.mcmaster.com/rod-clamps

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Also, don’t get so focused on getting the foil onto the head stay that you forget to attach the stainless cap to the top. 

It’d be a shame to feel like a dumbass and have to do that afterwards. Speaking from experience having done that!

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We got it done on the weekend, having learned lots from the first fail. This was a replacement Tuff Luff - not Carbo Foil. Conditions were a bit warmer than they were during the first attempt. Partial sun, only moderate wind off the cold lake, and maybe 13-15C temps. Headstay was rigged and lots of tension cranked into the full rig -- headstay at max tightness (more headstay tension and less rake than you would sail with in almost all conditions), uppers and backstay cranked as well. 

All of the advice above helped -- thank-you! Keys to success in my experience:

-Lots of people. Me calling the shots and pulling aft while crouched on the bow. One on the soapy water with sponge crouching beside me, which helped a lot - better than McLube on the forestay. One standing above me on the bow doing the synchronized upward motion on my call (I put the strongest of us on this job). Pull on and push up at the same time and it will snap on in 8" to 12" segments. So satisfying. Sliding up at the same time as pulling really does help. Two people on the ground feeding the still curvy foil and aligning it with the forestay. Having lots of helpers may have made the biggest difference. That and the soap!

-Let the foil relax over time before installing. Don't rush this part. I did this progressively for about 8 days but in mostly cool temps. 36 hours before installation, I flattened it out over its length partly on lawn on concrete. Weights were required about every 3' or 4' feet to keep it fully flat with no longitudinal twists in the thing. I used sand bags which were convenient given our flood situation and they were gentle on the plastic. The twists returned when the weights were removed but presented less of a challenge I think.

-Wait for decent weather (sun and warmth) if you can.

-The top-cap was challenging -- the specified drill diameter (17/64") was a tight fit. Had to drill wider to insert the barrel through the plastic and am hoping this won't hurt. With the top cap installed, it seems the top of the bolt rope won't ext the top of the foil. To be determined whether we still have enough hoist room for the genoas. I may still have to remove the 4" top spacer from aloft.

-Measure length accurately before cutting. I still have to confirm if I got it right.

-As someone else said, this was one of the more difficult jobs I have done on the boat, mostly because of air temperature I think. It was on par with replacing all internal and external handrails solo.

Good luck! It is a great a system for a crewed boat once installed if you are thinking of changing over to it.

 

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One other tip - if you sail with an assymetric kite and do inside gybe, install some form of protection to the front of the tuff luff for the lower 3 or 4 metres.  Otherwise you will end up cutting many grooves in the tuff luff which the kite sheet will get caught up on and probably reduce the life of the tuff luff.  We used some kevlar tape.

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7 minutes ago, rico said:

We got it done on the weekend, having learned lots from the first fail. This was a replacement Tuff Luff - not Carbo Foil. Conditions were a bit warmer than they were during the first attempt. Partial sun, only moderate wind off the cold lake, and maybe 13-15C temps. Headstay was rigged and lots of tension cranked into the full rig -- headstay at max tightness (more headstay tension and less rake than you would sail with in almost all conditions), uppers and backstay cranked as well. 

All of the advice above helped -- thank-you! Keys to success in my experience:

-Lots of people. Me calling the shots and pulling aft while crouched on the bow. One on the soapy water with sponge crouching beside me, which helped a lot - better than McLube on the forestay. One standing above me on the bow doing the synchronized upward motion on my call (I put the strongest of us on this job). Pull on and push up at the same time and it will snap on in 8" to 12" segments. So satisfying. Sliding up at the same time as pulling really does help. Two people on the ground feeding the still curvy foil and aligning it with the forestay. Having lots of helpers may have made the biggest difference. That and the soap!

-Let the foil relax over time before installing. Don't rush this part. I did this progressively for about 8 days but in mostly cool temps. 36 hours before installation, I flattened it out over its length partly on lawn on concrete. Weights were required about every 3' or 4' feet to keep it fully flat with no longitudinal twists in the thing. I used sand bags which were convenient given our flood situation and they were gentle on the plastic. The twists returned when the weights were removed but presented less of a challenge I think.

-Wait for decent weather (sun and warmth) if you can.

-The top-cap was challenging -- the specified drill diameter (17/64") was a tight fit. Had to drill wider to insert the barrel through the plastic and am hoping this won't hurt. With the top cap installed, it seems the top of the bolt rope won't ext the top of the foil. To be determined whether we still have enough hoist room for the genoas. I may still have to remove the 4" top spacer from aloft.

-Measure length accurately before cutting. I still have to confirm if I got it right.

-As someone else said, this was one of the more difficult jobs I have done on the boat, mostly because of air temperature I think. It was on par with replacing all internal and external handrails solo.

Good luck! It is a great a system for a crewed boat once installed if you are thinking of changing over to it.

 

So basically, it’s the usual. Great big pain in the ass, but not that big a deal!  Congrats on a job well done!

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  • 1 month later...

Late follow up on this thread. What I learned.....DO NOT attempt when the forestay is not connected and mast not up.

It went on very easily with the mast up and forestay tight. I did not need a halyard or even extra hands. It was nice that I had someone to feed it from shore, but it could have been a one person job. This was on a soverel 33.

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I am looking at a 22' boat to buy that has tuff luff installed on the forestay. Not familiar with the item and wasn't sure if it was a good thing or not. If I buy the boat headsails will be replaced slowly over a few years. Should I stick with the system?

 

The current headstay with the tuff luff attached is in a coil a few feet in diameter stored in the boat. Anything to look for damage wise?

 

TIA

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Just make sure there are no cracks or breaks in the foil, be careful with it in cool or cold temperatures, and go sailing. If there are cracks or breaks, it's toast and you deduct at least $500 from your offer. If you don't like it and have a budget, you can switch to a furler or hanks when you buy your next sail(s). If you keep it, make sure you order the correct gauge bolt rope.

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Wow, this is really not hard.  We took ours out of the box, cut to length, pulled the fore stay tight between the trailer hitch on the truck and a tree...  Then just put it on.

We go through at least one a year....  The spin sheets on our Corsair 31-1D really tear them up...

I've found that HeadFoil2 from http://headfoil.com/prod01.htm :

  • is cheaper
  • is easier to install
  • works better due to the improved feeder and prefeeder
  • lasts about the same length of time
  • according to HeadFoil's owner, the Shaefer Marine Tuff Luff is a copy of the original HeadFoil

When we travel with the boat, we put the head foil in the boat making sure that we have the largest radius bends possible.  We had a Shaefer Tuff Luff break in two as we were removing the fore stay from the boat rigging up for an out of town regatta....  I now keep a spare in the truck, though I have not had a HeadFoil2 break in half yet....

 

 

Edited by gbkersey
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1 hour ago, gbkersey said:

Wow, this is really not hard.  We took ours out of the box, cut to length, pulled the fore stay tight between the trailer hitch on the truck and a tree...  Then just put it on.

We go through at least one a year....  The spin sheets on our Corsair 31-1D really tear them up...

I've found that HeadFoil2 from http://headfoil.com/prod01.htm :

  • is cheaper
  • is easier to install
  • works better due to the improved feeder and prefeeder
  • lasts about the same length of time
  • according to HeadFoil's owner, the Shaefer Marine Tuff Luff is a copy of the original HeadFoil

When we travel with the boat, we put the head foil in the boat making sure that we have the largest radius bends possible.  We had a Shaefer Tuff Luff break in two as we were removing the fore stay from the boat rigging up for an out of town regatta....  I now keep a spare in the truck, though I have not had a HeadFoil2 break in half yet....

 

 

Get some kevlar sticky back from your sailmaker and wrap the bottom portion of your headfoil/tuffluff.  Replace as necessary.  Much cheaper than the foil

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Get some kevlar sticky back from your sailmaker and wrap the bottom portion of your headfoil/tuffluff.  Replace as necessary.  Much cheaper than the foil

Awesome idea, I'll try it.  If that doesn't work, I guess I could get a 6 foot section of PVC and saw a slot lengthwise and then slip it over the leading edge where the spin sheets rub....

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55 minutes ago, gbkersey said:

Awesome idea, I'll try it.  If that doesn't work, I guess I could get a 6 foot section of PVC and saw a slot lengthwise and then slip it over the leading edge where the spin sheets rub....

How about some coptertape?

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  • 6 months later...

Installed a new tuff luff on our old 1/4 toner today. This thread had me thinking it was going to be difficult. It was shockingly easy to install. Didn’t have to use soapy water, must have taken under 2 minutes to get it on the forestay. I even forgot to tension the backstay. It was about 68 degrees, I gave the new foil about 24 hours to relax and loosen up. Had a friend on the ground feeding it to me, probably could have done it myself easy enough though. 1205 tuff luff on 3/16” forestay. 

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