Harken Reflex Top Down Furler Anyone using one?

mezaire

Super Anarchist
1,226
29
Tasmania
Looks interesting. it uses SS braid in the torque rope and very low profile 2 to 1 tack fitting

http://www.velasailingsupply.com/v/vspfiles/files/PDF/Harken/Harken-Reflex-Furlers.pdf
I saw one the other day, looks the bees knees.

The S/S torsion cable is really impossible to twist, can be made by the customer to length but might be a bit heavy for the full on racer.

I really like the fact you can swap the drum from sail to sail, in fact you can swap the drum from a top down sail to a bottom up sail!!

 

stick

Member
59
2
It's not clear to me what it does that existing furlers from karver and profurl don't (you can switch them between sails and they can handle spinnakers and code sails). Perhaps it's the different cable, but that seems a marginal difference to me.

 

Overbored

Anarchist
711
59
So. Cal
A cable that works would be a big improvement. most I have used have to much wind up in the cable before it starts to furl. only one I have used that worked the cable cost as much as the furler. I have a Facnor on my Code 0 and it works fine. but the top down works like crap. It will furl fine but the next set it will be all wound up and will not open properly.

 

mezaire

Super Anarchist
1,226
29
Tasmania
It's not clear to me what it does that existing furlers from karver and profurl don't (you can switch them between sails and they can handle spinnakers and code sails). Perhaps it's the different cable, but that seems a marginal difference to me.
As far as I know no other brand can use the same drum for top down and bottom up sails.

The trick with the Harken is the tack swivel come off with the top down sail and the bottom up sail then connects without a swivel.

You can also buy just the cable which should be able to adapt to other brands of furlers that you already have.

 

Overbored

Anarchist
711
59
So. Cal
I have a 6 year old Facnor that can use the drum for both. also have a torque rope that has a top down swivel on both ends for a center furl spinnaker. I do like the way the Harken is built and I need one for a new spinnaker. Thinking about using their rope on my old Facnor. Facnor torque rope is crap. trying to decide on new rope or go all the way. The harken would have a bigger drum so it should furl faster.

 

jack_sparrow

Super Anarchist
37,393
5,094
Decent torque rope is key..can't spend too much on that. Most torque ropes packaged with top downs to date have been crap. Interesting to see if Harken will join that list.

 

mezaire

Super Anarchist
1,226
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Tasmania
As I said I got to play with one on the desk (I'm a Harken dealer) and with a piece 2ft long I could create no twist in the torque rope, none at all. Other ropes you will get half a turn over that length by hand.

 

Iluvitar

New member
27
2
A cable that works would be a big improvement. most I have used have to much wind up in the cable before it starts to furl. only one I have used that worked the cable cost as much as the furler. I have a Facnor on my Code 0 and it works fine. but the top down works like crap. It will furl fine but the next set it will be all wound up and will not open properly.
I've experienced the same behavior on a top down furler until we realized that once you furl the sail up, you have to untorque the torsion rope inside the furled sail to remove all the loaded up twist. On our furler, this required unlocking the furler so that it would twist back and then letting it untwist inside the sail or manually untwisting it until we felt there was no torque on the torsion rope. Once we started doing that, the process of furling and unfurling became very straightforward.

If we didn't untorque the torsion rope, when unfurling, the torsion rope would untwist rapidly, sucking up the bottom of the sail in the opposite twist, resulting in a sail that was impossible to deploy until you dropped it and manually undid the furls (an arduous process). Now we always untorque the rope after every furl, and especially before dropping the sail as the second you take the tension off the torsion rope, it will twist up into many pretzels, potentially preventing it from even being hoisted again until you completely fix the mess.

Here is an example video of the process:



You can see that once they finish the furl, the torque on the torsion rope is released and it spins back to 0 torque inside the furled sail. Then it will unfurl properly every time.

 

toolbar

Member
278
63
Kiel, Germany
Hi,

does anyone have an update here with some actual hands-on experience die the Harken Reflex?

I'm in the market for a top-down furler and am trying to decide between the cheaper and time-tested Selden furler and the new Harken unit.

There was a short article in the last PBO issue, but that seemed to be more of a marketing blurb than a real product test.

Paul

 

Overbored

Anarchist
711
59
So. Cal
I have a new Reflex and may be testing it this weekend. I now have a downwind slip so first hoist and test can be at the dock. if all goes well we will get it out on the water. Will be testing with an old A2 first. the torque rope looks good after setting it up, no twist in the rope. a litter heavier and harder to coil then the Facnor but then the Facnor torque is crap so maybe thats what it take to make it work right.

 

toolbar

Member
278
63
Kiel, Germany
Hi Overbored,

I am looking forward to hear from your tests.

Is that one of the new First 30s you are sailing? I have been following someone over here in Germany in his quest to make the damn thing go as fast as it looks. :) This year with a new set of sails with a different cut from the original UK sails he finally appears have made another big step...

Paul

 
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USA389

Member
249
2
The Harken Reflex furler works very, very well. The cable is the key here, very good torque transmission, but the furler set-up is very slick and well thought out as well. If you don't mind a little bit of extra weight and are only going to be top-down spinnaker furling stop looking at other products. For what it is, it is the best on the market.

Feel free to PM me

 

robalex117

Super Anarchist
Karver KFS can do top down or bottom up. For top down you tie the loose luff sail to the spinner. For bottom up you have the sail tied to the cable.

I have one it works fine on a 60 footer. Top town works fine but you need a good torsion cable and they are not cheap. Maybe the harken one will be good and less expensive than top of the line cables now available. But probably heavier since it has steel in it. Last time I looked I was getting rid of steel and replacing it with rope.

It's not clear to me what it does that existing furlers from karver and profurl don't (you can switch them between sails and they can handle spinnakers and code sails). Perhaps it's the different cable, but that seems a marginal difference to me.
As far as I know no other brand can use the same drum for top down and bottom up sails.

The trick with the Harken is the tack swivel come off with the top down sail and the bottom up sail then connects without a swivel.

You can also buy just the cable which should be able to adapt to other brands of furlers that you already have.
 
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Overbored

Anarchist
711
59
So. Cal
Hi Overbored,

I am looking forward to hear from your tests.

Is that one of the new First 30s you are sailing? I have been following someone over here in Germany in his quest to make the damn thing go as fast as it looks. :) This year with a new set of sails with a different cut from the original UK sails he finally appears have made another big step...

Paul
Yes, that is the boat that I have the furler for. I have a Facnor furler for the Code 0 and another Facnor for top down but the torque rope is crap so the reflex will replace it. My boat was slow when I first got it last year. The rig was way off and raked way to far back and had lots of weather helm , pulled it as far as the furler foil would allow and it is good for now but still might need to trim the foil a bit .The Quantum cruising sails are crap and the boat just sat there and drifted sideways . the new Ullman Phantom sails are a world of difference and the boat now goes forward. Still working on the rig tune but getting there. just set up the inhalers on the jib and need to find the best tune

 
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toolbar

Member
278
63
Kiel, Germany
Overbored: I nearly bought an First 30 last year before deciding that I needed some training wheels. :)

As I have never used a furler for a kite before I have no idea: How do you trim the tackline with the (heavy) furler and anti-torsion-cable hanging above? Does just adjusting the halyard tension work as well?

Paul

 
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Overbored

Anarchist
711
59
So. Cal
Sailed with the new Harken Reflex furler over the weekend and it works great. We tested it with two different sails and they both furled and unfurled without a problem. the larger A2 is the sail we had a lot of trouble unfurling when it was on the Facnor furler and always got twisted up on the inside and would not unfurl properly. Furled very well even with the torque rope a little loose, the sail furls a little tighter if the torque is tight but does not need to be as tight as the Facnor. The sail fits in half the bag and it is very easy to fold the sail into the bag. It does tend to hockle/ kink sometimes if not helped out of the bag. Very easy to lay down on the deck and re hoist. We found by adding a short Dynemma sheet to the sail we could leave this line around the sail while bagging and this holds the sail wrapped when you remove the spinnaker sheets .

So far as I can see Harken has solve the torque rope twisting problem. we tested in light air 6-8kt. so time will tell when we get it in a little more Breeze.

 

toolbar

Member
278
63
Kiel, Germany
Hi,

thanks for the report, Overbored.

How often do you have to pull hand-over-hand until the sail starts to furl, respectively until it is completely furled?

Do you trim the sail with the halyard?

Paul

 

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