ESP installation 1

Installing an ESP Furler

By Stan Cockeram — Harken UK
12/16/2013

The ESP Furler Assembles as Easily as it Rolls

Fewer components make this affordable furler quick to assemble, while providing the same styling, durability, and low maintenance bearing system of our performance line. Foils slip over the standard marine eye and headstay without cutting the wire during installation. Once assembled, simply cut the top foil to fit. The bottom foil adjusts to fine-tune unit length. Long, Medium or Short Leg Kits are offered to adjust drum height. Choose the Long or Medium Leg Kit for furlers with turnbuckles. The Short Leg Kit for furlers without.

ESP furling install 1The ESP Furler was installed on a Bavaria 31, with a 7 mm forestay and 7/16" clevis pin, for which the correctly specified furler is the ESP Unit 1.
ESP furling install 2We arrived at the boat on an icy morning, but with bright sunshine. The first job was to remove the old furler.
ESP furling install 3This meant putting down halyards to take the forestay tension, releasing the bottom pin of the furler, and then sending someone up the mast to release the top.
ESP furling install 4We lowered the old furler to the dock and laid it out to check the pin-to-pin measurement. This is a critical measurement as cutting the top foil to length depends on this once assembled.
ESP furling install 5We laid out the components of the new furler alongside the old one and removed the forestay from the old furler. Since the Sta-Lok® on the old furler had seized, we needed to cut the end off in order to extract the wire. The forestay was examined and after some discussion it was deemed sound and long enough to have the new furler built on it.
ESP furling install 6The forestay was terminated with a swaged-on turnbuckle. We then assembled the foil onto the forestay.
ESP furling install 7We inserted the top cap and assembled the connectors at each foil joint. This was very quick and easy. We were soon ready to install the hub and the rest of the bottom end, but not before installing the halyard swivel onto the foil!
ESP furling install 8Once the drum and legs were installed and the toggle assembled, we set the length of the foil with the telescopic bottom section, loosened the turnbuckle, and were ready to put the new furler up. We sent the furler back up the mast and installed the top pin.
ESP furling install 9When it was time to install the bottom pin, we found we were some way short - about 150 mm! This caused some consternation, but we then noticed that the backstay was very slack - the mast had fallen back slightly on the halyards. We wound it forward again and, with a little jiggery pokery, managed to get the pin in!
ESP furling install 10We added the furling line and hoisted the sail. Dutch was immediately impressed with how easily the furler turned as he rolled the sail up and was ready to go sailing immediately!

We found the ESP Furler very straightforward to install. In most cases a new forestay will be required and that will make life even easier. Just follow the manual and don't rush!

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