This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to build a roller furler for under 25 quid.

Shortly after he bought a Falmouth Bass Boat 16, Barry Taylor began searching the internet for guidance on how to build his own roller furler.
Said Barry, "When I came across your web site, showing how to build a furler, I was immediately excited and inspired because you had provided very clear and easy to follow details of how to build one."

But Barry soon ran into a couple problems.  Indoor plumbing, as it turns out, isn't quite the same shape in the UK as it is in the US.
"I think the 3" black ABS cap is excellent and want to build one of these. The problem is I am in the UK and I can't get hold of black ABS, especially a cap with a relatively flat end to it (they're all slightly domed over here - and grey!). Lowes or Home Depot won't ship to UK so was wondering if anyone could offer me a suggestion how I might get a 3" black cap?"

I considered sending a cap to Barry, until I looked up the shipping costs, and nearly fell out of my chair!

But persistence paid off, and he was successful in getting the domed cap to work.  In fact, I find the shape quite attractive.  The cast stainless steel eyebolt Barry used also looks attractive and strong.  An excellent choice.

"I immediately set about researching how to obtain the necessary ABS end cap etc.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, I sourced all the materials, made my furler drum/bobbin from 6mm ply discs and a solid oak centre drum, painted it up black and white (because yours looks so smart in those colours) and hey presto I had a furler, for a fraction of the cost of a new one.  I used a thrust washer similar to the one you describe and bought the Spro Ball Bearing Swivel that you recommended."
Another problem Barry had to solve is a common one.  Barry's boat uses a fixed forestay, which required a modification to his bow fitting so that the furler and jib could be mounted aft of the forestay.
"I had to make a bespoke mount plate to enable the furler to be mounted behind the forestay such that there was sufficient clearance to prevent the jib snagging on the forestay when being furled." 

And finally, an adjustment had to be made to accommodate the available eyebolt length.
"I had to counterbore the centre of the furling drum because 6mm eyebolts only come 100mm long and this wasn’t quite sufficient to allow fitment of the thrust washer."

"The project is complete and the jib furls away beautifully."

Well done, Barry!  Yours is an excellent example of how this furler can be adapted to a variety of materials and sailboat rigs.  I hope you enjoy many years of smooth sailing with your hand crafted furler.