Rebuilding a Selden In-Mast Furling System on a 2001 Hunter 380

 The Selden in-mast furler on this Hunter 380 suffered damage from over-tensioning. In a Seldén system, there is a turnbuckle-like screw for tensioning the extrusion. According to Seldén, the tension should be set roughly as tight as you can make it by holding the extrusion with your hand. Tighter is not recommended.  To manipulate the “turnbuckle”, an aluminum sleeve (locking collar) is slid up, and the extrusion is held by hand, allowing the turnbuckle to turn while the extrusion remains stationary. The turnbuckle is turned by putting a winch handle in the socket on the back of the mast. This is the same gear that operates the furling system. With the locking collar disengaged, turning one way makes the extrusion loose. Turning the other makes it tight. Tighter also means the extrusion is getting shorter. Once the extrusion is manipulated to satisfaction, the locking collar is aligned with the turnbuckle, slid down over it and locked into place with a screw.  If the locking collar is raised to manipulate the turnbuckle but then not seated properly afterwards, pulling on the furling line will put the sail away, but also tension the turnbuckle more than hand tight. This unit may not have broken at the top fitting right away, but the load on the system was set for the weakest part to fail.

The Selden in-mast furler on this Hunter 380 suffered damage from over-tensioning. In a Seldén system, there is a turnbuckle-like screw for tensioning the extrusion. According to Seldén, the tension should be set roughly as tight as you can make it by holding the extrusion with your hand. Tighter is not recommended.

To manipulate the “turnbuckle”, an aluminum sleeve (locking collar) is slid up, and the extrusion is held by hand, allowing the turnbuckle to turn while the extrusion remains stationary. The turnbuckle is turned by putting a winch handle in the socket on the back of the mast. This is the same gear that operates the furling system. With the locking collar disengaged, turning one way makes the extrusion loose. Turning the other makes it tight. Tighter also means the extrusion is getting shorter. Once the extrusion is manipulated to satisfaction, the locking collar is aligned with the turnbuckle, slid down over it and locked into place with a screw.

If the locking collar is raised to manipulate the turnbuckle but then not seated properly afterwards, pulling on the furling line will put the sail away, but also tension the turnbuckle more than hand tight. This unit may not have broken at the top fitting right away, but the load on the system was set for the weakest part to fail.

We've just tuned the rig and reassembled the boom and running rigging on this 2001 Hunter 380. This is the first time furling in the sail with the rebuilt furler. The conditions are less than ideal - wind directly over the stern; however the system appears to work well. What we discovered upon unfurling the sail, though, and in repeated tests, was that the sail was cut with excess luff curve and that the leech was significantly stretched - we could not get the sail to furl in and out without jamming. Time for a trip to the sail loft!

The mainsail for this 2001 Hunter 380 is back from the loft and ready for re-installation. North Sails Chesapeake re-cut the luff curve, re-cut the leech hollow, installed a new clew UV cover, and replaced the head, tack, and clew webbing.
Dobbs attaches the halyard to the halyard swivel on a Selden in-mast furler. The access port in the mast is necessarily small, as are the shackles. Needle-nose vise grips help. If you have large hands, consider inviting a friend with small hands to help!
Continuing with bending on the mainsail of a Hunter 380 with in-mast furling, the outhaul has been attached and the sail is ready to hoist.
Furling in the mainsail on a 2001 Hunter 380.
In this video, we cover a number of common mainsail furling hang-ups and ways to clear them.
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Frustrate your local avian friends and…

Remember to cover the end of the boom!


In-Mast Furling on Beneteau 323

In late 2016, I enlisted Suzanne & Dobbs of Walden Rigging to help solve a problem that we were having with our 2006 Beneteau. The 323’s in the mast furler just wasn’t at all easy to operate as it had been when I bought the sailboat brand new in 2006.  In fact, I even considered switching it out for a more conventional main. But Suzanne and Dobbs saved the day. They had the main sail cleaned and recut, as correcting the sail shape was the key to correcting my problem. They replaced and fine tuned the halyards, topping lift, mast sheaves and added a great whisker pole for better down wind handling. I can’t say enough about how professionally thorough and detailed they are, explaining everything they were doing as we dealt with things. Should you need work on your sailboat, you simply won’t find a better company to do the job.
— Phil Adler, "Gail Warnings III", Northern Chesapeake Bay

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Upper Shroud Chainplates on Columbia 31

 

 

 Doug Maloney (left) and the crew of "Tinamarie", a 1986 Laguna 30, celebrate a successful 2017 Sippy Cup race.

Doug Maloney (left) and the crew of "Tinamarie", a 1986 Laguna 30, celebrate a successful 2017 Sippy Cup race.

The Frybergers provide excellent service, fair and detailed billing and knowledgeable, common-sense recommendations.  I highly recommend them for virtually anything that needs doing on a sailboat.
— Doug Maloney, "Tinamarie", Doylestown, PA

I have, on several occasions, used Walden Rigging for various maintenance and upgrade projects on my older sailboat.
I can, without reservation, recommend Walden Rigging!
Professional. Knowledgeable. Capable. Reliable ...are the words I would use to describe the folks at Walden Rigging.
— Robert Williams, "Lark in the Clear Air", 1976 Pearson 35

 With thunderstorms threatening, Chris M and crew sail "Rocinante" to a 4th Place finish in the 2017 Sippy Cup.

With thunderstorms threatening, Chris M and crew sail "Rocinante" to a 4th Place finish in the 2017 Sippy Cup.

Walden Rigging is the most reliable and professional rigging company on the Chesapeake - their work is thorough and prices fair. They have always exceeded my expectations and are the only people I’ll call to help me with my rigging.
— Chris M, "Rocinante", 1979 Catalina 30

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I started with a simple rigging inspection during which I witnessed the acute attention to detail along with their abundance of knowledge. This made me feel very comfortable to trust my rigging work with the Walden Rigging team. I have since worked with Dobbs and Suzanne on a number of follow-up jobs they pointed out during the inspection. I always am impressed beyond my expectations and pleased with the end result. The value I get is far greater than what I pay. I recommend Walden Rigging to every sailboat I know.
— Mick Meckler, "The Office", 2003 Jeanneau 43DS

Spartite Mast Wedge Replacement System

 We'll have a photo of our own work here soon.

We'll have a photo of our own work here soon.

For sailing yachts with keel-stepped masts, it's essential that the mast be well-supported at the partners, or deck collar.  Wedging is inserted between the deck collar and the mast to keep the mast fixed in the collar.  Often this wedging is made of wood or rubber and deteriorates over time.  If the wedging is comprised of multiple pieces, in a dynamic sailing environment, individual wedges can work their way out of the collar.  Spartite is an excellent solution for creating a custom mast chock that stays put and supports the mast evenly at the partners.  If your yacht has a keel-stepped mast with multiple wood or rubber wedges at the collar, we recommend installing Spartite at your next rig tune.         


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Masthead Light Fixtures and VHF Antennas

This picture shows some of Dobbs' handiwork from 2017, on the masthead of a 1983 Hunter 27.  When replacing or installing new fixtures at the masthead, it's important to ensure that each can do its job properly, without conflicting with the others.  Note the subtle "Z" bend Dobbs puts in the stalk of the Windex so that the pointer will clear with whip of the VHF antenna.  While it's possible to install a mounting arm which extends beyond the masthead, we've observed that this long horizontal bar quickly becomes a popular perch for the local avian community.  

Note, too, the sealed LED anchor light fixture - this one from Signal Mate.  LED light fixtures and replacement bulbs have seen huge improvements in the last 10 years, making them just as reliable, if not more so, than incandescent fixtures.  For low-priced, highly functional LED fixtures and replacement bulbs, we recommend Marinebeam.

Lastly, a "shout-out" to the low-profile VHF antennas made by Shakespeare and Metz (pictured here), our two favorite masthead VHF antennas.