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Old 09-22-2009, 05:33 PM   #1
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While a seizure of the upper halyard swivel bearing could be fixed with WD40 and subsequent lithium greasing, there still is a bit of remaining roughness, both felt and heard. The new bearing I got feels absolutely smooth and makes no noticeable sound at all under rotation.

Problem is, how do you slip the new bearing onto the forestay? I'd prefer to do the repair while temporarily undoing the upper Norseman type fitting after clamping the SS forestay guy to a temporary guy or halyard. Then, I likely need to remove the Norseman or swaged forestay terminal fitting to remove the plastic Profurl "Darth Vader" type hat that is supposed to prevent halyard-wrap while furling. After that is off the halyard swivel fitted below the aluminum halyard support housing should come sliding off. That's the theory at least, very simple, yes?

The caveat is, will the forestay like to be supported with only a few U cable clamps or will there be too much weight from all the grooved aluminum furler sections that are strung over that stay? The boat is '86 vintage with a 64' mast and the stay/sections have not been removed since, so there likely is some corrosion or seized hardware. Doing things from the bottom end up may possibly be more logical but this doctor prefers to do a tonsilectomy orally rather than analy. The latter operation would require all the joined furler sections to be slid off and then back up again, plus removal of the furling line drum etc. etc. While the mast top is 64 feet up on my Roberts, if I can do it from there I only need to remove a few small parts to get at the culprit bearing assembly.

By heating the aluminum ( boiling water or flame torch) and chilling the steel bearing in a freezer I found there is sufficient differential expansion/contraction to make slipping the new bearings on and extracting the old with a few good mallet smacks quite doable. You'd be on-shore in a workshop for that and the only in-the-air gymnastics would be clamping on a temporary stay below the halyard fitting and undoing the terminal fitting on the stay. Idea: buy a new spare terminal and drop it overboard. Then, you carefully replace the old one and you are sure it will fit.

Has anyone tried this? Is it sufficiently 'doable' to be done at anchor? If so, I'd likely just skip the whole exercise and merely bring the new bearing along as a spare for fail-safe insurance. The little bit of noise and roughness is likely only a minor issue and not mission critical at all. IMHO there is no big point load on the bearing at all as most of the load is distributed all along the length of the stay. Bearing rotation only occurs during furling or setting the sail, so no great frictional heat will develop either. Seizure failure was due to water ingress and rust, as no drain holes were drilled into the fitting. Water just HAD to collect in the ring dam and then drain down. What a concept, but with "construi par les grennui".. or constructed by frogs... vous like ze water, qui?? Good for zelling the spare parrtz.

Any ideas and comments? Beansaire, Dunnezatt and Howes' professional opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Ivo ( politically incorrect disclaimers on file and we are an equal opportunity insulter )
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:59 AM   #2
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Beansaire, Dunnezatt, but no idea Howes should be done on your boat.

Having had a few serious probs with Profurl - usually at the bottom and others not so serious at the top, can offer sympathy and one maybe useless suggestion :-

Remove Sail.

Rig temporary forestay with halyards. Rig a single sheeve block at mast head, add sufficient line , tie off furling gear, remove Furling gear - ease it down to a working area - remove old bearing - drill drain holes - add SEALED bearing

, lithium grease. Service the rest. Re-install, check tensions.

Go sailng
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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Q. Will the aluminum furling sections kink if they just get lowered by a halyard? I thought they need to be threaded on from below so that kinking does not happen.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:51 AM   #4
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I guess it is possible to damage the extrusions, I did forget to mention the lower end of the furling system is detached first so that length of it can be lifted over the lifelines and pushpit rails onto to the dock/berth ... I have done it with a length of some 70ft, there is some curvature over the whole but not enough to do any damage . It is most probable that 4 people will be required - 1 up the mast, 1 handling the lowering line, 1 passing the gear over to the 1 on the dock/berth.

Richard
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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OK Richard

I was hoping for a less labor intensive fix, do-able in any calm anchorages.

Best I came up with so far is a stirrup assembly, like an inverted U. The straight part of the stirrup would be clamped to the foreguy just below the bearing. It could be made from aluminum angle bar a foot long, with both the ends attached to cable or rope that is tied to another halyard or gin-pole arrangement at the mast top.

This stirrup gizmo would take the load off the top halyard fitting and allow for space to slide off the bearing housing etc. At the same time, the foreguy cable would not need to be bent radically.

It occurred to me the fittings are designed to slide over straight cable, so just attaching a simple guy in parallel might not work due to interference from bending of the guy cable. It's almost 1/2" diameter and likely will not bend to a tight radius anyhow, at least not kindly with you 65' up in the air.

Ivo
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