The evolving riddle of Duet’s mast rake – Part 2 (How to take roller reefing apart)

June 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm

For a recap see Part 1 here

So the mast came down, aided by gravity rather than skill… and once we had the forestay off  it became apparent that not only was the forestay too long (as it was tightened on the bottlescrew as far as it would go) but the roller reefing foil that it fed through was also too long!  The ‘foil’ is basically a long aluminium tube that runs up the stay that the sail is would on and off of when using the roller reefing.

Forestay too long Hurley 22

This is the top end of the foil that’s attached to the top of the mast. The swage fitting on the wire is only an inch or so clear of the foil.

I was hoping that it would be a quickish job of taking the roller reefing drum off the bottom, sliding the forestay wire out, taking it up to Bussells and having them shorten it… but no, I now needed to shorten the foil as well!

First, the black end cap at the top end needed to come off.  It was “encouraged” using a hammer, and luckily one of my boatyard neighbours had a kind of flattened chisel with a squared blunt end.  We also helped it on its way by heating it with a blow torch… and slowly millimeter by millimeter it was indeed “encouraged” off the end.

Underneath the cap it had a couple of horizontal slits that had helped the tube compress as the cap had been fitted, and it was pushed on about 2 inches.

Measuring the genoa luff Hurley 22

After a lot of deliberation, looking at the foils on the other boats with binoculars, and even measuring out the genoa against the foil to make sure the sail would still fit, I decided to take 3 inches off the forestay and 5 inches off the foil!

This was actually quite easy to do.  I measured it and cut off the end with a junior hacksaw, and re-cut the slits and smoothed the cut edge with my new £20 multitool from Lidl. It’s aluminium, relatively soft and the hacksaw cut it without too much effort

Shortening the foil hurley 22

At the other end it was a matter of logic and patience in figuring out how the drum came off the end.  I couldn’t find a makers mark anywhere so didn’t have much to google… But first I unscrewed the the bottom part of the bottlescrew and pulled out the big ‘R clip holding the drum in place.

Roller reefing drum Hurley 22

At this point I admit to getting pretty stuck… But luckily my boat yard neighbours were able to assist!  First the fairlead was wiggled off and the drum was unscrewed to reveal the spindle.  There was also a circlip in there somewhere and as the drum was removed a handful of loose ball bearings dropped onto the floor.

But once it was apart the spindle could be unscrewed from the bottom of the stay and the stay pulled out from the foil from the top.  I took it to Bussells and had it shortened and a new swage fitting at the top, which cost about £14.

Roller reefing Hurley 22

Hurley 22

I cleaned up all the bits with white spirit, ready to re-grease and reassemble

Hurley 22 roller reefing

The bearings greased and reassembled

Forestay Finished Hurley 22

The bottom finished and back together again, complete with a new furling line.

Forestay Finished Hurley 22

The top finished and back together again. The foil is 5 inches shorter and the stay is 3 inches shorter

To be honest it took a couple of goes to get it all back together.  I hope to god I’ve done it right…