Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 2018 Generic 728x90

Product review of the Facnor Flatfurl Structural Furler

by Prinal Shah 24 Oct 06:00 PDT
Facnor Flatfurl Structural Furler © Facnor

Facnor Furling Systems are a French manufacturer with over 30 years dedicated to all forms of onboard furling systems for ocean racers and cruising sailors alike.

The Facnor Flatfurl is a structural furler. See a definition of a structural furler , together with a comparison of wire vs composite structural furling systems.

One of the primary benefits of a structural furler, over traditional genoa reefing furlers (with aluminium foils), is that the drum is a much lower profile, which maximises sail area and keeps the foot of the jib/genoa close to the deck. Hence the name - Flatfurl - "it does what it says on the tin!"

Apart from its sleek design, the Facnor Flatfurl Drum has another key feature.

Whilst it might look like a continuous furling line drum - it is actually a single furling line system. This means the end of the line is attached to the centre of the drum and to unfurl the sail you pull on the sheet and the furling line winds onto the drum. Then to furl away, you pull on the single line and ease the sheet.

A single line on this compact drum is achieved by using a reduced diameter, single braid Vectran or Dyneema® furling line. The low-profile furling drum has a large external diameter but a very small internal diameter and, as the sail unfurls, the line builds up on itself, inside the drum. This means the force of the line located at the edges of the drum diameter provides more force for the start of the furl.

There are four sizes in the FLT Drum range for boats from approx. 20 - 40ft with forestay wire diameters from 5-10mm. There are two versions of the 5T Safe Working Load (SWL) FLT Drum: a 12,7mm pin and a 16mm pin version. Pin diameters are critical to the structural furling drum specification because of the fixed toggle attachment to the mast tang and deck chainplate.

It should be noted that whilst these drums are specified for boats with wire forestays up to 10mm, 8mm wire is normally considered the cross-over point where it is recommended to switch to a torsional composite forestay. The limiting factor is the impact of increased torsional loads on 1x19 wire and the potential for it to be damaged. However, Dyform wire, which has a much tighter construction and more resistant to the torsional forces, can be used up to 10mm.

The final important point to mention regarding structural furlers is that the bearings are specifically designed to be under constant load. The structural furler has titanium bearing races compared to aluminium in a standard code zero furler. So, whilst both the drums and swivels of structural furlers look almost identical to standard code zero furlers they are very different and a code zero furler should never be used in this specialist application.

If you would like to consider if structural furling is a suitable option for your boat then please click on the 'Structural Furling Enquiry Form' or alternatively contact upffront.com using the contact form.

Related Articles

Trogear Bowsprits
A good enough reason to drill a hole through your bow Here at Upffront, we talk a lot about asymmetric sails and code zeros, and with good reason! Faster and more manageable, these are a popular choice among many sailors, with one caveat: they require a tack point. Posted on 11 Dec
Loop Woggle is 'The Daddy'
In the world of genoa sheet leads In this blog we look at the trend towards lightweight, flexible sheet lead solutions and why the LOOP Woggle is working its way to the top of the pack in high load situations. Posted on 5 Dec
Andersen Sailing Winches - making the right choice
The key variables and challenges involved in selecting the right winch Andersen winches are a big name in the boating business. Designed and manufactured in Denmark, Andersen Winches have earned a reputation for building high quality, reliable sailing winches that can last a lifetime. Posted on 27 Nov
Calculating your sail areas
When purchasing new hardware this is often a crucial step Lots of equipment on board is load dependant and apart from length and ballast of the boat the primary driver is sail area. It is therefore unsurprising that a lot of hardware manufacturers use sail areas as a primary specification criterion. Posted on 21 Nov
Ino-ending - The end of the line?
Simplicity is key with these blocks When it comes to the Ino-block range, the manufacturer firmly believes that simplicity is key, and Upffront tends to agree with them. Posted on 13 Nov
A Halyard Swivel, Top Swivel or just a Swivel?
Upffront.com explain the options available There are many types of swivels used on board boats, several of which are mounted on halyards, however, the term "Halyard Swivel" is reserved for one specific application. Posted on 7 Nov
How to change the cover on a Cousin Constrictor
A lightweight alternative to traditional metal clutches Created as a lightweight alternative to traditional metal clutches, the Cousin Constrictor┬ę is a great bit of kit for reliably holding rope under load with great longevity when properly maintained. Posted on 30 Oct
What makes Superswift rope so super?
Take a close look at this versatile offering from Gottifredi Maffioli Superswift, from leading rope makers Gottifredi Maffioli, is a favourite among performance dinghy sailors and big boat sailors alike. When you take a closer look at the features of this versatile rope, it's not difficult to see why... Posted on 16 Oct
One Design PROtect Tapes
A set of cut pieces tailored to your class PROtect Tapes are a broad range of high-quality protection tapes for dinghies, racing, cruising and super yachts. PROtect Tapes provides a pro-active solution to chafe and wear prevention. It enhances performance and ultimately promotes safer sailing. Posted on 10 Oct
MBW newsletters (top)