For some cruisers, there is no greater luxury than furling a headsail with the push of a button. And if Selden Mast has its way, this convenience will no longer be the exclusive luxury of luxury yachts. The Swedish company's Furlex 200E (the "E" stands for "electric") is designed for boats in the 30-foot range with forestay diameters of 3/16 to 5/16 inches.
If you already own the manual Furlex 200S, you can upgrade your system to electric power by replacing the control line, drum, and line guard assembly with the 200E motor housing unit. The upgrade kit includes all necessary through-deck components for the cables and electric control box.
A 12-volt electric motor connected to a belt drive and a worm gear powers the 200E, and under normal conditions, the system uses only 30 amps. It takes about 30 seconds to furl the headsail, so power consumption is minimal. The 200E also allows for manual operation as a fail-safe measure.
Because the Furlex 200E won't be available until spring 2007, exact prices have not been released. Expect to pay $3000-$4000 for the complete system, or $2000 for the upgrade kit. www.seldenmast.com