Hints and Tips



Refurbish genoa halyard swivel

Sailbleu shows how to disassemble and service


Based on original post by Sailbleu from the Jeanneau Owners Forum


I'm sure all are aware the price for a new halyard genoa swivel is outrageously expensive, for what it is anyway. Unfortunately they do wear down and info found on a variety of boards tell us it's virtually impossible to refurbish them. As far as I know no separate individual new parts are to be found, so a breakdown always results in replacing the furler as such. However, for 800 Euro, give or take, I was willing to give it a go. My swivel was giving me a hard time now and then, not being able to furl in or out occasionally.


This is why.

A view of the top of the furler shows the wear that's been caused by the D-shackle for halyard connection. Constant rubbing the plastic top-cap grinded through and created two legs that can & will sabotage the system.


Try to unfurl the genoa now ?!


Or furl it ?!


This is why, in an earlier stage, I made this 'PVC sleeve-hat' that fits in the worn out top plastic, reduce the play and prevent the legs to enter the alu-foil's grooves. It worked but the sleeve hat slides out frequently although I had glued it with epoxy on the top plastic. In case anyone wonder how the top-hat got on the furler without disconnecting the forestay, I cut the PVC hat lengthwise, warmed it up and gently opened it until it slid over the alu-foil. But as mentioned, it didn't stay in place.


Certainly most of you know how a swivel looks like and works, but for those who don't, the bottom section also has a sleeve, both have the typical shape of the alu-foil so it turns together when furling or unfurling. Again some wear going on because it's really not very well fixed on the internal section (that's the part with the bottom D-shackle connection on the photo). I modified the bottom section in a way to give it more body so I could fix it to the internal section with screws. See pics further down.


Same photo but look at the rusty circlip, this is the part that holds the swivel together, more later.


Fast forward, 2 years later, the boat is on the hard and I took off the halyard swivel. Yes, I released the forestay and brought the swivel home for a complete overhaul. Here I take the key-circlip out. Not really a tough job, once you get one leg out squeeze a small screwdriver underneath and step by step the the complete clip out. Have a look at the bottom section sleeve, the white is the substantial body I added.


Gently work your way round.


Circlip is out and the complete bottom section slides out Notice the 3 holes in the internal part, this is where the reinforced sleeve is screwed on. See last pic.


Exploded view. To make sure you're still with me, the arrows indicate what is what and how it's positioned.


The old bearing balls, if you look carefully you can see some of them are smaller and some in a different shape than others, ...wear ! I bought the new stainless steel 5 mm bearing balls in, ..... China, 4$ for 100 pieces.


Again some guidance, the circlip with red arrow (on the right) goes on the bearing shell also marked with red arrow.


Both bearing shells of both bearing are coated with silicon grease, that helps in keeping the balls in place.


After re-assembling things I found out the swivel still had some play, less then before mind you so the new bearing balls did help. But yet I wasn't fully satisfied so I figured a extra spacer would perfectionize it. After measuring it up, a brass ring was cut and my lathe and dremel did the rest .


Spacer in place


Circlip is in, reverse procedure of taking it out, with the little screwdriver. The extra spacer really did the trick, there is no play in the least and once the silicone grease gives way a bit the bearing will run like a train.


I also made a new top-hat sleeve without the cut as I can now (in May next year) slide the swivel on the alu-foil.


Just an additional view.


This is how I fixed the top-hat sleeve now.


Fix of the bottom section sleeve, I yet have to get the swivel to work, but I have a good feeling about it, and yes halyard swivels can be refurbished.


From original post by Sailbleu on the Jeanneau Owners Forum by Sailbleu - November 2019