Product Update: Facnor FX+ Furler, Caframo Scirocco II, and More!


Facnor’s FX

Facnor FX+ Furler

With lighter summer breezes soon upon us, a retrofit to a furling light-air asymmetrical sail grows tempting. Facnor, maker of one of our top-rated gennaker furlers in 2009 and 2011 (Foil-less Furler Test, PS April 2011 online) has introduced its new FX+ range of high performance continuous line furlers for free-flying sails. The new furlers incorporate a lightweight carbon fiber drum housing, exclusive quick release attachment system for easy use, and a new ratchet type lock, which prevents the drum from unwinding while the sail is furled.

Designed to be highly adaptable, the FX+ range works well with almost any free flying sailing sail-ranging from a Code Zero, staysail or storm jib. They can all be quickly converted to a top-down style furler using Facnors optional Fast Swivel system. Facnors push-spring release system allows for simple snap-on attachment, as well as one-handed removal activation. The FX+ range includes sizes and models to fit boats from 21 to 70 feet.

Caframo Scirocco II

Its been a while since we last tested cabin fans (Windy Ways, PS, April 2008) but there hasnt been a whole lot of innovation in this area. One of the more interesting fans in our test, the made-in-Canada Caframo Scirocco II has undergone a make-over that lets it work on either 24- or 12-volts. It has a new grill that improves air-flow and a third speed to better control battery consumption. Earning a Recommended rating in our last test, Scirroco was the only fan in our test that had a built-in timer (three, six, or nine hours), and it drew a meager .38 amps at high speed, making it quieter and less power-hungry than the popular Hella Turbo fan. Both fans, by the way, are still spinning in our long-term test.

Boat Share Insurance

Hoping to offset slip and maintenance fees, many boat owners are looking at peer-to-peer (P2P) boat-sharing options, some of which we reviewed in 2015 (Share Economy Goes Boating, PS July 2015). One of the sticking points for some was insurance. If youre thinking about listing your boat on a P2P site, check your current boat insurance policy to see whether your coverage includes a for-profit rental.

Under many traditional personal property and boat liability insurance policies, coverage is null and void when a boat is rented out. Companies such as Great Lakes Insurance, Falvey Yacht Insurance, and Lloyds of London offer endorsement policies and short-term policies that can be used during a rental period, and now more companies are stepping up to provide P2P insurance.

Boat U.S. one of the largest providers of boat insurance in the U.S. recently has agreement with Boatbound ( to offer P2P insurance. The Peer-to-Peer Boat Rental Policy is underwritten by Seaworthy Insurance Company and will pay up to the actual cash value of the boat. The policy, also available through GEICO, includes $300,000 liability coverage per person and up to $1 million total liability coverage per accident. It also covers fuel spills, medical covderage (up to $25,000 per person/per accident), $100,000 in uninsured boater coverage, and full salvage coverage up to the boats actual cash value. Deductibles are based on boat value.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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