Chandlery October 15, 2005 Issue

Garhauer's New Furling Fairlead

Keeping furling lines tamed is an important task, so here's another good option for that duty.

This view of Garhauer's SB-3 furling fairlead shows how its two sheaves carry a furling line.

When Practical Sailor recently reviewed furling line fairleads (PS July 1, '05), one fairlead wasn't included. It was inadvertently left out. This item is the new Garhauer SB-3 fairlead pictured here. It was introduced by the Upland, California-based company either at the very time or shortly after PS gathered up the two dozen fairleads used in that report.

In short order, PS heard via e-mail from reader John Caruso, who said: (1) he was a longtime PS subscriber; (2) he had been away cruising in Mexico for the past year and a half, and (3) we missed the best furling fairlead of all—the above-mentioned SB-3.

So, we quickly requisitioned the new fairlead from Garhauer Marine and evaluated it. While waiting for the product to arrive, we poked around a bit to see how we might have overlooked the SB-3 and found that Cruising World magazine, in a recent issue, had a short item on the new Garhauer furling lead, containing this comment: "Cruising World reader John Caruso designed the block and talked Garhauer into putting it in production."

Another call to Garhauer verified that information. It's interesting how things come about.

However it all happened, PS is happy to present this new furling fairlead. Like all of the gear manufactured by Garhauers's founder—Bill Felgenhauer—and his family, it's a well-made item.

An important feature of the new design is that it can be mounted on a stanchion without removing either the lifeline or the stanchion. But it's a very tight fit (it has to be, or it would slide up and down). When installing, the use of a bit of lubricant may minimize scratches on the stanchion. It mounts in a fixed position and its two bearing sheaves will not compensate for unfair leads.

The SB-3's frame is made of a single piece of 316 stainless, very cleverly shaped and bent to permit not only a pair of fairleads, but also to hold (with two stainless rivets) the two anodized aluminum sheaves, as well as the mounting studs and bar for the mounting strap that is affixed with a screw pin formed with an Allen head.

This small fairlead, which has nicely rounded corners, extends inward, over the deck, only 3/8". This means that it meets very well, indeed, PS's quest (as explained in the July 1 report), for a fairlead that minimizes deck clutter. As was stated in that report, stanchion fairleads "add unnecessary weight; can be noisy; sometimes require holes in the deck; often are toe-stubbers and ankle-bangers, and, worst of all, infringe on clear access and egress along the sidedecks."

Retail price for the SB-3 is $27.50, making it among the least expensive of the furling fairleads PS has examined to date. Just how Garhauer does all that metalworking for such a low figure is perplexing.

For information on the many choices available in furling fairleads—including PS's suggested use of Antal's modular web block, a Yale Loup, or a Harken Ti-Lite block—please refer to the July l, 2005, issue.

Subsequent to publishing that report, we also heard from the brothers Johnson of Johnson Marine Hardware. They weren't pleased that we had used cellophane tape in the photo displaying their company's two furling fairlead products, which we did to keep the products attached to the stanchion. We mentioned in the accompanying caption that the tape was for photographic purposes only, but we can understand their concern that readers might be misled. For that reason, we're offering this photo here of the Johnson Marine furling fairleads properly mounted—both the 360° swiveling one (on top) and the non-swiveling one. Note, the end of the hose clamp does not protrude. These can be used on stanchions from 7/8" to 1".

Contact - Garhauer Marine, 909/985-9993,

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