If you are having problems with your furling system, first try to isolate the problem. Ideally, this should be done on the dock or at the mooring, not in a panic underway.
Step 1 – Remove the sail.
Step 2 – Grab the extrusion above the drum and turn the system (make sure you have some slack in your furling line). It should turn easily.
If it does not turn at this point, or if you hear any “grinding” noises, or if you feel a lot of excess friction, consult a professional rigger or contact the manufacturer. Most likely the lower bearing needs lubrication, or rebuilding if it is an older system. Do not use the system for furling until this is fixed, you can be in danger of breaking your headstay.
Step 3 – Spin the head swivel, if it feels rough it probably needs rinsing with fresh water and/or lubrication, again consult your owners manual, or manufacturer. It should turn freely.
Step 4 – Attach and raise the headsail, but leave the tack of the sail unhooked from the drum at the bottom of the furler and gently pull the halyard up until it stops. (Before raising the sail, make sure you have plenty of line wrapped around the drum. It takes more than you might think, and you want a few full wraps around the drum when the sail is all the way out so that when you reef, the load is distributed around the drum.) Pull on the furling line to furl the sail.
If the sail furls, but will not furl once the sail is attached to the drum at the tack, the halyard is wrapping around the top of the furler. You will need to add a wire pennant to the top of the sail so as to allow the head swivel to be 2″-3″ down from the top of the furler.
If you have further problems, contact a rigger. The addition of a furling system to your boat should make sailing easier and more pleasurable.