So... I returned to the boat to take a closer look at the roller furling swivel, which is down at deck level since the sail is not hoisted. The swivel turns freely, with no sign of jamming. And the ballooner has yet to be hoisted, so that’s not it. I’m going to fabricate a couple of temporary guide rods (until I can get originals from Amel) and hoist the sail with those. I still do not feel I have the answer to the bent rods. I’m just going to watch them more closely.
S/V Celtic Cross