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post #4 of Old 05-03-2011
Jeff_H's Avatar
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I was not trying to be dismissive of what you are trying to do but I would suspect that there is not such thing as a standard Tartan 30 track gate. Here is point that I am trying to make, when I worked with riggers (and granted this was a long time ago but it was around the time your boat was built), we would fabricate the slug opening in a mast by drilling a row of 1/2" or 5/8" slug sized holes through the track using the track itself as a centering device. We would drill 6 to 8 of these, and then grind between them, and then hand file the edge smooth. There was not much precision to that process. The slug openings ended up somewhere between 3 and 4 inches long.

Most times we used a gate that simply crossed the track and stopped the slugs from passing far enough down the track to fall out of the boom, but in cases like yours (and on my current boat), we would take a piece of aluminum angle and fabricate a gate which allowed the slugs to pass. Since the length of the slot varied, these gates would be hand made for each boat.

I made the ones on my current boat and the process to make them took about an hour, more or less, with the hard part being getting the new screw holes on the cover plates to align with the ones that were already in the mast. I did that by making paper patterns using a rubbing. Transfering that pattern to a cardboard test pattern and using those to mark the aluminum when I was confident they were right.

The trick to making gates that allow the slugs to pass easily is to use an angle and turn one leg of the angle into the slot in perfect alignment with the interior face of the boltrope track. This requires cutting the leg of aluminum angle to the right depth with a hacksaw, but of course aluminum is soft so that is pretty easy.

The other way that I have seen these made is with two separate plates, one that aligns with the track and another plate which is held back from the edge and which sits on the face of the mast. That type was often made of bronze but required that the two plates were welded, or brazed or silver soldered together. You might be able to get a machine shop to make something like that in stainless steel as well.

I'll try to take a couple pictures of my tracks so you can see what I am describing looks like just in case you can't find a standard gate.


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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay

Last edited by Jeff_H; 05-03-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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