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post #1 of 10 Old 02-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Mast Gooseneck Slide

Hello again. I wanted to throw out for debate the idea of using a gooseneck slide T track on a 34' 12k displacement vessel. We have a sloop rig and the boat came with this arrangement when we purchased it. I've seen it on smaller vessels but not on many larger ones. Understandably the forces exerted on this pivotal point are great and I would imagine that there is probably more strength in a fixed mount, if fastened correctly. I do however see a few advantages with having the track and car arrangement. Namely, the option of sail flexibility if we came across used sails or were in a bind, and compensation for luff stretch. To be clear, we would still be using the Cunningham or main halyard as the mechanism for luff tension, the gooseneck car would have a pin so it can be locked in one of six locations. If the track is thru bolted and backed with jam nuts, the most likely point of failure that I can see would be the the car itself, I think I can work something out with a local machinist to cover that, he could easily make something out of a stainless billet. Does anyone see a major disadvantage to this setup on a cruising vessel? I like the idea of having the flexibility. Any input is appreciated, thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

A fair question.

If it helps, we're using the system you describe and, made properly, feel it mas much to commend it. Our setup is not fixed though - the Cunningham pulls the entire boom down on the slide, with a couple of pins to set the upper and lower limits of travel.

A couple of things:

1. It doesn't really offer 'sail flexibility', since the amount of stretch in the luff of a large mainsail quickly exceeds the range of travel on the slide.

2. A Cunningham acting directly on the boom doesn't pull the sail out of shape like one acting on a lower cringle usually does - and is also still effective when reefed.

3. Well designed it's possibly stronger than a typical fixed gooseneck, since the track is pinned through the mast in several places, distributing the forces over a larger length of mast.

Hope that helps.

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Last edited by Classic30; 02-25-2014 at 06:18 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

You have a 1971 Seafarer with the gooseneck set up as you describe it. The system has apparently worked. Is it broken? If it hasn't broken in the past 40 years, why does it need fixing now? "Overbuilding" one part of it "just in case..." may cause another part of it to break, much like what would happen if you made sails that didn't rip at the seams in a hurricane, they could pull the mast right off the boat. What is there to debate? Your setup seems to work. Other setups seem to work too. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-26-2014
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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

Curious, do you have a rigid vang or use a topping lift? Have you ever had a heavy air jibe?

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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

This has been discussed quite a bit in the past.

A fixed gooseneck with cunningham and a sliding gooseneck with downhaul give similar functionality. If you want to use a rigid vang then a fixed gooseneck with cunningham will work better than the sliding gooseneck with downhaul. The fixed gooseneck is also a little easier to use when reefing because the boom won't slide down as you loosen halyard tension.

Otherwise the two systems are fairly interchangeable and you should pick what you prefer.

If you are building a new system today I think the advantages of a fixed gooseneck + cunningham are slight but there, so you should just go with that system.

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-26-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

This boat has spent most of its life in the calm waters of the Hudson, probably not sailed much at all. She's an old hull kit boat, its original outfit quality is low, and its endured periods of neglect. Other than the hull and deck construction we have not assumed that any part of this vessel is viable or safe for our projected cruising areas in blue water. Classic30 you make a good point on the load distribution, I wonder if an aluminum strip as a backing plate with all fasteners run through would help even more? We do not have the original gooseneck at the moment which is no big deal. There is no reason we can't replace it, improving on it in the process.

We plan on employing preventers to avoid accidental jibes in any level of wind. I'm tall enough that the boom coming across the cockpit unannounced would be incredibly dangerous, and destructive to the vessel as a whole. We will build for the worst case scenario in everything that we do of course but employing a weak link in most things is for dire emergency engineering. Under no circumstance would I view breaking the boom loose of the mast or loosing the entire rig over the rail an acceptable event. We would be in great peril in that situation and would need to rely on tactics to avoid loading any part of the boat to that level. We are upgrading everything but I am not building for full sails in Hurricane force winds, again, storm tactics. I've seen other posts for this type of gooseneck system but they all pertain to smaller vessels, I am interested in its application on larger rigs. Perhaps like most things it is a matter of personal preference? In everything that we upgrade we try to build in a "universal" rule, so that out there where things may be harder to source, we have more options.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-27-2014
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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

As you point out, it really is personal preference. For the racing crowd, there is some advantage in having a sliding gooseneck to preserve sail shape, especially whilst reefed, but, as Alex points out, not being able to get best use out of a rigid vang probably offsets that advantage.

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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
Curious, do you have a rigid vang or use a topping lift? Have you ever had a heavy air jibe?
Rigid vang, no. Topping lift and heavy air gybe? Most definitely.

There are advantages and disadvantages in lots of aspects of rigging, and to slide or not to slide the gooseneck really belongs in the same bag as the endless discussions over reefing systems and spinnakers..

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Last edited by Classic30; 02-27-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-28-2014
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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

Pearson Triton #381 Glissando | The Gooseneck

Check out page 3 or 4. The rigid vang can cause additional side loads that weekend the connection between the track and the mast. I'm currently working on a solution similar to this for a Alberg 30. But we're replacing the entire boom.

I do not recommend staying with the sliding gooseneck after seeing a few of these types of failures.

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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

I appreciate everyone's input on this. Since we don't plan on having a rigid vang we'll stick with the boats current setup. I removed the existing track yesterday and it was indeed through bolted and put up quite a fight. I would like to go up a size to a 1 1/4" width track and I'll be sending over a drawing to my local machine shop for a stainless car that I can weld a gooseneck pivot onto. There is a good chance I'll have him machine a track out of aluminum as well that will be dimensioned to fit into the masts luff slide tightly giving the track more lateral strength. Coupled with a backing plate it should be bulletproof. Given our interest in maximizing sailing performance I see an advantage in maintaining sail shape through this system. And as stated before the flexibility is also a nice thing to have. Thanks all.
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Re: Mast Gooseneck Slide

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71Seafer34 View Post
I appreciate everyone's input on this. Since we don't plan on having a rigid vang we'll stick with the boats current setup. I removed the existing track yesterday and it was indeed through bolted and put up quite a fight. I would like to go up a size to a 1 1/4" width track and I'll be sending over a drawing to my local machine shop for a stainless car that I can weld a gooseneck pivot onto. There is a good chance I'll have him machine a track out of aluminum as well that will be dimensioned to fit into the masts luff slide tightly giving the track more lateral strength. Coupled with a backing plate it should be bulletproof. Given our interest in maximizing sailing performance I see an advantage in maintaining sail shape through this system. And as stated before the flexibility is also a nice thing to have. Thanks all.
Good to hear you've got it sorted.

Some parting thoughts: 1 1/4" track sounds about right.. just make sure the 'stoppers' top and bottom are beefy enough because there'll be quite a force on them at times. Don't forget to add some form of reefing hook(s) to the gooseneck (a 'ram's horn' setup works well) 'cause depending upon the arrangement of your gooseneck fittings, this can be tricky to add later.

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