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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-27-2007
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Sail Slugs

My wife and I took our Omega 36 out this weekend in Resurection Bay. We had a GREAT time over a rare and sunny August weekend! However, when I tried to reef in the mainsail, one of the plastic sail slugs jammed half in/half out of the sail track preventing the main from going up or down. Fortunately the jam was only about six feet above the boom so I was able to (very ungracefully) stand on the boom and deal with the jammed slug. Unable to force the slug back into the track or fully extract it, I resorted to using a pair of channel lock pliers to twist the little sucker in two, freeing the sail to be dropped and furled. Nest weekend I'm going to replace that little slug with and identical one (purchased in a pack of five at our local Westmarine) and enjoy what little Summer we have left.

My question is this: Would I do well to switch to stainless steel slugs this Winter? I can do the work myself but I was wondering what the downside (beside the cost involved) to replacing the reletively cheep plastic slugs with steel ones costing over $10 apeice? Will I harm my aluminum mast using a dissimular metal? Will the stainless slug eat up my mast track? I'm OK for now, but am looking for some advise for maybe a better way ahead.

Thanks,

Dave
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2007
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I would highly recommend staying with the plastic slugs. They're going to be kinder to the mast than the stainless steel ones, which can have problems with galvanic corrosion and also physically chew up the track. And you'll have less weight aloft...
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  #3  
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Sailingdog,

Thanks - You've always steered me in the right directions before so, OK, I'll stick with the plastic ones - but I'm going to keep several on-board just in case. Standing on the boom while my wife kept the boat to wind and trying to unstick the slug on Sunday fell into the catagory of no-fun-whatsoever and, once I resolved the problem, I had no spare to sew on and had to motor back to port
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Having spares aboard is probably a wise idea... also, you should have some webbing and sailthread onboard too.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 08-28-2007
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It sounds to me like the sail slugs you are using are not the right size. I use Kiwi Slides on my boat, and they need to be as large as possible while still fitting inside the track. I've never had the problem you describe.
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Old 08-28-2007
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I'd suggest that you clean the track real good and look for any pits or gouges that need to be filed down. Then replace all your slugs with new ones. You should also lube the track every so often. Unless you have other problems with your rigging that you haven't mentioned, you should be able to put the main up even if its missing one or two slugs. It wouldn't be a good idea to leave it like that for long, but for an afternoon it shouldn't hurt anything. It would just lessen your preformance to weather.
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Old 09-04-2007
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Just wanted to post a quick update. Thanks for the great advice (ALL)!

I sewed on a new Bainbridge plastic slug (matches the rest of the inter-batten slugs on our mainsail to a tee) on Saturday morning and sailed off into Kenai Fjiords National Park before noon with my wife and two friends. I found a rough spot on the mainsail track vic. where the jams had occured, took a fishhook sharpening file and smoothed it out and, between that and the new sailslug, the main went up and down without a hitch.

Had an absolutely MAGICAL Labor Day Weekend - good weather, orcas by the score, played with the porpoise, shared the beach with four black bears, saw puffins, eagles and sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks. What a GREAT time!

Thanks to everyone for the good tips.

Dave
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Old 09-04-2007
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Any photos???
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-04-2007
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I have some of the bears but, alas, the only camera I have that's quick enough for the orcas is a 35mm and I need to drop off the film today to have it developed. I was kind of busy on the bow when the porposes were with us to run back and get the camera. We had run out of wind and I was in the process of bagging my headsail when we happened upon them.
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Dave-

You need to get either an Olympus Stylus 770 SW or a Pentax Optio W30 digital camera. I have the older version of the Pentax. Water-resistant and takes decent photos.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
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