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BELLATRIX1965 02-16-2008 11:48 AM

Tides Marine STRONG mainsail track system
Greetings all:

Found some relatively old threads on this topic, but I'm curious if anyone can add some recent experience to the mix?

Presently, I have to go to the mast and literally haul the main down, due to the high-friction old plastic lug-type luff attachment (OEM circa 1965).

After having considered the Harken Slide system A, I ran across the plastic track system by Dutchman, which makes a great deal of sense to me (none of the small track fasteners all the way up the mast as in the Harken system). In addition, I like the price-per-foot of luff concept (LOTS cheaper than Harken). Trouble is, I am not getting ANY response from Dutchman to the e-mail inquiry that I sent them two weeks ago . . . !!

So, now I find the Tides Marine STRONG track system - similar to the Dutchman, except the track is female vs. male, and apparently the STRONG sail slides are straight metal, instead of the lined slides in the Dutchman system.

Any insight on the STRONG system would be much appreciated!
Happy Sailing!

PBzeer 02-16-2008 11:56 AM

I installed the Strong Track with my new full-batten mainsail and it works like a charm. Sail goes up and down easily, and no moving parts, ala battcars. I highly recommend it, especially for full-batten mains.

phallo153 02-16-2008 02:05 PM

Ditto what Pbeezer said. I got the system along with a full-batten mainsail and it goes up smooth (almost entirely by hand from the cockpit) and drops like a rock.

Things to consider:
1) Added thickness to your mast, so if the mainsail cover is already snug when buttoning up around the mast, it might need modified.
2) I had some reefing line fairleads on the mast that had to be removed because the track wouldn't fit between them - I still need to remount them. Take a look at the back of the mast and see if anything will get in the way. IIRC the track is about 2" wide.
3) Hardware will probably stack higher than your plastics slugs (mine do), another thing to consider with regard to the mainsail cover.

Some pictures in the album link below if you're interested:
<table style="width: 194px;"><tbody><tr><td style="height: 194px;" http:="""" f="" img="" transparent_album_background.gif="" target="_blank" align="center"></td></tr><tr><td style="text-align: center; font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px;">New Sail and Strong Track</td></tr></tbody></table>

teshannon 02-16-2008 03:23 PM

Ditto to both posts above. I have a Strong systen on my full battened main and it works like a charm. Has never hung up on me even once.

Brezzin 02-16-2008 04:47 PM

Ditto again.

Spiritman 02-19-2008 07:44 AM

Ditto, ditto -- I make all my sailor buddies jealous by demonstrating how fast I can get it up! The main comes down as fast as you can feed the halyard. It needs no maintenance, but I give it a shot of McLube whenever I go up and it works like butta'! I'm also able to reef while under some load -- which I could never do before (metal slides on external track).

camaraderie 02-19-2008 10:03 AM

Sounds like the Strong track joins miracle cloth and ultimate sole as one of the 3 products for boats everyone agrees on!!

PBzeer 02-19-2008 10:06 AM

Remind me to show you mine this summer cam. It's as about as KISS as you can think of for an add-on.

teshannon 02-19-2008 10:49 AM


Originally Posted by camaraderie (Post 268309)
Sounds like the Strong track joins miracle cloth and ultimate sole as one of the 3 products for boats everyone agrees on!!

Agreed on all three!

sailingdog 02-19-2008 09:24 PM

I think that would be correct... the Strong sail track, from what I've seen of it, is pretty simple to install and works well. IIRC, it installs by attaching to the existing sail slug track on the mast.

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