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Old 10-03-2002
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mast slot cover

Does anyone have ideas on covering the mast slot so the slides will not pop out when raising and lowering the main. Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2002
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mast slot cover

A lot depends on how the slot is set up and what might work. I''ve seen short metal piees, hinged at the mast (away from the slot) that can be pinned shut to keep slides in the slot. If aesthetics aren''t an issue, the gate could be taped over.
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Old 10-04-2002
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mast slot cover

To a great extent the answer depends on the size and design of the mast and the position of the slot.

I am assuming that you are talking about slugs going into a bolt rope type track. Where the feeder slot is close to the boom and short in length, the simpliest solution is to either put a stove bolt or machine screw through the center of the track just above the feeder slot that blocks the bottom of the track. If you take the mainsail off of the boat very often a gate will work in this situation. A gate is typically a piece of flat aluminum that has a bolt through one end and a slot in the other. The flat plate rotates across the slot on the machine screw through the end and the slot in the other end of the gate drops over another machine screw on the other side of the slot closing the slot.

On bigger boats where there is more length between the slot and the boom. The more common practice is to have slot covers. Slot covers are angle shaped pieces of aluminum that are shaped to fill the feeder hole and when bolted into place allow the slides to pass the slot. I have had to make them for my past two boats and they are not all that hard to fabricate. They do take a fair amount of care and precision because the bottom of the closer plates have to line up with the bottom of the sides of the luff groove. Depending on the shape of the mast section the plates may need to be bent in order to lay flat on the mast.

Jeff
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Old 10-04-2002
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mast slot cover

Do you know who made your mast? Chances are the piece that was there is still available from an outfit like RigRite. Check out www.rigrite.com for parts and details. If simply blocking off the groove just above the slot is an option, West Marine and Boat/US sell thumb screw sail track stops for this situation. This would negate drilling a hole for something like a machine screw, which would work, but I really recommend another option.
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mast slot cover

Thanks to everyone for your very helpful suggestions.
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mast slot cover

Jeff H. Pretty much summed it up. But I like having the "slot covers" rather than a simple screw-in gate blocker. Like he said, it allows the bottom of the sail to come all the way down to the boom. This can make a big difference on some boats, especially when reefing the main.

Here are some pictures I took of the slot covers I made for my boat. They work great.
http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4292009503

I purchased the aluminum material from Home Depot. It was part of a "door threshold"
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