Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-13-2003
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Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch?

I''m looking for ways to make my Mailsail easier to hoist. The two best options I have, I believe, are 1) Implementing a "Sail Track" System or 2) replacing my non-self-tailing main halyard winch with a bigger, self tailing winch. I can''t afford both, so I need to pick the one which makes more sense. The Sail Track system will allow for an easy hoist, and an even easier douse, but I wonder if the last few feet without the self-tailing halyard winch are still going to be painful, in which case the upgrade is less meaningful to me. The other option seems kind of invasive and I wonder if that is overkill. Both options are about the same cost. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-13-2003
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Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch?

If you go to a sailtrack system, the cars are going to pile up at the bottom of it, and you''ll need a new sailcover to fit over the "hump". You''ll still need the winch to get the sail up all the way. If you go with a self-tailing winch, you may end up grinding it up all the way, like the old reel halyards. You pays your money and makes your choice...
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-14-2003
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Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch?


I don''t believe there is any decision. the Sail Track system is the way to go.
I added the Tides Sail Track system to my boat two years ago, what a difference.
I had a self tailing winch but it was still a job to get the main up. I now can get the sail almost all the way up and only have to winch for less than a foot. If I raise the sail from the mast I only have to snug the main sail halyard tight. When she comes down she comes down. The lazy jack system actually works now.

My 2cents

John _/) _/) _/)
I did not have to do anything to my sail cover.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-14-2003
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Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch?

I too, am having trouble getting it up, not an ED problem. With my full battened main, the pressure on the luff of the sail from the battens causes difficulty when raising and lowering the main. I have purchased a new bearing block for the halyard where the line turns at a right angle at the mast partner before going through the clutch and self-tailing 2-speed halyard winch. I hope this will improve the situation however, I''m currently investigating the Battslide system from Schaefer. Does anyone have any experience with this system?
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-21-2003
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Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch?

How long is the winch handle you are using?
If it''s the usual 8" model you gain a 25% advantage by switching to a 10" model.

Perhaps that will be a sufficient improvement for you. It was for me.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-25-2003
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Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch?

The question seems to be whether it''s the friction in the sailtrack or the weight of the sail that is the bigger problem. Making this determination will lend insight to the most elegant solution.

I''d try to run an experiment on a calm day by hoisting the main with the luff detached from the mast, to see what difference installing sailtracks would make. Running up the sail with sailtracks would be only marginally more difficult.

I''d know right away whether I needed plastic in the mast or a winch.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-25-2003
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Sail Track or Self Tailing Winch?

You did not mention how big your boat is and what sort of mechanism you currently have for holding the sail to the mast.

John Neal said something at a seminar once that I think makes a lot of sense. He said "if you cant hoist the main on a boat of 40 feet or less by hand you need to fix something".

I would work on removing friction from your existing system. If its a bolt rope in a slot maybe you could use nylon slugs. If you have slugs and its still hard to hoist try the teflon spray you can get at West Marine.

When I lubricated the slugs on my NorSea 27 the I could hoist the sail hand over hand and just need the winch for tighting the luff. The sail also dropped like a rock if I was not dead down wind (full batten main). If I neglected to spray the slugs every 6 months or so it would get to the point where godzilla would have had trouble hoisting the sail.

I would not use lanolin (lanakote) or something like wd40 that leaves a residue. that might work in the short term but end up making your problems worse in the long run.

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