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  #1  
Old 05-04-2012
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Angry Cleaning internal sail track

Hey, skippers, how about some suggestions for cleaning an internal sail track? After my main is about halfway up the mast, I have to pull like hell to get it the rest of the way, and use the winch to tension the luff. I suspect the sail track is gunked up. Help, help, please.

Lope
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Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

Cut a piece of hand soap nearly to the shape of your sail slides. Insert it between the top and the next car. This soap will lubricate and clean the track. It will wash way with rain and will not cause any stains on the sail.
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Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

Thanks a million, celenoglu. That's a slick idea. I live in the San Juan Islands of NW Washington, where it rains a bit all right. Watch for the soapsuds in my wake.
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Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

Once you get it clean, spray some lubricant (McLube Sailkote or similar) along the track.

You may also want to inspect your slugs/slides -- they may be overdue for replacement.
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Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

Hire some punk teenager to go up the stick with said can of spray lube.
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Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

I had some old track slides. I took 2 of them, and connected them with a 1" bar of aluminum. I then fit a piece of the really coarse (red) scotch-brite pad between them. Then, I taped an old hinge to the top of a can of McLube Sailcoat, so that when I pushed the hinge, it activates the sprayer. Finally, I taped the can of McLube to the 1" aluminum bar.

I attach a halyard to the top track slide, and a line to the bottom and feed the whole contraption into the track. I also have another line attached to the hinge, so that I can use the spray can remotely.

I pull the thing up and down the track a few times, so that the scotch brite can do it's thing, then, starting at the top, I pull the whole mess down the track while activating the sprayer.

Works like a champ!
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

I didn't think this thing up myself... but I don't remember where I got the idea.

Also - If I remember the next time that I'm on the boat I will take a pic.
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

Here are two pics;


From the side, you can see the inventive use of Duct tape.

I connect a halyard and downhaul onto that loop of string, and a piece of fishing line onto the hinge.

From the top;


Note that my boat is still covered, as I will be doing additional work to her before she is splashed. That 2x4 is part of the frame for the cover.
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Here are two pics;


From the side, you can see the inventive use of Duct tape.

I connect a halyard and downhaul onto that loop of string, and a piece of fishing line onto the hinge.

From the top;


Note that my boat is still covered, as I will be doing additional work to her before she is splashed. That 2x4 is part of the frame for the cover.
Wow, I'm in awe of this. I can't decide if it's genius or just waaay to over-engineered.

MedSailor
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Cleaning internal sail track

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Wow, I'm in awe of this. I can't decide if it's genius or just waaay to over-engineered.

MedSailor
Med,

To my eye, it's a wonderful device.

If it were over-engineered, there would be:
o Stainless hose clamps instead of the duct tape;
o Two different spray settings (stream and fan, possibly necessitating a second bottle set up)
o A micro-adjustable stand-off setting between the can and the slugs; and
o A weatherproof enclosure to make sure everything stays dry.

Needless to say, those would be the MILSPEC's.
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