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Old 11-03-2012
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Better sail slides

The absurdity of not being able to raise or lower the main on any point of sail has finally gotten to me but no way I'm gonna buy something as absurdly expensive or as complicated as "Battcars". THINK.....After you lube your mast track, how easy it is to raise or lower the main. The reason is that all surfaces are lubed and the lube is fresh, it hasnt evaporated yet or washed away.
Now, self lubricating sail slides (you know, teflon, Moly sulfide filled ones, etc) are better than normal ones but they do not lube the track................
So............oilite bronze (google it), it would work but I'd worry about corrosion between the bronze and the aluminum. BTW, graphite washes off too easily. So.............lookin around, I find something called Micro pore Lubricated Polymer (or something like that) that is a polymer with a network of micro connected pores filled with oil under pressure. The lubricant wicks to the surface via capillary action so that every time it slides over a surface, it lubes that surface so that anything else that slides over it slides easily.
I call the company and ask to buy some to make some experimental slides. They say it isnt strong enough even though they make gears from it. I have explained that a sail has MANY slides. They do not have a price list but insist you talk to their engineers first. Of course none of them are sailors. It's expensive they say. So, you wanna know what "Battcars" cost?
I gotta find a way to convince em to sell it to me.
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: Better sail slides

Ever think of swithching out to plastic slides, I've got 25 year old plastic sliders and when the going gets a little tough a quick shot of white lithiem grease frees it up nicley for another season or so. Just a thought
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: Better sail slides

Have you tried this stuff? Works great and lasts.

SailKote Marine Dry Lubricant & Coating for Sails, Rigging, Deck Hardware and more. - McLube

Note that with wind pressure on the sail, you are not going to be able to raise or lower it easily no matter what you do.
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: Better sail slides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
The absurdity of not being able to raise or lower the main on any point of sail has finally gotten to me but no way I'm gonna buy something as absurdly expensive or as complicated as "Battcars". ...
I am going to approach this from another angle.
I was able to raise or lower my main on any wind speed on any point of sail.
My main had no battens and no roach. Easy of handling, safe, convenient and no chafe problems The small loss of power was way worth it, no doubt.
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: Better sail slides

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
I am going to approach this from another angle.
I was able to raise or lower my main on any wind speed on any point of sail.
My main had no battens and no roach. Easy of handling, safe, convenient and no chafe problems The small loss of power was way worth it, no doubt.
That small loss of power is actually more like 30% of the driving power of the sail. Plus a decrease in drag, which means less heal for the same sail area, and a lot more controllability.



Frog,

Have you looked at the String track system? It is significantly cheaper than the battcar system, and is supposed to work like a charm (I only have experience with the Harken Batts).
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: Better sail slides

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
That small loss of power is actually more like 30% of the driving power of the sail. Plus a decrease in drag, which means less heal for the same sail area, and a lot more controllability.
Stumble. did you mean a mainsail with a hollow leech is 30% less efficient? Wow... I would think any sailmaker would make 30% less money if we all used a roach-less batten-less main. Anyhow, I am a cruiser, not in in a hurry, and if it means to be less efficient for the sake of having the peace of mind that I could handle anything anytime, I'm in. I sailed over 35K miles with sail, and I wouldn't have any other way.

Last edited by SVTatia; 11-04-2012 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: Better sail slides

Froggy, you lube a sail track, lube it and clean it, by jamming in some rag or boltrope that is soaked in a cleaner or lube, and running it up and down the track a few times. Real easy, real cheap, real simple.

Then you do it again with a clean rag soaked in McLube and shoot more McLube on your slides. McLube is basically the same as modern bicycle chain lubricant: Exotic DuPont Krytox lubricant, which is unaffected by temperature or solvents but damned expensive, diluted down in a white paraffin carrier, which won't stain sails and just "disappears" as it ages without trapping more grit or dirt, and some petrochemicals to make it all liquid.

Very different from silicone spray or WD40.

Clean track, lube track, plain nylon slides work amazingly better.

You want exotic materials? OK, order some plain T-stock from the company, tell them it is for something mundane like drawer slides, and give the t-stock to your local machine shop to do the finishing work. No big deal, don't overthink it.
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