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Old 01-21-2002
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Main Track Replacement

Having been a long time owner of an old 1971 C&C 30 I''ve never been concerned with sailing performance. However, since I now have to sleep 6 kids plus the wife we decided to look for somthing a little bigger. Having to fit all the requests I knew I would probably have to give up good sailing performance. Thus, bought a 1981 Irwin 37 c/c cutter rig. Since the first day of attempted sailing I have been wondering how to make it perform more like a sail boat. This year I think I''ve decided to try and replace the main sail track since it doesn''t work. As to where to put it is leaving me a bit undone. I know I don''t want to leave it where it is but moving it to the best location still has me undecided. Any help?
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Old 01-21-2002
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Main Track Replacement

I am having a bit of a problem understanding your question based on your description of the problem. When someone says to me that they want to "replace the main sail track since it doesn''t work", I would assume that they are referring to the track on the aft face of the mast which guide the luff slides for the Mainsail.

But reading that you don''t know where to relocate the track, leads me to believe that perhaps you are referring to the traveler track (the athwartships track that your mainsheet car rides on). If you are talking abut your traveler, what is the problem with its current position? Looking at Yachtworld, the standard traveller appears to be a simple ''Tee track" across the aft coaming of the cockpit. Its position does not look too bad from a mainsheet lead stand point. Obviously, a Tee track leaves a lot to be desired as a traveller in that it cannot be safely adjusted under load. Garhauser makes a nice and reasonably priced traveler system. Unfortunately the deck appears to curve vertically so you will need to cut our a shim that is flat on top and cueved on the bottom. I would either make this shim out of teak or ''starboard'' plastic. The control lines should go to forward facing cam cleats at either end of the track.

Jeff
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Old 01-21-2002
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Main Track Replacement

The problem with the traveler is just what you said. It doesn''t work under load. Any load. Not to mention it''s curved both with the top of the coaming and the back. Nothing but a close up photo will show this problem.
Besides the double curves, it''s placement does not allow for a cockpit enclosure. I have already contacted Grahauer Marine several times for some help but have heard nothing yet. I was considering a track on the aftcabin deck slightly behind the cockpit. (My only concern for this would be the strength of the glass in that area.) I''ve looked at several other manufacturers arrangements and all that I''ve seen did just that. If you happened to have the boat or knew of someone that did and had made this change or contemplated it any info. would help.
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Old 01-22-2002
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Main Track Replacement

It sounds like adding a proper traveler is not as cut and dry a proposition as I first thought. I would think that there should
be adequate strength on the deck aft of the coaming but you will need to do a few things. First of all the top of the traveler should be raised to the height of the coaming in order to be have a proper angle to easily adjust control lines. While teak would seem like the logical material, there is a forward thrust to the mainsheet and control lines that would require complex engineering in wood. I would suggest having a small welded aluminum structure built. This structure would need to have a small beam upon which to mount the traveler track and would need to have perhaps 4 legs that were perhaps trapezoidal in shape and with stiffeners arranged to take both fore and aft and athwartship loadings. These legs should be thru-bolted thru the deck probably with 2 to 3, 5/16" diameter bolts per leg. I believe that Irwin cored their decks and so you will need to half drill into the core, ream and clean out the core for an
area perhaps an 1" to 1 1/2" in diameter and then fill with thickened epoxy. Below deck you will want to use barrel bolts, fender washers and backing plates. The backing plates should probably be pretty thick (3/19" or 1/4" aluminum) and should span between each pair of fore and aft bolts.

As to the benefit of adding a new traveler, certainly having better sail controls will make the boat more comfortable in heavier air and will reduce weather helm. That said, the C&C was a comparably light weight boat, with comparably little wetted surface and a reasonably generous sail plan. So small changes in sail handling hardware can make a big performance difference. That is not the case with the Irwin 37 which is a heavy boat, with a lot of wetted surface and small sail plan. While there will be some advantage to having a useable traveler, and the current traveler design is a little dangerous to use, I am not sure that changing the traveler will have the amount of benefit that you may be anticipating.

Respectfully,
Jeff

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Old 01-22-2002
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Main Track Replacement

Jeff,
Thanks again for the advice. I new when I bought the Irwin that I would be giving up sailing performance. My family''s needs are more important than speed and handeling. I just don''t want to spend time and money replacing something that wasn''t a good design in the first place.
I''ll be sending another request for technical advice to Garhauer Marine. I hope they can help me with the hardware details.
Thankyou again. Kevin

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