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Old 03-29-2012
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mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

3 out of the 4 of my mainsail batten cars are either cracked or broken. So I am going to replace them. Should I go with cheap plastic ones that have lasted 10 years at least. Or get something more expensive? I do plan on getting a new main this season. I'm leaning towards the cheap plastic ones. Anyone know where to get them???
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Old 03-29-2012
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Re: mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

mast slides

Your boat is a '75? Seems the plastic ones last a while.
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Old 03-29-2012
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Re: mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

Are you talking about the slides/slugs (such as posted by sublime) or do you actually have a system like Harken's "Battcars", which is a track like a genoa track and a ball bearing 'car' attached at each batten point?
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mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

Slides that hold the battens in.
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Here is a photo of the broken one.
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Re: mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

Quote:
Slides that hold the battens in.
OK, Now I'm getting curious, can hardly wait for a picture.
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Old 03-29-2012
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Re: mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewportNewbie View Post
Here is a photo of the broken one.
Assuming they are slugs, not slides (and slugs are all a 30' boat needs), then look for slugs with wire bales, instead of all plastic. Sailrite has them. You'll have to determine the correct size.

Slug Bail SS With Rocker 13/32"
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Old 03-30-2012
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Re: mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

sorry guys....i was on the boat and the mobile version clearly didn't add a pic! Here it is...I am finding its all terminology with boating. Like another language. What I need are BATTEN BOXES....This is the broken one....

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Old 03-30-2012
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Re: mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

I am pretty sure they are not as cheap as you think.

The batten boxes hold your battens in place which help with sail shape. They need to be looked at on a monthly basis at the bare minimum, but i check them every time I take the sail cover off as they are lined up at the mast. You want to make sure they are not loose or the battens are not coming out or the fiberglass is not splintered. In cheaper designs the pockets are not well protected and a loose box , cracked box like yours can lead to a dramatic failure in good winds which will shoot the batten through your main and rip it dramatically. The least will be the sight of you batten coming off the back of the sail like an arrow to be lost at sea forever.


The end of your boxes are attached to the mainsail track slides via a screw and a movable (180 degree pivot which go up and down the sail track. These also need to be maintained and looked at constantly. If not properly maintained these will jam in you sail track possibly with your sail up.

You can sail without battens although you may ultimately damage your sail with unecessary fluttering which if you are going to buy a new one may not matter to you, but the " main sail track cars must work well.

These cars, batten boxes are often one of the the features you should look at when purchasing a main sail as it can lead to the ease of you raising the main, getting good sail shape and maximizing you main sail. BTW thois is one of the things also which adds to the prices of some sails so understand that when you make you comparisons between sails. You will want to have your "system" figured out with your new sail as theese are rivited or sewn into the new sail.

On a last and more negative chiding note, your statement that 3 of them are cracked and in the condition that you showed in the picture is a troubling thought as I beleive you were going to head out to Catalina Island in large winds. You need to develope a checklist of things to check on a daily basis when you use your boat to minimize equipement failures which can ultimately damage your boat, its systems, and the expensive motor ( your sails) as you use your boat. When things break under load ( high winds) 15 miles off shore the results can be dangerous. Your preventive maintainence (PM) list will help minimize this possibily and keep you in a safe zone and help your equipment failures from delveloping into super expensive ones. These batten boxes and track cars are obviously in terrible shape and needed to be fixed. You are lucky you didnt destroy your main or have it get stuck up in the sail track in 45 winds and gusts.. My guess is that if you took some time to do this with the "new" boat you have you will upgrade catch problems before they occur. This routine should include checking all your shroud fittings before you head out. Seacocks regularly. VHF. etc. etc. This take 5-10 minutes... Every once in a while I catch something simple like a wire coming out from the tape at the end of a clevis pin on my turnbuckle which would cause the stay to fail or rip the sail. When I do it makes that 5 to 10 minute chack all the worthwhile and reenfoces me to continue to do it.

PM is part of being a SAFE sailor and while you cant prevent everything you can often minimize it by doing due dilligence. Its not as glamorus or enjoyable as making videos or proving to yourself you can handle larger winds, but it is the responsible thing to do

Dave
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Last edited by chef2sail; 03-30-2012 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 03-30-2012
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Re: mainsail batten cars...suggestions?

Thx For the info. I do appreciate the "chiding" I am not above that...BUT you should also know I sail 3 times a week and I find these things out not by accident but by knowing the boat and checking before and after sailing. I do have a checklist, and I do check these things often. The reason for the failures was not the boxes being old and brittle, but because the joints binder and the plastic had nothing to do but break. After 10+ years, I guess the joints will indeed fail at some point. The replacements are actually VERY cheap...North Sails loft GAVE me 2 new versions as replacements plus all the hardware to go with them for not a cent. Doyle's sail loft said bring in the mainsail and for $70 they would replace all the batten boxes. So the parts are cheap, but Harken does make an entire track system that can get expensive.
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