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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-04-2006 07:03 PM
sailingdog Glad to help.
09-04-2006 06:35 PM
alanl Last weekend I usee JohnR's trick of cleaning out the track and was amazed at the difference it made. It was not quite as simple as it sounded, because getting into the track would have meant removing all the slugs first, so I cut the binding off the top slug and resewed it after doing the job

It was not easy to get the cloth patch inside the track but persistence paid off. A local product called "Gumption" comes in a damp paste and by wetting the patch before liberally coating on one side, it was possible to "stick" it to the inside of the groove and still get the slug over it. Some whipping twine kept it in place while being raised and lowered. This was repeated several times with fresh patches, then every slug was coated with "zipper" grease and the main raised. Wow - what a difference!

Thanks John. Also thanks to Sailing Dog for comments about the plastic insert


09-04-2006 01:05 PM
sailingdog Another solution is to get longer slugs. Most tracks can accommodate slightly longer slugs than you may have on your existing sail. The longer slugs tend not to twist as much and don't jam as easily.
09-03-2006 08:19 PM
Jotun I have the same problem, though it is not due to dirt or grime in the track. The slugs seem to get pulled at an angle and lock up just above the slot. I've never been out alone, so it's not much of a problem. Someone just goes up to the mast and feeds the slugs up, but I'm not sure I could raise the main alone.
08-30-2006 10:56 PM
sailingdog I think it is fairly simple to install. Someone at my friend's marina did it a couple of months ago, while I was there helping step their mast. IIRC correctly, it just slides into the existing track... no real complicated installation issues... from what I saw.
08-30-2006 09:01 PM
alanl Chris

How hard or easy was it to install the ''strong track'' system from Tides Marine? Sounds like a good inexpensive fix for the same problem on my 30' catamaran, where the mast groove is fairly worn and the pressure from the full battens is high.


08-22-2006 06:34 PM
sailingdog A similar technique to JR's was used but involved a Scotchbrite sponge instead. The scotchbrite sponge would probably clean a bit better than the cloth.
08-22-2006 05:52 PM
knothead Jr, great post.
08-21-2006 11:57 AM
jr438234606 I had exactly the same problem with a difficult-to-raise main. I actually broke a halyard one time winching on it. I researched the problem and here is the solution I implemented:

I glued a small strip of terry cloth to one of the plastic slides. Then, I attached nylon string to the slide in such a way that I could both pull it up the mast and back down. I drenched the terry cloth with "Goo Gone" and quickly hoisted up the slide and then pulled it back down. I repeated this process about 15-20 times. By the time I was finished, the cloth was black with grime and goo. I cleaned the cloth and repeated until the grime appeared to be gone.

Next, I loaded the cloth with acetone and ran it up and down about 3 times. I did this to remove any "Goo Gone" residue. Finally, I loaded the cloth with MacLube SailKote and ran it up and down about 5 times. I also drenched all the other slides and batcars with SailKote. The next time I went out, I could literally hoist the main with one hand and no winching.

Here are some tips I learned in the process:

1.) Cut the cloth just a little wider than the track. This way, the cloth cleans the sides of the track as well as the front and back. It also helps the cloth to stay in the track. I used a 2" x 6" strip of cloth.

2.) Rough-up the slide with sand paper before gluing the cloth to it. Otherwise, the glue probably won't stick. I would create two or three of these little devices since the cloth wears out pretty quick.

3.) I used Gorilla glue to attach the cloth to the slide. Be careful that you don't create a lump of glue/cloth on the slide or else it won't fit in the track. Clamp it down tight so it retains a low profile when it dries.

4.) The best cleaning action occurs when you pull the contraption back down the mast. This is because the cloth "bunches up" in front of the slide and you get a little scrubbing action.

The biggest barrier to a smooth slide is dirt and grime. You can lubricate all day long, but if you are just lubricating filth, you won't get good results. You can probably buy a kit that does something similar to what I did, but it was such a no-brainer I figured "why spend the money?"
08-21-2006 10:55 AM
dave6330 Who'd of thought that I could learn so much (I've been taking notes) stuck out here in the desert!

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