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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-19-2012 01:16 PM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

I have 45' luff and full length battens. The attachment is with metal bail slugs and it hoists, reefs, and drops like a rock. While larger sails are a different matter, slides are a waste on such a small sail, just something to fail. The boat and sail are 1997.
10-19-2012 01:14 PM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

Totally agree with ewayne. The full battens are only exposed to the lazy jack lines in the first half of raising it. So I just leave the halyard line clutch open and watch the battens closely as I raise it by hand, not even wrapped around the winch. I am getting good at the timing of getting the batten past the Lazy Jack lines. If I do get caught I just ease off a bit on the halyard for a slight drop then heave it past the LJ line when the main is centered again, very easy to do. I also do need the winch for only the last couple of feet of raising the main. This is a big full batten main, P=53' 8", and heavy.
10-19-2012 12:59 PM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

I run my boat with a 9 oz triple reefed mainsail(plenty heavy) and full battens using lazy jacks and the Strong track system. There is a LOT less friction when raising and lowering the main and I actually raise the main by hand to the top except for the last couple feet where the weight of the sail gets too much. Maybe not quite as good friction wise as a ball bearing system but much less expensive!(a reasonable trade off).
Biggest problem with my system is trying to keep the full batten ends from catching on the lazy jacks on the way up.
Wouldn't want a mainsail not fully battened as shape is held much better hence better performance.(IMHO)
10-19-2012 11:44 AM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

The product does work well with the biggest benefit to safer sailing. It also makes reefing a no-effort exercise. It is easy to pull out the reef and raise the main back up if desired. I tend to reef sooner knowing this. The benefits are just too great. And the fun of how the sail drops instantly, you will enjoy this product and increase your safety profile.

For a due diligence effort you might want to check out the Antal line, very high quality product and it has been around a long time. See here --> Home. I did a bunch of research on the product, very solid also.


10-18-2012 10:12 PM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

I wonder if we can actually find a single report of a person who has bought the tides track system and regretted it? Seems like everybody loves it, just a question of if it's worth the price tag....

For me, it probably will be. As I mentioned, anything that makes the sails easier for any crew to get up or down is safety gear in my book.

10-18-2012 06:11 PM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

We installed the strong track when we got our new, full-battened, loose-footed main. We are happy with both, and glad to have full-battens. New main giving us better performance, goes up pretty quickly with manual winch, drops down in the blink of an eye. We have lazy-jacks, which came with the boat, and this system works fine. Battens not getting caught up on lazy-jacks, because main is being hauled up so fast (by husband), and I (the wife) am so expert (!) in holding bow into the wind. (grin)
10-17-2012 06:01 PM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

I have the Tides Marine system on our new Beneteau 45 with full battens, works great. Originally I was aiming for the Antel system which has a long track record but our boat rep pushed us hard towards Tides. The Tides system works fantastic, I can raise our very large main about 80% of the way up without a winch, crazy. And when it comes down I need to be cognizant of laying out the halyard line so it does not kink as it rips through the spinlock line clutch, and keep small children's hands away, not kidding. Every 2 months or so I do a quick spray of sailcoat on the cars. Great product.

I almost forgot, the yard doing the commissioning was able to install the track in about 30 minutes, dead simple. Didn't even charge me for that.
10-14-2012 03:51 AM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

EZ Jack not Lazy Jack is what I recommend. Can be deployed from the cockpit and is pulled away to the mast and under the boom when raising the sail

10-14-2012 12:32 AM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

I have full battens and the strong track. It is absolutely the greatest. Get it. You wont regret it. Release the halyard and it comes right down. Some above have recommended lazy jack systems which are fine. Another option is a dutchman which is what I have. The sail flakes itself right on the boom. Easy as can be.
10-12-2012 12:09 AM
Re: Advice wanted: Tides Marine Track and Slide system

I've never hoisted or dropped one myself but I've seen it up close and personal on another boat and it was enviable. It was a day-charter catamaran and the captain just casually walked forward and released the halyard at the mast. The thing dropped like a $hit tonne of bricks into the lazyjacks and it was a roachy fully battened main. He then sailed up to his mooring and furled his jib as he got close and grabbed the ball with residual speed as he got close. It was an awesome sight to behold.

I plan to install it on my boat under the budgeting of safety gear. I want a scared, tired, wife to be able to lower, reef AND raise the main and mizzen easily in all conditions.

On the topic of full, partial or no battens I have gone around several times in my mind about that. I'd say that the advantages of each system are really dependent on the type of sailing you do, much more than most boat trade offs even.

No battens means less cost at the beginning, less time and cost maintaining the sail. Perfect sail shape can be attained, and some purists would say that better sail shape can be attained without the battens trying to dictate shape for you, but it WILL require a lot more pulling of strings. If you're sailing on the cheap and you like adjusting your sail frequently this is the sail for you. See also: Lyn and Larry Pardey.

Full battens give you more roach, which gives you small but measurable aerodynamic advantages that I still don't understand. These advantages are real though and are demonstrated by the fact that EVERY open class racing boat with an unlimited budget and no design limitations has a huge roachy main with full battens. As I said, I don't get the exact argument about what the aerodynamic advantage is, but I trust that it's there (see the racers) but I gather that it's small. For us cruisers the main advantage is that the fully battened main has a shape that is "darn near close enough to perfect" most all the time without as much pulling of strings. It also falls into lazyjacks more easily, and flogs less while reefing.

The disadvantages of full battens are: cost at the beginning, cost and time maintaining the sail because of batten pocket chafe and chafe where the battens meet the stays. Also they're harder to raise because of the compression loads the battens cause which turn into friction. This is partially mitigated by the Tides track, but not nearly as much as batten cars. Batten cars = more expense and more to maintain and more to go wrong. See also Steve Dashew

Partial battens are a bit of both in the advantage and disadvantage category. This is what I think I'll get with my next main. I like pulling strings constantly but I don't expect my wife to on a night watch. This means I would be happy with a battenless main but my wife might go crazy trying to get rid of leech flutter or worse yet might leave it along to flutter it's leech to death. I want the sail to fall nicely into lazyjacks but don't want to make it harder to raise with battens compressing on slides and I'm not willing to spend the coin on batten cars. I want the sail to flog minimally during reefing, but again I'm not willing to get full battens, so partial battens will help a little here too. See also: most sailboats.

Everything in boating is a compromise. The Tides track is one of those few things where the compromise is only one of expense vs performance. I don't think you'd find a sailor in the world that has seen, or used the Tides system that wouldn't take it as a gift, which is not something you could say for nearly any other trade-off decision we have to make.

If you've got the coin, get the track for sure. I seriously doubt you'd regret having it aboard. As for the battens, partial, full, or none, that really depends on how you sail.

Cheers mate!


PS Where on that island are you from? I lived in Melbourne for 5 years and did 2 months of hard time in "The Isa."
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