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Discussion Starter #1
i have a catalina 22 -- old one. when i try and raise the main, the slugs get caught in the track, turn at an odd angle, and catch so the main doesn''t raise properly. my wife or son have to get to the mast and help direct them upward and unstick them. i have the metal plate on the mast that holds in the slugs, but they seem to catch and tilt so i can''t raise the main easily. it also prevents me from sailing by myself because it''s hard to get the main raised when i have to run up there and ''un-catch'' the slugs.

anybody come in contact with something like that?
 

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Clean the track carefully of dirt, grease and oil. Clean with a strong caustic cleaner. Do the same with the sail slides. Then simply rub on candle wax to the inside of the track and slides. Do yearly.
You can buy fancy cleaners and track lubes; but, nothng beats candle wax! Dont use oily based ''lubrication'' compounds or the track will accumulate more dirt. :)
 

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R.
In addition to the previous advice, check the mast track for any tiny burrs. You''ll be amazed at the havock that a spur of metal can cause.
Tom S.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi there,

I had a bunch of problems on my boat (a J40) with the slugs binding, also especially while dousing the main. I finally decided to lick this problem for sure and bought/installed the ''strong track'' system from Tides Marine. It''s basically a ''plastic'' track that slides into the existing mast-track. This track then accepts nice stainless steel slides that won''t bind. It works nicely, and allows me to get the main down single/double handed. It''s not as good as the Harken stuff, but then again it also costs a fraction. May be overkill for your boat?

...Chris
 

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Harken used to have a product called a "Battslide" that worked in the existing track.

Does this product still exist? Did it work?

I know about the Battcars system, but I don''t want to spend that kind of money for a marginal improvement. I''d just like to be able to hoist/drop my main without being absolutely head to wind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The systems that I checked into include the Harken Battcar, the Antal, the battslide, and the Tides Marine. After talking to a number of people (local rigger, sailmaker, SailNet rigging shop), I settled on the Tides marine thing as the best bang for the buck, esp. given my existing mast groove for slugs, which is really difficult to get to work well. Now my gut says that for a 20+ footer it should be possible to make it work, since the loads are just sooo much less than on a 40'' with an extra large main. I don''t remember the battslide maker, but maybe the guys here at Sailnet can help you with that. The Tides Marine stuff sells for $17-$20 per foot of mainsail track, including sliders, etc.. On my boat, that came to be $1000 vs. over $3000 for the battcar or antal systems. Plus, the install could be handled by myself.

...Chris
 

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Just how do you go about rigging a downhaul on the Jib? How 'bout on the Main?
 

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Dave6330— please don't hijack someone else's thread...if you've got a un-related question, please start a new thread.

A lot of times you can also get longer slugs, to replace the ones you're currently using. A longer slug or slide is far less likely to twist in the track and get bound up.

McLube Sailkote or Boeshield T9 are both good lubricants for the sail track, as are some of the silicone-based lubricant.

The checking for burrs is a very good idea, as is cleaning and lubing the track.
 

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Dave, you'd be more likely to get an answer by posting a new thread so people knew what the question was.<G>
" rigging a downhaul " Bottom line, you tie a light halyard line to the head of the sail, right where the halyard is attached. Long enough so it reaches the deck when the sail is raised. Then, you either go forward to pull it down, or you rig it aft as convenient.

First time I solo'd a J/24 I wanted a downhaul on the 150, so I rigged a light line to the stem fitting for the genoa cunningham, then turned it aft as if it was the gennoa cunningham. No problem pulling the a sail down in heavy wind.

But unless there's something really wrong, or you just don't want to abandon the helm and go forward (which is why I rigged it, J/24's don't self-steer very nicely<G>) you should be able to place one palm on each side of the sail, squeeze your hands together, and haul a sail down while you are head to wind--unless it is VERY stuck. In which case you still might have to go aloft to clear the sail track, simply heaving on a downhaul could just jam it (a stuck rivet, etc.) or tear something.
 

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I appologize - I was bouncing between threads and the question was obviously misplaced. I meant no harm.

V/R
 

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I apologize. I was bouncing between threads and misdirected the question. I meant no harm. I’m still trying to get the hang of this forum thing.

V/R
 

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dave6330 said:
I appologize - I was bouncing between threads and the question was obviously misplaced. I meant no harm.

V/R
No harm, no foul...just thought I'd mention it.. btw, I generally rig a jib downhaul to run through a few of the hanks, to help it stay a the proper angle to help haul the jib down. Attaching it at just the head board can cause it to pull at the wrong angle, and may cause the jib to jam. The mainsail downhaul doesn't have the same issues, as the mast doesn't really bend the way the headstay does, and the mastbase, where you'd normally put the block for a mainsail downhaul is in line with the mast track for the most part.
 

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Rich,

You said clean the mast track with a strong caustic cleaner - specifically, what cleaner do you recommend?

V/R
 

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I don't think it is a good idea to clean a mast track with any type of caustic cleaner. Caustic cleaners can attack the anodization on an aluminum mast. They can also cause pitting, which would make any problems you're having worse, rather than better. Keeping the mast track clean and lubricated, although with a dry lubricant, since grease and oil will tend to attract dirt, and may leave nasty looking stains on your sails.

I've used McLube SailKote and Boeshiedl T-9 on different boats, and they seem to work well. Waxing also works fairly well, as does rubbing the track with a bar of soap.
 

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Who'd of thought that I could learn so much (I've been taking notes) stuck out here in the desert!

Thanks!!!
 

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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?"
 

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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.
 

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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.

Regards

AlanL
 
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