sunol

sailtrack, composite main, singlehanded?

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Currently have a dacron main and standard sail slides in the mast track on my tartan 4100. No lazy jacks (took them off, could re-install)

I have a process for lowering the main singlehanded that works fairly well and the friction from the slugs actually helps me to get a decent flake on the main by lowering it gradually at the end. In high winds, I fully admit to be lazy about the flake, but it's dacron and I don't stress about it too much.

Looking to step up to a composite sail and probably a Tides Marine SailTrack. Would probably get a full batten endurance/ocean/cruising level of sail that could take a little abuse.

How careful do I have to be with these sails on the flake? Any tips/comments from single-handed sailors with larger composite mains using a low friction system like the SailTrack?  

 

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B7B4FC4F-FFB6-4769-8ADE-E5C81FF664D0.thumb.png.b0b061468a252ba8ded005b04ec2311b.pngDon’t know 

 

I do know that  mainsail tracks of all types tear  off masts and the best have local reinforcing at .. head full hoist and at head reef 1-2-3 

speak with your rigger or tides 

this might mean doubling up on tides marine slider fastener points 

 

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I have a Grand Soleil 40 2007 that came with the Tides track.  I found the Tides track to add unwanted friction with a fractional rig. However that system is super easy to install.

We recently upgraded to Antal track and I'm really please with it.  Bullet proof installation.

One note is that unlike the Tide track it's good every year to check the screws to make sure none have backed out even a little.  No fun only being able to raise your main 1/3 of the way up... or even worse it's loose and backs out when hoisted (in my nightmares).

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1 hour ago, Chix & Dumpling said:

I have a Grand Soleil 40 2007 that came with the Tides track.  I found the Tides track to add unwanted friction with a fractional rig. However that system is super easy to install.

We recently upgraded to Antal track and I'm really please with it.  Bullet proof installation.

One note is that unlike the Tide track it's good every year to check the screws to make sure none have backed out even a little.  No fun only being able to raise your main 1/3 of the way up... or even worse it's loose and backs out when hoisted (in my nightmares).

 Fasteners don’t penetrate the tides track 

plastic is not dimensionally stable 

the track slides over fasteners, clips  in the mast  and floats free with only top hanger fasteners 

 

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10 hours ago, slug zitski said:

I do know...

...many things. Take punctuation as an example. 

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To answer the OP's question. Most serious single-hand off shore boats such as the Figaro's, Class 40's and even Pogos use aluminum based track. There are two ways to attach it, either directly bonding it onto the mast with a special 2 part adhesive or mechanically fastened. The mechanically fastened method could be either to drill and tap the mast for the track or to use special sized slugs for the luff-groove. 

About the fasteners, you want to make sure they have thread locker on them. 

As to the low friction reference, most manufactures use a special fiber material which is strong and self polishing resulting in the only maintenance required to be soap and fresh water cleaning. Some even use ball bearings on the cars but that is generally reserved for sails which have a large roach and/or camber inducing battens which really press the luff of the sail forward into the sail track. 

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1 hour ago, RImike said:

To answer the OP's question. Most serious single-hand off shore boats such as the Figaro's, Class 40's and even Pogos use aluminum based track. There are two ways to attach it, either directly bonding it onto the mast with a special 2 part adhesive or mechanically fastened. The mechanically fastened method could be either to drill and tap the mast for the track or to use special sized slugs for the luff-groove. 

About the fasteners, you want to make sure they have thread locker on them. 

As to the low friction reference, most manufactures use a special fiber material which is strong and self polishing resulting in the only maintenance required to be soap and fresh water cleaning. Some even use ball bearings on the cars but that is generally reserved for sails which have a large roach and/or camber inducing battens which really press the luff of the sail forward into the sail track. 

Correct - ally track with a  good (ideally ball race eg harken) car system: bond and bolt (ie tap thread into mast for the bolts and use a glue such as Plexus.  

we have a 'conventional' luff tube and use Luff shuttle cars on the Seacrat 30 tri - no need for a track :-)

https://www.contendersailcloth.com/product/luffshuttle/

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Any thoughts on the sensitivity of a cruising laminate to bad/lazy flaking?

Feel like a noob asking, but I've never owned a laminate main. Other boats I've been on either have a crew to get a good flake or are much smaller boats and easier to clean up later or just not mine so I don't pay attention to wear over time.

One guy I asked said that the laminate trains itself pretty quickly with a good slide system and it's easier to get a good flake? 

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44 minutes ago, SSolo said:

we have a 'conventional' luff tube and use Luff shuttle cars on the Seacrat 30 tri - no need for a track :-)

That looks pretty slick.  Brochure contendersailcloth_ManufacturingsuppliesLuffshuttle-us.pdf

Ronstan has something similar but with bearings. I have no experience with either one.  I wonder which one works best with a curved aft mast section. 

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IMG_0589.thumb.JPG.298793a7b10a4fd7648bd4d410c33fb2.JPG484936975_DragonSolentTopSeam(2).thumb.JPG.ae17820269c00a857dbc12d4c8f5d910.JPGthere are a number of laminated sail membrane technologies available.  conventional paneled load path membranes are comprised of fibers, film & sometime taffeta (light, woven cloth) laminated in sections with adhesives.  the sections are glued and seamed together to make up the sail membrane.  the quality and properties of the components are critical to their durability.  quick curing glues saturating high modulus fibers can cause the fibers to become brittle.  they fracture when repeatedly flexed and poke thru the surface of the cloth.  carbon is notorious for this.  this is why 3DL sails mainly did not feature carbon.  because the fiber are discontinuous in this technology the seams can distort and part.  the film eventually wears and crack and the adhesive ages and fails (AKA delamination).

there is a continuous fiber, filmless, glue-less technologies available from OneSails called 4T, who i represent in the US.  there's also a reasonably priced continuous fiber laminate available from UK & OneSails (X-Drive & Vektor2), which are effectively identical.  they feature a Mylar laminate base cloth with continuous fibers (typically carbon or Endumax tapes) vectored in a load path array over the surface.  the carbon is not saturated with glue so they tend to stay in the game for a long time.  there's also a filmless, paneled membrane technology available we call Vantage One.  I don't to sell you anything.  frankly, it's uncomfortable talking about it.  it's just that, after 43 years in the business, i know a lot about the subject & I really know what you don't want.

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when speaking with your sail maker explain what you want to use the sail for ; we have Doyle headsails  and Ullman main and spent many hours discussing material, how we sail and the excepted  abuse that we would hand out.  IMHO it is this discussion that makes you want to work with that sailmaker, if they just tell you 'use X' - walk away.

My 'brains trust/skunk room boys' part of the Buzz team means we have v high level discussions with the sailmakers, looking at 3D shape etc etc - all gets very OCD, but IMHO is well worth the time. Ullman and Doyles gave  2-3 material options and we went for the one that would take most abuse, sacrificing a few kilos of weight

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On 12/15/2020 at 5:16 PM, sunol said:

Any thoughts on the sensitivity of a cruising laminate to bad/lazy flaking?

Depends on the laminate, I have found polyester-based cruising laminate like DCX-CDX holding shape much better than dacron and resisting well to flaking, and the North 3DI Nordac even superior without breaking the bank (at North standard).

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6 hours ago, mark washeim said:

  there's also a reasonably priced continuous fiber laminate available from UK & OneSails (X-Drive & Vektor2), which are effectively identical.  

Thanks for the great info! Leaning towards UK X-Drive Endure right now.

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I installed a Tides mast track and cars on my boat (E33RH) in July.  I am very happy with it.  I can hoist the 300 sq ft. main at the mast easily with no winch. I have a composite sail.

When you drop the sail with tides, it really drops ("like a piano").  This is great if you want to drop your main in a hurry, but when flaking your sail (depending on how you do it), you have to definitely will want to  install a cam cleat at the mast to hold the halyard.

I recently installed retractable lazy jacks. I can drop the sail now and it does a pretty good job of self-flaking.  I retract the jacks, use sail ties and and standard cover. 

 

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On 12/17/2020 at 4:51 PM, 964racer said:

I installed a Tides mast track and cars on my boat (E33RH) in July.  I am very happy with it.  I can hoist the 300 sq ft. main at the mast easily with no winch. I have a composite sail.

When you drop the sail with tides, it really drops ("like a piano").  This is great if you want to drop your main in a hurry, but when flaking your sail (depending on how you do it), you have to definitely will want to  install a cam cleat at the mast to hold the halyard.

I recently installed retractable lazy jacks. I can drop the sail now and it does a pretty good job of self-flaking.  I retract the jacks, use sail ties and and standard cover. 

 

How tall is your stack?

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I did have to purchase a new sail cover as the stack increased in height by a foot or so over previous rope track which takes up little vertical space . ( this site won’t let me upload a photo for some reason) .  I needed a new cover anyway . 

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