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Getting to the point where the 17' main boom with lazy jacks is getting to be more of a challenge to hoist/lower the sail when in congested areas such as the ICW. Similarly reaching out over the stern rail to furl the mizzen is becoming less attractive as the years go by. 

Reading the previous posts, the "Tides" system of appliqué track placed over the existing external track makes sense. A few questions 

  1. Ball park cost of materials for a 37' & 20' hoist ? 
  2. The mainsail is 20 years of gentle usage, and my inclination is to have the local loft (Quantum in HH, SC) convert the main & Mizzen. 
    1. Conversion has two choices:
      1.  retain original battens 
      2. Chasnge to full battens for ease of use with lazy jacks and stack cover. 
    2. Any reason NOT to convert the main to full battens, while changing slides? 
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25 minutes ago, The great unwashed said:

Hoisting a sail with full battens and lazy jacks does come with its own set of challenges.  As for converting a 20 year old sail—if you have a sailmaker you can trust, that is her/his call.

Well, trust is a question. no reason to distrust, but the question contains a moral hazard. 
 

There’s the default answer of “After 20 yrs, of course you want new sails”. 
 

If the cost of converting Is a significant fraction, then that tilts the decision.

Since the local representative of original sailmaker is 4 hr drive, it’s even more abstract. 
 

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I don’t like full battens 

to much junk and weight aloft

top batten full is good

second fullbatten , above the deep reef,  is helpfull

if you are building anew mainsail discuss your batten  options with the sailmaker 

 

Antal track and non roller bearing cars are nice... they give a short mainsail stack that is easy to live with 

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17 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

Well, trust is a question. no reason to distrust, but the question contains a moral hazard. 
 

There’s the default answer of “After 20 yrs, of course you want new sails”. 
 

If the cost of converting Is a significant fraction, then that tilts the decision.

Since the local representative of original sailmaker is 4 hr drive, it’s even more abstract. 
 

Put the full battens in now, while you are installing the Tides track. You can get the sailmaker to install the slides, and the batten slides are a different size.

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The issue with a full-battened main, as I have experienced it, with a Tides track is this: the leech ends of the battens fall faster than the luff/track ends. You end up with bowed battens and not a neat stack. On a Freedom 45 where the boom is significantly above your head already, this can be a major pita. Also, Slug said, it's a lot more weight to hoist as well - for us no problem because our primary is electric.

I think there's less reason to go with full battens if you're not supporting a giant roachy sail, but you will love the tides both up and down. Can't tell you about cost, anecdotally there may have been some longevity issues in recent years, but ours is at least 15 years old and going strong.

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31 minutes ago, ryley said:

The issue with a full-battened main, as I have experienced it, with a Tides track is this: the leech ends of the battens fall faster than the luff/track ends. You end up with bowed battens and not a neat stack. On a Freedom 45 where the boom is significantly above your head already, this can be a major pita. Also, Slug said, it's a lot more weight to hoist as well - for us no problem because our primary is electric.

I think there's less reason to go with full battens if you're not supporting a giant roachy sail, but you will love the tides both up and down. Can't tell you about cost, anecdotally there may have been some longevity issues in recent years, but ours is at least 15 years old and going strong.

I've got that problem now with the original 1962 track and the 2002 Slide, even freshly (Mc)lubricated doesn't "Drop".

I'd settle for a clean sedate lowering, with a bit of luffing to keep things laid along the boom and less snagging on the lazy jacks. 

 

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44 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

I'd settle for a clean sedate lowering,

you can definitely do that with the tides track. 

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I have the Tides system with dyneema easy jacks on a 43 foot luff, partial battens and medium weight dacron main with two reef points. I can raise the sail 2/3 up without the winch, and it falls so fast I leave a wrap on the winch to control the descent. If sailing alone I guide the luff standing at the mast so it stacks nice as it falls, then straiten out the leach on the dock. If left to fall on it's own, such as in snotty conditions when I elect to not leave the cockpit, it will end up on the boom compact enough to tie down until I get to the dock to pretty things up. I have never snaggged a easy jack lowering. For me it all works well enough that if I had to replace the main today I would not go with full battens. My last boat did have full battens so I do have some experience with them.

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Two of the boats I race on, a J112e and an IMX-45 have gone the Dutchman route. The IMX only for the cruising main. The J112e has it for the racing main as well. It is really really slick, as compared to the setup on my Sweden 42: full batten, lazy jacks, Selden batt-car, stack-pack.

I've double handed the IMX more than I care to admit with my wife. The main is a freaking beast and all reports on the Dutchman are positive. He doublehanded the thing back in the day with his wife and two small kids on it. He only had superlatives to say about the improvement for cruising. 

I'm not quite ready to switch over, but if it should come to pass that I need both a new pack and a new main, it will likely be the path.

I would encourage you to have a look at it as another alternative.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the Tides track and adding full battens cost me about $2500 total. Olson 40, something like 45' hoist on the main.

I skipped the lazy jacks. I also removed my headsail furler. Both the main and the jib are fully battened.

Instead, I went with carbon sails, made with Dimension Polyant GPX. Each sail cost about $5k or $6k. This is for a pure cruising boat. Sure, its an Olson 40, but it will never be raced, we only cruise.

I went with low friction everything, including a Tides Marine track for the main, and dyneema soft hanks on a dyneema headstay. With very light sails, because they are carbon and not dacron, this means hoisting is easy, dropping is easy, folding the sails while they remain on the mast and forestay is also easy. The sails are so light, it is very easy for one person to do anything with the sails. 

With the old sails (kevlar mylar string sails by North) I could not move any sail without help of a strong man. My wife and I were not enough.

With the new sails, I literally tossed each sail from the dock over the life lines and directly down the foredeck hatch. By myself. Light is truly a wonderful thing.

Fully battened sails -- both main and jib -- are easy to drop. They don't flog, due to the full battens. They are light and slippery, so easy to fold. It takes as long for me to fold both sails, and put both sail covers on, as it takes my wife to make me a cocktail: perhaps 3 minutes. A nice way to end a day sailing.

And of course, carbon does not stretch. So no need to reef or change headsails, as they do not get full as the wind increases. Just twist them off, instead of reefing. The shape stays perfect. If it really gets windy, say over 20 or 25 knots, we drop either main or jib, and sail with one sail. Really does not matter which sail we use, as either one works great alone. I was surprised about this!

Lazy jacks with dacron sails seem useful only because the sails are so dang heavy. Fighting with lazy jacks is a real thing. Not fun. Better to just eliminate the reason for those dang things.

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7 hours ago, carcrash said:

I think the Tides track and adding full battens cost me about $2500 total. Olson 40, something like 45' hoist on the main.

I skipped the lazy jacks. I also removed my headsail furler. Both the main and the jib are fully battened.

Instead, I went with carbon sails, made with Dimension Polyant GPX. Each sail cost about $5k or $6k. This is for a pure cruising boat. Sure, its an Olson 40, but it will never be raced, we only cruise.

I went with low friction everything, including a Tides Marine track for the main, and dyneema soft hanks on a dyneema headstay. With very light sails, because they are carbon and not dacron, this means hoisting is easy, dropping is easy, folding the sails while they remain on the mast and forestay is also easy. The sails are so light, it is very easy for one person to do anything with the sails. 

With the old sails (kevlar mylar string sails by North) I could not move any sail without help of a strong man. My wife and I were not enough.

With the new sails, I literally tossed each sail from the dock over the life lines and directly down the foredeck hatch. By myself. Light is truly a wonderful thing.

Fully battened sails -- both main and jib -- are easy to drop. They don't flog, due to the full battens. They are light and slippery, so easy to fold. It takes as long for me to fold both sails, and put both sail covers on, as it takes my wife to make me a cocktail: perhaps 3 minutes. A nice way to end a day sailing.

And of course, carbon does not stretch. So no need to reef or change headsails, as they do not get full as the wind increases. Just twist them off, instead of reefing. The shape stays perfect. If it really gets windy, say over 20 or 25 knots, we drop either main or jib, and sail with one sail. Really does not matter which sail we use, as either one works great alone. I was surprised about this!

Lazy jacks with dacron sails seem useful only because the sails are so dang heavy. Fighting with lazy jacks is a real thing. Not fun. Better to just eliminate the reason for those dang things.

The Good stuff is expensive 

In The perfect world I would  have a full inventory of good stuff

 

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On 10/7/2021 at 4:54 PM, carcrash said:

I think the Tides track and adding full battens cost me about $2500 total. Olson 40, something like 45' hoist on the main.

I skipped the lazy jacks. I also removed my headsail furler. Both the main and the jib are fully battened.

Instead, I went with carbon sails, made with Dimension Polyant GPX. Each sail cost about $5k or $6k. This is for a pure cruising boat. Sure, its an Olson 40, but it will never be raced, we only cruise.

I went with low friction everything, including a Tides Marine track for the main, and dyneema soft hanks on a dyneema headstay. With very light sails, because they are carbon and not dacron, this means hoisting is easy, dropping is easy, folding the sails while they remain on the mast and forestay is also easy. The sails are so light, it is very easy for one person to do anything with the sails. 

With the old sails (kevlar mylar string sails by North) I could not move any sail without help of a strong man. My wife and I were not enough.

With the new sails, I literally tossed each sail from the dock over the life lines and directly down the foredeck hatch. By myself. Light is truly a wonderful thing.

Fully battened sails -- both main and jib -- are easy to drop. They don't flog, due to the full battens. They are light and slippery, so easy to fold. It takes as long for me to fold both sails, and put both sail covers on, as it takes my wife to make me a cocktail: perhaps 3 minutes. A nice way to end a day sailing.

And of course, carbon does not stretch. So no need to reef or change headsails, as they do not get full as the wind increases. Just twist them off, instead of reefing. The shape stays perfect. If it really gets windy, say over 20 or 25 knots, we drop either main or jib, and sail with one sail. Really does not matter which sail we use, as either one works great alone. I was surprised about this!

Lazy jacks with dacron sails seem useful only because the sails are so dang heavy. Fighting with lazy jacks is a real thing. Not fun. Better to just eliminate the reason for those dang things.

To further expand on your comments, the full battens really make a big difference in sail shape if you’re twisting off the main instead of reefing. Mine originally had two full battens and four partials. It was a hot mess when the big roach up top would get twisted off. Now the top four battens are full length and only the bottom two are partials. Night and day difference. I’ve gotta love the previous owner for spending the money to make that change one week before selling me the boat!

Edit:  as an example, my main is the boat right in front of the boat that took the picture. It’s probably the first time it’s ever looked smooth with the top twisted off reaching. 

3C1AE32F-0BBE-4991-B693-C9E4D467BEE3.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for that helpful tidbit, EuroBloke. ;)

Yes I need fairly stiff, up to 1-5/8" wide battens with the longest being 13.75'.   It looks like RBS makes battens that can be broken into sections (with tapered joints that fit together with sleeves) for reasonable shipping costs. Waiting on a call back from a local loft.

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