Hhhhhhhhhoisting the mainsail E32-200 1990

frosero7744

Member I
Wow. Sheltering in place is fun. Sheltering in place while sailing is more funner. haha!! what is not fun however is getting my mainsail raised with significant resistance. Im guessing its from the plastic sail slides jamming in the track? When i wiggle them around in the slip they all seem to move about freely, and the halyard seems to move freely also with no load. Seems maybe the slides are binding? my biggest issue is shaking a reef, i pretty much cant downwind. ive been turning to the wind, shaking the reef out and then turning back down wind. the PO mentioned he sprayed sailkote often on the slides before raising. What can i do improve my overall situation here?
 

Pat C.

Member III
Don't Know. I know when I bought it last at West Marine here, they had a lot in stock. When I checked out I was asked what I was using it for. Seems the have a huge market for it outside of boating. Pool cues were mentioned as one.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Well, a few thoughts. But this is a common issue, and sometimes it has to do with 30-year-old equipment.

Almost all mainsails resist hoisting the last few feet. This is true even of boats who have installed the (miraculous) Tides sail track system. I still have to use a winch for the last feet, although the rest goes up hand over hand. Yet Tides sails fall like pianos.

Sometimes there are multiple shackle leads on the headboard. Sometimes the angle to the sheave can be improved by changing leads.

Sometimes the track is at fault, esp if sections of it have become misaligned. Sometimes the slugs have worn out or lost their ability to remain oriented.

The masthead sheave is often blamed. I think it is less often the cause, even if jammed. It shouldn't delay lowering much.

Sometimes full-length battens worsen the issue, since they put big pressure on their dedicated slider.

It;s always hard to lower a mainsail downwind, and easier to make it luff some first. (With Tides, yes, I can lower dead downwind, but it often takes going to the mast and tugging, since once started the sail lays on the spreaders).

Some folks rig high downhauls to help lower a sticky mainsail. I happen to be dead against that, because a sail that won;t come down can be quite dangerous even in common scenarios. A thunderstorm approaching, for example. And the solution to a stuck mainsail usually means climbing the mast.

The Tides sail track system is universally celebrated here as a solution, we can do the installation ourselves, and is relatively cheap as boat stuff goes.
 
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nquigley

Member III
Does anyone make slugs that have a ball bearing race around them to reduce hoisting/striking friction? Seems like a no-brainer, but I've searched unsuccessfully several times - there must be an engineering reason they wouldn't work ... (?)
 

1911tex

Member III
Does anyone make slugs that have a ball bearing race around them to reduce hoisting/striking friction? Seems like a no-brainer, but I've searched unsuccessfully several times - there must be an engineering reason they wouldn't work ... (?)
Design one, test it, get a patent and sell a set to ME!!! Makes sense.....
 

1911tex

Member III
Wow. Sheltering in place is fun. Sheltering in place while sailing is more funner. haha!! what is not fun however is getting my mainsail raised with significant resistance. Im guessing its from the plastic sail slides jamming in the track? When i wiggle them around in the slip they all seem to move about freely, and the halyard seems to move freely also with no load. Seems maybe the slides are binding? my biggest issue is shaking a reef, i pretty much cant downwind. ive been turning to the wind, shaking the reef out and then turning back down wind. the PO mentioned he sprayed sailkote often on the slides before raising. What can i do improve my overall situation here?
Whatever you do, DO NOT butter any type of paste like graphite or silicone, etc in the mast groove or on the slugs...which may work if you are going to try to quick sell your boat...but after a very short period of time, mixed with airborne dust and other crud...hoisting will get worse than ever and you will have a devil of a time cleaning it out of the mast groove and off the slugs plus the luff of your sail. I would also not want to mix different types of dry lubes. Stick (yes a pun) with what is recommended above or call the customer service rep of your favorite marine products supplier.

Also do a google search:
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Tides decided on making the track slippery -- it's UHMW plastic. The slides are just simple stainless. KInda foolproof.

No, I'm not selling this stuff :) . It just has been one one of those improvements you appreciate each time. Lots of installation videos on YouTube.
 
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1911tex

Member III
I just received the free Tides "kit" to determine the manufacturer requirements of my mast.

Don't laugh, but up to now, I have only used a weak solution of liquid Dawn and water in a spritz trigger bottle to squirt the slugs periodically. You can tell the results after a rain as the little bit of rain that routinely dribbles down from the mast into the bilge, the bilge gets cleaner each time my turkey baster siphons the water out. Yes it works making the slugs slide up and down without jamming and keeps the mast groove clean.
 
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steven

Member III
Tides Marine is by far the best investment I have made.
There are other threads about it on this Forum.
A slippery track is place inside your main track and slippery slides replace you sail slugs.
Sail raises with little effort and drops like a rock when you uncleat and let it go.

Also, Harken offers a system of ball bearing slides called "battcars".
I researched them but did not use them because they are relatively expensive and put weight aloft.

--Steve
 

frick

Member III
You can alway try a running a leaky plastic bottle of soapy water of the mast. Simple and it often works if you jury rig it properly.
I once hauled a 50 water hose up my roller furler to flood it. That removed years of crud. Then I Mac Lubed it.
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
I have cut swages of old tee shirt cloth, soak in soapy water, then cram under a sail slug and send it up and down the track. Several pieces of cloth can clean the track and then use mcLube or some other Teflon spray.
 

frosero7744

Member I
Thank you guys. ill give the mast track a cleaning and mclubing. Found these seemingly handy track cleaners also. A bit pricey but maybe worth it.

 

Wannasailsoon

Member II
When we first bought our boat it was brutal to lift the main sail. We have done a few things that have seemed to make an incredible difference. We used sailkote to lube the track and that made a difference, but what we found interesting is we tuned our rigging and now we can almost one hand raising the mainsail. Not sure if the tuning would impact, but it definitely did for us.
 

goldenstate

Member III
Blogs Author
When we first bought our boat it was brutal to lift the main sail. We have done a few things that have seemed to make an incredible difference. We used sailkote to lube the track and that made a difference, but what we found interesting is we tuned our rigging and now we can almost one hand raising the mainsail. Not sure if the tuning would impact, but it definitely did for us.
How did your tuning affect your mast?

Is it bowed back more?

More straight up and down?
 

Wannasailsoon

Member II
How did your tuning affect your mast?

Is it bowed back more?

More straight up and down?
Not sure. We didn’t do a comparison before and after. We were installing new anchor and steaming lights and a new wind gauge. When we reinstalled the mast and started tuning the rigging it was wild how much the mast bends as you tune it. You can actually see it bend by laying where the boom is and looking up. At times there was an actual S curve. We are slightly raked, but not dramatic.
Someone else here likely has a more technical explanation, but everything is working so much easier. We did check our sheaves and they were okay, likely need to be changed the next time we have the mast down, but they are fine for now. Next time, I would definitely do a comparison before and after.
 
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