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Old 10-11-2015, 12:31   #1
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Adding 2nd track to one track mast

Folks,

We have a single track mast and it would be useful to have a 2nd track that we can use to hoist such things as a trisail or a very lightweight secondary mainsail. I was thinking of installing it using rivets just aside from the main slide track, leaving room for the the mainsail slides and whatnot.

Have you done this? If so, any suggestions or gotchas I should consider? Any other options I may not be aware exist?

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Old 10-11-2015, 12:55   #2
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

Often, on smaller/simpler boats, you do not need an extra track when your 2nd sail is of the same attachment system. You need a gate to let the main slides and/or cars out.

If you do resolve you want one, I have seen them screwed on, not riveted.

Some are bent and led nearly to the deck - makes bending on any stormy sail so much easier when the boats starts being everywhere but below (our feet).

b.
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:04   #3
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

There's a lot to be said for having the trysail.

However, we just go to a very deep 3rd reef in the main. If you do want the trysail, then having it hanked on, before the passage, and with its own track is the way to go, and barnakiel described adequately what I have also seen.

The bag that the trysail is in should be easily opened, as in having a #10 zip to open, so you hoist right out of the bag, and be secured at the mast bale or to the deck.

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Old 10-11-2015, 13:05   #4
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Often, on smaller/simpler boats, you do not need an extra track when your 2nd sail is of the same attachment system. You need a gate to let the main slides and/or cars out.

If you do resolve you want one, I have seen them screwed on, not riveted.

Some are bent and led nearly to the deck - makes bending on any stormy sail so much easier when the boats starts being everywhere but below (our feet).

b.
We have a gate for getting the mainsail in and out but the design is a real pain - I would rather not have to take all the slugs out since its a two person operation to get them back in. Also, we are retrofitting the slide track with a tides track when we get our new mainsail.
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Old 10-11-2015, 14:50   #5
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

put on a separate track. Trying to feed a storm trysail through a gate or onto a track in the conditions you'll need it are not something you want to do. Rivets are okay if you use Monel or SS. Aluminum rivets just dont have the strength needed for such a highly loaded use.
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:07   #6
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

There are high strength aluminum blind rivets that might avoid the use of metals with galvanic problems with an aluminum mast, but you still have the stainless steel sail track that would be in contact with the mast.

McMaster-Carr Then click on "High Strength Blind Rivets".
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Old 11-11-2015, 17:49   #7
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

For the track I would use the same method that Cabo Rico used to prevent corrosion between the winches and the mast... a sheet of teflon tape.

I could use taped screws, I just thought that rivets were stronger.

I'll definitely add a second track so we can keep the sails separate. We currently have 3 reefs in our sail but under the recommendation of a knowledgeable sailmaker we can reduce cost on our next sail by putting 2 reefs very deep rather than 3, since you are basically shaking out the mainsail by the time you are on your "1st reef" in a 3 reef system.

We also want to have the option of hoisting a very lightweight nylon mainsail as per the Pardey's. We have more frustration with light wind than heavy wind. Given our limited diesel tankage, if we can fly a lightweight main, an asym, and pole out our genoa we should be able to keep her moving in the lightest of winds and preserve our diesel.
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Old 11-11-2015, 22:26   #8
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

Hi, have you looked a flexible furler from CDI, can furl right from the cock pit, good luck and fair winds
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Old 11-11-2015, 23:37   #9
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

Another use of second track, if you extend it to top of mast it could be used to hoist a mast ladder without removing the mainsail.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:15   #10
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
For the track I would use the same method that Cabo Rico used to prevent corrosion between the winches and the mast... a sheet of teflon tape.

I could use taped screws, I just thought that rivets were stronger.

I'll definitely add a second track so we can keep the sails separate. We currently have 3 reefs in our sail but under the recommendation of a knowledgeable sailmaker we can reduce cost on our next sail by putting 2 reefs very deep rather than 3, since you are basically shaking out the mainsail by the time you are on your "1st reef" in a 3 reef system.

We also want to have the option of hoisting a very lightweight nylon mainsail as per the Pardey's. We have more frustration with light wind than heavy wind. Given our limited diesel tankage, if we can fly a lightweight main, an asym, and pole out our genoa we should be able to keep her moving in the lightest of winds and preserve our diesel.
You might consider using Blind Monel Rivets. Friends of ours installed a 2nd track to their mast for a trysail before leaving for the Caribbean 6 years ago in this manner and have reported no problems. By extending the track well below the boom you can prefeed the sail slides on the track while the sail is still bagged, on deck. For very light air you might want to consider a "Mainster", essentially a 1.5 Oz Nylon "mainsail" somewhat full, tacked to the boom at the mast, clued to the boom end, and hoisted, free flying, to the masthead with one's secondary main halyard. An article about the sail appeared in Good Old Boat a few years ago, written by Ed Zacko, who has used such a sail on his Nor'Sea 27 on his world tour. His web site/blog is at Ellen and Ed sail around the world in their NorSea 27 Entr'acte
A photo of his boat with the Mainster:

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Old 12-11-2015, 08:16   #11
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

One possible catch which comes to mind if you put a 2nd track onto the mast, is that if you're running a main with full batten hardware, you may run into some issues with said hardware impinging on the 2nd track. Possibly to the point of doing some damage to either, or both; if you tend to run with the main let out all of the way forward much of the time.
That, or if the track's in the wrong spot, depending on the curvature of your mast section, it could chafe your main a good bit under such circumstances as well.
It's be worth looking into.

I believe it's Harken, who makes a glue on mainsail track. If not them, one of the other major manufacturers. And IIRC such was developed for carbon fiber masts. Though I can't see why such a thing wouldn't work on aluminum mast.
If memory serves, I read about it over on Sailing Anarchy Forums, within the last year or so.

Harken also makes what looks to be a very efficent gate system, for their mainsail tracks & cars. So that you can either; greatly reduce your stack height, or have a trysail on it's own "spur line" of track, down on deck. And hoist it up via the main track without much hassle when you need to.
The catch being, the price of their hardware. But if you go with their track variant which you drill, tap, & bolt into the mast, it's reasonable. Assuming that you're selective about which kinds of mast cars which you choose.
Albeit, with their system, you need a LOT less cars than with the Tides setup.

There are plenty of other options for a 2nd track too. And IMO, it's worth having such a setup for your Trysail.
That, along with it's own dedicated halyard. As wrestling with the main halyard can get quite tricky, even on boats with low booms/stack heights, when it's stormy. And if you're going with a Tides system, you definitely wont have a low stack height.
So then you'd be forced to go with a couple of steps on the mast down low. And to climb them, to unshackle the halyard when things are at their worst. All while both, trying to hang on, & also not to let the halyard go flying skyward, once you get it unshackled.

So, I should think that having a pendant to clip onto the main halyard, once the sail's down would be wise. That way you can properly tension the halyard against it so that it doesn't beat all of the paint off the mast, driving you loco in the process.
And it'd avoid the wrestling with the halyard scenario above.

Also, I wouldn't fret much about how to attach a 2nd track to the mast. I mean, there are plenty of aluminum masts with stainless steel tracks screwed onto them with stainless steel screws, which have held up fine for decades.
Just drill & tap like you normally would, & coat the machine screws with Loctite. Something like Blue would be best, as it allows for removal with hand tools, but keeps things from vibrating loose.
And the perk of using Loctite or similar, is that it'll give you the galvanic isolation which you're looking for as well.
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Old 12-11-2015, 22:11   #12
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Re: Adding 2nd track to one track mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
For very light air you might want to consider a "Mainster", essentially a 1.5 Oz Nylon "mainsail" somewhat full, tacked to the boom at the mast, clued to the boom end, and hoisted, free flying, to the masthead with one's secondary main halyard.
That was exactly what I was looking for but didn't know it did not need a track! Thanks for the info... will research more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
One possible catch which comes to mind if you put a 2nd track onto the mast, is that if you're running a main with full batten hardware, you may run into some issues with said hardware impinging on the 2nd track. Possibly to the point of doing some damage to either, or both; if you tend to run with the main let out all of the way forward much of the time.
That, or if the track's in the wrong spot, depending on the curvature of your mast section, it could chafe your main a good bit under such circumstances as well.
It's be worth looking into.
I had the same thought of the track getting in the way of the batten hardware. Figured I'm not reinventing the wheel and that someone had an answer to this problem.
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