Don, this is my next purchase
Hawk and I have recently researched a range of options and looked at a few of them at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show
(Gold Coast, Australia) only last week. Also if you search CF you will find a number of informative posts.
I have decided to replace all of my slides with Rutgerson gear
- 5 batten cars, 6 intermediate slides and one headboard car will cost about $700. Money
is a factor for me but it must also work and my sail maker thinks that this will. See their website, Rutgerson.se
I looked at the Tides Marine
Strong Track system - fantastic and not one negative review or comment found amongst plenty of praise. With my 18m mast
and the need to replace batten recepticles as well this would cost me over $2000 before installation
Another option that works with an existing mast
track is the Ronstan Ballslide T Batten System. This has revolving ballbearing cars. Also very well reviewed, probably one of the best that can be retrofitted. A down side for me with this system is the increased hight of the sail stack which places the headboard out of reach. I have lazy jacks and sail bag. Also the cost is much more than all of the other systems.
system also uses revolving encapsulated ball bearing cars, is very good, expensive and I believe requires its own track which would also have to be fitted. So that would mean removing your mast.
I also came across a system called Luffshuttle which I haven't seen. Look at Luffshuttle.com
There are more mainsail
luff systems around. I found interesting discussion of this topic on the Hanse boat owners site. Was amazed at the number of owners of new Hanse's having problems raising and lowering sails