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Old 23-07-2014, 12:54   #1
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Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

Can anyone recommend a good frictionless system for a 50 ft boat?

Presently we have the Dutchman gear. I'd like something which will drop the main effortlessly.

Fredricksen?
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Old 23-07-2014, 14:05   #2
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

Harken
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Old 23-07-2014, 14:18   #3
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

Tides Marine also makes a system. I have heard that it it works better smaller boats but don't know that to be fact.

https://www.tidesmarine.com/sailtrack
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Old 23-07-2014, 14:24   #4
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

I think I am looking for a conventional system with cars and torlon bearings.

Not too impressed with the slippery plastics. No moving parts is great .. in theory.

You say Harken .. because?
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Old 23-07-2014, 14:35   #5
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

The Harken track system is down right amazing. It is also very expensive so keep that in mind. I would go with their new side-by-side track to lower the stack height while down.

I Haven't used the strong track but have heard very good things. However as the boat gets larger and the loads get higher ball bearing races start to look better and better.
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Old 23-07-2014, 14:49   #6
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

Presently, I have system which has no moving parts - i.e. it relies on slippery plastic bits to be slippery.

All very well in a sterile NASA laboratory where they work perfectly. No so in the sun, salt and the abuse of a cruising boat.

Anyone know anything about the Ronstand/Fredricksen system?
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Old 23-07-2014, 15:01   #7
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neelie View Post
I think I am looking for a conventional system with cars and torlon bearings.

Not too impressed with the slippery plastics. No moving parts is great .. in theory.

You say Harken .. because?
Harken is a link. Click on it and see.
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Old 23-07-2014, 15:28   #8
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

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Originally Posted by sailpower View Post
Harken is a link. Click on it and see.
I did the first time and I read through the blurb on the site..

Do have this system?

If so, how long have you had it?
Trouble free?
Easy reefing on all points of sail as they claim on their website?
Clean drops?

Thanks
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Old 23-07-2014, 15:37   #9
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

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Originally Posted by neelie View Post
I did the first time and I read through the blurb on the site..

Do have this system?

If so, how long have you had it?
Trouble free?
Easy reefing on all points of sail as they claim on their website?
Clean drops?

Thanks
A friend of mine had it on his Bristol 45.5. It was very easy to use. He had it for several years with no problems.

A previous commenter in this thread also seems to have some experience with it.
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Old 23-07-2014, 16:55   #10
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

We have just been through this exercise while getting a new mainsail made. We installed the Tides Marine system and it is fantastic. The system is designed to fit your mast slot and once ordered it took just 7 days to be individually made to suit our mast and delivered from the US to Australia.

It was a breeze to install and took all of 5 mins. Now we have a new main sail which is a dream to raise and reef down wind. Of course ours is only a few weeks old but we have friends who installed this system before they left the US 8 years ago and have just completed their circumnavigation and still praise the system.

It is also a lot less expensive than other systems.

Cheers Sapient Sue
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Old 23-07-2014, 17:01   #11
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

I have Harken track and bat-cars with the Dutchman system on my Tayana V42. I'm very happy with the set up. Drops easily and surely.


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Old 23-07-2014, 18:21   #12
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

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Originally Posted by sapient sue View Post
We have just been through this exercise while getting a new mainsail made. We installed the Tides Marine system and it is fantastic. The system is designed to fit your mast slot and once ordered it took just 7 days to be individually made to suit our mast and delivered from the US to Australia.

It was a breeze to install and took all of 5 mins. Now we have a new main sail which is a dream to raise and reef down wind. Of course ours is only a few weeks old but we have friends who installed this system before they left the US 8 years ago and have just completed their circumnavigation and still praise the system.

It is also a lot less expensive than other systems.

Cheers Sapient Sue
I have heard,anecdotally, that the Tides system is not as efficient as the sails get larger particularly full batten sails? Also the track insert tends to degrade in UV?

Sounds like you are enjoying yours.
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Old 23-07-2014, 20:24   #13
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

We have an Antal system with full batten main. The cars don't have ball bearings but they go up and down effortlessly. The track is anodized aluminum. There is some slippery material on the cars. I use McLube occasionally to keep it working smooth. The main falls really fast (almost too fast). Reefing at all points of sail is no problem. The system is expensive.
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Old 23-07-2014, 20:33   #14
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

Sue.. I read good things about the Tides system but I'm gun shy with depending on two slippery pieces of plastic to be slippery when you need them to be.

Ball bearings are the go. Old school but they seem to always work.

Dan... Was yours a standard Valiant fit out? I'm wondering why they chose the system that we have. Painless, it's not!
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Old 23-07-2014, 20:36   #15
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Re: Mainsail Track and car recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I have Harken track and bat-cars with the Dutchman system on my Tayana V42. I'm very happy with the set up. Drops easily and surely.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
And is it true about being able to ref on any point of sail? Do you have battens?

So far, I'm trending towards the a Harken system.. But still researching.
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