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Old 21-12-2014, 05:16   #1
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Reliable Mainsail Slides

We have a 2 year old 2 and 2 main (2 full and 2 partial battens) attached to the mast via standard "D" sail slides. Most slides (except at the head) are the white nylon Bainbridge type sewn in to Spectra webbing to the tack of the sail.

The slides worked well till 8 broke, clean shear in about 25 knots. The larger ones (black) that are at the base of the top battens also broke - no crash jibes! I replaced them with some old spares, similar to the previous for now.

I would like to know of a more robust, oversized type of slide that is offshore reliable. I know that PTFE coated metal slides (we have 2 at the headboard) are around but do not know the longevity of the coating itself .

Does anyone have experience with slides (not on an external track) that hold up well over years in an offshore environment??

Thanks!
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Old 21-12-2014, 07:08   #2
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

I have never heard of breaking slides in that manner, especially if only 2 years old. I wonder in you got a bad batch. Or are you sailing over canvased, in which case you would be damaging the sail as well.

We have the plastic slides and sail in 25 kts without problem, but we are typically reefed at that wind speed unless it's a gust. I guess I would recommend trying the plastic again and see if you just got a bad batch. Otherwise, maybe go to a car system.


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Old 21-12-2014, 10:40   #3
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

Yes, we also had 2 reefs...
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Old 21-12-2014, 10:54   #4
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

Can't overstate how much I LOVE my Strongtrack sail slide system. Requires you to install their proprietary super slick track over your existing one which you may not want to do, but you will not believe the difference. I have full batten sails (ketch) which go up now with half the effort and..... coming down.....OMG...its like a bag of bricks. Very well made...highest quality materials and easy installation. Cheers
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Old 21-12-2014, 17:17   #5
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

I am familiar with the Strongtrack - it is a well built system.

Ours does not need it, main handles well in most conditions! But if I do not find stronger slides I will consider it- thanks.
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Old 21-12-2014, 18:10   #6
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

We have plain white plastics they are OK. But our main is only some 200 ft sq big. I am not sure if there are any big ones made or not.

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Old 21-12-2014, 20:12   #7
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

Bainbridge make all the slugs you may ever need. They have the lightweight plastic versions that you seem to have all the way up to steel reinforced versions with buttresses for large boats. Search for SAILMAN. Sailmakers can get them for you.

I had the TIDES MARINE STRONG track system for a while. I'm not as impressed as the posters above. The cars and track are very heavy. And worse, the sun destroys the plastic track in a few years. Mine tore apart in a puff creating quite a mess: imagine a mainsail flying like a spinnaker. Imagine trying to douse it with the track in shreds. If you need a track get the grown-up versions like those from ANTAL or others. Reverted to plain old slugs in the plain old mast track. There is a little more friction but it's no big deal.
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Old 26-12-2014, 06:58   #8
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

If you want total reliability then go all PTFE coated S/S slides. The coating does wear off and they do wear the mast over time over thousands of miles but on bigger boat applications without a batten car system it is the only way you can go. Being only a 40fter you can probably get away with the allslip slides from bainbridge on all but the head, they slide quite nice if they will fit your mast.
I've see a couple of cases where all the plastic slides have blown in a squall/front 45 knots + and the result was a throwaway mainsail in both.
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Old 26-12-2014, 16:15   #9
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Re: Reliable Mainsail Slides

Thanks Kestrahl, the Bainbrdge/ Aquabatten all slides are much beefier and also fiber reinforced.

We have two at the end of the top two full battens. The top Allslide broke also but that was because a few regular slides on either side also broke, so there was a huge load on it.

The other Allslide is fine even though slides were broken on one side! Pretty tough!

The headboard has the metal PTFE coated slides but I do r3ealize that the coating wears off after hoisting the sail a few dozen times.

So it's going to be the Allslides for the entire tack!

Cheers to all and happy holidays!
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