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Old 26-02-2007, 02:42   #1
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Sail Car/Track Systems

What a few Sailmakers say about Full Batten Mains, and Sail Car Systems:

Neil Pryde Sails (Hardware Review):
We recommend this system highly and should be considered at the top of the list when shopping for integrated track / batten systems.
Neil Pryde Sails: Issue 18, Strong Track Review

North Sails (Solutions for Cruising Sailors)
The statement that "full batten sails are difficult to raise" needs to be qualified. If the mast track accepts flat slides, or uses a car system from Harken, Antal, Tides Marine, Fredrickson etc, then the sail will go up and down without any trouble. On the other hand, if the mast track is designed to accept barrel shaped slides (commonly referred to as "slug slides") then full battens can be a problem.
What Cruising Sailors Need to Know

Mauri Sails: Mauri Sails: Full Batten Mainsails
Nance & Underwood: Nance Underwood Sails and Rigging Tides Marine

Inspired by the discussion:
Formosa vs. CT vs. Mariner

Originally Posted by islandplanet
I never said everyone needed a track system. Depends on the boat, type of track on the mast, size of sail, # of battens, and the customer. I think your analysis runs counter to much of the thinking in the industry. Large full batten sails will always weigh more and put compression loads on the batten end receptacles. Unavoidable fact of life that has nothing to do with who builds the sail. You'll hear far more complaints about raising and reefing full batten sails than you will about the investment made in Strong Track. Adding a track system at the time of purchasing a new main is far more economical than retrofitting after the fact. How long have you had your full batten main? Sounds like you have a ketch which will have a smaller main than a sloop of similar size.
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier
My analysis may be contrary to the "industry" but not the experience of us folk out there in the real world with no financial interest in adding expensive new hardware. In our 15 years of cruising around a large portion of the watery part of the planet I don't recall anyone that added full batten sails and then came back with issues that the sails were harder to raise or anything else for that matter. These were ketches, cutters, sloops, tall rigs, short rigs, new rigs, wood spars, carbon fiber spars and aluminum spars. Our full battens have been on now for 6 years without any of the problems you suggest. They have been through gales, storms and some just great but boisterous conditions. No problems. You did mention that you sell the track systems didn't you? Sorry but in our experience we haven't heard complaints about raising or reefing from any other cruisers we have encountered with full battens. Perhaps a seriously worn spar would indeed benefit but to say most will need new track just sounds like another sales pitch.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 26-02-2007, 07:44   #2
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I have the Strong Track for my full batten mainsail and it works very well. Standing at the mast, I can raise the sail to the top by hand, and from the cockpit, all but about the last foot. To me, it was worth the cost.

Ontario 32 - "Aria"

Within a dream, we may find a fantasy,
But never within a fantasy, will we live a dream.
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Old 26-02-2007, 08:08   #3
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Sue and I could not sail effectively without a track system! Our sloop rig is close to 80 foot tall and not only does the main go up like a dream - it comes down exactly when we want it to!
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Old 26-02-2007, 08:44   #4
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Aye installed a STRONGTRACK

by Tides Marine just last week. Cost just under $1500 for a 53 ft extrusion complete w/ all hardware. And it only took 20 min to install it all by myself.


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Old 26-02-2007, 10:56   #5
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Last summer I installed a Strong Track system with a new full battened loosefooted mainsail and it works excellent. With the halyards to the cockpit, I can hoist the main to within 3' of the 51' mast. And coming down, I actually have to control its descent, it falls like a rock. All the cars pile up except for the top due to the stiffness of the sailhead.

The nice thing about the full batten is it flakes out on the boom real good, once it was trained.

I'll never go back to slugs because that's exactly what they are, "slugs"!
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