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Old 05-10-2015, 15:53   #1
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Sheet track extension for Cal 34

I recently bought a 1976 Cal 34 and want to be able to sail in gales in the Pacific NW. I noticed the stock track stops aft of the shrouds, does anyone have experience with a track placed further forward to be used with a 85% jib or storm jib? Should it be outside the rail continuing forward as it currently does? Or should it be placed on the deck inside the rail, and if so, what about the strength of the deck? I want to get a proper sheet angle. Anyone with experience regarding this issue?
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Old 05-10-2015, 16:57   #2
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

Pictures would help, but if you are changing headsails then you likely also need to change to an inside job track. I would suggest speaking to your sailmaker about this since getting the lead angle correct is a little tricky and depends on the cut of the sail.
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Old 05-10-2015, 17:14   #3
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

Thanks for the response. I have spoken with a sailmaker and he wants to install track inside the deck rail but I have issues with the strength of the deck and the Cal 34 is not very beamy so I was wondering if anyone out there with a Cal 34 has just extended the track on the gunwale. This would prevent me from sheeting in tight but in a blow I don't know if that would do me much good, it seems that when in the big waves I am not pointing that high to gain speed and control. I don't know what other Cal 34 owners have done and would love to find out!
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Old 05-10-2015, 19:29   #4
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

The problem with using outboard leads is that you are forced to sail the boat on a jib reach. Which means a very powered up headsail, and powered up main. In effect you are always 10 degrees low of where you should be. So your tacking angles go from 90 degrees to 110 degrees just from jib trim. By pulling the leads inboard with a non-overlapping jib your tacking angles tighten from, oh say 90 up to 80 degrees, so you can either pinch to blead speed or foot for power.

Load on the jib track is pretty easy to control. I actually think the best backing plate for jib track is another piece of jib track installed on the back side (same size and already pre-drilled). But a piece of G-10 works fine as well. Even in a storm the loads on the track aren't that high. Even on a big boat the lifting load is far less than 1000lbs.
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:01   #5
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
The problem with using outboard leads is that you are forced to sail the boat on a jib reach. Which means a very powered up headsail, and powered up main. In effect you are always 10 degrees low of where you should be. So your tacking angles go from 90 degrees to 110 degrees just from jib trim. By pulling the leads inboard with a non-overlapping jib your tacking angles tighten from, oh say 90 up to 80 degrees, so you can either pinch to blead speed or foot for power.

Load on the jib track is pretty easy to control. I actually think the best backing plate for jib track is another piece of jib track installed on the back side (same size and already pre-drilled). But a piece of G-10 works fine as well. Even in a storm the loads on the track aren't that high. Even on a big boat the lifting load is far less than 1000lbs.
===

I owned a Cal-34 for many years and that's all good advice. The track must be mounted on the cabin top to get the proper sheeting angle. It makes a big difference in windward ability. The cabin top is cored with marine plywood so it is quite strong if kept dry. It is important to do a good job bedding the track and bolt holes. If you start getting moisture or mildew on the inside you need to re-bed the track immediately.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:20   #6
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

Thanks for info, what was the smallest sail you used with that set up?
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:01   #7
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

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Originally Posted by littlebigwall View Post
Thanks for info, what was the smallest sail you used with that set up?
===

I normally used it with my 100% working jib but it was also OK with the storm jib which was somewhere around 50 or 60%.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:04   #8
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

Agree on sailmaker discussion. You could get a high clewed storm jib and maybe not even have to add a track. It's all in the measurements and the height of the clew.
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Old 07-10-2015, 16:24   #9
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Re: Sheet track extension for Cal 34

Thanks everyone, I am so glad I joined this group! I do have a sailmaker lined up as well as a rigger but I want to make sure the job is done the way I want, sometimes hired help doesn't quite get it right.
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